This site is created for collectors of mainly composition vintage toy soldiers produced by great toy makers of the past: Elastolin, Hausser, Lineol, Durso, Kienel, Starlux, Leyla, Schusso, Armee, Trico, Duro, Durolin, NB, Triumph, GJ and many others.

Toy soldiers and real battles: October 2018

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A German flamethrower

Hungarian Gábor Szakáts invented the flamethrower which was first used by the German army in WWI. Gábor Szakáts was the only Hungarian on the list of war criminals assembled by France after the war due to the invention of the flamethrower. Even his birthplace Budapest refused to bury Szakáts because of his invention.It was not until 1911 that the German Army accepted their first real flamethrowing device, creating a specialist regiment of twelve companies equipped with Flammenwerferapparaten. Despite this, use of fire in a World War I battle predated flamethrower use, with a petrol spray being ignited by an incendiary bomb in the Argonne-Meuse sector in October 1914. The flamethrower was first used in World War I on February 26, 1915, when it was briefly used against the French outside Verdun. On July 30, 1915, it was first used in a concerted action, against British trenches at Hooge, where the lines were 4.5 m (4.9 yd) apart—even there, the casualties were caused mainly by soldiers being flushed into the open and being shot by more conventional means rather than from the fire itself. The flamethrower had other limitations: it was cumbersome and difficult to operate and could only be safely fired from a trench, which limited its use to areas where the opposing trenches were less than the maximum range of the weapon, namely 18 m (20 yd) apart—which was not a common situation; the fuel would also only last for about 2 minutes. This German flamethrower was produced by Elastolin in 30s.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

Durso soldiers at the General George S. Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck (Luxembourg)

The General George S. Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck honors the american general who liberated the town from German occupants in 1945. The museum exhibits photographs, uniforms, weapons and documents from the period of German occupation of Luxembourg.I was surprised to find some Durso soldiers representing the allied leaders of World War 2 : Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Charles de Gaulle and Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery. These figures were made in late 40s.

Monument in honour of the American General George Patton Jr. 
 M4A1(75) Sherman Tank
 Monument in honour of the American General George Patton Jr.  

Friday, October 26, 2018

Force Publique soldiers of Belgian Congo

The Force Publique was a gendarmerie and military force in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1885 (when the territory was known as the Congo Free State), through the period of Belgian colonial rule (Belgian Congo – 1908 to 1960). In 1914, the Force Publique, including the Katanga companies, totalled about 17,000 askaris with 178 white officers and 235 white NCOs. The majority served in small static garrisons called poste with primarily a police role. 
With the outbreak of World War I, the Katangese units were organized in battalions (Ie, IIe, and IIIme) for military service in Northern Rhodesia and the eastern frontier districts of the Congo. The Force Publique was able to assemble another battalion from smaller units; originally called the IIIe but changed to the 11e to avoid confusion with the Katanga IIIme battalion. During World War I (1914–18) an expanded Force Publique served against German colonial forces in the Camerouns and German East Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi), as part of the East African Campaign. The Force Publique performed well on the battlefield, winning the respect of their British and Portuguese allies, as well as that of their German opponents. 
The involvement of the Belgian Congo (the modern-day Democratic Republic of Congo) in World War II began with the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940. Despite Belgium's surrender, the Congo remained in the conflict on the Allied side, administered by the Belgian government in exile, and provided much-needed raw materials, most notably gold and uranium, to Britain and the United States. Congolese troops of the Force Publique fought alongside British forces in the East African Campaign, and a Congolese medical unit served in Madagascar and in the Burma Campaign. Congolese formations also acted as garrisons in Egypt, Nigeria and Palestine. 
Durso produced two types of the Force Publique soldiers : a) "with Fez" and b) "in European uniform". These nice figurines were made in 40s/50s.

The Force Publique in German East Africa during World War I

3.7 cm Pak 36 cannon from Lineol

The Pak 36 (Panzerabwehrkanone 36) is a 3.7 cm caliber German anti-tank gun used during the Second World War. It was the main anti-tank weapon of Wehrmacht Panzerjäger units until 1942. Developed by Rheinmetall in 1933, it was first issued to the German Army in 1936, with 9,120 being available by the beginning of the war in September 1939 and a further 5,339 produced during the war. The cannon is produced by Lineol in 30s.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

WW1 : Battle of Lorraine

The Battle of Lorraine (14 August – 7 September 1914) was a battle on the Western Front during the First World War. The armies of France and Germany had completed their mobilisation, the French with Plan XVII, to conduct an offensive through Lorraine and Alsace into Germany and the Germans with Aufmarsch II West, for an offensive in the north through Luxembourg and Belgium into France, supplemented with attacks in the south to prevent the French from transferring troops to the greater threat in the north. French and German armies are presented by Lineol and Elastolin soldiers made in 20s/30s. The German tank is produced by Gama.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Goose step ..(Stechschritt )

The goose step is a special marching step performed on formal military parades and other ceremonies. While marching in parade formation, troops swing their legs in unison off the ground while keeping each leg rigidly straight. The step originated in Prussian military drill in the mid-18th century and was called the Stechschritt (literally, "piercing step") or Stechmarsch. German military advisors spread the tradition to Russia in the 19th century, and the Soviets spread it around the world in the 20th. The goose step is now used by the militaries of over seventy countries, comprising three-fifths of the world's population. The term "goose step" originally referred to a British military drill in which one leg at a time was swung back and forth without bending the knee. Apparently, standing on only one leg reminded soldiers of how geese often stand. The term was later applied to the German stechschritt during World War I and is nowadays heavily associated with Nazi Germany.
These goose stepping recruit soldiers are made by Lineol. The drill instructor  (feldwebel) is produced by Elastolin.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Gasalarm !

The use of toxic chemicals as weapons dates back thousands of years, but the first large scale use of chemical weapons was during World War I.They were primarily used to demoralize, injure, and kill entrenched defenders, against whom the indiscriminate and generally very slow-moving or static nature of gas clouds would be most effective. The types of weapons employed ranged from disabling chemicals, such as tear gas, to lethal agents like phosgene, chlorine, and mustard gas.

The soldiers wearing gas masks are made by Lineol and Elastolin in 30s.

US Army Gas Alarm (WWI Footage, 1918)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Es ist Mittagessenszeit ! (Lunchtime!)

Karl Rudolf Fissler of Idar-Oberstein invented a mobile field kitchen (Feldküche) in 1892 that the Germans came to refer to as a Gulaschkanone (Goulash Cannon) because the chimney of the stove resembled ordnance pieces when disassembled and limbered for towing. As technology has advanced, larger trailers have evolved as horses were phased out in favour of motorized vehicles more capable of towing heavier loads. In WWII the mobile canteen was used as a morale booster in the United Kingdom, fitting in with the culture of the tea break and in particular as a result of the successful wartime experiment of the tea lady on productivity and morale.The larger mobile kitchens (now commonly called "flying kitchens" because of the greater speed with which they can be deployed) can service entire battalions of troops. The presented Gulaschkanone is produced by Lineol in 30s. The soldiers are made by Lineol and Elastolin in 30s as well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Russian Army at Eastern Front (World War I)

The immediate reason for Russia's involvement in the First World War was a direct result of the decisions made by the statesmen and generals during July 1914. The war in the east began with the Russian invasion of East Prussia on 17 August 1914 and the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia.The first effort quickly turned to a defeat following the Battle of Tannenberg in August 1914.A second Russian incursion into Galicia was completely successful, with the Russians controlling almost all of that region by the end of 1914, routing four Austrian armies in the process. Under the command of Nikolai Ivanov, Nikolai Ruzsky and Aleksei Brusilov, the Russians won the Battle of Galicia in September and began the Siege of Przemyśl.
Russian WW1 soldiers and cossacks are presented by composite figures from FF Fischer and Elastolin (20s).

A Canadian mounted policeman on patrol

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP; French: Gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC), "Royal Gendarmerie of Canada"; colloquially known as The "Mounties", and internally as "the Force") is the federal and national police force of Canada. The RCMP provides law enforcement at the federal level.This patrolling mounted policemen is made by Elastolin in 40s/50s.

Dispatching of a message by carrier pigeon in the German Army WW1/WW2

Homing pigeons have long played an important role in war. Due to their homing ability, speed and altitude, they were often used as military messengers. Carrier pigeons of the Racing Homer breed were used to carry messages in World War I and World War II. 
This German soldier with the carrier pigeon is made by Elastolin in 30s.


Monday, October 15, 2018

French infantry counter-attacks at Verdun forest

The Battle of Verdun, fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916, was the largest and longest battle of the First World War on the Western Front between the German and French armies. The battle took place on the hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France. The German 5th Army attacked the defences of the Fortified Region of Verdun and those of the French Second Army on the right bank of the Meuse.French soldiers (Poilus) are Elastolin and Durso made in 30s.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Zeit fur Schnapps und Skat ..

This Sunday evening is perfect time for Schnapps and  Skat game. Skat is a 3-player trick-taking card game of the Ace-Ten family, devised around 1810 in Altenburg in the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. It is the national game of Germany and, along with Doppelkopf, it is the most popular card game in Germany and Silesia. It is considered one of the best and most interesting card games for 3 players. These playing card soldiers are made by RK (90s) ant the others are made by Lineol and Elastolin in 30s.
Nicholas K. Johnson wrote a very interesting five-part series on alcohol, drugs, and the Great War. I really recommend his article "The German Army and Intoxication".