Original German WWII Army Officer Dove Head Sword with Scabbard by ALCOSO of Solingen
Original Item: Only One Available. This Army Dove Head Sword is a very nice ALCOSO produced version. The hilt of this example is produced of quality brass base with gilt on the hilt and all of the details are still there, though the gilt finish has mostly worn away. The dove head and backstrap, are engraved with oak leaves and acorns, a common decoration used on German ceremonial edged weapons. The "flat" P guard repeats this 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 Wehrmacht eagle which shows excellent detail to his beak, eye, breast feathering, wing feathering, talons and mobile clutched swastika. The areas around the swastika are lightly pebbled. The grip of this example is a black celluloid over a carved wood base. The celluloid is still in perfect bright condition. The grip is wrapped with triple sets of twisted wire, though the wrapping is a bit loose, as is the grip back strap.
The steel scabbard of this example is straight throughout. The black enamel paint of this scabbard is almost complete, with just a few areas where it is missing. It also has the usual checking and crazing of age, and one of the two screws that retain the throat is missing.
The blade is 32 1/2 inches long, with the original blade washer is in place. This blade is of highest quality steel and reflects a mirror bright nickel finish. This blade is in near full mint condition. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the trademark Alcoso used from 1937-1939. It depicts the scales with the firm's initials, ACS interspersed. Above is the firm's name, ALCOSO in an arch shape and below the town of business, SOLINGEN, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.
Alcoso is a trade name of Alexander Coppel & Co. KG, Stahlwarenfabrik, located in Solingen, the legendary German "City of Blades." The company was a major manufacturer of edged weapons and tools from the end of the 19th century up until the WWII period. Unfortunately, as Nazi-control increased, brothers Carl Gustav and Dr. Alexander Coppel, the Jewish owners of the firm, were forced out. In 1936 the firm had been "Aryanized", and started using the name ALCOSO to hide the Jewish family name. By the end of 1936 the brothers were ejected from their Solingen offices, and by 1940 the brand trademark initials ACS were changed to AWS to reflect the change in ownership and name: Alexander Coppel Solingen to Alcoso-Werk Solingen. Carl Gustav Coppel committed suicide in Solingen in 1941, and Dr. Alexander Coppel was arrested in 1942 and sent to Theresienstadt Concentration camp, where he died August 5th 1942.
Overall an excellent example of a German Army Officer Dove Head sword, from a maker with a somber back story.
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 Hitler 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 Hitler, 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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