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What are these SS officers up to?

Article about: [QUOTE=Styx;564812]I just won this photograph on eBay and I can't work out what these soldiers are all about. They're wearing a combination of what looks like grey and black uniforms, with 2

  1. #31

    Default Re: What are these SS men up to?

    [QUOTE=Styx;564812]I just won this photograph on eBay and I can't work out what these soldiers are all about. They're wearing a combination of what looks like grey and black uniforms, with 2nd pattern totenkopf cap insignia but early political eagles, I think? One wields a stick like a weapon, another like a tool. Any help would be appreciated as to when/where/what this photograph is about!

    Hi Styx,

    Look closely at the photo, zoom in around 200%. The chap second left is leaning on a long handled beet knife or hook. The guy further right also appears to have one slung over his shoulder.

    Now look at the foreground, it is scattered with maize husks, (or corn on the cob as it's known to some folks) and maize kernels. Behind them is what appears to be a mountain of these husks.

    After the end of WW1 swingeing limitations were put on what chemicals Germany could import less they be used in arms and petro-chemical production, I will use as an example Cordite and Ethanol. The Nazi party, once in power, needed to re-start production of these components to prosecute the forthcoming war. The only way they could do this was by using new methods of producing it themselves.

    By copying a WW1 British method of producing Cordite from Horse Chestnuts (Conkers), they started growing millions of tonnes of maize in the early/mid 30's that once harvested could be turned into Acetone by anaerobic fermentation. 100 tonnes of maize grain would produce 12 tonnes of Acetone. The acetone in turn was used in the manufacture of cordite. Hundreds of brewing and distillery companies were involved in this until specialised plants could be built.

    The entire cobs of maize, husks and all were also used, along with potatoes, other grains, beets and timber to produce Ethanol for use in fuel and explosives, both vital if Hitler were to succeed in his plans for Greater Germany. By 1936 265 million litres of Ethanol were being produced yearly.

    There were other uses for maize such as horse fodder, corn flour and the husks were used as matress filler amongst many other things.

    I believe that the guys in the photo may be shown harvesting/collecting maize for possible propaganda or newspaper reasons/articles, or more likely perhaps, a snap by a colleague. The background certainly appears rural with the chalet style (farm)house.?

    Anyway, that's what I see, some chaps out for the day doing their bit for Eine Volk, Eine Reich, Eine Fuhrer!

    Regards, Ned.


    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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  3. #32

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    One of these men has a bayonet (not a dagger...) which suggests the unit is from the SS PB or SSVT. A clearer image of the cuff title is imperative.
    damit, basta.

  4. #33

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    Quote by Styx View Post
    Great images there FB, thanks! You're right, I think Krystalnacht is off the cards for sure; as to a similar event, it's very difficult to say. It does look a lot like ash to me - could it have been a book burning or something?

    Robbie

    As others indicate, the event is likely less sinister.
    damit, basta.

  5. #34
    ?

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    Great! They certainly do look like kernels in the foreground so some sort of agriculture event is very likely. Well done Big Ned!

    And FB, I'll try my utmost - I just hope that the resolution's enough that it'll be identifiable. I thought it interesting that he'd had his bayonet and water canteen on him.

    Robbie

  6. #35

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    Name:  HG_36d[1].JPG
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Size:  37.4 KBThe water bottle also has a black cover, which indicates a 1934 ish time, since such was later replaced by grey. Erntehilfe is a pretty normal thing in Germany in former times, if, indeed, these men are harvesting something. In any case, we all wish we had some of these uniforms, though I already have some of these caps.
    I wonder how many of these men were alive and in one piece in 1946?

    The earth grey uniform was phased out and recycled with a few years of this picture , but who really knows? All riddles in enigmas; pieces of an incomplete puzzle; mosaic stones that can never be made to fit totally. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 05-05-2012 at 07:16 PM.
    damit, basta.

  7. #36

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    Looking closer at the picture, I'd say Ned is right about it showing corn harvest activities.

  8. #37

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    To Me, at least, it looks like they are old-fashioned threshing corn by hand in that tarp...it seems to be full of husks and there are a couple of men who seem to be holding harvest hooks and threshers...
    William

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

  9. #38

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    Well deduced Ned !

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  10. #39
    ?

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    Yup, I think Ned's corny explanation does it.

    Ok, I'll get my coat.......

    Best Regards,

    Andy
    Best Regards,


    Andy

    [COLOR=#ffa07a]
    [/COLOR][CENTER][COLOR=#ff0000][SIZE=3]URGENTLY LOOKING FOR: 1982 era Argentine military issue goggles. Fravida 109, and "Sanbuee" French lens type
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    [/SIZE]Have a look at my 20+ (so far, work in progress) albums for lots of M1's, rare liners and other stuff, including WW2British helmets, Falklands battlefield pickup helmets and let me know what you think!
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  11. #40

    Default Re: What are these SS officers up to?

    Interesting photo...how many photos can still exist of SS non-coms making corn? Cool! Nice find!
    William

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

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