Machine Gun Memorabilia: V21N10

By Robert G. Segel

A Finnish sterling silver and enamel machine gun officers course breast badge dating from World War II. This two-piece construction comprises a silver wreath with a blue and white enamel cross at its center, on which is mounted a gold metal Maxim gun. The left, top and right arms of the cross are inlaid with the letter “K,” while the bottom arm is inlaid with “PohjR.” The three K’s stand for Konekivääri Kompani (Machine Gun Company), and PohjR is the abbreviation of Pohjois Rykmentti (North Regiment). The badge measures approximately 29 millimeters (1.14 inches) square with a single screw back post and sterling silver proof marks to the rear.

A German World War I veteran’s watch fob, consisting of a black satin ribbon with an “Alpacca” silver bar and a chain with a hook clasp at the top. The center plate features, in raised relief, a Maxim MG08 machine gun on a sled mount.

A French 38th Infantry Regiment machine gun badge from circa 1934. Gold gilt with black, white and red enamel. The central image is of a lamp to light the way, behind which are crossed a French M1914 Hotchkiss machine gun and a French M1915 Chauchat machine rifle, with surrounding voids. The number “38” is inlaid in black and white enamel below. The maker “A. Chobillon Palais-Royal” is marked on the rear, in an oval shape on the pastille of the attachment pin, and “DÉPOSÉ” is marked on the back of badge. Pin back.

An Indian War Bond fundraiser card from circa World War I. Central image of two Sikh troops with a brass-jacketed Maxim machine gun and bonds becoming belted bullets. The United Kingdom’s Union Jack flag is shown to the rear. The copy reads, “BUY WAR LOAN BONDS” to the top and, “THEY WILL HELP US TO BEAT THE GERMANS” to the bottom. The card is 3 inches by 2 inches in size.

A World War II Australian trench art ashtray made from a 25-pound shell casing and flared out with the Australian rising sun and crossed Vickers insignia of the 2/2 Machine Gun Battalion, which was part of the 9th Australian Infantry Division in Palestine in 1940. The front of the shell base is engraved with “Cpl. J. Jenkin, Palestine 1940, Egypt 1941, Syria 1942.”

A rare World War I lithograph 4¼% War Bond poster titled, “He is driving them back” promoting the 4th Liberty Loan from the Liberty Loan Committee, Third Federal Reserve District, Lincoln Building, Philadelphia. The central image is of a U.S. soldier firing a Colt Vickers machine gun from a shell hole across No Man’s Land. The copy below extols the immediate need for money to “[pile] up the support, pile up the munitions, fill the cartridge belts, fill the sky with airplanes, and the fields with tanks ...” The lithograph measures 22 inches by 28 inches.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N10 (December 2017)
and was posted online on October 20, 2017


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