Original German WWII Army Officer Dove Head Sword by WKC Waffenfabrik with Scabbard & Portepee
Original Item: Only One Available. This Army Dove Head Sword is a very nice example, produced by the renowned Solingen-based firm of WKC Waffenfabrik, previously Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie. It comes complete with its original black enamel scabbard and a wire and leather portepee sword knot.
The hilt of this example is produced from later war aluminum alloy, which was then gilt. All of the details are still there, though the gilt finish has lifted and flaked away in areas, and is only retained at about 50% now. The dove head and backstrap are engraved with oak leaves and laurel leaves, a common decoration used on German ceremonial edged weapons, as well as with other types of foliage. The "flat" P guard bears the famous "oak leaves and acorns" motif, as does the ferrule at the top of the grip. There are lots of hand enhancing and many of the backgrounds have received pebbled decoration.
The chappe/langet features a raised out spread winged Wehrmacht eagle, which shows excellent detail to his beak, eye, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons and mobile clutched swas. The areas around the swas are lightly pebbled. The grip of this example is a black celluloid over a carved wood base. The celluloid is still in perfect condition with no cracking or chipping. The grip is wrapped with triple sets of twisted wire, which show some level of oxidation. The entire hilt is still tight on the guard, a rarity with these swords. The leather and wire portepee or troddle knot is in good shape, with the expected wear and degradation of the leather where it is wrapped around the guard.
The blade is 29 1/2 inches long, with the original leather blade washer is in place. This blade is of highest quality steel and reflects a mirror with its bright nickel finish. This blade is in near full mint condition, which unfortunately makes getting good photographs nearly impossible. There is no damage to the blade, and the nickel plate is in fantastic condition.
The ricasso is stamped with the trademark "Knight's Helmet" (Ritter-helm) over WKC logo of legendary maker WKC Waffenfabrik GmbH of Solingen. This company is a famous manufacturer of military swords and cutlery in Solingen, Germany - a city famous since the middle ages for its metal-working and craftsmanship in sword making. Unfortunately the chappe/rainguard mostly covers the logo, so photographing the logo is difficult.
Per J. Anthony Carter’s work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, the traditional manufacturing of swords at WKC dates back to the year 1774 when the Weyersberg first registered the ''Kings head'' as their trademark. Later in 1883 the company merged with the Kirschbaums and the company Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie was formed, which continued into the Weimar Period. It then rebranded as W.K.C. Waffenfabrik GmbH, and produced many edged weapons during the NSDAP Period. The company is still in operation today.
The steel scabbard of this example is straight throughout. The black enamel paint of this scabbard is mostly complete, with some flaking on the drag and on a few areas of the body, which have now oxidized. It also has the usual checking and crazing of age, showing that it has not been repainted. It still retains both throat screws, the hanger loop, and the slot for hitching up the sword to the belt when indoors.
Overall an excellent example of a German Army Officer Dove Head sword from a legendary maker, complete with scabbard and portepee. Ready to display!
Overall length: 34 1/2”
Blade length: 29 1/2”
Blade Style: Single Edged with Fuller
Guard dimensions: 5" width x 4 1/2” length
Scabbard Length:30 1/2"
The German Army (German: Heer, was the land forces component of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces, from 1935 to 1945. The Wehrmacht also included the Kriegsmarine (Navy) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force). During World War II, a total of about 15 million soldiers served in the German Army, of whom about seven million became casualties. Separate from the army, the Waffen-SS (Armed SS) was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. Growing from three regiments to over 38 divisions during World War II, it served alongside the army but was never formally part of it.
Only 17 months after AH announced publicly the rearmament program, the Army reached its projected goal of 36 divisions. During the autumn of 1937, two more corps were formed. In 1938, four additional corps were formed with the inclusion of the five divisions of the Austrian Army after the Anschluss in March. During the period of its expansion by Adolf AH, the German Army continued to develop concepts pioneered during World War I, combining ground (Heer) and air (Luftwaffe) assets into combined arms teams. Coupled with operational and tactical methods such as encirclements and the "battle of annihilation", the German military managed quick victories in the two initial years of World War II, prompting the use of the word Blitzkrieg (literally lightning war, meaning lightning-fast war) for the techniques used.
The German Army entered the war with a majority of its infantry formations relying on the horse for transportation. The infantry remained foot soldiers throughout the war; artillery also remained primarily horse-drawn. The motorized formations received much attention in the world press in the opening years of the war, and were cited as the main reason for the success of the German invasions of Poland (September 1939), Norway and Denmark (April 1940), Belgium, France and Netherlands (May 1940), Yugoslavia (April 1941) and the early campaigns in the Soviet Union (June 1941). However their motorized and tank formations accounted for only 20% of the Heer's capacity at their peak strength.
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