A militaria question
I was wondering if soldiers had the option to buy some of their wartime gear after the war, like their helmet? I know the helmets were usually given back to the army after the war, but was there an option to buy it?
Im thinking about that, because I have a Finn issued Hungarian M38 in a very slightly used condition with original paint, liner and chinstrap. If it would've been used in training like the helmets usually were after the war, it should be way more worn and likely would have dents. Also I presume most were depot repaired after the war and the ones with war time liners would've propably been worn to unusable condition very fast.
01-31-2014 07:35 PM
Good question. I think generally speaking all battle equipment was either seized, destroyed or discarded. Things like clothing, boots, belts and backpacks might have been kept. Most soldiers are only too happy to get rid of their military gear after hostilities are over. Helmets as such would have been considered battle equipment and subject to seizure or destruction. I doubt there was any option to purchase war time equipment - until it was considered surplus and useless. NH
all weapons and ammo was confiscated at the end of the war and shortly after anything else the victors wanted,and that meant ANYTHING.from some allied pow camps they were lucky to walk out in boots,trousers and jackets.and it was not just the Russians to blame.
I recently spoke to a U.S. Korean War vet. He told me that he absolutely loved his M1 carbine. While we wasn't officially allowed to take it home with him, he was told that if it "went missing", all he had to do was pay a fine. As you can imagine, his favorite carbine "went missing" and he gladly paid the fine.
For not being officially allowed, there sure did seem to be a Lot of helmets, pistols,holsters, bayonets, backpacks, and you name it making their way to wherever "home" was. I think it pretty much depended on who,when and where. Some camps and personnel could have cared less. Some had sticks up their butts and wouldn't allow an extra button to walk out the camp gate. On board the transport ships was often the real problem. But again, it depended on who you had working the gangplank.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
Finnish M/36 jackets could be sold to the owners, for example. The ones that have been sold are marked with a "M".
Finnish army sold certain items to officers and professional NCO´s. In january 1944 reserve officers were given same possibility to purchase uniform items as was alloved before to career soldiers. These were clothing items caps, jackets, trousers, belts and underwear. In 1941 finnish soldiers gathered lot of warbooty from enemy and from own army. Rifles were "lost" during home leave, soviet booty was taken home, etc. In 1942 army thought that "enough was enough", and then came SA-stamp and Military Police. Train patrols were checking packages and anything with SA-stamp was army property. So, finnish soldiers carried lot of war booty to home in 1941 and after then it was virtually stopped.
Thanks for answers. Makes sense.