Jewish militiamen and Austro-Hungarian soldiers in Borsa, Romania, 1915
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Thread: Jewish militiamen and Austro-Hungarian soldiers in Borsa, Romania, 1915

  1. #1
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    Default Jewish militiamen and Austro-Hungarian soldiers in Borsa, Romania, 1915

    Interesting photo:

    https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail...hoto/545972249

    Both the regular soldiers and the militiamen appear to be carrying Wendrls, probably the Extra-Korps Gewehr.

    Perhaps someone can comment more, I would be interested to hear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveccarlson View Post
    They are not in Romania. According to the caption they are in Galicia, which would be the portions of Western Ukraine/ ex-eastern Poland that were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
    Borsa is a town in Romania. It is outside of the region of Galicia. Whoever labeled the photograph had made a mistake.

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    My apologies. Interesting photo. They do appear to be Werndl rifles.
    Alle Künst ist umsonst, Wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveccarlson View Post
    My apologies. Interesting photo. They do appear to be Werndl rifles.
    No worries, I had to look up the town myself.

    Someone I asked for more information found an entry for Borsa in a Jewish Encyclopedia of 1940. It says that Jewish population of the town was 4000 persons in 1915 and they sent 350 soldiers to fight in the Austro-Hungarian army. Which is a huge percentage.

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    Interesting pic......

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    Hello Batjka,

    Thank you for sharing this photo with us. Very interesting indeed and quite unusual!

    The two elderly Jewish gentlemen do appear to be carrying Werndl rifles. They are too long to be carbines. I would assume that the yataghan blades of the bayonets don't show any curve based on the angle of the photo, but they do appear to be side mounted sword bayonets.

    As for the member of the Landsturm in the foreground, he is definitely carrying a variant of the M1867 Werndl Extra-Korps-Gewehr with a side mounted sword bayonet. Exactly which variant is impossible to tell, but the side mounted sword bayonet does narrow the field versus the E-K-G variations that lacked a bayonet stud and were issued with the M1867 socket bayonet.

    I'm a longtime huge fan of the different variations of the Werndl rifles and carbines. I have two that I shoot on a semi-regular basis. Reloading for the carbines and the rifles is both easy, fun and rewarding!

    Thanks again for the very interesting offbeat photo!

    Warmest regards,

    JPS


    Here are a few examples from my Collection. ....... Enjoy!

    M1867 Karabiner variations

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Werndl Carbines 67 Cavalry R-1a.jpg 
Views:	3 
Size:	2.50 MB 
ID:	3708379

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Werndl Carbines 67 E-K-Gew R-2a.jpg 
Views:	2 
Size:	2.57 MB 
ID:	3708381

    M1867 Extra-Korps-Gewehr variations

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Werndl Carbines 67 E-K-Gew w Bayonets R-3a.jpg 
Views:	2 
Size:	2.27 MB 
ID:	3708383

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Werndl Carbines 67 E-K-Gew w Bayonets R-4a.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	2.76 MB 
ID:	3708385

    Model 1873 Extra-Korps-Gewehr variations

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Werndl Carbines 73 E-K-Gew w Bayonets R-5a.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	2.86 MB 
ID:	3708387

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    Spectacular! How easy to reload are these? Reminds me I've got to get out the bullet caster for my muzzle-stuffers and rolling block!
    I've seen a Werndl or two and thought they were fascinating, but despaired of being able to keep them up and running.
    Alle Künst ist umsonst, Wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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    Nice
    “Encouraging Grace, border Solvency, OTHERS STRENGTHS, Constitutional resistances to Chaos!”

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    Nice rifles JPS!

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    As usual you do not dissapoint JPS

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    JPS,

    Thank you for your insightful reply. Your collection is amazing and your knowledge on the subject is unsurpassed.

    I wonder what the story behind this photo is. Obviously, the Jewish guards are officially sanctioned and armed, and are working with Landsturm personnel. Is it possible that they are a part of local Landsturm, but were allowed to keep their traditional clothing? Austro-Hungarians were pretty liberal in accommodating various nationalities that populated the Empire. Perhaps here they made an exception for the Jewish population.

    It seems that they are guarding a train station. Any idea what "Varoteren" means?

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    "Varoterem" googles-out to "Waiting Room".
    Always looking for interesting 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser cartridges!!!
    Member: International Ammunition Assoc. (IAA), European Cartridge Research Assoc. (ECRA). Ask me about membership!

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    they Sure beauties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by batjka View Post
    JPS,

    Thank you for your insightful reply. Your collection is amazing and your knowledge on the subject is unsurpassed.

    I wonder what the story behind this photo is. Obviously, the Jewish guards are officially sanctioned and armed, and are working with Landsturm personnel. Is it possible that they are a part of local Landsturm, but were allowed to keep their traditional clothing? Austro-Hungarians were pretty liberal in accommodating various nationalities that populated the Empire. Perhaps here they made an exception for the Jewish population.

    It seems that they are guarding a train station. Any idea what "Varoteren" means?

    Hello batjka,

    Here's my take on the two elderly gentlemen with rifles.

    Regarding the Jewish gentlemen armed with Werndl's, they are most certainly members of a local militia. Under occupation, a local group that knows all of the local inhabitants extremely well, would undoubtedly report to the Landsturm Garrison HQ and operate in some fashion under their command. There is an outside chance that they are actual members of the Landsturm, but personally I doubt it. While it's impossible to know for sure, here is why I think they are from a local militia.

    Between the traditional dress, which might have been allowed, and the snow white beards, my best guess is that they are already too old to actually serve in a Landsturm Battalion. Members who served in the Landsturm were 34 to 55 years old. My beard wasn't anyway near that white when I was 55! Some older men were drafted very late in the war. Do we have a date for this photo???

    But then again I might be wrong as well. WWI was fought on such a grand scale over such a long period of time, just about anything is possible and probably did happen somewhere at sometime. Mine is just a best guess based on studies over the years. ;>)

    Hope this helps!

    Warmest regards,

    JPS

    PS ~ I have a few dozen or so Werndl Rifles. I didn't have photos of these readily available when I posted the examples of the carbines, but I'll wade through my previous back-up hard drives. My laptop crashed a few weeks ago, so I don't have everything available on this new laptop yet.

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    the LANDSTURM SOLDAT in the fore ground, is he also armed with a WERNDL CARBINE , as the JEWISH elder gentlemen are? and I wonder what they used to Cary admonition in I see no cartridge pouches on them, maby in there pockets? any way it is a very rare and interesting photo.

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    Having checked mine - look a bit too long for a carbine, more the rifle length.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staffy View Post
    Having checked mine - look a bit too long for a carbine, more the rifle length.

    The Jewish militia members are carrying rifles, while the Landsturm in the foreground is carrying a carbine.

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    Gotcha - knee to neck, apologies toot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toot View Post
    the LANDSTURM SOLDAT in the fore ground, is he also armed with a WERNDL CARBINE , as the JEWISH elder gentlemen are? and I wonder what they used to Cary admonition in I see no cartridge pouches on them, maby in there pockets? any way it is a very rare and interesting photo.
    The Landsturm soldier has ammo pouches on his belt. The Jewish militiamen might not have been issued ammunition, those bayonets are scary enough. Or they have a couple of rounds in their coat pockets.

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    I saw the LAND STURM SOLDAT with ammo pouches on his belt. I was asking about the JEWISH ELDER GENTILEMEN. I also beleave a few rounds added to the pocket?

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    Quote Originally Posted by toot View Post
    .. to Cary admonition...
    I am sure they have been properly admonished for not having ammo pouches.

    Even Mussorgsky wrote about them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7yIPSmrGfY
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

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