Visitors to this site will have noted, perhaps, my rather retro-racist love for WW2 anti-Japanese propaganda. A common theme to this kitsch is the invitation to “Slap Japs”. It was pretty widespread to use this kind of disparagement of the enemy to build morale on the homefront. This birthday card, dating from 1943, is an example of this theme.
Archive for United States
Well it doesn’t get much more dull than this. This small spool contains the tripwire used to set up the Stockmine 43 and Bouncing Betty mines as booby traps. The wire comes in two colours, desert yellow and temperate green. This one is marked YBW for the manufacturer. These spools are almost identical to those used by the U.S.Army during WW2 and postwar. The difference is in how the spool core is turned and on the code marking.
In the great tradition of “a serviceman and his backpay are soon parted” we bring you tiny novelty underwear. As the demobilisation of the US Forces got underway from September 1945 these troops, soldiers, sailors and airmen were shipped through a small number of West Coast ports on their way back through the system and ultimately home to civilian life. Along the way enterprising merchants attempted to siphon as much of the serviceman’s demob pay as possible and this little item is just one example of the methods they used. I find it kinda interesting because beyond the obvious puns being used here, it also plays to the fear of the cuckold and the “Dear John” letter that servicemen endured.
Cheaply made and pressed out in their millions these little lapel badges helped fuel the American people in their struggle against the Axis. This example is labelled “Wanted for Murder, Adolf Schicklgruber alias ‘Hitler'”. This is a reference to Adolf’s grandmother Maria Schicklgruber who gave birth to Alois, Hitler’s father out of wedlock. Apparently Americans found Schicklgruber to be a more comical surname than Hitler. It also suggested Hitler was a bastard by proxy.
This is the holster that I just sourced for my 1944 Walther P38 pictured below. By 1944 they had pretty much stopped making hard shell holsters (they do exist). Instead they supplied the pistol with a breakaway style holster as here. Folks call them a soft shell holster but that is incorrect.
This example is stamped bla 1944 and has the waffenamt WaA159. BLA is the code for the manufacturer E.G.Leuner GMBH in Bautzen. Interestingly the holster is also personalised to the U.S. Army soldier who captured it (or won it in a card game). Inside the flap is the name Henry J. Lavrich and his ASN 33688587. A quick googling reveals that Henry came from Pennsylvania, enlisted in 1943 and served in the 2nd Armoured Division in Europe. He passed away in 2011. An additional modification on this example is the cutting away of the upper, underneath the flap. This is common in these holsters and I expect it was an act by the user to make the holster easier to draw from.
The holster also contains a e/359 stamped magazine which is the correct magazine for this pistol.
This is the second version of this novelty that I have. Content wise it is very similar to this one here. However there are minor differences, in the front and rear pages and small verbiage deltas. This one is not attributed to the Robbins Novelty Company but it is so similar that it’s either theirs or a knock-off.