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Item:
ONSV4401

Original U.S. WWI Named 35th Infantry Division Hate Belt

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. American soldiers were known for their love of souvenirs in the Great War; So, a lot of material history of the war came across the Atlantic with returning soldiers. Among collectors of military memorabilia from World War One "HATE BELTS" are items of interest.

This example offered in excellent condition features a French Brass buckle that is stamped with the following:
JACK. W. ARMOUR
SUP CO 137 US INFT
35 DIV

This incredible belt is mounted on a white back board and measures 35 inches by 2.5 inches wide. It features over 40 buttons, badges, coins and pins from both Allied and Axis nations. It is one of the most stunning examples of a hate belt we've ever seen.

German soldiers' leather belts, and other belts from participating armies, that were festooned with buttons from soldiers uniforms are called Hate Belts / Souvenir Belts / Grave Digger Belts. These made for excellent collector's pieces.

"Hate Belt": the idea was that if an American soldier had killed or captured a German soldier, then he would have the button from the newly deceased or captured soldier attached to his belt as a kind of notch of conquest on his belt. This, no doubt, is the most intriguing explanation for those decorative belts.

"Souvenir Belt": this description is apt for many of the belts that are in circulation today. The souvenir belt would involve a German infantryman's belt being decorated with buttons and tabs from troops BOTH Allied and CENTRAL Powers and kept as a remembrance of The War.

Provisional), as the 1st Infantry Regiment of the Kansas National Guard. The regiment served the state government until mustered into Federal Service at Fort Riley for duty on the Mexico–United States border, under the orders of President Woodrow Wilson, on 27 June 1916. It reached Eagle Pass, Texas on 7 July.

When the US declared war on Germany on 5 April 1917, companies were increased in size from 60 to 150 men, then eventually, to 250 men. On 5 August, the 137th Infantry Regiment was drafted into Federal service. On 1 October it was consolidated with the 2nd Infantry Regiment of the Kansas National Guard to become the 137th Infantry, part of the 35th Division.

1 September saw the regiment moved by truck from the Vosges Mountains to Nancy and then into reserve for the Saint-Mihiel attack of 12–16 September. This surprise attack was so successful that the 35th Division was not used, and it was soon headed for the greatest American battle of the war. 25 September found the 137th Infantry in position facing Vauquois Hill, an impregnable natural fortress the Germans had held over four years. The regiment was relieved by the 1st Infantry Division on 1 October 1918, and after resting in the rear for 10 days, the regiment moved to Verdun and remained in the fighting until 4 November. They were in the thick of fighting until 9 November when they were relieved. The Armistice of 11 November 1918 finally stopped the fighting, after which the regiment returned to Kansas, where it demobilized at Camp Funston between 9 and 11 May 1919.

"Grave Digger Belt" description is self explanatory, to a degree. Troops burying dead soldiers would sometimes remove buttons from those they buried as a remembrance. It is impossible to determine the origin of most belts, but some of these highly collectible belts provide some hints as to their origin. Nevertheless, these belts provide for excellent points of interest for collectors.
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