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 Post subject: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Location: United States
Does anyone know anything about the folding type wire reel? Were they used later in the war or throughout the war? How come we don't see many of them, are they rare?

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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:11 pm 
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... Indeed the originals such as yours (or the one shown above) are quite rare, especially in the condition shown.

When I got mine unfortunately the leather straps were in very bad conditions, so I had to exchange some parts (lighter brown pieces).

Be aware that the NVA (eastern German Army) continued to produce the 'Kabelverlegegerät'...

The following pics show my original (field gray painting) on the left, and a NVA version (modified with leather straps) on the right (vice versa on the 2. Pic)

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The easiest to recognize the after war NVA piece are the mounts in which you put the D-rings of the shoulder straps. Original has them facing to the back of the carrier, NVA item facing left and right to the outside. Also the shoulder straps of the NVA are made of canvas... You often find them on eBay saying "late war WH"... Nevertheless I kept the NVA item modified it and painted it dark yellow, as "playing" with an 200€ worth original piece, well - you know what I mean :wink:

Beside the Waa marker mine has a manufacturer sign - a triangle with the letters HEGRA and the date produced below saying 1940 (right wing seen from rear, lower right near the bottom)

Hope this was kind of helpful,
Cheers Fritze


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Thank you Fritze, that really did help a lot. I ask because I have just recently purchased one from a fellow in Austria. Unfortunately if is in rather poor condition and will have to be restored. The lower cross bar is missing and the leather and paint were supposedly burned off in a fire. I got it for 95 euros and am currently awaiting delivery. I jumped on this deal when I saw it because the only wire reels I see for sale, over here in the US, are going for 500 - 550 usd.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Also I must ask, did these have any special purpose? I read somewhere that the were used for 100 w.s. 3-core wire. Were these also used by infantry for field phone wire? One last thing, does anyone have any original photos of this type of reel being used or carried?


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Sorry I do not have any photos of the reel in use... :(

Also I havn't heard about a 'special' usage... What I might have are some spare parts... Let me check tomorrow, maybe I can ease your life a bit while restoring...

500+ is not reasonable... So congrats for the deal! As I said a NVA piece is nearly similar - so the lower cross bar should fit...

Cheers Fritze


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:37 pm 
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Thanks! It would be great to have a fairly correct lower bar. I was contemplating just putting in a solid bar. When I begin the restoration I will put together a photo album of the restoration and share it with all of you. It also is missing the crank, if you happen to have any of those laying around. Otherwise I already have plans to fabricate one.


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:43 pm 
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What colors did this equipment come in? I am stripping the post was paint off of one of my wire reels, really just because there is too much rust, and the original paint was revealed. It appears to be a dark grey, much like your original backpack wire layer. This particular reel is dated 1942.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:28 pm 
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Puh ... Mine (1940) was painted in field gray and I kept it that way, depending which period (early, late war) you intend to use it I would paint it.
Pure early wartime RAL 7021 (dark grey) or late war dark yellow - or - field grey RAL 6006 which fits kinda always IMHO

Haven't had the time to have a look for the parts - stay tuned - will do that tomorrow :wink:

Grüße Fritze


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Thank you Fritze, I am just curious because on this one it was dark grey and on my 1943 it is field grey. I feel bad stripping them, but they are all have fairly bad rust.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:36 pm 
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I had a look in my toolbox, but the only item I found there was the sling for the brake, if you want it - send me your address and I send it to you...

Cheers Fritze


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:50 pm 
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That would be great, but I am in the US, so how much would you like for it?


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Let me check how much shipping applies - the sling you can have for free :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:53 pm 
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Wow, thank your Fritze, I really appreciate this!


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:19 pm 
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shipping cost is peanuts... pls send me your address and I'll send the stuff before I go on vacation!


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 Post subject: Re: Backpack Wire Reel
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:59 pm 
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I really appreciate this Fritze, PM sent!


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