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Thread: Alexander Coppel 1st Uhlan Sword

  1. #1

    Alexander Coppel 1st Uhlan Sword

    Hello Forum members. I am looking for some help on a sword I inherited from my father, who was in the U.S. Army during WWII. He brought it back from Germany when he was discharged. After doing some web research on it, I have discovered that it is an Alex Coppel make. The sword contains the inscription: Kgl.Bayr.1.Ul.Reg.KaiserWilhelmIIKonigvPreuben

    It bears the ACS mark with the scales.
    I have the scabbard as well. The sword and scabbard are in fair to good condition.

    I have assumed this is a sword from Kaiser Wilhelm II's 1st Uhlan Regiment from Bamberg, known as the Bamberger Lancers. I would appreciate it if anyone could enlighten me as to its background. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    Well Bob, It is hard to say without some extensive pix posted, but offhand....What your Father brought back was the Kavallrie Degen Modell 1889, extra purchase Degen of a Three Year Volunteer. Three Year Volunteers were usually not stone poor, and were allowed to buy their own gear, in return, they could buy a fancy Degen with engraving for non combat use...The Cavalry was expensive to maintain, and the German States allowed some leeway with personal items since these volunteers bought the gear, that the State would have had to pay for...As a general assumption, most, if not all of the weapons we see today, with the etched blades, if the troopers' pattern, were purchsed privately by these volunteers....

    BTW: This is a Bavarian Regiment, named for the King of Prussia, not a Prussian Regiment...The funky pricipalities and kingdoms of that era, were fond of naming some regiment for some foreign royalty, so they had various regiments named for various Kings, Dukes, and Princes in their armies...Even the 8th Prussian Kurrasiers were named "8te Kuerrasier Regiment-Koenig George V von Engeland" and so on...This was common before 1914...

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale Martin; 04-25-2012 at 11:26 PM. Reason: add...

  3. #3
    Dale, thanks for your eloquent reply. I admit I'm not as tech-savvy as others and posted without photos, mainly because I don't know how yet. I will try to get the photos on board here shortly. I did Google this regiment and it appears to indeed be associated with Kaiser Wilhelm II. There's a Wikipedia entry about them (Wikipedia is not the most trustworthy of resources of course), and it lists their activity in the 19th and 20th centuries. What is really interesting a local sense: I am from Philadelphia, and there's a suburban town called King of Prussia, Pa, here. That is not as interesting as the swordmaker's history. There is a Koppel family here. One is a urologist I have met (academically!) and the other is his cousin Ted Koppel, the famous TV journalist and moderator for ABC's Nightline. I have a suspicion that they are relative of Alexander Coppel. They are legacies of German Jewish Diaspora who fled Hitler's persecution - like Alexander Coppel. I will be attempting to contact them.

  4. #4
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    Bavarian Uhlans

    I knew Ted in Nam...Good Guy...

    Your Degen reads "1st Royal Bavarian Uhlan Regt--King Wilhem II of Prussia" It is of a Bavarian Regt, named for Kaiser Bill as King of Prussia...The Guard will have a Rampant Lion on it, not an Eagle....(I hope!!)

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale Martin; 04-30-2012 at 09:43 AM. Reason: sp....

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    The regiment wasn't named after the Kaiser. Kaiser was the honorary colonel or a regimental chief. This practice was quite popular in the German pre-WWI Army. You can find swords with the names of the Russian Tzar, Austrian Emperor, etc. They were all related, after all...basically one large happy family which ruled all of Europe (except for France, perhaps) for a couple of hundred years.
    Russian Tzars and Tzarinas after about 1750 had not a drop of Russian blood. Same with the British Kings. All Germans.
    Anyway, enjoy your sword.

  6. #6
    It does have a lion on it. Once I am able to upload the photos everyone can see them.

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    I knew Dr. Koppel as a teacher from Jefferson Medical College. Nice guy as well, looked just like his cousin.

  8. #8
    Yes, my further understanding is that Kaiser Wilhelm knew the regiment was named after him.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitry Z~G View Post
    The regiment wasn't named after the Kaiser. Kaiser was the honorary colonel or a regimental chief. This practice was quite popular in the German pre-WWI Army. You can find swords with the names of the Russian Tzar, Austrian Emperor, etc. They were all related, after all...basically one large happy family which ruled all of Europe (except for France, perhaps) for a couple of hundred years.
    Russian Tzars and Tzarinas after about 1750 had not a drop of Russian blood. Same with the British Kings. All Germans.
    Anyway, enjoy your sword.
    This practice continues somewhat, although they don't change the names of regiments anymore, and not in Germany. Interesting the Norwegian King's Guard has a King Penguin as a colonel-in-chief.

    I did read a genealogist tackling the question of Prince William's ethnicity, posit that Royal is an ethnic group, but stated that if you don't buy that theory then Royal could be considered German. its a bit off topic so I will just link

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    Thanks for your reply, Ryan/ He defines Royal as an ethnic group ? I wonder if the study was commissioned by Prince William.
    I'm no genealogist, but the following doesn't seem right - Before I give the results, some explanations are in order. First, what does it mean when someone states that "the British Royal Family is not British"? Does it refer to the nationality of the British Royal Family? Obviously not, because they're all British nationals. Does it refer to the location(s) of their birth(s)? Obviously not, because almost all of them alive today were born in Britain, as were almost all of the members of the British Royal Family for the past several hundred years.

    The British Kings, from George I on, even those born in England, almost all took German-born wives [and vice versa, i.e. Victoria and Albert], up to the mid-20th c.
    Last edited by Dmitry Z~G; 05-06-2012 at 12:42 AM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitry Z~G View Post
    Thanks for your reply, Ryan/ He defines Royal as an ethnic group ? I wonder if the study was commissioned by Prince William.
    I'm no genealogist, but the following doesn't seem right - Before I give the results, some explanations are in order. First, what does it mean when someone states that "the British Royal Family is not British"? Does it refer to the nationality of the British Royal Family? Obviously not, because they're all British nationals. Does it refer to the location(s) of their birth(s)? Obviously not, because almost all of them alive today were born in Britain, as were almost all of the members of the British Royal Family for the past several hundred years.

    The British Kings, from George I on, even those born in England, almost all took German-born wives [and vice versa, i.e. Victoria and Albert], up to the mid-20th c.
    Perhaps, you are being a bit nick-picky? He certainly was not commissioned, he was an amateur(as in not paid), trying to answer a difficult question in an scholarly way. I think it holds that most members of the British Royal Family were born in England because consorts are in the minority. Also, the last consort born in Germany was Prince Albert. Prince Philip was born in Greece, Queen Mary of Teck in England, Queen Alexander in Denmark. Additionally, members of the Royal Family who were not monarchs married members German and Danish ruling families, so some of them had English ancestry.
    Last edited by Ryan Sh; 05-06-2012 at 02:09 PM.

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