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German Sword Construction.

Article about: I know, I can hear you thinking, Oh no nat another Sword Thread !!! Sorry but yes, I am setting this thread to try to answer some of the questions a would be sword collector may wish to ask

  1. #11

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  3. #12


    i. Grip Insignia, usually indicative of an organisation such as the Police, SS and Luftwaffe General Officer’s may be found on TR weapons. The Royal Cyphers of Monarchs or of a State may be found on certain Imperial Diplomatic, Government or army swords.

    XXX. German Sword Construction.

    XXXI. German Sword Construction.

    XXX. Grip insignia on the solid wood grip of a TR Police sword.
    XXXI. Grip insignia on the mother of pearl grip of an Imperial Bavarian Diplomatic sword.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:00 PM.

  4. #13


    j. The Finger Support, an optional extra for the purchaser was a leather loop through which fore finger was inserted when the sword was drawn and held in the vertical, blade up, position. It was designed to help support and control the sword.

    XXXII. German Sword Construction.

    XXXII. Finger support loop on a TR Army orddnance sword.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:00 PM.

  5. #14


    k. The Washer which is designed to create an interface between the scabbard throat and the underside og the quillon block. It will help to stop damage occurring if the sword is rammed into the scabbard in a heavy handed fashion, help to keep the blade free from condensation and particles of dust or grit etc.

    l. Hilt Markings may occasionally be found, usually under the cross guar but occasionally on other component parts of the hilt. Unseen markings can also be found on the internal faces of component parts. Internal markings are usually constructional serial numbers and or manufacture’s identification initials etc. External marks include patent markings such as “DRP” or “Ges Gesch”, ordnance weapon serial numbers, manufacturer initials and Waffen Amt inspection stamps etc

    XXXII. German Sword Construction.

    XXXIII. German Sword Construction.

    XXXIV. German Sword Construction.

    XXXV. German Sword Construction.

    XXXVI. German Sword Construction.

    XXXVII. German Sword Construction.

    XXXII. "DRP" Deutsches Reich Patent. Internal National German Patent granted.
    XXXIII. Manufacturer's marks on internal sabre back strap.
    XXXIV. Ditto.
    XXXV. Manufacturer's marks on "P" guard tang extension.
    XXXVI. Ditto.
    XXXVII. Army inspection Waffen Amt, Serial Number and Manufacturer's designation "CE" Carl Eickhorn.

    Please Note, where I use the word plastic, I use it in a generic sense to cover plastic, celluloid and any other similar types of material.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:01 PM.

  6. #15




    2. The business end of any sword is the blade and there are two basic blades within the context of this article, Straight, a stabbing weapon and Curved, a slashing weapon. Under each of these headings are a number of styles and types of blade. A third style of blade may also be encountered, that being the falchion. A falchion is described as a broad, short sword having a convex edge curving sharply to the point. However in is current context, it also covers swords with a blade which is wider toward the tip than at the ricasso or has a concave cutting edge. All have areas of commonality to include the Point, Spine, Tang and edge etc. The intention of this part of the article to try to help with the identification of each element of each type of blade that a collector is likely to encounter in the German Sword field.

    I. German Sword Construction.

    II. German Sword Construction.

    III. German Sword Construction.

    IV. German Sword Construction.

    V. German Sword Construction.

    VI. German Sword Construction.

    I. Straight double edged sword blade with a single central fuller, Air Force.
    II. Minor curved single edged sabre blade, Army.
    III. Major curved single edged sabre blade, Bavarian Army.
    IV.Straight single edged sword blade, Police.
    V. Yataghan square fullered short sword blade, Army. (Obverse).
    VI. Yataghan flat short sword blade, Army. (Reverse).
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:02 PM.

  7. #16


    a. The blade Tang is an extension of the blade onto which the hilt assembly is built. The tang is the probably the most critical and disregarded element of the blade. Should a tang break or snap in combat, the combatant is rendered sword or even defenceless. Without the tang the hilt is lost and the blade becomes at worst a piece of scrap metal or at best, a spear. On a straight blade, the tang is usually, but not invariably, also straight. On a curved blade. The tang usually curves in the opposite direction to the curvature of the blade. Most tangs will show grind marks and manufacture assembly letters and numbers but not manufacturer’s names and logos. Hilt fitment will is affected by one of sfive methods.
    (1) Screw on pommel directly to tang. See Paragraph a. (1) above.
    (2) Peening tang through the pommel. See Paragraph a. (2) above.
    (3) Peening tang through the knuckle guard and riveting. See Paragraph a. (2) and (3) above.
    (4) Internal and external nut directly to the tang. See Paragraph a. (4) above.
    (5) Bolts or rivets through both the grip and the tang. See Paragraph a. (5) above.

    VII. German Sword Construction.

    VIII. German Sword Construction.

    IX. German Sword Construction.

    X. German Sword Construction.

    XI. German Sword Construction.

    XII. German Sword Construction.

    XIII. German Sword Construction.

    VII. Straight tang, Air Force sword.
    VIII. Curved tang, Army sabre showing tang markings.
    IX. Curved tang, Army sabre obverse.
    X. Curved tang, Army sabre Reverse.
    XI. Rivetted tang showing grip slabs, Army short sword spine.
    XII. Rivetted tang showing grip rivets x 3, Army short sword obverse.
    XIII. Rivetted tang showing rivet hole through the tang, Japanese Army sword. Reference only.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:03 PM.

  8. #17


    b. The blade Ricasso is a small flat double sided panel at the head of the blade immediately below the tang The ricasso has a dual function in that it creates the shoulders onto which the hilt can by tightened and it also strengthens the blade are a critical point, that is, the juncture of the hilt and blade. It also has a secondary function as a suitable flat area onto which can be stamped or etched both the manufacturer’s name and or logo as well as ordnance inspection marks etc. The edges of the ricasso can also be used for construction identification numbers.

    XIV. German Sword Construction.

    XV. German Sword Construction.

    XVI. German Sword Construction.

    XVII. German Sword Construction.

    XVIII. German Sword Construction.

    XIV. Blade ricasso on an Imperial Navy pipe backed sabre blade by WK&C.
    XV. Air Force sword without a blade ricasso.
    XVI. Blade long type ricasso on a TR Police Sword.
    XVII. Blade ricasso on a TR Navy fullered sabre blade By WKC.
    XVIII. Blade ricasso on an Imperial Austrian Navy sabre with retailers name.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:03 PM.

  9. #18


    c. The blade Spine is another critical element of any blade as it gives the blade its weight and strength. In the case of a curved blade, the spine runs along the back or opposite side of the blade to the cutting edge. Whilst in a straight sword, the spine can be as for a curved blade if there is one cutting edge or run down the centre of the blade in the case of a double cutting edge. On single edged blades the spine may be flat or hump backed. Additionally, single edged blades are encountered with a round spine usually referred to as either a “quill” or “pipe” back. This style of spine is encountered on earlier blades but was also carried forward into the TR for use, probably on a “tradition” basis, by the Navy.

    XIX. German Sword Construction.

    XX. German Sword Construction.

    XXI. German Sword Construction.

    XXII. German Sword Construction.

    XIX. The flat back spine employed on a falcheon fighting short sword blade.
    XX. Ditto showing location of ordnance stampings etc.
    XXI. Th central spine of a double edged Bavarian court sword blade.
    XXII. Standard syyle humped spine of sabre blade.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:04 PM.

  10. #19


    d. The blade Fuller, often referred to erroneously as a “blood gutter”, was in fact a technical advancement on the pipe back blade. It had two primary functions. The fuller both lightened the blade by removing metal from the blade and simultaneously adding strength by creating a concave curve or indentation to both sides of the blade. It also added to the flexability of the blade helping it to spring back to its original. The theory being that it is harder to bend and snap a curve than it is a flat. The “blood gutter” theory probably emanates from the early yataghan and other very long bladed bayonets carried by armies of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Apparently, it was not unusual for a soldier, having stabbed his opponent to encounter great difficulty in extracting the blade from a limp body due to the wound closing in on the blade and creating suction. Using a twisting motion, the fullers, rather than letting blood escape, actually facilitated the entry of air to break the suction. No doubt, blood would also escape but that was not an objective when fullers were introduced. Apologies if I have burst anyone’s long held theories!! The definition of a “single” fuller blade is a blade with one fuller running down either side of the blade or a blade with a formed obverse and a flat reverse such as a falchion. A double fuller has two, usually narrow fullers running along either side of the blade.

    XXIII. German Sword Construction.

    XXIV. German Sword Construction.

    XXV. German Sword Construction.

    XXVI. German Sword Construction.

    XXVII. German Sword Construction.

    XXVIII. German Sword Construction.

    XXIII. Square end single fuller on a falcheon blade.
    XXIV. Double fuller on an Imperial Bavarian sabre blade.
    XXV. Single fuller on an Army sabre blade.
    XXVI. Double fuller on an Model 1889 Imperial sword blade.
    XXVII. Single centre fuller on a TR Air Force sword.
    XXVIII. Ditto.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:05 PM.

  11. #20


    e. The Cutting Edge on a curved blade is the outer sharpened edge. It curves away from the hilt and on a combat weapon would normally be honed to razor sharpness for is full length. On ceremonial or dress weapons it would normally be left quite blunt. It is not unusual to find early Imperial swords with sharpened blades for use in combat situations. Ergo, sharpened blades should not be dismissed as damaged or abused as they were probably sharpened for combat duty by the original owners and as such should be regarded as period modifications. With straight blades, single cutting edges run opposite the spine. On double edged weapons, both edges are classed as cutting edges however, the sword would be classed a stabbing rather than a slashing blade.

    XXIX. German Sword Construction.

    XXX. German Sword Construction.

    XXXI. German Sword Construction.

    XXXII. German Sword Construction.

    XXIX. Double edged rapier style Imperial court sword.
    XXX. Single edged rapier style Imperial court sword.
    XXXI. Ditto.
    XXXII. Single edged Army sabre blade.
    Last edited by Michael Ryan; 10-02-2014 at 12:07 PM.

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