Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mystery D Day picture..

So here's an interesting picture....

I don't recognise the machine gun, and are they Free French? Picture was allegedly taken post D Day...

20 comments:

  1. Think its a Hotchkiss model 1914. Looks like a posed photo as the photographer is more exposed than the gunners.
    Dont look like French helmets I've seen, there seem to be at least 2 different types here. Perhaps Belgian or east European - Czech or Polish either way fighting on the Allied side. The shoulder patches/gaiters might help others more knowledgable to tie it down a bit...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mervyn - good spot on the helmets - I thought they looked "foreign" too.. before the other comments arrived I was thinking maybe Poles...

      Delete
  2. I can't help with identifying the soldiers, but it does look to be an M1914 Hotchkiss Machine Gun.
    Wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotchkiss_M1914_machine_gun
    A couple of better photos here: http://world.guns.ru/machine/fr/hotchkiss-m1914-e.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. It appears that all the crew (except the chap actually operating the Hotchkiss who is wearing the older MKII) are wearing Mk III helmet British helmet. Primarily issued to British and Canadian assault troops for the Normandy invasion and refereed to as the 'turtle' helmet - for obvious reasons,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt - I think you get the virtual pint as prize.. I had no idea there was a Mk III helmet so I did some googling and lo and behold what should I find on the Wiki page for that helmet but this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_British_Army_in_Normandy_1944_B6918.jpg

      Delete
  4. The men are indeed wearing British helmets - possibly the Hotchkiss MG was used by a German unit and has just seen another change of management?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim - think your right... should have known myself really as when the 1914 model was mentioned I remembered this post... http://steve-the-wargamer.blogspot.sk/2013/06/more-interesting-pictures-and-some.html

      Delete
  5. I think Young Master Gow has it. I would imagine it was one of the plethora of captured kit Jerry deployed on the Atlantic Wall.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've seen that picture before and the caption said they were the King's Own Scottish Borderers. That insignia looks like 3rd Infantry Division. Definitely posed though. - that bright insignia looks like a bullet magnet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the insignia has been censored - whited out.

      Delete
    2. Chris - you pipped me to the post... Gary - poor copy of the photo I think, have a look at this one:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_British_Army_in_Normandy_1944_B6918.jpg

      Delete
  7. Here's the story: Kings Own Scottish with captured Hotchkiss 1914, triangular unit flashes suggesting 3rd British Infantry. The picture was taken as Caen, after the battle, with a captured gun : http://www.jcs-group.com/military/war1941normandy/guns2.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H van K - you get the second virtual pint!

      Delete
  8. The picture definitely appears in Peter Darman's "Uniforms of WW2", just cannot find my copy but I recall definitely British troops using the Hotchkiss. I tried to recreate it using Airfix multi-pose infantry in my youth. Spectacular failure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt - I'd like to have seen it... ! :o)

      Delete
  9. Dear Steve,
    The helmets really are not a poblem. The British army issued some new helmet types prior to D-day and a number of D-day photos demonstrates the two different types in the same unit.
    Jerry
    A/K/A The Celtic Curmudgeon

    "Grumpy is good."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grumpy - I honestly didn't know - I thought they looked a bit warsaw Pact'like... learnt a lot from this thread!

      Delete
  10. Herman nailed it. The machine gun is a Hotchkiss, but what to make of those strangely blank shoulder flashes? Here is the original image, from IWM British Army in Normandy collection
    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205196113

    ReplyDelete