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SS Cavalry Sabres

Article about: Hello! New collector, new member. Does anyone know if SS cavalry divisions used sabres, as distinct from the SS Degen sword? Would they have used the same weapons as the Army cavalry, or was

  1. #1

    Default SS Cavalry Sabres

    Hello! New collector, new member. Does anyone know if SS cavalry divisions used sabres, as distinct from the SS Degen sword? Would they have used the same weapons as the Army cavalry, or was a unique SS sabre developed at some point?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Welcome to the forum Kavalier !
    Great question and I would assume they would of used the sabre type as seen in this pinned thread in the Swords and Sabres sub forum.

    http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/swords...reich-austria/

    I will move your thread to that forum for further discussion. It is noted by photographic evidence that SS men wore these types of swords as they did with the SS degen.
    Your question did they have a Unique Sabre type...... may have fallen within the many Sword types ..Roon Wrangel Sharnhorst.. Dove head ..etc.

    Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  4. #3

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    I'm short on time this AM so this will be brief. In its early days before the SS Degen was created the SS was basically infantry, but there was a small component that was horse mounted that was used like the SS music bands for events that were geared to more of a public relations/showcase type of function. By the time of the invasion of Poland a relatively small number of horse mounted SS men were being used as a military force. After that it's a complicated time sensitive matter if it's Division level formations that are being looked at. Best Regards, Fred

  5. #4

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    Quote by Frogprince View Post
    I'm short on time this AM so this will be brief. In its early days before the SS Degen was created the SS was basically infantry, but there was a small component that was horse mounted that was used like the SS music bands for events that were geared to more of a public relations/showcase type of function. By the time of the invasion of Poland a relatively small number of horse mounted SS men were being used as a military force. After that it's a complicated time sensitive matter if it's Division level formations that are being looked at. Best Regards, Fred
    Being new, perhaps I am unaware of just how broad a question is being posed. The SS Cavalry Brigade, 8th Florian Geyer Divison, 22nd Maria Theresia Division, and 37th Lützow Divison are the only formations known to me, all belonging to the Waffen-SS. Any cavalry used by the Allgemeine-SS is a mystery.

    Rolf Michaelis, author of many books on the Waffen-SS, including one on the cavalry, said about the attached image in an e-mail exchange:

    "Here [is] a saber which was also worn by the lower SS ranks, [...] the saber for lower ranks was not in gold but in silver and had no Lionshead ... Rest was same."
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture SS Cavalry Sabres  
    Last edited by Kavalier; 01-31-2020 at 08:43 PM.

  6. #5

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    Quote by Kavalier View Post
    Being new, perhaps I am unaware of just how broad a question is being posed. The SS Cavalry Brigade, 8th Florian Geyer Divison, 22nd Maria Theresia Division, and 37th Lützow Divison are the only formations known to me, all belonging to the Waffen-SS. Any cavalry used by the Allgemeine-SS is a mystery.

    Rolf Michaelis, author of many books on the Waffen-SS, including one on the cavalry, said about the attached image in an e-mail exchange:

    "Here [is] a saber which was also worn by the lower SS ranks, [...] the saber for lower ranks was not in gold but in silver and had no Lionshead ... Rest was same."
    The topic I’m afraid from my perspective is a somewhat complicated one, so for the moment I will focus on the 8th SS cavalry Division. From its beginnings in the mid 1930’s, in September of 1939 it had about a total of 450 men six percent of which were officers. Through organizational and name changes in early 1941 it included bicycle and artillery elements as well as motorcycles and armored cars. A year later it had added self propelled guns and was partially motorized. It still had some horse based elements, but at that stage in the war a more in depth look at photos and changes in the organization would have to be taken into account. As for the sword posted it looks to be a conventional German Army Officer’s saber. Enlisted men of the Army mounted units authorized to purchase a plainer MannschaftsSäble that is a silver (nickel plated) saber that is a smaller copy of the government type of saber. Some of which that I’ve seen have been PW converted to fake “SS” sabers. Best Regards, Fred

  7. #6

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    I think the answer is fairly simple. Before the introduction of the SS Degen any SS officer in need of wearing a sword would have used the appropriate Heer version. There were some nickel plated panther/lion head hilt sabres made that "may" have been used by these officers, as a stop gap before the SS Degen was available. So far as SS Cavalry units on parade, likewise.

  8. #7

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    So it seems my search will be complicated by the suggestion that there was not a single government-sanctioned and exclusive sabre issued to the cavalry, but rather the men were given free rein (pun intended) to incorporate Army and even purchased blades into their uniform. I suppose, under those circumstances, it would be necessary for a collector to familiarize themselves with distinguishing maker's and unit marks to place each blade into ownership of a horseman.

    SS Cavalry Sabres
    This image comes from SS-Kavallerie im Osten (1942), a book produced by the SS Cavalry Brigade with photos taken by SS-Kriegsberichter, or war correspondents. One can faintly detect the outline of sabres in the parade "Sabres Up!" position on the men's shoulders.

    SS Cavalry Sabres
    A loose photograph of riders from the XV SS Cossack Cavalry Corps, little information accompanied this item. (Not original, obviously printed somewhere)

    Frankly, the SS Degen seems too ill-suited for use by the cavalry. A rider would want something with heft to withstand the force placed on the blade by the conflicting momentum of the horse and target. And without a curve to the blade, would it not kick back or drag when making contact?

    I wonder if there are any examples of Army or purchased sabres with SS runes affixed to the hilt.

    *If any collector has been looking for an excuse to dig through their photo collection, please do so and share relevant material here for community benefit. I would also welcome private message offers on any items with which one might care to part. ;-)
    Last edited by Kavalier; 02-01-2020 at 05:57 PM.

  9. #8

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    Great Research Kavalier

    IMO I would say that a parade Sword would not be appropriate in the use of an attack while riding. I would agree also that the sword should be made the same as the use in a Samurai Sword.

    Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  10. #9

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    Unlike the information from what has been sometimes previously published, award documents dated 1935 (instead of 1936) for the SS Degen have over time surfaced - that being the official sword for SS Leaders (Officers). Prior to that versions of German Army officer swords were permitted as badges of rank. The German Army for example allowing only one type dagger, but following the Imperial era tradition which allowed a very considerable amount of variation including different types of Officer swords for different states/branches of service etc. In the Imperial era some (albeit limited in number) officer swords were quite capable of being used in combat, but by the TR era they had shrunk considerably and as Larry stated would not have been useful. An early well known period photo posted here with the SS man and an Army type dress saber. Also to another point a photo showing an Imperial era straight bladed issue Kürassierer sword, with a lighter duty private purchase dress type - with those soldiers being noticeably larger/taller, and the swords more massive. Another photo that of a Cossack in German service closeup, and a wagon train. My point here with the wagon train being that horses were widely used by the Wehrmacht that depended on the time period and location. What is sometimes not always appreciated as I think it should be, the horse mounted combat formations were used the same way as some of the Imperial era cavalry were, that varied depending on the location and time period.
    PS: There is a single widely known photo of an SS officer with an Army style saber that has periodically been used to justify some of the (IMO) postwar fakes. He was a Reserve Officer on (secondary) occupation duty outside of Germany that was after dress blades of all types were no longer being made. Best Regards, Fred
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture SS Cavalry Sabres   SS Cavalry Sabres  

    SS Cavalry Sabres  
    Attached Images Attached Images SS Cavalry Sabres 
    Last edited by Frogprince; 02-01-2020 at 10:38 PM. Reason: text corrections

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