I became interested in the American Civil War as a youth during the Centenial celebration; 1960 or so. That war always did fasinate me as being the first to see flame throwers, land mines, aircraft (balloons), use of trains to transport troops and supplies and so on.
About twenty five years ago, my Father-in-Law handed to me a 1939 dated Fliegerbluse that he claimed in France during WW II and that did more to start my active collecting of WW II uniforms and equipment, though mostly US. I have since branched out to collect both Brit and Canadian infantry items and most recently WW II RCAF uniforms and related items.
This is the tunic that started it all:
I got interested by books and then started collectiong when i joined the forum
Best regards, Patrick
It is my son that is the collector, not me (I keep telling myself that in hopes to believe it), I'm just the seeker of facts and information. But anyway, I guess it really started for him about 3-4 years ago when he spotted a german lid a guy was selling during a fly in event, at our local airport. He called me and bugged me for an hours..."It's only $25 dad, I'll pay you back!". I didn't know anything about anything but I figured $25 was too cheep for anything WWII German. I finally gave in and let him get it and I guess that is what started it all. Turned out to be a M-34 with US M-1 webbing bolted in. The shell is now tucked away in the closet, the leather headband found a home on one of our WWII M-1's that was lacking a headband and the rest of the webing is stuffed in the desk drawer, right here next to me.
Growing up in the 1960's in the UK there were always plenty of war films on TV and as a youngster, aged about 5, I become interested in WW2. A diet of comics such as the "Victor" and later "Commando" helped fuel this even more. Grandad was a WW1 Veteran, but would not really tell me a great deal.
I grew up in Ruddington, just south of Nottingham where the Army had a large depot where surplus vehicles were sold off. My Uncle would take me up there to look at the vehicles and we would drive around the Depot perimeter road in his old Austin A30. Through my Uncle, I stated to make "Airfix" kits and paint model soldiers too. I got a book from our local libray about collecting militaria. This came as a bit of a revelation that you could actually buy this stuff! Then aged 15 I began to collect WW2 German items. Most of my very early purchases were of course fake. I got my first wage packet, aged 16 and £10 of this was spent on a Luftwaffe Einheitsfeldmuzte (still have it and shown on the forum). I had the really good fortune of making friends with the dealer who sold me that cap. For the next 6 years I spent almost every Saturday afternoon at his shop. I would buy something every week from him and he really did "take me under his wing". I got to handle a huge amount of material, the vast majority of it good and this proved to be invaluable experience. I also got to handle repro items which he sold as such. Another dealer on the same street, the late Mike Long was also really helpful, always pointing me towards something good. At this time I also took up re-enacting and had my first rifle, a live Garand M1, aged 18.
The rest is history as they say.......
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I became interested in a bit of a strange way. It's not very profound, but it's genuinely how I became interested so here goes!
About two years ago I became interested in watches. Only clockwork ones; I loved how all the gears worked together, and the look of the mechanism. Anyway, through this appreciation of timepieces I found the fashion of 'steampunk' - that's the whole, clockwork Victorian type thing, antique looking furniture, machinery, clothes etc. I didn't actually participate in this fashion, but I liked it, and dimly recalled a character in a film being of the same genre, working by clockwork, and I eventually remembered that that film was 'Hellboy'. Watching it again, I'd forgotten that the clockwork man, Kroenen, was a Nazi. Moreover the look of the uniform and the militaria and such interested me, so I began researching it, and made my first ever Third Reich purchase - a 2 RM piece. And from then on I was hooked! Unfortunately it's taken me this long to actually research my purchases and become discerning but it's worth it. I commemorate my origins to this enthusiasm through my display picture and username!
i love history and old things.it was dream to be an archaiologist but now like to collect old items especially ww2 .started before 3 years with a fake ring and decided to continue (with originals)
My (late) father is to blame!
he was an amazing historian, gunsmith, collector, re--enactor and militaria dealer.
he bought a willys jeep when i was in my teens, demanded i buy an ATS unifor and acompany him on his weekends away!
i was brought up around his amazing collection of WW1 british, american and imperial militaria,and caught the bug.
I think over the yeas i have met so many different, interesting and excentric folks in this hobby we have, that "normal" people sometimes bore me
My stepfather was a staff seargent based at a POW camp in Palestine that housed mainly German POW's, two uncles in the 2/nd 4th Australian machine gun battalion, one survived, the other didnt, two uncles in the 2nd/4th infantry battalion, one KIA Bardia, one wounded and captured on Crete, and my dad's dad who died in uniform from meningitis before he even left Australia during training in Queensland. When I was a kid there were bullets and shrapnel flying left right and centre at every barbecue we ever had, I was born to be interested in WWII