Bavarian telegraph troops belt buckle

Hallibag

Member
This unusual belt buckle came from the family of a driver in the Canadian Field Artillery. He went to France in the middle of 1918 and came home in the spring of 1919. I have his name and regimental number, and a handful of other souvenirs he collected during the war. I understand this is the type of buckle worn by Bavarian telegraph troops, and that it’s designed to hold a spool of telegraph wire?

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ww1czechlegion

Well-known member
Hello Hallibag,

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting this excellent buckle. That's great to have a provenance with it. One of the Prussian equivalents of this buckle in my collection has a provenance of it being brought home by a local WW1 U.S. veteran.

I'll post some photos of what the spool of wire device looks like when attached to one of these buckles.

I apologize that the photos are not the best quality, as they're photos that I shot from the excellent photos of this device shown in the book titled: "Imperial German Field Uniforms and Equipment 1907-1918" Volume 1, by Johan Somers. The spool of wire device, which is called an "Aufspuler" belonged to the late Chip Minx collection.

I'm sending you a private message here as well.

Best Wishes,

Alan

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b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome H. That is an interesting buckle. In my experience the Prussian version is much more common both in the pre war brass and M15 steel. Thanks for posting.
 

Peter B

Active member
Hello Hallibag,

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for posting this excellent buckle. That's great to have a provenance with it. One of the Prussian equivalents of this buckle in my collection has a provenance of it being brought home by a local WW1 U.S. veteran.

I'll post some photos of what the spool of wire device looks like when attached to one of these buckles.

I apologize that the photos are not the best quality, as they're photos that I shot from the excellent photos of this device shown in the book titled: "Imperial German Field Uniforms and Equipment 1907-1918" Volume 1, by Johan Somers. The spool of wire device, which is called an "Aufspuler" belonged to the late Chip Minx collection.

I'm sending you a private message here as well.

Best Wishes,

Alan

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It's funny but I have seen pictures of those buckles many times and wondered why they had this brackets. Now the mystery is solved!

But I must say I cannot for the life of me imagine how they could be practical as you would have to walk or run backwards to lay line? In my military service I saw our linesmen using trucks to lay line over long distances but when troops were running line as individuals they held the spool of wire in their hand (see attached picture - this one has some sort of cable but picture it with thinner two strand line).

Anyone know how they actually used the system in the picture to lay line (aside from the obvious - walking backwards). Just curious.

Cheers.

Peter
 

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Hallibag

Member
Thank you for your replies, and for the excellent photos! It’s nice to finally see what the spool of wire looked like, that attached to the buckle.

I’ve only managed to find a small handful of period photos of soldiers wearing this buckle. Here is one, in case it is of interest to anybody.

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Tony without Kaiser

Departed
Staff member
I’m pretty confident that laying line in the Infantry went all the way down to the company level. Not just Telegraphen Btln. Wasn’t there a version of a harness worn on the back so that in front lines a soldier could crawl?

Another nice score for you Halibag. You are Cdn yes?
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
There is that famous scene in the movie Enemy at the Gates Tony where they are sniping German troops trying to lay wire with the reel on their backs. Well H that makes about 6 of us who regularly post here. 😊 Again, good to have you with us.
 
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