Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Post-war fantasy





This rather beat-up stein may look impressive to some folks, but those of us who know our World War II militaria recognize it for what it is – a post-war fantasy piece, complete with fake RZM and other marks on the base.

The most highly decorated German serviceman of World War II, Hans Ulrich Rudel was a highly successful Stuka dive-bomber pilot who flew 2,530 millions, claiming 2,000 targets destroyed including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, four armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat.

He was one of only 27 military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, and the only person to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Germany's highest military decoration at the time.

A large series of these steins, named to prominent soldiers, sailors, airmen and SS troops, was produced in the 1970s. I remember seeing several of them offered for sale in the catalogs of Collector’s Armory along with reproduction Third Reich daggers and other stuff. I bought this one at an Ohio Valley Military Society show at Fort Mitchell, Ky. in the 1980s.

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