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Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters

Article about: Hello all, This year I added a pair of WW1 German M.1 pioneer wire cutters to my Imperial German Collection. As denoted by the name these wire cutters were instituted in 1911 to infantry and

  1. #1

    Default Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters

    Hello all,

    This year I added a pair of WW1 German M.11 pioneer wire cutters to my Imperial German Collection. As denoted by the name these wire cutters were instituted in 1911 to infantry and pioneers. The ring on the end of one handle enabled soldiers to wear them on a chord around the neck while a metal clip that attached to the belt was also supplied as another means of carrying. The cutting edge blade was interchangeable and was obviously a well thought out part of the design as the blades on my example show the the type of condition they often ended up in. The snake tongue prong at the end obviously assisted with the easy passage of the wire to the cutter. The grips were finished in a lacquer which has long since disappeared on this example. In 1915 a new design came into use. I’ve included a photo from the book “German Assault Troops of WW1” by Thomas Wictor depicting “Shock troops of the 12th Company, Guard Reserve Pioneer Regiment, photographed at Arras, June 17, 1917”. The soldier to the left wears M.1 cutters on his belt.

    A not often encountered piece of Imperial German militaria - I hope you enjoy the pictures.

    Andy

    Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire CuttersImperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters
    Last edited by AndyM35; 06-27-2022 at 10:03 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Hello Andy.
    Out of curiosity, where do you find such unusual objects? in street markets, antique dealers, maybe in e.Bay.
    Thank you in advance for your response.

  4. #3

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    Great piece of militaria. Thanks for posting it.
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  5. #4

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    I absolutely adore the photo of the Strurmtruppen! The skull and crossbones on there left sleeves are a perfect touch to there " skill set"

  6. #5

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    Very nice Andy!
    Something you do not see every day.
    Congrats!
    Ralph.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  7. #6

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    Hello Tabstabs,

    I was lucky to pick these up on eBay but I haven’t seen them before - only the 1915 onwards model. They were simply advertised as German wire cutters but I knew what they were when I saw them as I have the late Michael Baldwin’s excellent 4 Volume set of books called Felzug (all Imperial German WW1 uniforms and equipment) so I knew what they were straight away. But you certainly don’t see them often.

    Andy

  8. #7

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    Hello Andy.
    Great post!!
    I have these large cutters in my collection, very similar to yours.
    The blade screws on mine have the screw heads one on each side....maker variation?
    I did notice a maker stamp on mine also, E&W?
    Have you heard of that maker?
    From what you said above l take it mine are the pre 1915 examples also?

    I guess there was a bunch of factories making these things.
    Sounds like I need that book your talking about

    Cheers
    Corey
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters   Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters  

    Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters   Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters  


  9. #8

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    Hi Corey,

    Yes, your wire cutters look like nice original M.11 pioneer wire cutters manufactured from 1911 onwards before the newer models started appearing in 1915. Not sure about the manufacturer stamps as wire cutters are not as often encountered and generally only touched on in the reference books and unfortunately there are no exhaustive manufacturer listing such as there are with helmets and bayonets for example, so I could only guess. And yes, as you say there were many manufacturers making these during WW1, with lots of non factory manufacturers being pressed into service as part of the war effort. There are even examples of toy manufacturers tooling up to make Pickelhaubes!

    In most of the photos I’ve seen the blade fasteners used are slightly dome slotted head drive screws that are offset with a differing head on opposing sides as in your example. I’m sure that the variety of manufacturers making these at the time can account for the variety of differing configurations encountered or even the screws put in a different way during blade replacement perhaps.

    I’d highly recommend any of the Schiffer Military History books on Imperial German uniforms and equipment and the Military Mode published books, and I’m sure there are many others out there too.

    A

  10. #9

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    Fantastic info Andy.
    Yes I will look out for one of those books for sure.
    Definitely a bit more awkward to wear compared to the small cutters I posted earlier.
    It's neat to see photos of them being worn.

    Cheers
    Corey
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Imperial German M.1 Pioneer Wire Cutters  

  11. #10

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    Great photo Corey!

    I think the M.11 cutters being longer would have had more leverage but at the cost of being heavier and perhaps the potential to get caught up on something more easily.

    What would be really nice to find would be the metal clip that held them to the belt as you can see in the photo. I’ve only every seen a few in collections and the odd relic examples.

    Andy
    Last edited by AndyM35; 06-28-2022 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Typo

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