THE SWORD of STALINGRAD.

Pictures and references  with courtesy of Robert Wilkinson Latham.

 

 

 

 

The story behind the gift of King George VI 
from the English people to the people of Russia in the Stalingrad.

Text by Olof Janson, pictures by Robert Wilkinson Latham

Uppdaterad 2011-10-11

 

The Stalingrad Sword

Cick on the image to make it larger.

This is a picture of the original sword

 

A magnificent Sword.

One of the most famous swords from modern time is the Stalingrad Sword.

It was made to the memory of those enormous sacrifices the Russian people of Stalingrad made during WW2.

 

The Battle of Stalingrad.

The battle of Stalingrad was one of the greatest battles in the world. It lasted between the 21st of August 1942 and 2nd of February 1943. It was also one of the worst – the fighting went on for 200 days.

The Red Army and the Russian civilians had to stand huge losses, but the Red Army managed to encircle the German army at Stalingrad and about 750 000 men were either killed or captured. Six German Divisions were erased.

The losses for the Red Army are estimated to more than 400 000 dead and more than 40 000 killed civilians.

This battle was the turning point for the victorious attacks by the Nazis and it was the beginning of the end for the Nazi terror.

 

An idea of the King and the Prime Minister.

PM Winston Churchill was very well aware about the importance of this battle. Although he was not a friend of Stalin he was a clever politician and he wanted to show the signification of the battle. This Sword became the signification of honour to the people of Russia from King George VI and the people of Great Britain. The King and the Prime Minister came up with the idea to make a unique Sword as a gift. It was presented to Field Marshal Josef Stalin as a gift to the Russian people.

The task to design the Sword went to Wilkinson Sword Company. The Sword took three months to produce. This Sword represents some of the very best British craftsmanship. The model is based on a Crusader’s double-edged two-hand sword.

It took about three months to produce from first designs to the production of the final weapon

The length was 4 feet (1.25 meters).

 

This is the famous sword-smith Tom Beasley with the blade for the Stalingrad Sword.

 

The grip was bound with 18 carat gold wire and the pommel was made of rock crystal.

The crossguard was made of silver each end shaped like the head of a leopard

 

and finished with parcel-gilt.

 

 

The blade is convex and made out of the best steel. It is etched on each side with:

"To the steel hearted citizen of Stalingrad - the gift of King George VI -
in token of homage of the British people"

The reverse side of the blade bears the Russian translation of the same text.

 

The scabbard was made of Persian lamb skin dyed crimson.

It was decorated with the Royal arms, Crown and Cypher in silver gilt with five silver mounts and three rubies mounted on golden stars.

 

This picture shows the staff from Wilkinson Sword Co who designed the Sword called the team of the Stalingrad Sword.

You can see ’Jack’ Wilkinson Latham with the sword in his hands.

The man with the apron is the silversmith Leslie Durbin.

 

 

The Sword was presented to Field Marshall Stalin by PM Winston Churchill at the conference 1943 in Teheran.

 

Picture from The Illustrated London News, 1944.

 

 

Three copies were later made from this sword.

 

Here we can see the father of Robert Wilkinson Latham, John Wilkinson Latham, holding one of these copies in Wilkinson Museum, Acton, London.

 

I want to give special acknowledgement to Robert Wilkinson Latham who helped me in writing this article.
Ref.: Robert Wilkinson Latham His own web site

 

[Top of the page]

 


 

Forming of Commandos
The Shanghai fighting knives
 

There are three basic modells of the F-S fighting knife.

1st Pattern F-S Fighting knife
2nd Pattern F-S Fighting knife
2nd Pattern F-S Fighting Private Purchase knife
2nd Pattern F-S Fighting w/o Wilkinson trademark.
like B2, Fat Man, Reverse Knurling
3rd Pattern F-S Fighting knife
Beaded & Ringed - Roped & Ringed

Steel hilt and Different hilts

Wood handles.

OSS - Stiletto w.'Pancake Flapper' and
US Marine Raider Stiletto

Three Indian F-S Commando Knives

Sheaths
Marks
UK Commando knives; Postwar production

 

The Stalingrad Sword made by Wilkinson Sword.

 


 

Back to
Gothia Arms Historical Society

in Swedish