Newsletter No. 200, June 4, 2016
The Goering Panzer Division Presentation Sword to Hermann Goering
by Frank D. Thayer. PhD
Copy vs Original
Here we have a picture of the so-called “Göring Panzer Sword.”
This replica is made in China and it, and a fake dagger entitled, “ Göring Panzer Dagger” is also made in the same country. These sell in auctions and on websites stuffed with other similar fakes, for large sums of money.
These copies are based on an original piece manufactured by the German sword and dagger maker, Stöcker Stahl- und Metallwarenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG ,(SMF) and paid for (RM 250-) by the staff of the Hermann Göring Panzer Division by Oberst Ewerth via Oberzahlmeister Hoffmann (see pictures below)
This sword, from a private collection, was designated as a presentation by the Panzer divisional staff to Chef der Division, Reichsmarshall Göring. Delivery was made to the Divisional headquarters in Italy on 18. Juli, 1943. In shape it closely resembles the so-called Wedding Sword made up in 1935 by the Solingen-based firm of Carl Eichhorn for Goering when he married Emmy Sonnenmann.
Also note that the eagle on the cross guard is not found on any issue Luftwaffe sword but is found on the Wedding Sword.
The above sword is 34 ½ inches overall and the grip is aged ivory. The modern Chinese copy is 38 inches overall. As Hermann Goering was 5′ 6′ in height, the longer sword would not have been made for him but the shorter one would be correct in size.
It should be noted that when ivory is fresh it always reacts, very brightly, to the ultra-violet light. As ivory ages, the reaction to the ultra-violet light is far less bright and the more aged the ivory, the darker it becomes when exposed to ultra-violet light. Eventually, when the ivory becomes old enough, there is no reaction to the light. Also, fresh ivory is white in color and old ivory becomes a darker yellow with age. This ivory hilt has been tested with a black light. There is no reaction, and the ivory is at least 70 years old.
As with any object of value, provenance is considered to be vital in establishing its authenticity and, to an equal degree, its value. In this case, the sword in question was given by Goering’s family to one Jack G. Wheelis. Wheelis was born in Mart, Texas, April 22, 1913 and died in Kileen, Texas on May 13, 1954. He served in Germany after World War II and was stationed in Nuremburg during the war crimes trials.
During that period, he became friendly with Hermann Goering and, in return for his courtesies, Goering smuggled a letter out of jail to his wife, asking her to make available to Lt. Wheelis a number of items, including a sword he had put away in a secure place. This she did and with this sword is a USFET Form No 33 (also known as a bring back certificate) permitting Lt. Wheelis to ship the sword back to the United States as a war trophy. It is ink-signed by his commanding officer, Major Harold J. Prangle, USA. Wheelis is well-known in the collecting world as having more authentic Goering items.
Also accompanying the sword is a bill of sale from a Heinz A. von Hungen, MD of Modesto, California who acquired the sword after it was sold by the Wheelis people to a Doctor Julian Milestone of Los Angeles, California, a collector of Goering items, and then sold by von Hungen to the militaria firm of Globe Militaria of Keene, New Hampshire. This document is also ink-signed.
Placing an accurate evaluation on this unique piece is not easy but the Wedding Sword, from which this piece is copied, sold to a collector for one million dollars. Though not as well-publicized and not as elaborate, this piece could easily fetch upwards of four hundred and fifty thousand dollars at auction, especially with the accompanying provenance which the Wedding Sword did not have.
Dr Frank D. Thayer is a published expert on many aspects of the Third Reich, is retired as emeritus as former head of the Journalism Department of the University of New Mexico, Las Cruces, and has been an advanced collector of militaria for thirty years.
12 thoughts on “Newsletter No. 200, June 4, 2016”
Wow, what a beauty. Thanks for the interesting write up.
Are you talking about the Göring piece? If so, I agree with your opinion. A dealer claims this is a cheap Chinese copy but there is no question this is original. The Chinese copy has a grooved blade, no maker’s mark, a name scratched on the blade and a wooden handle that is leather-wrpped and with a wire in the grip. And unlike so many “unique” pieces being offered, this one had genuine provenance.
Yes indeed. I was referring to the Goering piece. I’m pleased to have stumbled across your articles while researching . Most informative and entertaining, all whilst exposing these clowns for what they are, FRAUDS! This hobby can be a real minefield. Thanks for clearing a small swath for some of us. It’s shocking how elaborate some of these schemes are. But given the amount of money to be made, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Thanks for your insight.
Yes, the militaria collecting world has been taken over with fakes,sellers of fakes and believers in fakes. If anyone dares to question the fakes, the fakers or the believers, the immediate result is an explosion of screaming fury, semi-literate communications posted on the forum sites and mass foot stamping and poutings everywhere evident. Legitimate, serious collectors and researchers are drowned out by these elements and the ostensible purpose of a forum; to educate, is completely negated. Eventually, the frustrated collectors will find other means to communicate with each other, leaving the True Believers to screech at each other while throwing rotting plums back and forth.
What strikes me about these collection sites is how rude the members are to each other. If someone talked to me that way, I would break his jaw for him. Why don’t the serious collectors break away from these little girl clubs and make their own association, keeping the thieves and loud mouths out?
You are coming down to their level. I agree that the trade needs more independence and certainly better manners but breaking faces is not the answer. Any changes have to come from within, not without
Both fake sword. If the first is a cheap Chinese copy, the second copy has not only has a some of original parts (blade) but also bogus provenance. One of document listed the golden sword of the Luftwaffe. The document in 1984 that the sword belonged to Goering. And now we have to fake documentary evidence that this is supposedly the original thing belonged to Goering. Why is this sword copy and not the original. Blade is in addition to the trademarck manufacturer SMF, has the logo of military acceptance. How is presentation sword can this be? Gift items Goering his wedding sword and daggers were made in large factories producing type Eickhorn. Although the SMF is not a small manufacturer, but it is not the leading enterprise of Solingen. Now other parts Guard has traces of bad casting in the form of shells. The place where the handle is adjacent to the fittings, is made not neatly done. And if that would be possible on a mass object, the object of such a presentation could not be issued with such negligence.
The Goering Panzer sword is entirely genuine and your rationale is very faulty. The sword with the black leather-covered, wired grip shown in our article is indeed a cheap Chinese fake. It was offered for sale by Germania International for $700.00 and there is a internet catalog from the Chinese manufacturer selling it for $70.00 as a fake copy of the original. There is an Internet document sent by that firm on the sword and that is where our illustration came from. And for your information, there was an original Goering wedding sword made by Eichhorn and presented to Goering but the one sold after it was “discovered” in a bar, for a great deal of money was an Atwood production, just like the so-called “Luftwaffe General’s sword.” This was a copy of the original sword, made by Eichhorn after 1945 and for the Chilean air force. The post war copies did not have the silver Luftwaffe eagle a part of the guard, as did all the originals so Atwood had copies of the eagle manufactured and riveted on later. Ergo, a Luftwaffe General’s sword with a riveted eagle is a cheap fake. Many collectors have these but Atwood paid ca 200 DM for these when the mark was a US quarter so the markup was impressive. There is extant an original file of SMF wartime correspondence on the original Goering Panzer sword but as most collectors can barely read English, let alone a foreign language, (a perusal of the WAF site will clearly prove this point) there is no necessity in publishing German documents. Neither the Atwood, Johnson or Angolia books can be considered reliable reference material and the sword and dagger market is so full of fakes as to prove the statement once made by P.T. Barnum that a sucker is born every minute. The German militaria collecting world is packed to the Plimsoll line with them. If you doubt me, attend the MAX of SOS shows and see for yourself.
Ich bin mit Ihnen einverstanden, daβ Atwood den Markt mit Fälschungen überschwemmt hat. Er hat für das Hobby nicht nur viel gut gemacht, sonder auch schlecht. Es lohnt sich nicht, die billigen chinesischen Fälschungen zu besprechen. Ich möchte erfahren, wie der Göring Geschenkdolch den Stempel (Waffenamt) gekriegt hat. Wie ich schon geschrieben habe, zeigen Ihre Lichtbilder die Kokillenguβspuren. Es ist kaum möglich für den Geschenkdolch. Es wäre für mich sehr interresant, die SMF Briefwechsel über diesen geheimnisvollen Dolch zu lessen. Leider habe ich nicht SOS besucht. Aber ich habe MAX besucht und habe dort sowohl Originale als auch Fälschungen gesehen. Lass das zu Lasten der Dealer gehen! Wenn Sie interesse haben, kann ich die Fotos von hochwertigen Fälschungen aus Russland geben. Ich habe lange bewiesen, daβ die die Fälschungen sind, aber jetzt alle Sammler haben diesen Fakt erkennt. Den.
Most of my readers are conversant in English so I respond in that language.
When I was living in München I knew Atwood (who was with the CIA in Berlin)
He came down to visit me because of my connections and showed me a number of pictures of a copy of the Goering “Wedding Sword” he was having Eichhorn make.
Also pictures and a sample adler for the “Luftwaffe General” degen.
I told him that the lettering on the blade was reversed from the original but he laughed and said “well, shit happens.”
Also he had a fantasy “Himmler Damascus Letter Opener” but it was acid-etched and the letters put on with Epoxy.
Many “advanced” collections have the “Luftwaffe General’s degen” or the “Himmler letter opener.”
More recently we have the fantasy “HJ Olympic seitengewehr” that only the very most important dealers have boxes of in their basement.
And then there is the so-gennanten “Feldherrnhalle” dolch.
This is not correct.
The dolch is the 1938 SA High Leader’s dagger.
Made only by Eichhorn, (5,000 under contract and only 2,500 actually made and issued) it always has a bakelite grip and aluminum fittings.
The blades only said “Alles für Deutschland”
The modern fakes have ivory, ebony, silver or such like grips, fake Damascus blades and all kinds of inscriptions on them.
These are all fake and the American dealer who had these told me, not knowing who I was, that he loved to sell these to the stupid Russians.
Russians are not stupid and I told him he should take care that a Russian collector he cheated didn’t stick a knife in him in the loo at the MAX show.
There were, when I lived there, many old-time Kosaken in the München area and because I have had Russian friends since I was a child and ride horses, I got on well with them.
I collect Kosaken sachen (mostly Kuban) and have some original Olaf Jordan pictures of individual Kosaken and some German officers attached to Kosaken units.
I bought from a stupid dealer an original Jungkosaken abzeichen.
He thought it was a school badge but it is the only combat badge the Kosaken had.
He thought he cheated me by selling it to me for $50!
I did not bother to correct him.
Never stop a fool when he is making a mistake.
And pictures are always welcome!
Thank you for an insight of the Atwood saga. I knew of him but really appreciate your fleshing out the story. Regards Terry
Atwood was quite a character.
Didn’t have any but was interesting.
A CIA man, he sold secrets to the STASI, the GRU, forged hundreds of daggers and swords (he took a Eichorn sword for the Chilean Air Force and added a Luftwaffe eagle on the guard and put fake etching on the blade ane hey! presto! A rare “Luftwaffe General’s degen” appeared). That sort of thing.
He stole documents from the National Archives, sold machine guns (LMG 42s) to radical black movements in New York and other interesting, and totally illegal, activities.
When Jimmy got caught because a jealous co-worker snitched on him, he got off all the charges by telling his bosses in the CIA he might have to confess to their sins in court.
I am writing a book on Jimmy that will have to be published on asbestos paper.
His former friends might be unhappy but the book will sell, believe me.
And as far as his friends are concerned, if they will be good enough to bend over, I will be happy to drive them home.