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Stock No. 4014

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Luftwaffe First Pattern M35 Map Case - Click for the bigger picture

Luftwaffe First Pattern M35 Map Case

A very fine issued example manufactured by Leo Schmidt, O. H. G München 15, 1935. This company made a variety of high quality leather items for the German armed forces including boots, webbing, pistol holders or as here map cases or Kartentasche. These were used by both Army and Air Force personnel including the Fallschirmjäger both pre-war and throughout WWII. In Luftwaffe use they were issued on a limited basis, to specifically designated personnel such as unit commanders, pilots, and observers.

This example is in exceptional condition with no issues and with the added bonus that the normally missing leather & plastic map holder insert, that remains within the case. The M35 map/dispatch case was based on the Weimar era Reichsheer pattern but with minor improvements incorporated. The front closure arrangement was simplified in mid-1936 with the replacement by a standard buckle and an additional small front pocket was added in 1938, although the early pattern cases continued to be manufactured throughout the war.

The case has a leather flap that is held secure by the a base metal slide in bar closure system with three slots cut in the flap to allow for the size of the contents. Inside the flap exposes 7 recesses for assorted pencils, a wooden ruler holder, an receptacles for an eraser and a map case pocket knife. Nearly always the contents is now absent as here but this is compensated for by the leather and plastic map holder that is in great original condition. Whilst the outside of the case carries the makers details as mentioned, the inside flap carries further clues to its service life with the Luftwaffe This is clearly stamped 'Kdtr. Trav' which we believe is the German military abbreviation for 'Kommandantur' meaning 'Administrative Headquarters Commandant's Office' which is over stamped 'Fl. H. Kdtr Pütniz, ' which refers to 'Fliegerhorst Kommandantur, headquarter of the Airfield' and a further stamp reads Fl. Schule Pütnitz, which translated is 'Flying School Pütnitz'. Below is a further stamp '35' which we assume confirms the 1935, manufacture date. On line research indicates Pütnitz-Damgarten was a Luftwaffe airfield built by the Wehrmacht in 1935-36 and inaugurated as a Luftwaffe Fliegerhorstkommandantur on 1 October 1936. Pütnitz was a training station for flying, navigation, instrument flight and airborne radio throughout the war. During 1944 and 1945 the station command at Pütnitz was Fl. H. Kdtr. A (o) 5/III

A similar example is illustrated in Mick Prodoger's 'Luftwaffe V RAF Flight Equipment' book page 118. It would be hard to find such a crisp original 'Kartentasche' as this, together with the added service history of the base and unit it served with lifts this example above the norm.

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