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An update of my Croatian Collection

Article about: My new purchase Yugoslav Royal Sword, German Contract from Alexander Coppel, converted in 1941 for Croatian Army use. I am still looking for a Croatian original M41, but this at least kills

  1. #11
    ?

    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Thank you very much for taking the time!!
    Absolutely beautiful daggers. So very elegant (and almost as beautiful as the Bulgarian daggers mentioned ).
    The Ermas are also nice guns. Good quality blued guns from a time when attention to detail was a matter of pride and not a stamping in sight!
    Did your Opa serve and was this his personal weapon or how am I to understand the pic?

  2. #12

    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Quote by Scout View Post
    Did your Opa serve and was this his personal weapon or how am I to understand the pic?
    Anti-Partisan German Combat police in Croatia. He carried an ERMA-35.
    He was captured by the partisans at the end of the war (two weeks after Germany surrendered hostilities were still on in Croatia) and was in a holding camp. A German Column passed by and requested release of the prisoners. The partisan commander refused and demanded the column surrender to him. The column was led by a contingent of Panzers. The Panzer commander told the Partisan commander that as long as he was in his tank the war wasn't over. So the partisans let the prisoners (including my grandfather) go. Upon reaching British lines the mixed group of Croatians, Germans, etc.. surrendered. My grandfather was very lucky to be in a German Croatian unit. All the other Croatians were given to the partisans and sent on the Bleiburg death march.
    He was released in December of 1947. My grandmother got the Austria government to vouche for him and cited his 6 dependant children.

    The picture in question. He is in drillich here. Police M43 and police buckle clearly visible.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Page 1 of his Surrendered Enemy Personnel Document.
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    Page 2 of his SEP document.
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    I am very lucky to have this much info. I hope one day to go to some of the archives in Europe and do some more research. Maybe find a unit, etc...

  3. #13
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    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    You have a impressive collection there. Nice Handschar patch. An interesting unit indeed.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Fantastic, that you have your Opas pic and papers. Incredible story of how he managed to make it to the West. Not all were that lucky. As you imply/know many from various units were simply beaten to death in the aftermath, if caugt in the East.
    The handing over of allied prisoners to the USSR is simply a disgrace - not least the horrific story of what happened to Vlasovs Cossacks, but thats another story.
    In contrast to that, some Estonians went on to work for the UK. One even joined the Intelligence service and must have been one fo the few to be decorated by both the Germans and the British.
    Not that all 'partisan' fighting was very pleasent - I will not go into that discussion here. Suffice it to say, that it was nasty business.
    Years ago, I met a Florian Geyer vet. The reason, he did talk to me about his WWII experience was the following; I immediately spotted, that he was missing his right arm and reached out my left to shake his remaining hand, as if that was the most natural of things. He said, that many got confused and embarrassed and tried to shake his hand with their right hand.
    Anyway, as a young kid he was involved in fighting 'partisans' in some rear actions. The SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer went on to be destroyed in Budapest in 45. Not many FG vets showed up at reunions after the war.
    The only way the vet got out alive, was because while fighting partisans (who in this instance in fact were partisans), an egg grenade landed in the fox hole he shared with a buddy. His friend died and he vet lost his arm.
    He got evacuated and landed up in France. Here he got overrun by American forces.
    I asked him, if the GIs displayed any animosity towards him, as he was SS. I would have suspected, that the GIs were fed up at this point. But he said no, they were the friendliest people he had ever met and he had never been treated nicer or more correct. IMO impressive at this point in the war.

    BTW Michigan is nice. I recently visited a friend in Bay City.

  5. #15

    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Great collection! Seldom seen items.
    Thanks for posting.
    |<ris
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  6. #16

    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Didn't see the second page of the thread !
    Even better! Great to know the story of your grand father.
    cheers
    |<ris
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  7. #17

    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Quote by Scout View Post
    Fantastic, that you have your Opas ......
    .... I met a Florian Geyer vet. .......
    missing his right arm and reached out my left to shake his remaining hand, as if that was the most natural of things. He said, that many got confused and embarrassed and tried to shake his hand with their right hand.
    Anyway, ........
    .........

    BTW Michigan is nice. I recently visited a friend in Bay City.
    That reminds me!!
    Stretching my left arm in order to shake hands to people how lost theyre right arm,was a very famyliar habit to me. As a yougster I often met vets who were mutilated.
    It must have been something like 10 to 12 years ago I did it for the last time, a very good friends father who passed away was a HJ and lost is arm at the age of 15.
    I remember when I was young those guy's aprreciated that a lot when a boy reached out his left hand in order to greet without been told to do so!!
    |<ris
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  8. #18
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    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Quite so. The vet mentioned this specifically. He was tired of people not meeting his eyes and acting embarrassed. He said, that as long as he wasnt feeling bad, why should they. He appreciated the small gesture, when strangers looked him in the eyes and reached out the left hand, as if that was the natural thing to do..., which in this case of course it was.

  9. #19

    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Quote by Scout View Post
    Fantastic, that you have your Opas pic and papers.
    I am very glad to have what I have. Of course I wish I had more! I wish I could have had a regular uniform picture of him so I could see what the setup was. There are A LOT of different police combat uniforms. Also, I have NO IDEA if he won an medals or anything like that. So, I do really appreciate being blessed enough to have this, but I really would like to know the whole story!

  10. #20
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    Default Re: An update of my Croatian Collection

    Agreed. Uniform pic would have been nice.
    But you are lucky to have even what you have IMO.

    Looks like a German flare gun stuck in his belt BTW.

    Any idea of unit etc?

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