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Captured German mess kit with Soviet trench art-named to KIA

Article about: Hi Today I'd like to share with you my latest purchase-German M31 mess kit dated 1941 with artwork done by Soviet soldier(s). I really like these trench art stuff, especially when it's named

  1. #11


    Tikhanovsky and date were made with one kind of tool and construction with a star and inscription „Sevastopol” were made with different tool over name „Tikhonov”. I guess this was made by other soldier probably when he took mess tin from dead Tikhanovsky.

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  3. #12


    I see. different tooling. OK.
    I found settlement NABIL'. But I am not sure it gives us any clarity. It is thousands kilometres away on the Eastern coast of Sakhalin island.
    Yandex.Maps — detailed map of the world
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Captured German mess kit with Soviet trench art-named to KIA  
    -= Archival research Service for Soviet awards. PM if interested. =-

  4. #13


    I don’ Think that’s it It would be hard to travel all that way from Sakhalin to western Poland and pass basic training within 2 months.
    Another thing is Nabil’ was a settlement and in KIA report there’s Gorodsky voenkomat mentioned.
    One more I’d that all who were drafted in USSR had RVK and oblast’ geaven- here is only GVK and a city.
    Another thing- there are two more man who had similar names of draft place geaven-Nakil’ and Naklya
    Maybe that’s misspelled name Nakel or maybe someone made up their draft place name from familiar city name to avoid gaps in report due to lack of their known actual draft place?

  5. #14
    RMD is offline


    Wow, not only an amazing story, but a great piece of history for your collection! Reading your thread, I almost felt like I was in that trench.

    Thanks' for posting...... .

  6. #15


    Right. I agree.
    There are only two men, which Voenkomat resembles NABIL’.
    The one is on Sakhalin, the other one in Tatar ASSR.
    And TIKHANOVSKY is the third. That is it. This means that you explanation is valid. Otherwise I would expect more people be drafted from the same settlement.
    -= Archival research Service for Soviet awards. PM if interested. =-

  7. #16

    Default Captured Geman M31 mess kit

    Your mess kit is an interesting piece.
    In my collection I have a similar model. I bought it years ago. My example consists of a German M31 mess kit dated 1936 with a Russian M36 mess kit lid from 1938.
    The Cyrillic initial BIA (БИА) is carved on both parts. In the mess kit is also carved the year 1942 Г. Possibly the year in which the person BIA acquired the mess kit. Because I do not have a full name of this person, he cannot be traced.
    A second name is carved on the mess kit, I. Bondarenko (И. Вондаренко). According to the style, this person also carved the flower on the left side of the mess kit. A mirror-swastika is shown above the letters "ko".
    If I consult the website then I will find just one soldier with this name; Подвиг народа.
    The question is, is this really the person who wrote his name on the mess kit? Maybe I. Bondarenko was possibly a POW or a forced laborer.

    Captured German mess kit with Soviet trench art-named to KIA

    Captured German mess kit with Soviet trench art-named to KIA

    Captured German mess kit with Soviet trench art-named to KIA

  8. #17


    That’s a nice one! Indeed reminds POW art.
    Maybe I could suggest something B.I.A. and I. Bondarenko is the same person.
    B.I.A. Might stand for „Bondarenko Ivan A...ovich”. Just my thought.
    Best Regards

  9. #18

    Default Captured Geman M31 mess kit

    You can be right. If I take a closer look at the name, I read the name Бондаренко not Вондаренко. This could indeed match with the initials on the both parts of the mess kit. If I enter the name Бондаренко on the website again, I will come across no less than 46154 persons with that family name!
    Подвиг народа .
    For instance the name Бондаренко Иван Антонович (Bondarenko Ivan Antonovich) appears frequently in the list but also Бондаренко Иван Алексеевич (Bondarenko Ivan Alekseevich) and Бондаренко Иван Афанасьевич (Bondarenko Ivan Afanasyevich).
    It is actually impossible, certainly because I do not have a date of birth.

  10. #19
    TWS is offline


    Quote by mpw View Post
    A very interesting item and research. These personal items are fascinating, more so when the original owners story can be told. Thanks for posting.
    Totally agree!
    Former U.S. Army Tanker.
    "Best job I ever had."

  11. #20


    I’d say the part concerning Tikhanovsky enlistment is solved. I’ve found the document listing one more man drafted in Nakil RVK. This time there’s more: “Field RVK Nakil during liberation of Poland by our forces”.
    And the field post number geaven of soldier’s unit indicates 227 Gu. Rifle Regiment of 79th Gu. Rifle division of gen. Chuikov’s 8th Gu. Army which was a part of 1st Belarussian front, and 1st BF is a thing which links this man and these from 185 RD. Nakło wasn’t on route of 8th Gu. Army but was liberated by 47th army. That’s only what I find strange-maybe sent to front reserve and from there as replacement to 79th Gu.RD.Also the date of draftment is strange “March 1945”-nakło was captured in late January, but maybe that’s just a mistake, or maybe he was in hospital after liberation due to bad treatment during German occupation (must have been slave worker of labor camp prisoner) and was released in March and then sent to 79th RD.

    To sum up-now I’m almost sure that Tikhanovsy was drafted in Nakło after liberation in January 1945. That also matches to thing that he was later in unit which was a part of 47th army which liberated the city, and a German mess tin he had was geaven to him during the period he was taken from him hometown of Smolensk to work on a Polish territory annected by III Reich after the September 1939. So that’s not only a piece of tragic soldier’s story but also a thing related to a Nazi occupation of tragedy of millions of slave workers and prisoners of concetrations and labor camps.

    Hope you enjoyed
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Captured German mess kit with Soviet trench art-named to KIA  

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