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Discussion Starter #1
greetings, my dad brought back a Mauser P38 from WWII (it has the byf 43 markings)

There's two square fluted starlike things on the Holster flap and I cannot figure out with internet searchs what they are. He was in Germany, 3rd army, first unit to cross the Rhine if that helps any.

Appreciate any insight into these markings.
 

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The closest English translation would be "rank pips," which is what the Brits call them. The more pips, the higher the rank. Brits only use them for officers, but Germany in WWII used them from PFC to General, depending on size, color, location, and underlay. Two pips would usually mean a Sgt. or Lieutenant, but the Germans never put them on holsters. Most likely the GI who had this holster took the pips off a uniform's rank insignia and stuck them on the holster as decoration.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks lads, this was puzzling me because it's out of character for my dad to decorate things, he said they traded war capture prizes amongst the GI's so perhaps it was done by someone he traded with.

My dad brought back a whole box of nazi souveniers, medals, currancy, flags and kept them in a metal shoe box, my brother and I knew about them and looked at them from time to time but my sister didn't know about it.

Fast forward 40 years and we're helping my parents pack for a move to a over 55 community. My sister had married and converted to the Jewish faith some 25 years earlier.

She was packing up my dads office and came across and opened the metal box, She's yelling to me to 'come here' and I hurried in, her eyes big as saucers as she holds up this swastika flag, thinking my dad was a secret neo nazi. I got a good chuckle out of that.
 

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Yes, trading was huge among the troops immediately after the war. A lot of front line troops did not spend the time or risk collecting, so the guys who moved in and cleaned up the area often got the goodies. Combat GIs had to do some trading to get the stuff they left behind during/after battle. Thus, your estimate someone else decorated the holster is right on the money.
 
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