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Thema: Deutsche Blankwaffen in Boer Freistaat Einsatz 2 (

Geschrieben von: Snaphaan am: 10.01.13, 10:00:41
Hallo aus Bloemfontein, Südafrika!

Please forgive my English as I am actually Afrikaans speaking...

I am researching the German made uniforms, equipment and side arms of the Oranje Vrijstaat Artillerie Corps (OVSAC), the artillery unit of the Boer republic of the Orange Free State (1854-1902).

In 1880 Captain FWR Albrecht, an ex-Prussian artilleryman and veteran of the 1870-1871 War, was appointed in command of the unit. During his service in the Prussian Army Albrecht served in the 4th Prussian Guard Artillery Regiment and therefore it is natural that under his command the design of the OVSAC uniforms, the drill, equipment and weapons were based on that of his old regiment. They soon became know as "Little Prussia on the Veldt".

Above: Albrecht after being promoted to major in the uniform of the OVSAC

I have recovered detailed uniform orders from the Free State Archives. The OVSAC’s main German uniform supplier during the 1890s was C.F. Wulfert of 68 Charlotten-Straße, Berlin. In 1897 a large order was also placed with Eduard Sachs of 7 Traubenstraße, Berlin. Unfortunately, to date, I have not been able to find any information on the faschinenmesser the unit ordered from German. Fortunately we have photographical records as well as two original Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Co examples that survived the Boer War (1899-1902):

The blade is 473mm long from guard to tip, 28.5mm wide at the guard and 8mm thick. The hand grip is 138mm long overall and the sheath 510mm long.

Can anyone identify this faschinenmesser? Does it correspond with the Prussian Artillerie-Faschinenmesser M1849?

Any assistance would be welcomed.

MC Heunis
Oranje Vrijstaat Artillerie Corps
Historical Study and Re-enactment Group

Geschrieben von: ulfberth am: 11.01.13, 00:36:06
Hallo Snaphaan!

Ein interessantes Seitengewehr. Die Kombination aus dem Griff des Artillerie Faschinenmesser von 1849 bzw. des Infanterie-Faschinemessers n/A von 1852 mit Klinge und Scheide des Infanterie-Seitengewehres von 1871 ist in Deutschland eher selten anzutreffen.

Siehe auch HIER

Für die Solinger Hersteller eine gute Gelegenheit, auch ältere Modelle noch zu verkaufen.



Geschrieben von: Snaphaan am: 15.01.13, 08:20:37
Danke Ulfberth!

The Transvaal "Staatsartillerie" gunners wore these swords for a short period in the late 1880s/early 1890s, but photographical evidence indicate the gunners of the Oranje Vrijstaat Artillerie Corps (OVSAC) carried these impractical things right into the Boer War (1899-1902).

Transvaal Staatsartillerie Gunner with Faschinenmesser c1890:

OVSAC Gunner with Faschinenmesser c1897:

OVSAC Gunners with a Krupp gun on the Western Front, late 1899. Note the white belts and the faschinemesser draped over the barrel of the gun:

Geschrieben von: Snaphaan am: 17.01.13, 09:08:56
Little is known about the Transvaal (ZAR) Faschinenmessern except that the ZAR's head of the artillery, Adolph Zboril, (an ex-Austrian artilleryman) at some stage in the 1880s recommended to Commandant-General Piet Joubert that a sawback short sword should be imported for the artillery. A few contemporary photos show these being worn in the late 1880s/early 1890s and it does seem to have had a sawback:

The ZAR's saw back version makes sense as it can be used to cut wood for the construction of field fortifications (hence the name "fascine knife"). Also some areas of the ZAR, like the Bushveld and Lowveld where several campaigns against native tribes were conducted, is rather overgrown.

The ZAR version looks more like the Prussian Infantry Faschinemesser M1852?

Geschrieben von: ulfberth am: 19.01.13, 08:22:27
Inwieweit die Klinge einen Sägerücken trägt, läßt sich anhand des hier eingestellten Fotos nicht beurteilen.

Durch die Hohlbahn dürfte es sich bei der abgebildeten Waffe wiederum um eine Klinge ähnliche der des deutschen Infanterie-Seitengewehrs M/1871 handeln.