Product Description: This rare 29″ Railway Eagle could be the centerpiece of a collection display. It’s a very nice eagle that truly has “the look.” The front retains all of the beautiful original patina from age and being used on a train, especially in the crevices. There is one very small hole in the center of the neck of the eagle, probably done to hang this for display. Two of the three bolts on the back have been removed, most likely done when this was taken off of a train. The best part of this unique eagle is found on the back, where the soldier who took this as a souvenir scratched in his name, unit and the details of when and where this was obtained: “SGT. C T. WITTY, “A” BTRY 493AFA, 12TH AMOR. DIV, JANUARY 1945, BISCHWILLER, FRANCE.” We looked up the soldier’s name and did find a photo of him with his unit. Besides this great veteran inscription, the eagle is also well-marked on the back with “PS” within a circle, indicating manufacture by the firm of Bernhard Pinter. It is also marked “WAGEN 720 GAL-Mg-Si” (Gal=Galvanized Aluminum, Mg=Magnesium, Si=Silicon), and with the abbreviation “RZA 7” indicating Zug Adler (Train Eagle) 7, and “BLN” for Berlin. The undisturbed patina on the reverse is very nice. The overall size of this impressive piece is 28 3/4″ by 15 1/2″. If you were looking for a really great eagle to add to your collection, this would be the one; it’s bigger than the standard 24″ and has the vet’s info to boot. The condition of this Rare 29″ Railway Eagle rates as excellent plus.
Historical Description: During the Third Reich, all rail transport was nationalized and organized under the German Reichsbahn. Reichsbahn rail cars were state property and included everything from the locomotives used for transporting freight, to passenger cars, street cars and trolleys. In the Nazi era, and during WWII, the Reichsbahn adorned their locomotives and passenger rail cars with large metal decorative German eagle and swastika national emblems. These were made in various sizes and had a variety of finishes to suit different purposes and vehicle types. Generally, these eagles were manufactured from aluminum or zinc alloy, with integral threaded studs on the reverse that were used to affix these to the fronts of rail cars. These eagles had a striking and imposing appearance and were an iconic part of Nazi regalia. After the war, Allied denazification policies required these to be removed. Many were destroyed, though these were eagerly sought after by Allied troops hunting for souvenirs. They are extremely collectible and desirable artifacts today.
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