Kappenabzeichen on postcards

26th trench mortar company

Gábor Csiszér’s extremely interesting postcard is the main topic of the post. The card is not a unique piece, it is reproduced in print, but as you can see is quite simple, hand-drawn. Death, traveling on a trench mortar projectile, is a good expression of the role this firearm plaid in trench warfare. The Hungarian-language recollections regularly report that Italians are “sending cats”. This term referred to the whining sound given by the projectile before impact. This was followed by an explosion that was devastating in the case of larger-caliber projectiles.

A wide variety of trench mortars were widely used in the army of the Monarchy too. The badge attached to the post represents an M 17 14 cm device. The hand drawn piece on the postcard is similar. According to the caption of the picture, the card was made for the 26th mortar company. This battery was part of the first artillery regiment of the 26th Infantry Division. It should be noted about the organization that every second of the mixed artillery regiments created after the reorganization in 1918 also had a trench mortar battery. The other regiment, numbered over 100, did not have it, but an anti-aircraft battery.

According to contemporary data, most batteries had fewer than the required 16 devices. Most of these were “old material”. The most advanced devices, manufactured in 1917, have reached roughly half of the batteries, 2-4 per battery. Otherwise, the devices of the batteries showed a completely mixed picture. Each caliber was usually represented from 9 cm to 22 cm (occasionally 26 cm). As you can see, the 14cm device was a medium caliber. The 26th Landwehr Infantry Division consisted of four infantry regiments from the northern part of the Czechia, the Sudetenland.

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