What really makes so special this work, is the history that inspired it. I recommend you to read it, since it’s very fascinating.
I shall not be me to narrate it, but the researcher who has spent nearly a quarter of a century to recompose all puzzle tiles.
Everything stems from a photo taken 70 years ago, on a mountain road in the Istrian region, during a counterinsurgency operation, carried out by a unit of the SS-Karstwehr- Btl…
“In june 1990 I was just a kid in love with war and militaria. Every month I used to wait with anxiety for the new issue of the only Militaria magazine published at the time. I clearly remember the day I’ve seen for the first time that picture published on that very same magazine, and how I’ve fallen in love with the Tarnjacke worn by the SS man, keep wondering for the following years who those guys were and if had they managed to survive the war.
The picture was briefly captioned, but at the time I wasn’t even aware what the SS-Karstwehr-Btl. was and that was deployed in action mainly pretty close to my home. Growing up I’ve lost a bit of interest into Militaria due personal problems and, of course, money problems, so I’ve kind of forgotten of that picture. But any time I was at home, and while reading that Militaria magazine issue again, I always felt very fascinated by that picture. I can’t even explain clearly why. Anyway, job, girlfriends, everyday life, and the kid dreams got leveled step by step. At one point I got back with passion to military history but as researcher now, focused on the WWI and WWII events that happened close to my place of birth, mainly interested into pictures. Mainly due to that, I got fascinated again by that pictures, so I’ve tried to learn more about it under all aspects: luckily enough I’ve also managed, after an hard detective work, to find the actual owner of the original picture and buy it off him along with a big group of serie of pictures taken by the same photographer and related to very same operation of the one which I was researching about. Thanks to these additional pictures I was able to ID date, exact location (to the meter!) and operation during the shot was taken. Unbelievably the location was very close to my home. But the SS man was still a perfect Mr. no-one to me. Few years later, a friend that was writing a book about the unit the pictures were related to, asked me if I would allow him to use that one along with some more images from my archive, for such a project, which I’ve agreed. Few years forward again, we are in 2009 now and here I am reading the book, just published, noticing that that very same SS man was pictured also on other pictures published there, that didn’t belonged to me but were credited to some veterans of that unit. Very excited, I’ve called my friend immediately telling him about my discovery, just to be replied in a very relaxed way something like “Oooh, yes, I’ve got the others pictures you are referring to from that very same SS veteran depicted on your picture…he is still alive and he lives 100 km. away from you..”. I couldn’t believe my ears. The guy was still alive and so close for all these years! I’ve managed to obtain from my friend the telephone number of that veteran, and few minutes later I was talking to him: we agreed to fix an appointment at his home, and two days later, in a very hot and sunny spring’s day, I was talking to him about that picture and everything related to it and his service in that unit. After that, and after having a copy of my picture being signed by the vet, I got happily back home. That was a.D. 2010. But I still couldn’t believe this tale, if it hasn’t really happened to me.”