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Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

Article about: Being made of a soft metal, Aluminium German mess tins were easy to work and sometimes very elaborate designs were produced, trench art forms into two groups. The first and most common is ju

  1. #1

    Default Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    Being made of a soft metal, Aluminium German mess tins were easy to work and sometimes very elaborate designs were produced, trench art forms into two groups.
    The first and most common is just to identify the mess tin with the addition of either name or initials. This was often carried out because one trooper would be detailed to carry several mess tins back to collect the food. Doing this meant the troops were left in the line and therefore meal time did not weaken the postion. Often after the meal the tins would again be collected by one trooper who then cleaned them which again left the position covered. If you look closely most tins have initials a name or some sort of identifying mark, sometimes these were even painted.
    The second form of the trench art is much more elaborate with patterns and complex designs. If you think about it a soldiers life is about 99% waiting for something to happen and 1% action perhaps later on these splits changed for the germans but you understand my point. The times when nothing was happening to pass the time options were limited to the soldier whi would read letters from home or books if they could get them, sang songs, played small card games and made items as trench art.
    The obvious choice for this being their mess tins although water bottles were also used. Often the elborate pattens grew from just putting their name or initial onro the tin and as time went on grew into a works of art where sections were carved over different times. Popular subjects included images of home, freedom (birds), poems and good luck charms like horse shoes, four leaved clovers.
    The first tin here is marked with SCHUSTER BLEIB BEI DEINEM LEISTEN GB. Carved into the tin are his tools. This would have belonged to the Company Cobbler/shoe/boot mender. (I didn't come out so I'll put below as a separate post)The second is much more elaborate having dates, name, home town, good luck charms, country scenes, animals and birds. There are also a couple of poems. 'OB NORDEN, SUDEN, OSTEN, WEST-BEI MUTTI HINTERM KOCHPOTT IST'S AM BEST', I guess translated means Go North, South East or West Mothers Cooking is always Best.
    Sadly not sure what the second means NACH DER HEIMAT MOCHT ICH NIEDER WENN ICH EIN VOGLEIN RUDR FLOG ICH ZU DIR hopefully someone can translate. It belonged to FRITZ GOLLNER and he initialed it as well with FG and dated it 1945 he came from LAMMERSHAGEN which is Northern Germany.
    Apologies for all the pictures but I wanted to show you all the details.
    LUCKYSTRIKE
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    Here are the additional photo's.
    LUCKYSTRIKE
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  4. #3

    Default Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    I thought while I'm on here I'd show you a few more that I have.
    First is how I usually find them, badly damaged and in peices.
    The second I found in Normandy, that 20mm hole must have hurt the owner.
    Next is a lid of a Normandy camo one I have it all but the tin has lost most of its paint, this also came from Normandy.
    The next is another I bought in Normandy rather than found marked with initials and
    finally a large type which almost seems WW1 but is dated 1938.
    LUCKYSTRIKE
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  5. #4

    Default Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    Awesome items Luckystrike , i have dug some myself and its always a rush to clean the dirt away as fast as you can to see if theres any art work or initals on them , yours are very ornate , cheers Raymond

  6. #5

    Thumbs up Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    Hi Luckystrike


    I'll have to agree with Raymond, that first one is just beautifull. There went a lot of work in these to make them, one can only imagine what the owner was thinking at that moment...


    Greetz

    Nick VR

  7. #6
    cecilsaxon
    ?

    Default Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    Best I can get is:

    I wish I were a small bird I would Fly home to you

    from-
    NACH DER HEIMAT MOCHT ICH NIEDER WENN ICH EIN VOGLEIN RUDR FLOG ICH ZU DIR

  8. #7

    Default Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    cecilsaxon Thank you for the translation its certainly a poignant and appropriate slogan. Makes me wonder, where was the owner when he carved that, probably thinking of home.
    Thanks again and all the best.

    LUCKYSTRIKE

  9. #8
    Jan
    Jan is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    Truly amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  10. #9

    Default Re: Elaborate Trench Art two German Mess Tins

    I agree with all of the above! It's pretty amazing that first one survived!

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