Original German WWII Metropolitan Police Officer M35 Leather Dispatch Map Case - RBNr. Marked
Original Item: Only One Available. Map cases were issued on a limited basis to specifically designated personnel such as unit commanders, pilots, and observers. The M35 map/dispatch case was based on the Weimar era, Reichsheer pattern map/dispatch case with minor variations. The M35 map/dispatch case underwent a front closure modification in mid-1936, and an additional small front pocket was added in 1938, although the early pattern cases continued to be manufactured through-out the war.
Made of black pebbled leather, this M35 map case is in very good used condition! It conforms completely to the mid war issue listed in Uniforms and Traditions of the German Army 19330-1945 pages 150-152, by Angolia & Schucht. It featuresdouble map compartments, individual storage pockets for seven pens / pencils / grease markers, slide rule pocket and vintage meter scale pocket. The front has a 1/3 size top flap with single closure strap and buckle, with a pair of adjustable belt loops with buckles on rear.
The inside of the top flap is marked with RB-Nr. 0/0833/0011, and the top has an aluminum NSDAP Civic Polizei (Police) emblem attached. The black color of the case indicates use by Gemeindepolizei (Local Metropolitan Police), as compared to the brown used by the Rural police.
Condition of the case is very good, with deterioration and wear commensurate with the age. There is some cracking at the fold areas of the leather such as the top flap and one of the belt loops. Otherwise, the case is in really nice shape.
A very nice piece of genuine German WWII field gear, ready to research and display!
More on the RBNr. System:
Reichsbetriebsnummer or RB number (also represented as RB Nr or Rbnr). Before the war, the Germans set up a system for registering and recording the factory information, the Reichsbetriebskartei. This was to help enable machine tabulation of facts and figures. It was from this that the Reichsbetriebsnummer came into being. The Reichsministerium für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion (Ministry for Armaments and War Production) files survive today in the Bundesarchiv, however, these are only fragmentary. There is a holding file from the working group created by the Office of Machine Reporting in the Armament Office of the Reich Ministry for Armaments and War Production - their main focus was the operations of the industry group for which an economic interest was Armour production. This index provides information on the most important data of the companies covered by it, production profile, operating area, number of employees and the responsible operator.
As a prerequisite for the intended use of the punch-card method in the armaments industry, it was this system which gave rise to the Rbnr. The operating numbers were assigned by the competent local district offices of Machine reporting. (Bezirksstellen des Maschinellen Berichtswesens.) The index is in the form of index cards that are accessible numerically (approximately 14 meters of index cards!). Access to this register is only possible through the naming of this company, stating the place of production. The Reichsministerium für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion files have multiple entries on the introduction of the factory and also the lot no.
The Rbnr code was used from 1943 onwards and replaced the makers name and address (or company logo) on government contract uniforms, caps and field equipment and knives. It is either rubber ink stamped on cloth or die stamped onto leather & metal items. It has been written countless times that this numeric code system was introduced as a security measure to help mask production locations. This was not the case but it was perhaps, a helpful by- product of the system. It is not unknown to find the Rbnr together with the maker’s info. Had it been a security measure, clearly this practise would have been banned.
So what was the Rbnr? It was a nine digit number and was normally represented thus: RB Nr: 0/000/0000.
The first prefix number could range from 0 through to 9. This number determined the membership of the various groups in the realm of Trade and Industry (Reichsgruppenleitzahl)
• 0 Industry
• 1 Crafts
• 2 Commercial wholesale trading companies
• 3 Banking
• 4 Insurance Companies
• 5 Energy (Electrical companies and such)
• 6 Tourism (Including Hotels, Wine and Mineral Water companies)
• 7 Traffic
• 8 Food Industry
• 9 Not otherwise mentioned groups
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