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Gentlemen,

The following is the result of a great deal of research into a sword I purchased that did NOT fit into what I thought was correct, however, I believe I have scored a gem - something quite special and seemingly rare.

Following the end of WWI and the creation of the post-war German Weimar Republic, Reichswehr Infantry Officers initially used an IOD-89 pattern Degen. The Degen was without the WRII grip cipher and with the Weimar pattern eagle without the Prussian crown, WRII cipher, sword or sceptre replacing the Imperial eagle on the guard. It is my belief that this sword is an early 1919 - late 1921-22 sword based upon the design of the eagle in the folding guard (charniett zum hochenklappen) [sorry if that is wrong]. 

As you can see the guard utilises the basic design of the Imperial Eagle and crown but does not have Kaiser Wilhelm's WR II monogram on the eagle's breast nor does this monogram appear on the hilt handle. The eagle does show the eagle holding the sword and sceptre of the state, and is shown wearing the state crown. This bird is extremely detailed throughout. The eagle, however, is not indicative of  the Weimar version that commenced with the design shown and later changed to incorporate a new, neutral shield. 

This sword was beautifully crafted! The blade measures approx. 29” long with the overall length of the sword being approx. 34 ½”. Size 3 Officer’s sword. (Douglas, Swords of  Germany, 1900/1945) On the side of the blade, there is an etching that reads "Paul Weyersburg & Co. Solignen" (active between 1905 – 1940). This sword was still listed in the Eickhorn sword sales catalogue in 1930 as their pattern No. 316.

Who would have bought these swords? The vast majority of officers were taken over from the old army into the Reichswehr and therefore still had their IOD. Quite possibly, only new officers, or those that had lost their sword, would need to purchase. The Weimar Reichswehr was less than 100,000 and one would imagine that the need for new infantry officer’s sword was less than a 500 between December 1918 and February, 1922. The demand in the 14 months would, therefore, have been low. One should not forget that these early post-war years were tough times. Many officers and non-commissioned officers will surely have chosen the cost-effective version and converted the imperial IOD with a new hinge and handle without a WRII monogram. Why this low demand? Reichswehr officers were able to continue using their old sword, and there was no reason to buy a new one. Some new officers may have been conscious of tradition, that is, wanted to emulate the legacies of their "warlike" ancestors or their own past, if possible. However, in 1922 a new standard uniform or unitary sabre was introduced for the Reichswehr and retained for the Wehrmacht was introduced as;  "Unitary sabre (order of February 17th, 1922, RWMin. No. 703 / 1.22.Jn.2 III. - HVBlatt 1922, No. 109)" of the Reichswehr.”

These sabres were issued to the Portepee non-commissioned officers from 1922 and became the new model for officers in the Wehrmacht after 1933. Unfortunately, a distinction between the standard Reichswehr sabre and the 1933-45 sabre is difficult.

So, I hope my research is close to the truth. It is the oNLY example of this sword and eagle combination I have been able to fit on the internet. Later examples displaying the Weimar Riechswehr eagle are shown but rare.

 

Weimar IOD sword.jpg

Guard Crests.jpg

Weimar IOD Guard decorations.jpg

Weimar IOD Hilt.jpg

Eickhorn sword sales catalogue, 1930, pattern No. 316..jpg

Unitary Sabre.jpg

Edited by aussiesoldier
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