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Bill Shea's WWII Memorabilia Blog RSS

Dozens of books have been written on this topic and many of these are great reference sources. My goal with this brief introduction is to impart at least one factoid regarding this prestigious, long living decoration that you didn't know before. It has always been awarded for bravery and over the 132 years of its official existence (1813-1945). The only known exception to that rule was the very first recipient who was Louise who was the wife of Friedrich Wilhelm III who instituted the award. In this case it was done after she passed away.  Over the years, the award was broadened and...

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We shove off in just 10 short days for our pilgrimage to Louisville and the biggest show in the US. This is the 25th anniversary of the SOS and we have made all of them! Please take a look at our website...there will be a number of updates this week! If there is anything you'd like us to bring for the show, just email or call (978-928-4495) and we'll deliver it to you at the show. Remember, there is never an obligation and you save on postage!!

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As many of you know, Patrick, Nikki and I are very much into the trilogy Back to the Future. Much of our spare time is devoted to making appearances at events such as weddings, Comic-Cons, birthday parties, conventions, movies-in-the-park etc... Our family does many of these Team Fox events to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Most people see Michael as the face of Parkinson's, but there are millions of people dealing with the disease and it has many different faces and symptoms. One of my motivations is Major Dick Winters, who was the CO of Easy Company...

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Ok, now be truthful, you've all heard about it. Chances are you know who wrote it and probably have an idea when it was first published. Chances are slimmer that you know what the title translates to and slim to none that you've ever read even a chapter in the book. Well, now you have another chance.     The book that "sold" over ten million copies in Germany alone by 1945 and some statistics claim sold as many copies as the Bible during its heyday, is readily available in a 2016 annotated version. It will help if you can read German because...

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The Hitler Youth was a massive organization with membership in upwards of 8 million by 1940. By this time all males between the age of 14 and 18 were mandated to join this para-military group which in many cases mirrors our Boy Scouts. The dream sidearm for every member was the Hitler Youth knife (fahrtenmesser). This knife, like much of the equipment used during this time, underwent a series of changes during the Third Reich. Early examples up through 1939 had nickel-silver fittings, anodized scabbards, the maker's name and logo and the famous motto for the Hitler Youth which was "Blut und Ehre!". This literally...

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