Researching the Identity of a Soldier using his Gasmask Carrier

Galacnor1

New member
Hello everyone.

I won this wonderful gas mask at auction, summer 2020.

I would like to begin researching the identity of the soldier who carried it if possible.

Ironically, even as a German speaker, I have no idea what a pair of these abbreviations mean.



The inscription reads

"Vicefw. Foss
Fs. a. Battr. 611."

From what I understand, Vicefw.=Vizefeldwebel.
Fs.=?
a.=?
Battr.=Batterie

I went through an old US Army book (Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...0002/323.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2ErLQdyHh7wj6NWuKOdnqI) and it appears that the most likely abbreviation is "Festungsartillerie". Is that remotely correct, or is there something else it could be?

Assuming we figure out what the abbreviation means, is there enough there with the Battery number provided to find the original owner?

Once we know if its possible, I can send all the available information to the German government for identification.

With my regards
Alex
 

Galacnor1

New member
911car said:
Fs.A: Fuss Artillerie

Hello 911car,

Wonderful, Thank you for your quick answer and for sharing the knowledge with me.

So, the next step is to try and narrow down who it could have belonged to.
 

aicusv

Active member
Vizefeldwebel Foss
Foot Artillery battery 611 (I think this may mean 6th FsA regiment 11th battery)
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Fuss Artillerie von Dieskau Nr.6 formed 1865 Garrison: Neisse-Glogau, VI AK. They wore the old style FWR cypher and oval wappen.
 

Galacnor1

New member
b.loree said:
Fuss Artillerie von Dieskau Nr.6 formed 1865 Garrison: Neisse-Glogau, VI AK. They wore the old style FWR cypher and oval wappen.
aicusv said:
Vizefeldwebel Foss
Foot Artillery battery 611 (I think this may mean 6th FsA regiment 11th battery)

You gents are quite slick! That's some fast footwork! My immense thanks!

Now, does anyone know where to find the muster rolls for them? I've crunched google a few times with little success. If we can check his Battery to see if there were any more Voss's of the same rank, then we will know it will be harder to track him down; but, if we can exclude a-lot of people already and narrow it down, the better the results that will come from the records office, and probably faster as well.

Now that you all have spoken, there's more than likely enough information here to get the ball rolling with the German government; but, it would be better to have too much, than to have too little!

Cheers
Alex
 

b.loree

Administrator
Staff member
Some of our European members may be able to help with further Voss information. They have done so in the past on numerous occasions.
 

ottodog8

Member
I’m afraid I don’t agree with the 6th Regiment 11th Battery theory. I believe there would be some kind of separation in the numbers between the regiment and battery designations. Notice the periods after all the other designators in the marking. Most of my experience in regimental markings is in the field of weapons, but I have seen many steel helmets with inscriptions such as “Gefr. Schmidt 9/104”, indicating the 9th company of the 104th regiment. Having said that, I have no idea what the 611th Foot Artillery battery might be.

Steve
 

Galacnor1

New member
b.loree said:
Some of our European members may be able to help with further Voss information. They have done so in the past on numerous occasions.

Wonderful advice. Anyone in particular that I should approach?

ottodog8 said:
I’m afraid I don’t agree with the 6th Regiment 11th Battery theory. I believe there would be some kind of separation in the numbers between the regiment and battery designations. Notice the periods after all the other designators in the marking. Most of my experience in regimental markings is in the field of weapons, but I have seen many steel helmets with inscriptions such as “Gefr. Schmidt 9/104”, indicating the 9th company of the 104th regiment. Having said that, I have no idea what the 611th Foot Artillery battery might be.

Steve

Hello Steve. Thank you for your insight. I have to admit that I too am skeptical; but, am such a novice with military organization that I'm not willing to second guess anyone.

aicusv said:
Vizefeldwebel Foss
Foot Artillery battery 611 (I think this may mean 6th FsA regiment 11th battery)
b.loree said:
Fuss Artillerie von Dieskau Nr.6 formed 1865 Garrison: Neisse-Glogau, VI AK. They wore the old style FWR cypher and oval wappen.

What do you gentlemen have to say in defense of your finding?

Cheers
Alex
 

cptbob

Member
Some wild speculation here...I have a unit marked 1850 pistol 9.2.4 the 4 is stamped over another mark that I am told is a "pound" symbol....as in a 4 pounder battery. 9.2.4 would be 9th Arty 2nd Battery of 4 pounder guns. Could the 611 be 6# ie a 6 pounder battery? Food for thought.
 

aicusv

Active member
We aren't dealing with an"official" marking, but something a soldier did himself to ID his equipment. As I don't know of there being 611 independent batteries within the German army, and the soldier had to make it fit the space.
 

911car

Active member
aicusv said:
We aren't dealing with an"official" marking, but something a soldier did himself to ID his equipment. As I don't know of there being 611 independent batteries within the German army, and the soldier had to make it fit the space.

The number of Fussartillerie batteries increased a lot during the war, and I think it was well over 1000 already in 1916 (for 21 active regiments; I do not know how many in the reserve). I also thought of this possibility: were batteries also numbered individually, in which case this should be number 611?.. This seems unlikely, but I really do not know enough about the organization of imperial artillery regiments to say more.
 

Galacnor1

New member
cptbob said:
Some wild speculation here...I have a unit marked 1850 pistol 9.2.4 the 4 is stamped over another mark that I am told is a "pound" symbol....as in a 4 pounder battery. 9.2.4 would be 9th Arty 2nd Battery of 4 pounder guns. Could the 611 be 6# ie a 6 pounder battery? Food for thought.

Good theory, sir.

I can't say I believe its the same in this case though.

aicusv said:
We aren't dealing with an"official" marking, but something a soldier did himself to ID his equipment. As I don't know of there being 611 independent batteries within the German army, and the soldier had to make it fit the space.

Space certainly doesn't seem to be at a massive premium, though. I believe its written very intentionally the way it has been.

911car said:
aicusv said:
We aren't dealing with an"official" marking, but something a soldier did himself to ID his equipment. As I don't know of there being 611 independent batteries within the German army, and the soldier had to make it fit the space.

The number of Fussartillerie batteries increased a lot during the war, and I think it was well over 1000 already in 1916 (for 21 active regiments; I do not know how many in the reserve). I also thought of this possibility: were batteries also numbered individually, in which case this should be number 611?.. This seems unlikely, but I really do not know enough about the organization of imperial artillery regiments to say more.

This seems like a promising jumping off point. If someone comes along and call help us with the organization we should have a place to start.


Interested in hearing what's to come!
Alex
 

Galacnor1

New member
Hello gentlemen,

I am happy to report that the identity unit of the carrier has been identified over at Wehrmachtawards.

The carrier does indeed belong to Batterie 611, just as is written on the carrier. Batterie 611 was independent.

Special thanks to Ottodog8, and 911car for pointing me in the right direction!

Thanks to everyone else as well for their participation.

I will post the results of my records search when I receive some news.

With regards
Alexander
 
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