Verdigris


#1

John Moss mentioned this French word in a different thread in conjunction with ammo storage in leather. I got this Czech 1950 belt ammo carrier and decided to show this actual verdigris. I inverted both chargers in the 2nd picture to show more pronounced verdigris.


#2

Vlad - I probably won’t remember, but now at least I know how it is spelled. I was too damned lazy to look it up in a dictionary.

That ammo pouch, by the way, looks to me like a standard WWII German pouch. Two of them were worn normally, although I saw a picture of a German fallschirmjaeger once with only one on, and a Luger Pistol holster on the left-front of his belt, in a cross-draw position. I don’t know if that was a standard thing or not. I know that parachutists also carried 7.9 ammo for the K98k in a bandoleer arrangement.

I can’t say that the Czechs didn’t use them after the war, but that one, with its pebble-grain leather (pig skin?) is typical of the German ones. I assume, though, that you got the year “1950” of of something.


#3

I’d call it mildew…


#4

Mildew is something quite different. It is usually black in color or if completely dried out, becomes a white powder easily wiped off of something. Verdigris is usually green in color and is a wax-like “material” that can get, if left long enough, almost like a green crayon. It can be pretty destructive to leather if simply never removed.

When I had an addition built on my house, I had yards of exposed foundation in my then-new hobby room. I knew nothing about concrete “weeping” and did nothing about it for several months. It was a very busy time for me at work and I had no time for my library. When I eventually tried to take a book out of the book case, I found it stuck with mildew to the one next to it. So, I investigated and found about 75% of my library was like that (then 1200 or so so books)’ I also found mildew of wood furniture that I had in the room then, on gunstocks on rifles in my safe, etc. ad nauseum.

I put a floor dehumidifier in the room and after running it for a week, all of that mildew had turn to powder and I could accomplish the massive job of cleaning off everything, which took me a month. Today, some twenty years latter, probably more because of the foggy and wet weather common to where I live, I still have to run that machine for a couple of days a week or I can start smelling the moisture in the room again.

There are probably areas where, due to weather, do not experience much or any mildew, but where I live, it is a constant fight. The floor dehumidifier, which was not too expensive, made it an easy fight for me. Despite being in one downstairs room, it seems to service the entire hous, with a few “deep in the corner” exceptions which are easily handled separately.


#5

John, you, of course, are 100% right, I found these old 1950 Czech rounds inside and assumed that the pouch was Czech. So, now the question is “Is the ammo pouch German or not?”. I looked all over and found nothing written on it. But I found these cool ammo charger separators inside, they look plastic. Plastics were used very sparingly during the war, right? On the subject of mildew, not only I don’t see it on the leather itself (which is organic) but also I don’t smell it. Mildew produces a distinctive smell during sporulation (maturation) stage.




#6

Vlad - its not unusual for these pouches to be unmarked. I don’t know why that is, because certaining the Germans seemed to mark everything they made, almost to a fault. Neither of my black ones are marked. I have one brown one marked just 0/0396/0027 on the back, and one brown one marked Hans Romer 1937 Neu??? The question marks are letter I can’t read, but I am sure it probably the name of the location of the Romer factory.

All of mine had the stiff seperater at one time, but some are broken out. I am not sure they are plastic - they are stiff but still more flexible than I would suspect the plastics of the day to be for the thickness of it. Certainly, they are some artificial material though, perhaps with a leather base. On one, it appears that they were broken out purposefully, because they are gone from all three pockets on the slide. Inside the lid of one of the pocket is “VGD” in the Cyrillic form though, which I can’t reproduce here. I suspect it may have seen service with either Bulgaria or with the Yugoslav Army after the war. I suppose it could have been with Russia, too. The seperaters may have been taken out so the pouches would better accomodate some other type of clips.


#7

The number 0/0396/0027 should be the Reichsbetriebsnummer (national factory number, RBNr). The leading zero simply says industry. The number 0396 ist the area number. A number in the 0390 range would point to the Dresden area. (0345 for example was assigned to Zella-Mehlis and Suhl) The 0027 is simply the number for this company within area 0396.

A big part of the original card index (15000 cards) making up the Reichsbetriebskartei still exists at Bundesarchiv Berlin (Speer ministry files). In an archival blackout it has been re-arranged from the numbers to the old German administrative structure!!! So, you can no longer simply look up the number but must know the state and county the company location belonged to. (Zella-Mehlis and Suhl were in different states, for example.)

Alas, there is no printed list like we have for manufacturers codes. Contrary to the code, the RBNr was not secret. From about April 1943 onwards every factory had to note it on all of its mails.


#8

The other manufacturer seems to be Hans Römer Heeresausrüstungen, Neu Ulm (later code bml).