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U.S. POW Bad Orb disc bring-back identification

Article about: Hello Everybody, I have used this great site or quite some time but have just now joined. These discs were brought back by Duane Marshall who was captured during B. of T.B and kept at stalag

  1. #1
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    Default U.S. POW Stalag 9-B (Bad Orb) disc bring-back identification

    Hello Everybody, I have used this great site or quite some time but have just now joined. These discs were brought back by Duane Marshall who was captured during B. of T.B and kept at stalag 9-B aka Bad Orb. I never knew Mr. Marshall but know his son very well, him being who I got these along with many other pieces from. I understand some of the info. on the German discs but not all, for example, does the No.9 refer to stalag 9? I am also interested in knowing what the smaller disc is exactly and if Heinrich Ehlich was related to Hans Ehlich?? I am posting photos of these discs along with some of the other pieces that belonged to Mr. Marshall. Very excited to hear from members!

    Best Regards, Ed.
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    Last edited by eds541; 03-27-2014 at 09:17 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Well the two German discs you have there are are WWI, and both apparently belonged to the same man: Leutnant Heinrich Ehlich (no Hans there); the small one is an early type, the large one a later form, so presumably when the form changed, he got a new one. His birth year was 1883, so he was already 31 when the war started.

    I don't think it's actually clear just when the different types of discs were in use, but it's generally suggested the little ones were 1914, and the larger ones that could take more information started coming along in 1915 or 1916, starting as just large ovals, then having the three break slits in the middle, then a hole on the lower half, first at the side like yours, then at the bottom, which remained the design into WWII. So I'd guess this one's maybe late 1916 or into 1917? Given that there had to be time between each design as improvements were found to be needed. You might get some idea of where he was by researching the WWI Infanterie-Regiment 473, and it's 2. Bataillon in particular.

    You've got a WWII disc there, but it's only in the group shot and isn't legible.

    Mr. Marshall either acquired the WWI discs after the war ended while he was still in Europe or sometime between then and now since they must have come from the family; that's the most likely explanation for both discs being together, and the later one being intact- i.e. he wasn't killed in action but probably kept both discs as rememberances of his service time.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  4. #3

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    Interesting grouping. I wonder what the connection to Ehlich and Marshall was?
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #4
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    Thanks So Much Matt! It is very interesting and puzzling that Duane would have the matching pair? I would assume that he didn't have them during captivity at Bad Orb. and that there was not a lot of time to collect many souvenirs between release and ship back home? Maybe he sent some things home earlier in the war? His son said that he refused to talk much about his service except to brag about his cap made from a piece of wool overcoat while in captivity. Still very interested to find out if Heinrich was related to infamous Hans Ehlich, can't find much about his genealogy online.

    Thanks Again and Best Regards, Ed.

  6. #5
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    Hi Wagriff, thanks for your post. As I just responded back to Matt, ??? kind of a mystery.

    Best, Ed

  7. #6
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    Sure thing Ed. If you post a picture of the WWII disc, I can tell you about that too.

    Who knows how long Mr. Marshall spent in Germany after he was released- could have been weeks or months, and it's always suggested that souvenir-hunting was a major preoccupation so I could see him getting these someplace. They were probably sold by the family, or looted from a house by someone/ him or something like that- it'd just be ridiculously coincidental to have both discs from the same WWI soldier any other way. They must have been acquired together and likely from the original owner or his family.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  8. #7

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    Is it not possible they came from one of the guards at the camp after the war maybe given as a gift from a guard he was friends with as you would think it was older men guarding the POW camp late in the war

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    I wondered about that too, Krad. In 1945, he would have been 61, and there were alot of old vets who were put to use doing guard duty in prisoner camps. Maybe he was a friendly old guy guard who Marshall got to know and like? Maybe he helped Marshall out during his stay there? It's hard to say. I can't make out what the larger shiny disk on the bottom is or says-could it be this man's WWII disk?
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  10. #9
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    Doesn't that sound like something he'd have mentioned though? Friends with a guard and still having the gifts he was given (the man's old discs are are a very odd gift too) surely outweighs a blanket-made cap as a story LOL It's not impossible, but seems far, far less-likely than simply bought or acquired as souvenirs. I wouldn't be surprised if they were bought sometime after the war too- I've heard lots of stories of guys not getting anything over there and buying them later but family stories being they were wartime acquisitions.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  11. #10
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    Thanks Again for all of the insight, it's great, keep it coming!! Here are some better pics. of the aluminum disc and also Mr. Marshalls "prize cap"


    Best, Ed.
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