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#299189 07/14/2014 11:40 AM
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Paul Offline OP
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Gentlemen

I Love the look of these forestry bayonets, and have been wondering about the markings on them:
Ch AW-already identified as Chromolit, the trademark of Arthur Wingen

and " Waffen-Loesche Berlin.

I know this latter has been declared a distributor, however, there still exists (Worldwide now) the Loesche' company, which began trading in 1906 as a manufacturer of machinery in the cement industry, situated in Berlin:-

"The outbreak of the Second World War was a caesura in the history of Ernst Curt Loesches company. As was the case with many other machine manufacturers, the company was obliged to produce armaments for the German war effort: the Reich Air Ministry soon replaced the cement industry as the companys largest customer"--Wikepedia.

..is it too much a leap of faith to imply that the inscription actually reads: "Waffen"-Loesche Berlin
i.e. Weapon-of the Loesche Company, Berlin??? perhaps working somehow in collaboration with Wingen?
Wikepedia also states that the company began manufacturing its products in its own manufacturing facility, initially in Berlin-Hohenschnhausen could this explain the H marking on the spine ????

I have confirmed with the Loesche company that they did indeed manufacture articles for the Reich during that time frame, but could not-or would not-confirm any specifics.
Thoughts?

Paul


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Paul #299190 07/14/2014 12:08 PM
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I should also mention that the Loesche company now has no connection with armaments manufacture whatsoever, and has not done so since the end of the second World War


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Paul #299197 07/14/2014 04:16 PM
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A very good question Paul. These are certainly well made Seitengewehre and the markings are subject of much confusion and speculation. My understanding of Waffen Loesche is that they were a trading company in a vein similar to Burgsmuller in Berlin. So, it has been assumed that they either assembled these sidearms and/or distributed them during the NS Zeit. No one seems to know for certain and I have seen no period verification of this theory.

Some other points from looking at examples of the material culture artifacts themselves are interesting. All are marked "Waffen-Loesch Berlin". Some are marked "Ch.A.W." while some are not. Some are serial numbered while some are not. The scabbard is also distinctive in that many have a painted brass frog stud. The unplated blade is very distinctive in shape and looks very much like those producted early on for Police Extra-Seitengewehre by WKC. See page 110 of my book, "Seitengewehr: History of the German Bayonet 1919-1945" for an example of this blade taken from the WKC catalog showing a Zollbeamten-Seitengewehr.

All this is confusing to sort out who actually made them. If Waffen Loesch was an assembler, rather than a manufacturer, they might have used parts from various sources. Many makers did the same thing... a blade from Wingen or a scabbard from WKC, etc. None of this helps much but does add to the confusion and speculation. Some early German Mauser rifles had this similar Ch.. marking on their buttstocks and the speculation is that it was a military property marking for some test rifles. Again speculation but some of the rifles have this marking while some do not... much like these Seitengewehr.

I don't have a difinitive answer but perhaps some more information has come to light since I published my book in 1999.

George


"You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson
ORPO #299199 07/15/2014 12:07 AM
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I agree with George, good question Paul. My feeling was that the company name was altered to suit this new purpose, producing armaments, so that they changed the compamy name to Waffen Loesch to reflect that new purpose.

Just in the course of learning, I've found that many of the things we think of as mysteries had far simpler answers given it was wartime & the well-known German propensity for frugality.

I have one of these bayonets, dual marked Ch.A.W. & Waffen Loesch & spine marked with the "H". I think Tom Wittmann once said he thought the "H" might stand for the airport at Hildescheim. Sadly bayonet my has no serial numbers. I have always loved their simplicity & workmanship along with the beauty of the stag grip plates. There just isn't a lot of period info out there.


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