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Thread: Hate Belt

  1. #1
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    Default Hate Belt

    Hello;
    I just accquired a German "Hate Belt". These aren't around like they use to be. It has some great buttons, and is in great condition. A friend of mine, who is a dealer, said that I should part it out and sell the individual pieces and I could make some money on the belt. I told him that it was worth more to me in it's history and the idea of the pure terror that it represented. A lot of history took place during this time. Enjoy. Vaughn
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2053_1.jpg   IMG_2054.JPG   IMG_2055.JPG  

  2. #2
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    Pardon my ignorance but I never heard of the expression "hate belt". I never saw one either and would certainly not climb out of my trench towards the enemy with such "scalps" on my belt. Maybe it's just a collection of buttons on the "Gott mit uns" belt?

  3. #3
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    Default

    I found one in the rafters in basement of an abandoned house many years ago along with a medal from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a boxed collection of Nazi stamps. Even at that young age, ago 12, I knew what it was. I parted it out; who knows what I did with the money. Now, at age 60, I trully regret my transgression; dumb sh...t. I salute you in following your moral consciounce (sp?) and historical responsibility as a temporary caretaker.
    Memorial Day weekend, remember to say "Thanks..."
    John

  4. #4
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    While there may have been some real "Hate belts" I believe that most of them were put together after the war to sell off bits and pieces of buttons and badges by a big militaria dealer. The only period photo I know of showing something along this line is in the book "Private Peat" by Harold R. Peat. It is a photo of a belt with numerous badges, and is captioned "Badges from tunics of dead comrades" This can not be classified as a hate belt, as it was made with comradship rather than hate.
    Best
    Gus

  5. #5

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    I agree with Gus (he is, of course, always right ) in that many of these belts may have been the result of post war modification. Best to keep it the way it is Pea Shooter, the leather part of the belt is not a standard German military issue belt, it appears to be a post WW1 put together. Even if it were a standard issue belt, the holes punched in it have taken away it's collectability as a belt so the buttons and devices should be left as is, they item is more valuable and interesting like it is now. Every WW1 collector should have ome of these.

  6. #6
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    Hey TP,
    I tend to disagree that this is something that fits in every collection, I am a bit prejudiced toward the Hate belts, even though I believe them to be post war put together, When I was in school, a classmate told me that his father had a board with several ears attached, that he had taken from Japanese soldiers he had killed, the thought of this disgusted me so much that I have been unable to purchase a hate belt (even to part out) even though I have had the chance on a few ocasions to acquire one for a reasonable price. Bear in mind, this is a personal thing, and I do not have any problem with other collectors displaying them, and I am sure that any real belt like this was not something that was put together with so much hate as the collection of ears (most US soldiers acquired their souvineers after the hostilities were over).
    I believe that this concept can be traced back to the British soldiers collecting regimental badges, here is a scan of the photo from "Private Peat" showing his belt.


    Best wishes
    Gus

  7. #7
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    Default

    Hello All;
    I slightly disagree with Gus , that the belt is the same as keeping ears and things. It is basically the same to me as collecting any thing military. Warfare is Hell and the fighting in the WW1 trenches was Barbaric. Like with the battle of the Somme, with 60,000 casulties in one day. Or sitting in your trench undergoing the bombardment and the elements and the sheer terror of knowing someone might be making a night visit. Owning a trench club to me is no different than owning a rifle or bayonet. It is just a tool. The club was for bashing in heads, and that would be the same as a rifle that shot someone between the eyes. Or having a helmet with the side blown out. You know someones head was in it.
    We should appreciate our history and hope it doesn't happen again, and doing every thing we can to prevent it.
    I hope you know where I am coming from. I am not trying to deminish the War. I try to appreciate what we have and what was given, so we can be where we are now.
    Thanks to all those who gave their all. Enjoy your Memorial Weekend, give thanks to all our service people pass and present. Vaughn

    ________________________________________________

    " Av rifle is a machine, nothing more nothing less, to attribute any moral connection to an inanimate object is a trick of the propagandist. "
    Author unknown-

  8. #8
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    Hey Vaughn
    I will have to agree with you that the hate belt and collection of ears are not in the same catagorie, and as I think about it, I believe that I might be able to get past that thought, everything on your belt could be taken from a soldier with out cousing pain or death, and that is the best kind of scalp to take. But don't blame me if I out bid you on the next one, as it is your own fault
    Best
    Gus

  9. #9

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    Gus, completely understood, with that association I can understand how you feel. They don't bother me other than the fact that they are now and have always been advertised as something that they really are not.

  10. #10
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    That is my problem too... Are these really "hate belts" or simply a collection of buttons sorted this way? What is the "hate" part? I've seen a few on german ebay with German, French and British buttons on the same belt, which is then the hated party?

  11. #11
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    I am sure that there are some original souvineer belts floating around out there, I think it was Bannerman who made most of these things, and as many of them as there are, every soldier would have had to had brought back a couple of them. I did once try to buy some German buttons from a fellow who was parting a belt out, but he would not sell them to me because I was stupid (he was sure that the M1915 Mantel buttons were British, and since I had said that they were German, I was too dumb for him to deal with me) The bad thing is, if you remove the buttons and NCO insignias, the belt is a tosser.
    Gus

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayonetcollector View Post
    That is my problem too... Are these really "hate belts" or simply a collection of buttons sorted this way? What is the "hate" part? I've seen a few on german ebay with German, French and British buttons on the same belt, which is then the hated party?
    The term "hate belt" is an attractive name given to the item to increase it's desireability to an ignorant public. Most buyers in the past didn't have any idea what the variuos buttons represented - Gus gives a good example above - and it was easy to ascribe an evil intent to them since they "were taken from German soldiers and everyone knows how evil they were". Fortunately we know better now....

  13. #13
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    Hello;
    I originially posted this as a " Hate Belt. " The reason being , that is the term that I have seen them called and I knew people would know what I was talking about. I have heard stories that they were souvenirs taken on trench raids. I really don't know if that is true or are they just buttons on a leather strap? The buckle was added to the belt, and there is a spacer added to make the belt fit. There are alot of good buttons on the belt. The buttons look worn, like the belt had been worn alot. The leather is old and getting fragile. The buttons are almost all British, with an American and a couple of Beligum? The end piece is unusual. It is a brass Skull and cross bones. Possibly a badge that went on headgear. The end of the belt has a wire keeper that the buckle hooks on.
    I was thinking, could it have been something that was worn at some Regimental reunion? Who knows? It is something I accquired from an old collector that has passed on and I just thought I would share with you. Vaughn

  14. #14
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    Hey Vaughn
    I think that the buttons you believe tobe Belgian are actually Bavarian, the way to tell is the Belgian buttons, the lion only has one tail, but on the Bavarian buttons, the lion will have a forked tail with two ends. It is difficult to see in the photos, but I think that there are soem German buttons as well as a couple of NCO insignia, but I can not tell for sure which kingdom they are from, the French and American buttons are easy to see,
    Best
    Gus

  15. #15
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    Hate belt is just as realistric as calling a semi auto an "assault rifle" Just a bit of puffery.

  16. #16

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    Vaughn it is an interesting collectible, thanks for showing it to us and starting the conversation.

  17. #17
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    Actually, hate is a word that we only like to use to discribe our feelings for other members who havwe cool stuff that we do not have, I try to use the word dislike, but there are some people here that have so much cool stuff that dislike really does not give them credit. I think it is OK to dislike Pea Shooter too, after all that is a cool trench club, I do not have any trench clubs, or hate belts, I suck
    Best wishes
    Gus

  18. #18
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    Hello Gus;
    Can you or any of the other guys identify some of the buttons? As a Souvenir Belt it has a wide variety of buttons. I see anchors, a French Chasseurs button and many more. Thank you.
    Best Regards, Vaughn
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    IMG_2066.JPG   IMG_2065.JPG  

  19. #19
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    Hi All;
    A friend gave me a web site on the belts. It also has a great title for the belts. they were also called grave digger belts.

    http:www.das-koppe...e/hatebelts.htm

  20. #20
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    Default US hate belt

    Hello all,
    Mr. Rat has been reading this threat with interest, attached are pics of a US version with French coins all dated 1918 and a US Engineers EM collar disc.
    According to a well know collector/dealer who's initials are H.O. the following quote about hate belts is in his book".......What is popularly known as a Hate Belt. Using an Imperial Field belt as the mount,the Doughboy, as he encountered various pieces of insignia, fastened them to the belt until the surface was covered. One Veteran interviewed by the authors built his belt by traveling through No-Mans Land , following an offensive, and cut the insignia he needed to fill it from the corpses of fallen Germans. A large number of these belts were also made after the Armistice by enterprising Frenchmen and Germans for sale to returning Doughboys. During the 1920's and 30's Francis Bannerman and Sons also manufactured them for sale to the public"

  21. #21
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    Real or not, my take on "hate belt" is that they may originally have been "memorials" for comrades and morphed into symbols for feeding hatred towards the enemy.
    I think about pics of memorials seen on WW2 Panzer crew positions.

    It's a lot easier to kill someone you have an atitude against.

  22. #22
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    Hey Vaughn
    That is a great collection of buttons and insignia, my take on them, starting from the buckle is
    1. Not a clue
    2. French overcoat
    3. German or Austrian tombak overcoat
    4. US overcoat
    5. Imperial Russian
    6. Prussian NCO badge (affixed to the collar above the shoulder board button)
    7. Belgian
    8. German or Austrian white overcoat
    9. German M1910 tunic ?
    10. ??
    11. NCO badge??
    12. fouled anchor (unknown to me, British?)
    13. German shoulderboard button for 3rd company
    14. German or Austrian tombak overcoat
    15. Bavarian
    16. German M1910??
    17. French??
    18. French Chasseur
    19. German 1st company
    20. Imperial Russian
    21. ??
    22. NCO Prussian??
    23. Finnish or Czech The lion is facing the opposite direction of the Bavarian or Belgian
    24. NCO Prussian
    25. NCO (I do not know the state)
    26. British General service
    27. Farrier or fireman unknown to me
    28. PMA, I do not know this one
    29. French
    30. This is the most interesting item on the belt, possibly a 92 Regt insignia from the German Brunswick regiment, I have not seen one quite like it though.
    I have marked the buttons that did not have a close up photo with ??, as I am unsure of some of them
    Best
    Gus

  23. #23
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    Hello;
    This is a little piece that I gleened from The Great War Forum: Originally Hate Belts were created by Tommy collecting Regimental Badges from dead Germans, as trophies, rather than sovenirs, to show the different regiments he had fought and killed, hence the " Hate" in the title.
    This is a kin to pilots keeping a tally of kills painted on the nose of thier aircraft.
    I understand, having had a brief discussion with a German collector, that these were really an Allied pastime, and it is rare to find a similar thing produced by German soldiers.
    The situation is confused by soldiers also collecting badges from friends, other regiments they have fought alongside ect. to creat a belt covered in Allied Badges. Not a Hate Belt, but , I suppose, a memory belt. However the two have since become blurred and the term Hate Belt is now used to cover any belt adorned with Badges and Buttons.
    Regards, Steve
    This explains it all. Vaughn

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