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air service - gong for officer’s casino

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    SKU: 14-448


    AIR SERVICE – GONG FOR OFFICER’S CASINO. This is a most interesting cross between an Imperial German Air Service squadron’s gong and an intricate piece of trench art. It was intended to be used in an aviation unit Officers’ Casino (Club). All Officers’ Casinos, whether they were for the Infanterie, Kavallerie, Artillerie, Imperial German Air Service or other military units, were intended as a retreat for their officers where they could relax and enjoy companionship off-duty. [Please note: Air Squadron Officers’ Casinos were far more informal and relaxed than those of other military units. For one thing, they were closer to the Front. The other regiments’ more formal casinos, which existed prior to WWI, were located in the cities wherein each regiment was garrisoned. The Air Squadrons’ informality also may have been a by-product of aviation’s high casualty rates. Pilots and observers were killed in action or taken prisoner so frequently that their squadron mates could hardly keep up with the constant turnover of personnel. Some of the Air Squadron Casinos were the scene of riotous parties and drinking bouts as surviving officers tried to calm their nerves, mourned the loss of their friends, and tried to forget that they might suffer the same fate during their next mission. Front-line squadrons, especially the hunting squadrons known as Jastas, had severe attrition rates. Replacement pilots who had not gained sufficient dogfighting skills were feasted on by the enemy. A significant number of pilots did not last beyond their first five missions].…


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