Lot 784

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Superb grouping of war-date and post-war items from the personal collection of Colonel Rufus Bratton, the Army infantry and intelligence officer whose work and actions during the Pearl Harbor attack were fictionalized in the movie Tora Tora Tora". In 1943, the Army transferred Bratton to the position of Headquarters Commandant for Patton's Third Army--keeping Bratton in close contact with Patton from the Third Army's Nazi-greased trek through France to their post-war occupation of Berlin. Bratton organized operations from the shores of France to the bombed-out buildings of Berlin, and recorded his experience in a large scrapbook. The scrapbook, with sixty-six 11 1/2" x 10" pages of content, holds 130 b/w photographs, official and personal papers, various mementos and other items chronicling Bratton's years in the Third Army. Notable items include: Original press photo (Signal Corps), 8" x 10" b/w, of Patton receiving a Bronze Star directly from Omar Bradley; original press photo (Signal Corps) of Harry A. "Paddy" Flint's funeral service after his death under fire at Normandy; personal photographs of destroyed Berlin structures, including one 3" x 5" b/w, of Hitler's inner office; fine, original Hoffman-stamped postcard photo of Hitler in a bust pose; original meal ticket ("Gutschein fur 1 Mittagessen") from Hitler's Chancellory of the NSDAP, dated Nov. 13, 1941 (day before Battle of Moscow); original V-2 label and personal photo of the V-2 factory at Nordhausen. Of particular interest is the collection of post-war/occupation Berlin items. Bratton's book contains photos of the Soviet District after the war, official passes and documents allowing him to move between districts, and a poignant montage of life for defeated Germans: included are photos of German ration lines, a thriving black market in a city square, and side-by-side images of destitute German soldiers contrasted with crisp Allied troops on parade, with the holographic caption, "The Master Race" contrasted with "Masters of the Master Race". Lot also includes original copies of Army comic strips, many photographs of occupied Berlin, mementos of Bratton's other European billets, dozens of loose photographs, and several items related to Bratton's post-war life. A superb addition to any collection of militaria, from a uniquely positioned participant in some of WWII's most decisive actions.

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January 21, 2010 10:00 AM EST
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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