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An Interesting Third Reich Sword?

Article about: An Interesting Sword. Gentlemen, I have finally completed the write-up I was doing to place here on the WRF - pertaining to an interesting sword which I have on offer. It has an etched, pres

  1. #1

    Default An Interesting Third Reich Sword?

    An Interesting Sword.
    Gentlemen, I have finally completed the write-up I was doing to place here on the WRF - pertaining to an interesting sword which I have on offer. It has an etched, presentation blade inscription; but before relating to that, it is worth noting some distinctive features.

    The sword looks very much like the Model 1889 Imperial Prussian Army pallasch sword, until you look closely at it, and then some interesting differences become apparent. On the Model 1889 Imperial Prussian sword, the guard of the hilt features the device of Prussian Eagle - and which has the features of a Crown, on the head, and a Sword and Sceptre clasped in talons. On the grip of the sword there is a monogram - comprising a Crown over the initial "W" and roman numeral I I - it is the cypher emblem of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia.

    The eagle on this other sword, however is simply a Germanic eagle - devoid of Crown, Sword, and Sceptre; and there is no monogram emblem on the sword grip. At this point it became obvious that the sword was not a Model 1889 sword, but in fact it was post-WWI period - a sword from the time of the Weimar Republic. The German Army of the Weimar period had been grossly reduced in size to merely 100,000 personnel. The Kaiser and royal family had been disenfranchised, and sent into exile. The display of royal insignia was banished. This sword was a product of a newly created republican state, and had been introduced in 1921.

    On examining the blade trademark another interesting feature became evident. The sword was manufactured by Carl Eickhorn, Solingen (a name very well known to German sword collectors), but what was really interesting was the style of the trademark. It displays the Eickhorn squirrel emblem contained within a double ring oval bearing the company name - and this version of the company trademark was introduced in late-1933. Therefore this sword was a product of the early days of the Third Reich.
    Finally my attention was drawn to the inscription on the blade, and this reveals that the sword was owned by an officer (or senior NcO) whose name was Gottfrield Muntau - and the sword had been given to him by his grandmother. So with this positive identification of the sword owner, I set about an internet search to see if any person called Gottfried Muntau was identifiable? There were several Muntau's whose name and background turned up, but only two of these were called Gottfried and one of these had lived and died in the 1800s, but the other one - well the other one was born in 1912 in Posen, Germany. That puts this Gottfried Muntau right in the correct time-frame to have been the owner of this sword, and there was more to be discovered.

    In 1933/34, this Gottfried Muntau from Posen would have been 21-22 years of age. Although military conscription had not yet been introduced under the Third Reich, the standing Army inherited from the former Weimar Republic was undergoing some limited expansion. Rejection of the limiting strictures of the Treaty of Peace of 1919 were prominent in Hitler's plans for the regeneration of Germany in the new Third Reich. It is quite possible that Gottfried Muntau might very well have been one of the elite who found a way into a career in the Army. He may well have had a university placement that made him suitable officer material once he had graduated.

    Other facts about Gottfried Muntau found on the internet show that this young man from Posen had served in an Infantry regiment, and that by 1938 he was Chief of the 3rd Company, M.G. Batallion2; in 1941 he was "Kompaniechef, Schutzen-Regt. 115". In November 1942 he was on the staff of the 83rd Infantry Division; and in March, 1943, he was at the General Staff training course in Berlin.

    Awards: Gottfried Muntau was awarded the German Cross in Gold, August 16, 1942, at this time he was serving as Kompaniechef, III. Bataillon, Schützen-Regiment 115, 15. Panzer-Division, Heer. He was also a recipient of the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class.

    In September, 1942, Gottfried Muntau, now serving as Hauptmann (Captain) of the 1 Batallion Panzergrenadier Regiment 115, in the 15 Panzer Division, was commended with the Anerkennungsurkunde des Oberbefehlschabers des Heeres (the “Recognition Award of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army”), this award was commemorated with an Urkunde – not a medal but a certificate commemorating the recognition being given to the recipient. It most probably equates to the British recognition of being “Mentioned in Despatches”.

    Gottfriend Muntau survived World War Two with the rank of Major. Nothing appears to be known of his post-war activities and his peace time life. His date of death is recorded as being April 7, 2012, in Berg-Aufkirchen/Bavaria, Germany.

    The above information seemed to be a reasonably complete record of Gottfried Muntau’s life as I could hope to find, other than tracing any regimental histories of the units with which he had served in the hope of finding some mention of him, so I was satisfied in having these details of a man who had served his country with honour. However, there was one more surprise to be revealed.

    In the course of using Google to search the name of Gottfried Muntau, the search engine came up with a compilation of photographs of people who had the surname Muntau, and one of these images showed a black and white photo of a German soldier in Afrika Korps uniform. The handwritten legend on the reverse of the photo showed the name Gottfried Muntau in the German Sutterlein script !

    I followed the links via the internet, and it brought me to the War Relics Forum. And the sequence of links which went: WW2 German, Soviet, Allied militaria -Photos – Papers – Propaganda of the Third Reich – German Photographs and Post Cards . . . and finally to a thread entitled “New Photos Pick-Ups”. There - in a thread comprising some 363 pages – there is to be found on Page 3, published on 26 March 2011, an entry by WRF member Jerry B containing a slew of original photographs. In the middle of this assembly is the photo that I have now down-loaded and added to this write-up about this sword. It looks like I have found the face that fits the name on the sword.

    Jerry B, are you out there? Do you still come on WRF? I would like to obtain a better copy of the photograph that you possess. I would like it if we can make contact.
    An Interesting Third Reich Sword?An Interesting Third Reich Sword?
    F. J. Stephens
    Last edited by rbminis; 12-12-2020 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Edited to change font size.

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  3. #2

    Default An Interesting Third Reich Sword

    Another photo, comparing the two sword types.

    F. J. Stephens
    An Interesting Third Reich Sword?

  4. #3
    MAP
    MAP is offline
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    Default

    Very nice!. Great research

    I recommend you sending a PM to Jerry
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  5. #4

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    It is a M1889 sword, just a post Imperial era one. Your research is impressive, Posen was part of Prussia until 1919 then part of Poland until 1939. So the sword owner's family may have left Posen in 1919 along with many other German speakers and moved west into Germany. The eagle on the sword hand guard is as you suggest a Weimar Republic Reichsadler. The Eickhorn trademark does date from 1933 so most likely made at the beginning of the Third Reich before changes to tooling and designs came in. Older sword types like the M1889 were available as private purchase options into the Weimar Republic era and this is an interesting late period example.

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    Gentlemen,

    Thank you all for your feedback and observations on the Weimar/Third Reich Sword. I am hopeful of getting full access to it once this lockdown caper finishes; and then perhaps I'll be able to post some better, clearer photos of the finer details of the sword.

    I have also tried to contact Jerry B - whose named photograph of the recipient of the sword I added to the thread (see above). Unfortunately my attempts to contact Jerry B have failed, because trying to send a PM to him raises a message which says he doesn't accept PMs. Any suggestions?

  7. #6

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    Sent Jerry a PM bringing his attention to this thread.
    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)

  8. #7

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    Hello Mr Stephens ...I sent Jerry B a message and his inbox seems to be working fine. I also sent you a relative message also if you need to further contact him.

    Regards Larry

    - - ------- - -

    Beat me to it Ralph
    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

  9. #8

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    Thanks for the messages Larry and Ralph.

    Interesting to see his sword.

    I still have the picture
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture An Interesting Third Reich Sword?   An Interesting Third Reich Sword?  

    Last edited by Jerry B; 12-14-2020 at 11:47 PM.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  10. #9
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    Quote by F J Stephens View Post
    Another photo, comparing the two sword types.

    F. J. Stephens
    An Interesting Third Reich Sword?
    Great post Frederick and well researched thank you Sir! that is the icing on the cake!
    Its a Deluxe version and that should not be compared with an standard IOD, its like comparing a Mercedes AMG to a VW Polo
    Here is a proper Eickhorn Deluxe to compare with.

    Question: do you own this sword?

    Kind Regards
    Ger
    An Interesting Third Reich Sword?
    Last edited by gerrit; 12-16-2020 at 07:35 PM.

  11. #10

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    Frederick, A beautiful example of a custom made sword that has been well researched, I especially liked the linkage to the DAK. That was something I did not anticipate. Thank you for sharing. . Best Regards, Fred

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