Emageeman's Corner: V21N8

By Robert G. Segel

1. PREIS 16. INF.-REGT.” (“Shooting Award, 1934, First Place, 16th Infantry Regiment”). German army interwar gold gilt shooting prize medallion. The obverse has a soldier firing a Maxim MG08 on sled mount in relief. The design is signed “EF.” The verso has the inscription “PREISRICHTEN 1934. These shooting competitions in the interwar years used old World War I equipment and provided essential training for the rebuilding of the German army.

2. World War I New Zealand officer’s bi-metal silver and brass Machine Gun Specialists cap badge. Fern leaf wreath with king’s crown to the top and “NZ Specialists” banner below. To the center is a silver Maxim machine gun beneath crossed signal flags. Note that to the left and right of the NZ is the mark “RD 876.” This is a “Registered Design” number, which was a form of copyright. These badges were entirely un-official, and the designs were protected by the jewelers who made them (thus, slight design differences between similar badges). These jewelers were actually on base in Featherstone Camp (New Zealand’s largest training camp) and Trentham Camp (near Wellington) in World War I. They made these badges to order and from whatever material the customer could afford. Silver and gold are not at all uncommon. They also made sweetheart badges from gold for the soldiers’ ladies. Many soldiers wore these badges as they went off to the Great War. However, the badges were ordered to be removed on arrival in England, generally at a place called “Sling Camp” in the heart of the great Salisbury Plains where the New Zealanders were encamped prior to being sent to France to fight. All NZ personnel overseas were ordered to remove their individual unit badges that had been so proudly worn for months back home and at sea to be replaced by the generic 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force cap badge.

3. Finnish elite shooter badge for machine gun. This Finnish badge was issued to “Vailo-Ampuja” or “Elite Shooter” machine gunners. The first of these badges were issued in 1933 and continued being issued until the end...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N8 (October 2017)
and was posted online on August 18, 2017


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