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Reservist 1916 Studio Portrait

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

This photograph shows what seem to be a returned Reservist at the depot, the reverse is dated 30 March 1915.

We can see here he is sporting pristine flesh-tone leather equipment, which will soon be thoroughly coated in protective feeder/stain to a more chestnut colour. He also, interestingly, is sporting a Felt Pickelhaube, sadly without the überzug (cover) otherwise we could state the unit exactly. The pickelhaube appears to be the mint green coloured felt, but appears to still be with the Brass Fittings of earlier models. Felt was one of the economy measures to replace the leather of the Pickelhaube, and per textbook, the fittings aught to be painted zinc or steel, but as we see, they used up any parts to hand too. We can note the Preußen-Adler-Wappen or "Prussian Eagle" which was used by most line regiments.

He is armed with the standard Mauser Gewehr M.1898 with M1898/15 Bayonet (The Butcher's Cleaver) which was a replacement of the original 25" M1898 Bayonet, which was overly long and brittle. The Gewehr 98 itself was made by a number of companies on license, and in a variety of locations, however the Spandau , Berlin, Danzig "Waffenfabrik" marks were the most common.

This photograph is virtually a perfect study of the early war replacement soldier for the losses of 1914. The photographs reverse seen attached is like a postcard as they were sent home to loved ones and as a form of communication, the reverse is in Danish and is from the Northern part of Germany who had a minority who spoke Danish.

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