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Thread: Translation of the 'old style' German handwriting from the 1930/40's

  1. #1
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    Translation of the 'old style' German handwriting from the 1930/40's

    Two photographs to hand both dated 23 May 1940 of crashed British aircraft in France

    One clearly a Spitfire, the other perhaps a Hurricane.

    My neighbour, a German national and a translator, tells me the writing on the reverse of the images is in the old style, no longer used and he cannot translate with precise accuracy.

    Any takers?

    Mark



    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  2. #2
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    FWIW, my old-German is not up to scratch, here is what I make of it.

    23. Mai 1940

    Um 14.20 Engl. Spitfire abgeschossen
    Ausrüstung 8 Mg.

    This would translate to:

    23rd of May 1940, at 14:20h, English Spitfire shot down, equipped with 8 machineguns.

    Open to debate, of course.

    EDIT: typo corrected, thank you Antoni
    Last edited by ericmunk; 17th July 2017 at 12:16.

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    shot down?

  4. #4
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    mogl. Spitfire ?

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    Second one looks like:
    23. Mai 1940
    abgeschossener Engländer am Canal du Nord

    ie 23 May 1940, Shot down English at the Canal du Nord
    Laurence

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    Photo 2 looks to be a Hurricane.

    'Canal du Nord', looks good, a couple of Kilometres west of Cambrai and heads north.

    That would be about 60 km from the Spitfire at Wierre Effroy, so close enough to be photographed on the same day...if on official business.

    Very many thanks.

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

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    Quote Originally Posted by smirky View Post
    mogl. Spitfire ?
    Very good possibility. "Possibly Spitfire".

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    Translation of 'possibly'...möglicherweise.

    That could account for why is says 'Spitfire' on the front of the image.

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

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    Quote Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
    Second one looks like:
    23. Mai 1940
    abgeschossener Engländer am Canal du Nord

    ie 23 May 1940, Shot down English at the Canal du Nord
    Sorry I had missed the second one. Yes, looks like you are correct. Kanal is written with a K in the German language, but in this handwriting who could tell? 😉

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    Yes "mogl" usually is the abbreviation of... hence the "Possibly" above. I could have been more specific, apologies.

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    Eric (and Peter): This is the "Canal du Nord" near Cambrai, so they would have used the French spelling, rather than putting a "K". Also, if that abbreviation was "mögl" I think the author would have put in the Umlaut.
    Laurence

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    Quote Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
    Eric (and Peter): This is the "Canal du Nord" near Cambrai, so they would have used the French spelling, rather than putting a "K". Also, if that abbreviation was "mögl" I think the author would have put in the Umlaut.
    Umlauts may not be his strongpoint. I would think that Ausrustung as in item 1 only carries an Umlaut on the second u, not on the third? May be mistaken, German is only a second language...

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    We don't want to make this into a German lesson (although that may be fun!), but the Umlaut on Ausrüstung looks correct. The little line over the third "u" was normal in hand-written German of the 1940s. So I think this "photographer" (if that's what he was) was also an Umlaut expert.
    Laurence

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    I would say it is the bar of the 't'

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    I wouldn't say anything as 'old German' or even 'new German' is a foreign language to me!!
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.6 times!

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    Given that both are the same date, and written in the same hand, then there are two very strong contenders for the Hurricane identity and location, given that we know the location/identify of the Spitfire!
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

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    We don't want to make this into a German lesson (although that may be fun!) .....
    When do we get onto the use of Eszett (ß) ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by avion ancien View Post
    When do we get onto the use of Eszett (ß) ?
    Ah you mean the Dreierles-s? 😁

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    Oder die Ringel-S.

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    Scharfes s.

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    We'll cross that Straße when we get to it?...
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    I think you mean brugge!
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.6 times!

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    Seemingly stupid question................... the images?

  24. #24
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    The images.

    Currently the subject of a little concern to the UK historian who owns the original prints.

    Teasing out these hard to find images does not come cheap in this day and age and I can sympathise having seen some of my special 'finds' escape in to the public domain and copyright claimed by major news agencies. One also being poorly downloaded by a party who repeatedly offers prints for sale on eBay.

    The two small crinkly edged originals in question are interesting in so far that the square image is printed on rectangular format paper leaving a space on the RHS for writing. This suggests to me that the images may be official in some way perhaps for affixing in a report write up, this particularly as one shot shows a German dispatch rider with a sheaf of papers sticking out from his great-coat. The writing on both the front and the rear is clearly in the same hand and the date 23 May 1940 also the same, even though the locations are some kilometres apart. One of the images also carries the time of day, again suggesting official usage rather than just a soldier's personal souvenir record.

    My personal interest is the Spitfire. I have had a copy of the image without writing for some years. It shows just a hole in the ground with some recognisable smashed Spitfire wing structure littered adjacent. The revelation to me last week of the date together with the local geography pins this Spitfire down beyond reasonable doubt to P9373 at Wierre-Effroy the 'Time Team' Spitfire.

    With all the current 'Dunkirk' interest the images are likely to surface in a publication in the near future.

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

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    Thanks Mark12............

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