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Thread: M.40 Luft. DAK Camo, 88 Regt., Named, KIA,

  1. #1
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Default M.40 Luft. DAK Camo, 88 Regt., Named, KIA,

    Thanks to member Nzef here. One of my new favorites. M.40 Luft. 64/56 tan and green camo, typical of North Africa, particularly Tunisia. It is named to "Puls". If you look close you can see that before camo it was named to "Kan. Puls" (Kanonier), then evidently mustard/tan overpainted, named "Puls" again in grey, then it looks like it may have received tan and green camo and was named in white "Puls" and "L45904" (the Feldpost number for a Luftwaffe unit). That FPN is for: 1 / Flak-Regt. 53 or the 1st Batt./Abt. of Flak Regt. 53. This heavy motorized flak (anti-tank) unit arrived in North Africa from Sicily in June 1942 and notably fought at Tobruk, El Alamein, all the way to the last major battle of the DAK, the Mareth Line defense where 1/Flak-Regt. 53 was part of the 19th Flak Div. (the "Afrika Flak Div.") where it was largely destroyed by March 27, 1943. Puls was KIA on that date.

    See pics of the area the 1/Flak Regt. 53 fought and the Mareth Line defenses, and camo on a Mk.IV for comparison. The helmet liner band, liner, and chinstrap bear the overspray from the original camo. This helmet was purportedly picked up by a seaman. 1/Flak-Regt. 53 held the northern end of the Mareth Line at the coast, at an area which was used as a seaport to bring in supplies for the allied destruction of the Afrika Korps in Tunisia.
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    Last edited by Hambone; 05-19-2018 at 09:48 AM.
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  2. #2
    ax - hole Warrior1354's Avatar
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    Great pickup Craig not too mention the history with this helmet too.
    "Don't use your musket if you can kill 'em with your hatchet"

    Major Robert Rogers 1757 Founder of the U.S Army Rangers

  3. #3
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    This unit is quite cool. It was armed with a battery of the latest 88s, fully motorized, and was a mobile unit attached to at least one kampfgruppe commanded by Hans Von Luck (who wrote the book "Panzer Commander"), which kampfgruppe included Rommel's own Kampstaffel (see below). It had 12 88s (3 batteries of 4 88s) and from 24-36 2 cm (20 cm) auto cannon for support, which were also motorized, either towed or mounted. They could bring the heat and stopped Montgomery's 8th Army main attack meant for the northern / coastal end of the Mareth Line, which was taken by the secondary flanking attack. However, the defense resulted in I/Flak Regt. 53s virtual annihilation as a result of constant aerial bombing, strafing, artillery, and ground attacks on the position, which was to hold the road to Gabes.

    Situation map of the Mareth Line, 88s, comparative pic of a Mk.II Commonwealth helmet I have with desert camo.
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    Last edited by Hambone; 05-12-2018 at 08:56 PM.
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

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    "Ach du lieber!" Bigdibbs88's Avatar
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    Nice lid and good research! The best kind of helmet ImO

  5. #5
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Thanks. It's tough to find a confirmed "Afrika Korps" helmet. Tans and such were used in Italy, Southern France, etc. I liked this one because it hit all the bases for me.
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

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    Maple Syrup Mod Eh CanadianAR's Avatar
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    Beauty lid!! Great back story too.
    Looking for 10" cleaning rod, early style e/214 #91, nazi style e/26 #04

  7. #7
    "Ach du lieber!" Bigdibbs88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
    Thanks. It's tough to find a confirmed "Afrika Korps" helmet. Tans and such were used in Italy, Southern France, etc. I liked this one because it hit all the bases for me.
    I agree. I've got a DAK helmet which from the exterior is an italian camo job (aka not a pinkie and some guys swear all DAK helmets have to be), its not until you look in the rear skirt that you see the ID to a unit destroyed in Tunisia. Its great that you were able to nail yours down to one guy....makes it much more personal and interesting. Yours is a very unique color scheme...cant recall seeing many like it.

  8. #8
    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Bigd, yep, and it's cool you found that info in the skirt. There are helmets out of North Africa and Tunisia which are not tan overpainted. There are helmets picked up around Normandy that look more "DAK" than actual DAK helmets. Without the name and FPN, this could be an Italy or So. France theatre.
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Top shelf helmet Hambone!
    It tells a soldiers story and that is always an extra.
    Congratulations.

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    One look! Nice one!

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