Tag Archives: memorabilia

Marketing World War 2 Militaria

Pick up any decent travel guide to Normandy, France and you will soon learn what a heartbreaking spot this has been in the not too distant past. So it has been an interesting experience to handle, photograph, and list World War II items as I am sitting comfortably in a gite (cottage) in Normandy. I am residing in a spot of great historical significance since all around me are places that endured some of the most destructive and prolonged fighting during that war.

One of the services that I offer to our clients as we travel is to act as the marketing agent for goods that they might wish to purge from their home or business. Have a peek at some of the military memorabilia I’ve been listing.

Marketing military memorabilia from our gite in Normandy

There’s a bit of everything and rather a lot of date-stamped khaki coloured bags that were taken by the British military into battle.

1942 date stamped World War II khaki webbing bag from the British military

This is certainly one assignment that I won’t soon forget.


©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Remembering The Valiant in Normandy, France

Normandy in Northern France — site of some of the bloodiest battles of World War II including the D-Day Landings. To this day the local population still honours those lost young men and also the lucky ones that returned home.

One of the most ferocious campaigns took place in a French town called Mortain and the Germans called this offensive campaign Operation Lüttich. We are currently living a mere 12 kilometres from there.

Last week was the anniversary of the D-Day Landings by the Allied forces. The poignant painting below, surrounded by genuine artifacts of the war, was seen in the window of a local gallery on the main street of the now peaceful Mortain.

Remembering the valiant military and civilian forces who defended France in World War II


©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Vroom-vroom!!! Berlin’s Luftwaffe Museum – Part 3

In an oft-told story about my childhood, I heard from my parents that I began flying as a passenger in our small single-engine airplane when I was a mere 6 weeks old. And yes, I threw up whilst in flight. Ah well — a lifetime of motion sickness began just then!

My fascination with aircraft has lingered throughout the years and I prefer the old-fashioned propeller planes over the jets any day. So our visit to the Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin filled my heart and my eyes with joy.

There were aircraft that I had only seen in history books — and frankly, it was thrilling to be close enough to touch them. I had seen a biplane with a metal propeller when I was a little girl, but not a plane with a wooden propeller such as the one below.

Biplane with wooden propeller

And can you even imagine returning to earth in a glider and landing on the snow or the grass in a fragile vehicle equipped with rather primitive-looking wooden ski?

Lightweight glider with wooden skis

This is a huge museum and it takes hours to go through — but it is well worth the time if you have an interest in contemporary history. We barely made a dent in viewing the rows and rows of planes which were on display outside and concentrated instead on the historic examples within the vast hangers. But a friend told us that a thorough visit might be best accomplished on a bicycle so that we could weave in and out amongst the decades of planes that lined the old runways. You can see a few of them if you look to the left of the yellow-tipped propeller below.

Yellow-tipped propellers on old German warplane

I certainly hope you have enjoyed this 3-part series and that it might inspire you to visit this fascinating museum.

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Vroom-vroom!!! Berlin’s Luftwaffe Museum – Part 2

Rumbling, roaring, noisy beasts. The age of the airplane saw a surprisingly rapid transformation from flimsy airborne creations into larger and heavier vehicles requiring more power to lift them into the air. And when World War II arrived, the German Luftwaffe was ready.

Wilhelm ‘Willy’ Messerschmitt was responsible for the jewels in the crown of German aircraft designed in the 1930s and 1940s — the fighter planes named after him — the Messerschmitt Bf108, the Messerschmitt Bf109, and the ones that followed. The links that are highlighted in this paragraph will take you to more detailed information.

Messerschmitt -- side view

Examples of this plane can be seen at the Luftwaffe Museum in the Berlin suburb of Gatow.

Messerschmitt -- front right view

If you are a history or aviation buff (and as I have mentioned previously, I happen to fall into both categories!), this is an excellent day out that is away from the main hustle and bustle of beautiful Berlin.

Messerschmitt -- close-up

One rather different example of a Messerschmitt was on display and it is a quite recent acquisition. In November of 2009, a fighter plane was discovered at the bottom of a lake in Germany. Please note — the website is in German, but the photographs alone are fascinating. What an eerie find that must have been for those divers in the lake.

If you wish to open this page-link to the daedalus-Berlin.de website in a translation-friendly site like GOOGLE CHROME, you can click on a button and translate the page from German to English. It’s a fascinating story!

The picture below is the actual plane that was recovered from the lake and reconstructed. When I saw this plane at the Luftwaffe Museum, I had no idea how complicated a process it must have been to remove it from the mud, bring it out of the water, and then transport it safely before it could be reconstructed. The article also answers the question about any remains found inside the plane. No, there was no sign of the missing pilots of the fighter plane and no remains at all were found inside or nearby.

Wreck of a downed WW II Messerschmitt recovered from a lake in Germany

Come back again soon for another World War II tale that I stumbled upon whilst in Germany!

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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