M.34 tornister with wartime (hypothetical but very likely) story
Many of the items in our possession have no clear wartime story. Their past is unknown and mysterious. But using our knowledge we can get more information than expected!
I would like to present you the M.34 tornister bought many years ago in Krakow (southern Poland). The story of this item is unknown, as it was bought in an antique militaria shop. But I would like to provide you with some detective story that could be read clearly out of this example. As you can see, it was produced in 1935 by GUSTAV REINHARD in Berlin. It was adopted by the army next year (1936) in the Berlin region (through the visible B36 signature) and allocated to newly created (in 1935) Nachrichten-Abteilung 43 (3./N.43 signature).
The unit initially entered in the III Army Corps (III. Armeekorps ). The corps took part in the September Campaign in 1939 under the Heeresgruppe Nord (near Bydgoszcz, and from 13 to 21 September 1939 fighting in the Battle of Bzura near Gostynin, Gabin , Kiernozia). During the attack on France in 1940 constituted a part of Heeresgruppe A striking through the Ardennes. In March 1942, the body was renamed III Armeekorps (motorised). In Operation Barbarossa the III Armeecorps belonged to the Heeresgruppe Sud of General Runstedt. It fought in the Ukraine near Kiev, Rostov, Kharkov and Uman. In June 1942, the Corps was renamed the III Panzerkorps and turned to Heeresgruppe A occupying the Caucasus. After the defeat at Stalingrad III Panzerkorps fought near Kharkov in the framework of Erich von Manstein's Heeresgruppe Don. In 1943, the Corps is fighting in the Operation Citadel within 4.Panzerarmee Generaloberst Hermann Hoth, then take part in the heavy fighting retreat from Belgorod to the Dniepr. At the beginning of 1944, the Corps was engaged in fighting in the release of WH units from Korsun - Cherkassy pocket. In March 1944 found in the pocket under Kamenyets Podolski with the 1.Panzerarmee. From November 1944 to January 1945 the Corps changed to the Kampfgruppe Breith due to heavy losses in the retreat fightings in Ukraine. Unit fights the spring of 1945 in Hungary (in an attempt to unlock Budapest), and on May 8, 1945, surrendered in Austria before the U.S. Army.
The pack was used by the soldier in the referenced unit during the war. It saw probably almost all the campaigns and fightings mentioned above.
In the second half of the war the straps were worn out and exchanged with straps originating from the late war M39 harness (RBN code visible), taken from the battlefield (from the wounded or dead soldier – brown spots are still visible at the internal part of the leather strap and hard to clean). This practice was quite common due to wartime shortages.
The pack was presumably abandoned at south of Poland during the January 1945 offensive.
That’s all folks.
05-10-2014 09:05 PM
I like it (both the tornister, and the story)
Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.
Nice story, did you bought it in the shop in a court ?
As it is not quite clear to me, what do you mean by "court"? Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow?