Original Russian Soviet Shashka Saber used by German Allied Don Cossacks
Original Item: One Only. Original examples of these "Don Cossack" Nazi marked sabers are extremely hard to find. Cossacks date back close to 1,000 years as an ethnic group inhabiting Southern Russia and what we now know as the Ukraine.
The Shashqua saber, and there are varied spellings of the name, was developed in the 13th century. and there is a well known photograph of the Russian Tsar Nicholas the Second wielding one during military exercises in the 1890s. With the close of WW1 in 1918 the Cossacks tended to support the dethroned Tsar against the Bolshevik Communists. The new Soviet army immediately banned any Cossacks from entering it's military forces in 1918 and this ban remained in force until 1936 when Cossack units were again introduced. There was little love lost between the Cossacks and Premier Stalin's Communist regime.
The Germans invaded Russia in 1941 and advanced into the Southern Regions in 1942 whereupon over 250,000 Cossack Cavalry deserted the Soviet Army and Allied themselves to Nazi Germany. These Cossacks mostly came from the regions surrounding the DON and KUBAN Rivers. These Pro-Nazi Cossacks became known as the "DON COSSACKS", and they actually were more a force fighting against Soviet Russia than for the German invaders. At the end of the war with Germany's defeat the Soviets claimed all the Don Cossacks in Allied hands to be returned to Russia which the allies agreed to with terrible results as most all of the returned POWs of the Don Cossacks were immediately executed on Stalin's orders.
Our Cossack Shashqua is a Soviet issued weapon bearing "C.C.C.P." cast into the brass pommel around a Hammer and Sickle. The blade which is still highly polished has Soviet armorer markings and is dated 1939. The traditional Shashqua scabbard is constructed of a canvas covered wood body which is coated in a hard black wax like material supported by brass mounts. The scabbard also bears brass mounts to accommodate the M-1891 of M-1891/30 Moisin Nagant Rifle socket bayonet (Not Included). Finally and most important the scabbard bears a magnificent nickel plated spread Eagle over Swastika badge denoting the weapons use by the Don Cossacks. Additionally the Saber comes with its original webbing and leather over the shoulder body sling/harness allowing the saber to be correctly worn in an upside down position on the left side.
The entire Saber, it's Scabbard and body harness as well as the Nazi insignia in just about unissued condition. Clearly totally original and very easy to distinguish from the replicas and reproductions that have been around for years. Extremely rare Nazi Saber to find, especially in this condition.
This is an extremely scarce original Soviet item to find today!
The Shashka (Adyghe: сэшхуэ /IPA: [saʃxʷa]/ - big knife, Russian: (шашка)) is a special kind of sabre; a very sharp, single-edged, single-handed, and guardless sword. In appearance, the shashka is midway between a full sabre and a straight sword. It has a slightly curved blade, and can be effective for both slashing and thrusting. The blade is either hollowed or fullered. There is no guard, but a large, curved pommel. The hilt is frequently highly decorated. Shashkas from the Caucausus, as opposed to Russian versions, are carried in a wooden scabbard that encloses part of the hilt. It is worn with the cutting edge to the rear, opposite to the sabre.
The shashka originated among the mountain tribes of the Caucasus in the 12th century. Later most of the Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks adopted the weapon. Two styles of shashka exist: the Caucasian/Circassian shashka and the Cossack shashka.
The typically Circassian (Adyghe) form of sabre was longer than the Cossack type, in fact the Russian word shashka originally came from the Adyghe word - Adyghe: сэшхуэ (Shash ko) - meaning "long knife". It gradually replaced the sabre in all cavalry units except hussars during the 19th century. Russian troops, having encountered it during their conquest of the Caucasus (1817-1864), preferred it to their issue sabres. The Russian Caucasian Corps first adopted it in the 1830s. In 1881 shashka became official weapon in Russian troops and police.
At this time they were 3 types of shashkas.
1. Caucasus type where the handle almost sits inside the scabbard, this type was used by Kuban Cossack and tribes from Caucasus. Only one problem was with this type of shashka that during rain water could go down into the scabbard, but this type of shashka was very light 300-400 grams, very flexible, strong and sharp. The best and most famous shashkas of this types were Gurda (strong and sharp like bulat), Volchek (running wolf symbol on the blade).
2. The Don Cossack shashka has straighter blade which gave Cossacks something in the middle to combine two things in one like cutting from the horse and also fence. The weight of this shashka is around 1 kilogram.
3. Terek Cossack shashka, the handle like the Don Cossack shashka does not go inside the scabbard. It is very light and strong.
The absence of the guard is inherited from the original Caucasian construction, in which the shashka is nearly completely hidden in the scabbard, together with the hilt. The hilt is slightly curved down, thus providing an additional leverage for pulling the shashka and for additional force by wrist action.
The handle of the sabre was crafted so as to have a built-in pommel and possibly a small guard, which usually extended to only one side of the hilt. Like most medieval and then imperial Russian weaponry of the time, often the shashka and its scabbard were very ornately decorated, with gold and silver engravings, embedded gems and stones placed into, and figures carved out of or into, the hilts. The blade of the sabre was generally double or triple-fullered, and due to its greater width than that of the European sabre and its unique styles of tempering, it was much stronger too, able to deal damage to light body armor.
The shashka has the feel of a European sabre and was notable for its sharpness. There has been film footage of Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) using a Circassian sabre in an overhead twirling motion to horizontally cut pieces from a wooden pole
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