Original German Pre-WWII Weimar Republic Lion's Head Reichsheer Officer Sword by Wilkinson Sword Co of London
Original Item: Only One Available. During the years immediately following the Armistice that ended WWI, German industry as a whole was in shambles. The country was occupied by the Allied powers, and there were severe restrictions on anything related to weapons construction.
However, Germany still did need to have armed forces of some level, and they needed officer's swords just like any military. It looks like during this time outside contractors such as the famous Wilkinson Sword Company were allowed to manufacture and retail swords within Weimar period Germany. This sword conforms very well to the typical German "Lion's Head" pattern, and even has the "oak leaves and acorn" motif on the inside of the "P" shaped guard.
The sword has a 32 1/2" nickel plated blade, etched with standard infantry style motifs as well as much floral work. The blade is in excellent condition, and still has the original unsharpened blunt edge. It is etched with the Wilkinson logo on the ricasso, partly obscured by one of the langets:
(Coat of Arms)
It is also marked MADE IN ENGLAND on the spine, which dates the sword to the early 1920s, when new import restrictions for the United States dictated clearly marked country of origin markings. Makers worldwide had no reason to have different formats for specific countries, so they all added origin markings of a similar form.
The sword has a very nice wire wrapped sharkskin grip, common for higher end WWI era swords. Aside from the Royal Coat of Arms that is a part of the Wikinson markings, there are no Royal Cyphers or any other kind of identifying markings in the etching or elsewhere. This may have been to disguise where the sword was going, or was intended to be marked later.
The included nickel plated brass fit scabbard is in very good condition, with the plating retained well, showing light overall oxidation and a bit of bubbling.
A very nice Interwar Period sword by Wilkinson, most likely made for the German market. Ready to research and display!
Blade Length: 32 1/2"
Blade Style: Single Edge w/ Fuller
Overall length: 37 3/4“
Guard: 5"L x 5 1/2"W
Scabbard Length: 33"
The Weimar Republic (German: Weimarer Republik), officially the German Reich (Deutsches Reich), also referred to as the German People's State (Deutscher Volksstaat) or simply the German Republic (Deutsche Republik), was the German state from 1918 to 1933. As a term, it is an unofficial historical designation that derives its name from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the republic remained the German Reich as it had been during the German Empire because of the German tradition of substates.
Although commonly translated as "German Empire," Reich here better translates as "realm" in that the term does not necessarily have monarchical connotations in itself. The Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was usually known simply as Germany, and the Weimar Republic name became mainstream only in the 1930s.
The Reichswehr (English: Realm Defense) formed the military organization of Germany from 1919 until 1935, when it was united with the new Wehrmacht (Defense Force). At the end of World War I, the forces of the German Empire were disbanded, the men returning home individually or in small groups. Many of them joined the Freikorps (Free Corps), a collection of volunteer paramilitary units that were involved in suppressing the German Revolution and border clashes between 1918 and 1923.
The Reichswehr was limited to a standing army of 100,000 men, and a navy of 15,000. The establishment of a general staff was prohibited. Heavy weapons such as artillery above the caliber of 105 mm (for naval guns, above 205 mm), armored vehicles, submarines and capital ships were forbidden, as were aircraft of any kind. Compliance with these restrictions was monitored until 1927 by the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control.
The Reichsheer was the Army Division of the Reichswehr.
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