Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

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    ypres
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    Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by ypres on Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:49 pm

    Looking through Nicholson today and found a nice section on page 122 .. titled "The First Trench Raids" .... page 124 states,

                       " All identifying marks had been removed from clothing, and the raiders carried no distinguishing Canadian equipment such as the Ross rifle. All wore crepe masks. Attached to their Lee-Enfields were flashlights to be turned on in the enemy trenches to dazzle the occupants of the dugouts."

    Any ideas on what a crepe mask would have looked like ? Why wear a mask anyway ? Also any idea of the flashlight? My feeling is the tubular type since any other would very difficult to attach to the rifle.


    Ypres



    Wgrenadier
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    Re: Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by Wgrenadier on Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:44 pm

    I'm guessing they looked something like this...



    Just kidding, I'm not really sure what the masks would have looked like. As for the flashlights, it would be neat to find a WWI example with some sort of mounting for attachment to a rifle...

    ypres
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    Re: Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by ypres on Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:07 pm

    I'm not sure there would have been a specific mount at that point in the war. I think many of the strategies and equipment used would have been improvised during these early raids. There would have been no precedent or previous experience these guys could use to develop these attacks. It is obvious thought was put into them but much of it must have been trail and error. I think the lights may have been tied or taped to the rifle during these first raids.

    Ypres

    Wgrenadier
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    Re: Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by Wgrenadier on Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:29 pm

    I guess I'm not really sure what the time-frame is for the raids in the excerpt above. The torch shown in the picture looks like it was made by the Efandem Company, Limited...

    http://www.historywebsite.co.uk/Museum/Engineering/Electronics/Efandem/history.htm

    I'm not certain, but I think this style of torch was manufactured mostly between 1917-1919 (and into the early 1920's).

    ypres
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    Re: Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by ypres on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:10 pm


    This one is 1916 dated


    Wgrenadier
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    Re: Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by Wgrenadier on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:14 pm

    Nice example! Very Happy

    Perhaps the earlier ones were all used up in the trenches!

    ypres
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    Re: Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by ypres on Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:08 pm

    Thinking about the crepe ... perhaps its was black veiling and they wore it to blacken their faces. To us it would seem logical to use boot polish but these guys were the first to do such raids. Our 21st century hindsight makes some of the things that occurred during the war almost seem illogical.

    Ypres

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    Re: Crepe Masks, Flashlights and Trench Raids

    Post by Wgrenadier on Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:59 pm

    Very true! They probably weren't too concerned with taking photographs at the time either...

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