Original German WWII Model 1695 Army Officer's Leopard Head Sword by Carl Eickhorn with Partial Hanger

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a beautiful classic German WWII Model 1695 Heer (Army) Officer's sword, made by the legendary Solingen-based firm of Carl Eickhorn. This Army Leopard Head Sword is constructed of aluminum alloy with about 80% of the original gilding intact. It is a very beautiful sword, and is really in first rate condition, a prime addition to any display or collection. For some reason Eickhorn did not include the Model 1695 in their "Field Marshall" series, but due to the similarities, many feel that a Field Marshall sword collection is not complete without one of these swords. It even has the remains of a hanger with clip, which was used to secure the sword in a vertical position when in close quarters, to avoid bumping into other people during dress occasions.

The panther head is in choice condition, with lots of hand engraving throughout the muzzle, snout, eyes, and mane. The backstrap has elegant raised oak leaves and acorns which extend out to the grip tabs. The "P" guard and ferrule have the same oak leaf motif, and both remain in choice condition. The crossguard extends downward with a curlicue quillon. In the center chappe (rainguard) is an Art Deco style eagle clutching a wreathed mobile swas. The detailing are extraordinary throughout the guard. The reverse chappe has the usual raised plain seal to accept a monogram, but is unmarked.

The scabbard of this example still has good original factory black lacquer, it is retained at 90% with no dents.There are a few long scratches on one side, which do have some oxidation, but there is minimal age crazing. The sword retains the original hanger ring.

The grip is an outstanding black celluloid-over-wood base. It is wrapped with four silver wires, the center two of which are twisted. The celluloid is in great shape, with minimal shrinkage, and no wear or cracking.

The 33 1/2 inch blade of this example is in excellent condition, with no chips or dents on the edge. The nickel-plating is nearly perfect, with just a bit of running wear and a few specs of oxidation near the cross guard. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the 1935-41 Eickhorn trademark: a seated squirrel holding a sword, with the word ORIGINAL above and the firm's name and location, Eickhorn / SOLINGEN below. Unfortunately the chappe/rainguard almost completely covers this area, so photographing the logo is impossible. The original leather blade buffer is in place, and in good shape. The top of the cross guard is also stamped GES GESCH., indicating that this was a trademarked design.

Overall an excellent condition high quality sword from a legendary German sword maker, based in Solingen, the "City of Blades" in Eastern Germany.

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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