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German War Flag and Banner

Article about: Hello, I inherited my collection of WW2 memorabilia about 5 years ago (some items earlier) from my grandfather. Each piece was directly brought back to the U.S. by my grandfather at the end

  1. #1
    ?

    Default German War Flag and Banner

    Hello,

    I inherited my collection of WW2 memorabilia about 5 years ago (some items earlier) from my grandfather. Each piece was directly brought back to the U.S. by my grandfather at the end of the war.

    He brought back three German flags, but threw one away before they got to me, due to the extensive moth damage (you can see some moth holes on the war flag). The German War flag measures about 10 feet x 6.5 feet, and the banner measures about 9.3 feet x 3.5 feet.

    There is an interesting story about one of these (although, I don't know which one). I'm somewhat of a skeptic, so (in my head) I try to poke holes in the story, as Iím sure some of you will do the same. My grandfather went to the Eagleís nest and Hitlerís house on August 4, 1945 (according to his journal entry). There are a couple pictures of him at one or both of these locations. Iím really not sure which is which, so hopefully one of you will be able to identify the location, once Iím able to scan in the pictures.

    As the story goes, there was a flag (he did not distinguish between the flag and the banner; called them both flags) hanging over the balcony in the Eagleís Nest (might also be Hitlerís house) when the picture was taken. He said that he ripped the flag off and stuffed it in his bag, after the picture was taken. My memory of the story was a little hazy, so I called my mother and she confirmed the story (without seeing the picture). She swears that the flag came from the Eagleís Nest and that my grandfather took it, right after that picture of him on the balcony was taken.

    Now, my main problem with the story is that my grandfather didnít get over there until August. Iíve read that the soldiers who originally liberated those areas (in May) took lots of souvenirs. Iím sure the soldiers who came after them in June and July did the same thing. For the sake of discussion, assume the story is legit. I think it would have to be the banner (and not the flag) because the soldiers who came before my grandfather would not have left a war flag hanging there. The banner, on the other hand, seems much more likely to have been overlooked (or ignored) by the previous soldiers. If it was hanging from the balcony in the picture, it probably only could be viewed by leaning over the edge.

    Anyway, any comments/identification/etc. would be appreciated. Iíll post a couple of his pictures and the journal entry soon.

    Thanks,
    Gaines
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  2. #2

    Default Re: German War Flag and Banner

    Hi Gaines, nice banner and flag. There was alot of confusion among the first troops arriving at the Kehlsteinhaus and Burghof. Even some of the commanders were confused which was Hitler's house. That confusion has endured even today among some of the older veterans. Both these locations where taken over by the Allies in May of 1945, so I doubt if there was anything left by the time your grandfather got there. Guards set fire to the Burghof and it was bombed almost to smithereens. The Kehlsteinhaus was recovered intact, but that's along time between May and August for things to get carried away. If it was me, I wouldn't get too caught up in the details and just be glad to have a nice rememberance of your grandfather.

    Take care,
    Jay

  3. #3

    Default Re: German War Flag and Banner

    I think the war flag is a marine flag.
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  4. #4

    Default Re: German War Flag and Banner

    August really is a late date for banners and things to still be found hanging around,
    or for there to be anything of interest or value left to 'loot' !
    Apparently, units of the the French army arrived there first, followed soon after
    by the 101st Airborne, in early May 1945.

    I suppose it could be possible that, while with the Occupation forces he bought
    or traded with someone who was there at the initial entry, but the banner
    may or may not have come directly from that particular location.

    Still great souvenirs !

    I would treasure these flags/banners as important pieces of your family history,
    and as such, something you would never want to part with !



    Stuka is correct. The Reichkriegsflagge is a naval flag !
    Regards,


    Steve.

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: German War Flag and Banner

    Hey,

    Thanks for the comments! It's definitely possible that my mom is mistaken about where he got the banner (although, I vaguely remember him telling me the story too). Also, thank you for the information about the flag. I was not sure what kind of flag it is, but read somewhere that it was a German war flag.

    Here are a few pictures from his scrapbook and a scanned page of his journal. The first picture is the one that I've referred to as him on the balcony ("Hitler's home at Obersalzberg" is written on the back). The second picture also has "Hitler's home at Obersalzberg" written on the back. The third picture has "Berchtesgaden. Eagle's nest to the left of my head." written on the back. They are not uploading in the order that I described, but I'm sure you can figure out which one is which.

    His camera is still in his bag, along with the other WW2 treasures. His scrapbook contains some very interesting pictures. The journal is even more interesting. It's leather-bound and says "1940" in the bottom right corner. He obviously got it from Germany, as you can see from the written language on the pages. I'm going to make a separate thread about it, because I have not been able to identify it. The first page has "Elektrische Kraft ist Unentbehrlich!" and a picture of a factory, with a man holding the letters "LEW" written on it. There's tons of interesting pages in the book, including what appears to be an identification chart of some German military symbols.

    Thanks,
    Gaines
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  6. #6

    Default Re: German War Flag and Banner

    Very nice items and pics thanx for showing them.

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: German War Flag and Banner

    The Battle Flag has the Kriegsmarine Acceptance Stamp
    Nice flags and Pics, thanks for sharing
    Newton

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