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Investigate Owner of Prussian Degen


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I always wanted an Imperial sword and one is finally in the mail to me!! :jumping:

It is a presentation M-89 Prussian Infantry Degen (W. K. & C.)

Now to the juicy part:

The scabbard is engraved:

"Herrn Hauptmann H. Schubbe Gev.v.d.j Schutzen-Comp. Scharnhorst 1906" which I understand is Captain H. Schubbe, Presented by the Jager Schutzen Company, Scharnhorst 1906. I also understand his name appears in the rank list of the Royal Prussian Army for 1906 as Director of the Provisions Section of the 1st Army Corps Commissariat (Food & Supplies).

I would more than greatly appreciate if someone could provide me more information on Hauptmann Schubbe!!!!

Thanks so much,

Rod

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Hi Rick,

Thanks for the reply. I am still trying to get my bearings with this one!! Please bear with me.

Ok, then H. Schubbe was the leader of the Scharnhorst "shooting club". Does the name of the club -- Gev. v. v. d. j. Schutzen-Comp. (Jager Schutzen Company) indicate the members were probably current and/or retired military personnel?

Many thanks,

Rod

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You'd have to post a scan what the engraving is.

It must be "Gew." and not "Gev.v." for "Gew(idmet)"-- "dedicated/presented by" and v.d. is "from the" while I don't know what you are reading as a small j. ahead of Sch?tzen."

"Comp" is odd, since these usually say "Verein," but "Comp" with a C is also outdated spelling, changed in the 1890s to K--suggesting an older bunch that didn't change.

Absolutely no way to tell without a PLACE to attempt a google search on to see if the bunch are still around-- a lot of them are. "Scharnhorst" suggests a patriotic name, like later groups naming themsleves after Hindenburg.

It could well be the same person, using diminutive Hans for Johann... but no way to CONFIRM that. It is an odd family name-- but of course we ONLY have records for military and not civilians.

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Rick and David - - - Many thanks,

I will scan the engraving when I get the item in hand from Tom Johnson. I will then post it here.

I was particularly attracted to this sword because of its described good condition.

I went ahead and ordered it before I asked for any investigation :unsure: . ( I do tend to get overly excited at times!!). :rolleyes:

Rod

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Tom,

That looks like "gew. v. d. Sch?tzen-Comp. Scharnhorst 1906", which means dedicated by the Sch?tzen-Compagnie.

Although it sounds like a military unit, Sch?tzen-Comp. Scharnhorst 1906 is almost certainly a rifle or shooting club.

Is there any other information on where it came from, e.g. maker, distributor, engraver?

David

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Hi David,

Do you not see a letter ---- "j" between the d and Schutzen?

The ricasso shows W.K. & C. with the knight's head and the king's head.

I am told it appears in the W. K. & C catalog as Pattern No. 2 - Pressischer Infanterie Offizier = Degen mit Adlercharnier.

The spine of the blade shows the distributor as S. Markhoff, Dortmund.

I think it is in great shape except for the grip wire wrapping which is a little loose at the pommel end.

The white leather blade buffer pad is present as well as the leather finger loop which is in fairly good shape.

I think (could be all wet :( ) that the nickel (as opposed to black) scabbard indicates a pre - 1908 manufacture.

I also think (again I could be all wet :( ) but the lack of blade etching confirms this is not one on the post WW 1 swords.

Rick has said above that Schubbe was probably the "head" of a Schutzen unit. I would most certainly be the very last to question his judgement, but I have read that a Schutzen head was and still are known as Schutzenmeister. (I am still hoping that Schubbe's title as Hauptmann indicates he was a military officer at some point.)

Rod

Edited by Rod
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I think there is a J there for J(?ger)-Sch?tzen but hard to read in the glare. I sympathize-- I've tried scanning swords and it Ain't Easy! :beer:

No, Hauptmann is a common title for these. It's "Captain" in precisely the sense of "Team Captain." These guys were competition shooters.

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Rod,

If the sword was sold by a distributor in Dortmund, it was without doubt given to the recipient by a rifle club in Dortmund-Scharnhorst, which is just to the north-east of the town centre.

There is no rifle club by that name there any more, but I'll ask a friend of mine who lives in Dortmund and works as a historian for the Landschaftsverband to see if he can find anything.

David (who used to live near the Westpark in Dortmnund)

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I hope I am not boring or testing the patience of those that are kind enough to read this subject. :unsure:

BUT... :D

I do not usually fuss with my "precious" acquistions but the loose grip wires were driving me nuts!! SOOOO I prayed :rolleyes: and unscrewed the pommel nut, and took it all apart!! I found the bakelite grip(simulated sharkskin) was BROKEN!!! RATS ... :angry: Super Glue to rescue and now you cannot tell !!!! Also the main twisted grip wire had a broken end but I was able to drill another "closer" hole and fitted it in nicely. There are thinner twisted wires wrapped on both sides on the larger one just mentioned .... one was complete but loose so I could fit it back into the original hole .. but about 2 inches had been broken off the other. Soooo I attached some black "heavy duty" thread to its end and was able to neatly wrap and then tie the thread into the end of the repaired grip. You would have to look very.... very closely with a magnifiy glass to see the one wire was partially replaced with thread.

In the process of all of this I was able to remove the leather finger holder and brought it back to life with Pecards Antique!! Worked out super!!!! :D

I noted the tang is stamped "2890" (for whatever that is worth).

In my less than opinion :blush: I think the sword et al looks great!!!

The blade is prestine (which amazes me :o ) with both the knight's head and the king's head maker markers.

Can someone tell me the significance of the king's head as the WW2 W.K. & C. army dagger I have only has the knight's head???????

Ha Ha .. I warned you I tend to get excited!! :jumping:

Rod

Edited by Rod
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  • 2 weeks later...

Rod,

If the sword was sold by a distributor in Dortmund, it was without doubt given to the recipient by a rifle club in Dortmund-Scharnhorst, which is just to the north-east of the town centre.

There is no rifle club by that name there any more, but I'll ask a friend of mine who lives in Dortmund and works as a historian for the Landschaftsverband to see if he can find anything.

David (who used to live near the Westpark in Dortmnund)

Rod,

Any public records that may have existed concerning the Scharnhorst rifle club were probably lost during the many air raids towards the end of WW2.

There may be something in private hands, but I don't know of anything. Perhaps some more information will turn up one day.

David

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I am very pleased with this degen.... a lovely sword. :jumping:

BUT I am thinking of adding a portepee (knot) .. hummm .. :unsure: with a folding hilt ... would it be proper to do so???

I think I have a source for a mint Prussian portepee (knot).

It really is a beautiful sword but obviously not with a militatry provenance. :blush:

What do you think?????? :(

Rod

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I've never actually seen one of these civilian presentation blades in wear in period photographs.

While a sword was a sword was a sword (especially when just hung over a mantlepiece) a Portepee was the mark of a commissioned officer, not allowed by less mortals than the senior-most grades of NCOs. Perhaps not as "sacred" as the shoulder boards of a Tsarist officer, but nonetheless a mark of REAL rank...

I'm not sure what this sort of civilian club DID in that regard.

A portepee, after all, was to prevent a sword from being swept away in the tide of hand to hand battle.

Now, I've been at some fairly, ahem, disorganized firing ranges, but even the most beer-soaked of club houses I don't think would get THAT bad! :cheeky:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sebastien,

Thanks for you kind comments. I wish this sword had a true military provenance but its condition is outstanding.

Have you seen my posting on the Bavarian Curaissier sword? The research I got from the forum members is nothing short of amazing.

Rod

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  • 5 weeks later...

There was no army Hauptmann Schubbe in 1906.

Rick, can you tell us more about researching these imperial period officers? I know the sources and archives for the Wehrmacht officer corps, but nothing about the earlier periods.

When you say there were no Hauptleute named Schubbe, can you elaborate? Do you mean, none listed in printed Ranglisten, or in Bundesarchiv files, or both? Do you know the breakdown of period aktiv vs. reserve offiziere? Thanks

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Right-- none listed in the Rank Lists. There is also the Orders Almanac-- very useful for civilians, but as a vanity publication, not complete.

But any imperial period officer who was ever an officer before the world war is in a Rank List. Reichsmarine and Reichsheer officers also show up in published annual Rank Lists with awards from 1923 to 1932.

The Research Gnome Collective is working, collectively and each in our own specialized areas, on adding more data-- whether via adding missing first names, wartime promotion dates for reserve officers, or from transcribing and publishing award rolls.

It is awful trying to find somebody like "Lt dR Schmidt" or "Lt dL M?ller" but Schubbe is such an unusual name that tracking him from JUST his last name is actually possible.

Check out our personal reference libraries:

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=688

Not necessarily always kept updated, but a good place to see what we've got on hand. All of us are, of course, always HERE.

And THAT is an excellent way to PM about the research results possible on very expensive Imperial swords BEFORE buying and... finding out that naval officer with the fancy damascus sword spent the war at a depot in Danzig! :rolleyes:

Glenn has just found a never published typed Luftwaffe Seniority List for 1944, so that and other WW2 sources (army seniority lists from 1941, 1942, 1943....) should be becoming available as our researchers can copy and make such sources available.

2008 and 2009 are going to be VERY good years for German officer research.

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Thanks Rick, very interesting.

I think I have the same Luftwaffe Rangliste you are referring to. I bought the NARA microfilm and put it on a CD in PDF format.Luftwaffe Personalamt, Dienstaltersliste der Offiziere der Deutschen Luftwaffe nach dem Stande vom 1. August 1944, Bearbeitet im Luftwaffenpersonalamt, L.Dv. Nr. 2010/1

For the Wehrmacht period, things are a bit more complicated. Even having this 44 Rangliste, plus the published 1945 one, I am still missing a majority of officers, who held der Reserve status. Their files are held at BAMA often in the form of Kartei karten. I summarized my findings on all these issues in the menus below at www.zeitzeugen1939.com

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Ah, reserve 0fficers.... always a problem.

The Prussians didn't print THEIR commission dates in the annual Rank Lists. :speechless:

But they DID gazette them in the Milit?r-Wochenblatt. Which... needs to have every issue manually typed up to get that data into computer-sortable form that can be USED.

Before the war, the Bavarians, Saxons, and W?rttembergers did better (actually listed first names, miracle of miracles), but 1914-18... all still needs to be transcribed by somebody today.

Some bodies ARE actually doing it. :unsure: I think they looked at Martin Luther type face, compared that with the geriatric Sutterlin Daniel and I are working on with awards rolls and... opted for PRINTED endless work for no reward but the accolades of gnerations yet unborn. :rolleyes:

None of this research does any good unless it is all available to other people. As people able to read the horrible ancient German disappear, it has to be gotten into computer sortable, alphabetical USABLE forms.

Otherwise all that knowledge dies with the lone people who have it:

My Imperial German gurus all died without ever getting online. Every single name or medaal combination to be searched meant searching through EVERYTHING-- tens of thousands of pages. Over and over and over, every time something new came up. :speechless1::speechless1::speechless1::speechless1:

I took their surviving copies of award rolls, spent a year and a half of my life typing them onto my computer, hit the magic "sort alphabetically"-- and now they are in print forever and all I have to do is flip a few pages to find that name-- not an entire war's worth of handwritten scribbles.

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