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Old 09-02-2019, 05:15 PM
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Exclamation More research on the family Gehr

Chances are that somewhere in the Gehr & Sohn Waffenfabrik compound library Papa Gehr would have a Großmesser c. 1500.



Großmesser (Oss 307) in Schwarzburger Zeughaus, the armoury of the Schwarzburg castle (photo: Konrad Kessler)

Contrary to common belief, it is not the sword but the “Messer” – German for knife – that should be considered the most widespread bladed weapon in medieval and early modern Germany. It existed in many varieties and had a number of different functions. Depending on the circumstances of its use, the Messer was also called “Langes Messer” (long knife), “Großes Messer” (Great Knife), Bauernwehr or Hauswehr (peasant’s or household arm) and Kriegsmesser (war knife).

It is generally defined by a single-edged blade with a knife-like hilt construction. The single-edged blade provides a higher sturdiness. Along with the sturdiness, the weight of the blade – compared to a double-edged weapon – makes the Messer not only a weapon but also a good tool.

The hilt construction of the Messer usually shows a slab tang covered with pegged wooden grip plates. In addition to the common straight cross-guard, Messer hilts often include a “Nagel” (nail) – a simple or decorated third parry on the side of the cross-guard.

Like early swords, Messers were also used as hunting weapons without differentiating between their purposes. Although later hunting-swords developed a specific blade design, the major difference in later Messers for hunting, civilian and war use is to be found in the decoration and material of the hilts.

Depending on its use, the Messer can also combine additional functions, most commonly a saw back, which, besides, also can be observed on hunting knives as well as Messer-type weapons for engineers in military use.

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PUBLISH THE BOOK D.C.

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