This is German soldiers gas mask tin which has a lot of its original green paintwork but also has some surface rust on the outside from being left in the elements for many years the tin is very nice relic condition.The tin is dated 1943 on the pull strap clip but with no maker marking or date on the inside on spare gas eyelets box cover on the outside does have some rust holes and damage from exposure to the elements but the green paintwork is fantastic must still have 80-90 % of the original paintwork very clear to see.The lid this opens and closes but does not lock it has the locking catch but missing its cloth pull cord the hinge is broken so the lid comes off the tin on the inside it is in very nice condition with a lot of original colour the tin is in nice solid condition it has been very well cleaned and perfect for display or any collection and a cracking example of a battlefield recovered tin one of the best i have had.This gas mask tin along with other parts were taken from abandoned German vehicles after the war in the village of Mont which is just North of Houffalize all the vehicles belonged to the 116th Panzer Division.It was taken of the vehicle properly in around 1946-1948 by a local farmer who was taking the parts of vehicles for use on his farm the tin its self along with other bits of equipment were found in a outbuilding by a local collector who bought them from the farm and had them in his private collection until 2018 when they left the Ardennes area for the first time since the war.This is a very nice relic from the Ardennes Forest campaign during the battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-1945.This real bit of history from this famous battle which was Hitlers last offensive in the West.
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The 116th Panzer Division, also known as the "Windhund (Greyhound) Division", was an armoured formation that was constituted in the Rhineland and Westphalia areas of western Germany in March 1944 from the remnants of the 16th Panzergrenadier Division, and the 179th Reserve Panzer Division. The 16th had suffered heavy casualties in combat on the Eastern Front near Stalingrad, and the 179th was a second-line formation that had been on occupation duty in France since 1943.
The 116th Panzer Division participated in the failed Ardennes offensive. On the 10th December 1944 in the days before the offensive started it was partly refitted, with 26 Panzer 4 Tanks and 43 Panther Tanks and 25 Jagdpanther tank destroyers (of which 13 were combat ready). However, it was still missing much of its organic transport. Initially stalled by the resistance and then poor bridges in attacks to cross the Our River at Luetzkampen and Ouren it back-tracked to march through Belgium from Dasburg to Houffalize. The division then fought its way as the middle spearhead of the advance on the Meuse from Samree to La Roche. It was then involved in heavy fighting at Hotton and Verdenne, where it was turned back at its furthest advance in the Ardennes. It later held the Allies at bay for other units to retreat, before being withdrawn over the Rhine in March 1945.Its commander was General Siegfried von Waldenburg for the Ardennes offensive and until the 18 April 1945 when the majority of the division was forced to surrender to the U.S. Ninth Army, having been trapped in the Ruhr Pocket.