This website is dedicated exclusively to providing and collecting information about the cleaning kits used by the Germans in the Second World War from the point of view of a simple collector.

This blog has no sympathy or support to the Nazi regime that devastated Europe on the 40's. Also personally, when I see one of these kits manufactured on the war years, I think of the possibility that maybe it was made by a foreign forced worker under harsh conditions.

Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik (I)

 The company Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik G.m.b.H. was located at the city of Braunschweig, a place well known for its canning industry. Before the war this firm worked with sheet metal items like signs, containers,...  In 1940 it was assigned by the Heereswaffenamt the "arr" letter code, although later at the end of 1944 was changed -for unknown reason- to "rco".
  The "arr" code has been observed also stamped on MG related items like barrel carriers, belt drums, ammo cans and also on metal boxes containing cleaning items for the Flak 18.


#1. Two kits made by Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik in 1941 and marked with their code arr. Both have the Waffenamt WaA57 inside the lid. The kit on top is painted in dark green and dark grey on lower.

  Some collectors are from the opinion that the "arr" letter code is the substitution of the "Ky" manufacturer markings made in 1941 in order to fulfill the order to use the secret codes assigned by the HWA to the Rüstungsfirms. In my opinion the "Ky" markings correspond only to Aktien-Maschinenfabrik Kyffhäuserhütte, although this firm and Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik -as can be seen- could have some connection.
  The reason of this confusion may be due to the coincidence of the ending/starting of the production on these two manufacturers in the year 1941 and that these kits have several similarities, like the use of cases without reinforcing ribs, maker markings/code found on the small compartment lid, and particularly by the presence of the same Waffenamt "WaA57" stamped also inside the lid. However upon close inspection, the cases have slight -but evident- differences.

#2. The Waffenamt WaA57 stamped inside on an arr41 marked kit, and typically found also on Ky1940 and Ky1941 marked kits

  One characteristic of the Rg34 kits made -or assembled- by Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik is the presence often of many subcontracted parts on them. Really, the only parts observed with their code "arr"/"rco" are cases and takedown tools, so it's common to find chains marked with the codes: "ayw", "kcy" and "hlv" ("hly"?), and also tools with "ayw" code, as well as sometimes unmarked pieces that surely are subcontracted also.
  With regard to the oilers, it's common the presence of phenolic oilers and in mid and late war kits simplified and stamped metal oilers, that in my opinion may be subcontracted also. No oiler with "arr" or "rco" markings has surfaced until today.
 


#3. Several cleaning chains found inside of Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik kits:
a. ayw41 marked.
b. kcy marked.
c. unmarked (from an arr42 kit).
d. unmarked (from an arr43 kit).
e. hlv43 marked.
f. unmarked (from an arr43 kit).
g. unmarked (from an arr4 kit).
h. unmarked (from a rco44 kit).

  Another feature of Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik kits is the variety of Waffenamt's that we can observe on their cases as well as its no presence in many kits. The no presence of the WaA stamp on the case simply indicate us that don't passed the official military control, but it is sure that these kits were rushed also into the Wehrmacht.


#4. The five different Waffenamt's normally observed on Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik kits.
From top left: WaA57, WaA750, WaA068, WaA392 and WaA20.
All stamped inside the lid, except the WaA20 that is on the lid's front.

  I'm from the opinion that Brausweigische Blechwarenfabrik was an assembler of Rg34 kits, manufactured only cases and takedown tools - perhaps brushes also - and used a lot of subcontracted parts for to complete them. With regard to the machined simplified oilers and the stamped oilers tipically found into arr kits, more research is needed to try to know if were made by Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik or were subcontracted also.
  A possibility would be that Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik manufactured the cases, some were completed by itself using many subcontracted parts, and other perhaps shipped to another facility for to be completed. This would explain the presence of so many different Waffenamts, althoug the Behälter is identical - see picture #5 -.

#5. Three arr43 kits, with WaA57 on top, WaA20 in the middle and without WaA below. The cases and paint finish are the same.

  More research is needed also for to clarify if those kits were completed by Kyffhäuserhütte - a good example of this would be the kit shown in picture #10, #11 and #12 - and G. Appel firms -in their own facilities or at other place-, and also what type of collaboration between them existed.

  Another very prominent feature of the  kits is their big variety in their code/year stamping dies that we can observe in their cases. You will find more detailed info about the variants here: Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik kits (II): Collector variants

   Some interesting words about Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik made by Wolfgang, an advanced collector:

  "One can explain the different (or missing) WaA stamps with the repeated air raids on Brunswick and the destructions of the factory. A possible explanation would be that parts of the production were sent to branches or other companies to carry out the final manufacture there. This would also explain the different manufacturer's stamps etc. The dual line arr4 stamp is not symmetric. The “4” is not centered under the “arr”. To me, it looks like this stamp was made from an earlier stamp, with the last digit ground off.
  The Braunschweigische Blechwarenfabrik was located in the Frankfurter Strasse 2 - 5. This street was heavily damaged with the following air raids:
2/20/1944 and 4/8/1944. The damage caused by these two air raids was at the rate of 2,000,000 imperial marks in the manufacturing plants.
The following air raids in: 5/19/1944, 5/23/1944 and in the 8/5/1944 caused other considerable destructions in the Frankfurter Strasse. On a photo from the autumn 1944 the almost completely destroyed manufacturing plants can be seen.
  Nevertheless, another 467 workers are announced at that time for the Brunswick metal goods factory. Of it were 156 slave workers (mostly female Polish), 83 other foreigners and 4 PoWs (probably Belgian).
  But where did they work? Probably in (so far) unknown branches of the factory, or in impromptu manufacturing facilities."



  Several good examples of typical kits manufactured or assembled by Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik:

1941

#6. arr41 kit with WaA57.


#7. Inner view of the arr41 kit shown above. Note the phenolic oiler, takedown tool is missing.

#8. Another arr41 kit with WaA57.


#9. The inner view of the kit shown above. With phenolic oiler, kcy marked cleaning chain and ayw41 takedown tool.


1942

#10. arr42 kit with WaA57.

#11. Inner side of the kit shown above.

#12. The parts of the same kit. Note that the oiler has no markings but evident sings of being made also by Aktien-Maschinenfabrik Kyffhäuserhütte.

#13. arr42 kit with WaA750.

#14. Inner view of the kit shown before.

#15. The parts of the same kit.


1943

#16. arr43 kit without WaA.

#17. Inner view of the kit shown before.


#18. The parts of the same kit.


1944

#19. arr4 kit with WaA57.

#20. The parts of the kit shown before. Note the crudeness of the simplified oiler and the use of late war Kriegsmodell style chain.


#21. Anothr arr4 kit with WaA57.

#22. Inner view of the kit shown before.

#23. arr marked only kit without WaA.

#24. Inner view of the kit shown before. Note the presence of a stamped oiler and a Kriegsmodell style chain. Takedown tool is misisng.

A picture of the contents of an undated arr kit of 1944, showing typical late war parts found inside of Braunsweigische Blechwarenfabrik kits, except the chain. This style of chain is frequently found only inside late kits from G.Appel and Hawig.



#25. arr 4 (dual line) kit without WaA.

#26. Inner view of the kit shown before. Note also the presence of the simplified oiler and Kriegsmodell style chain. Takedown tool is misisng.


#27. rco44 kit without WaA

#28. Inner view of the kit shown before.

#29. The parts of the same kit. Note the presence of a phenolic oiler.


1945

#30. rco45 kit without WaA.

#31. Inner view of the kit shown before.



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