Automobilcorps


The First World War

Clothing Regulations


For any collector, supporting  period documentation is always treasured. That link to origi­nality is finally and firmly established. Sadly, for collectors of many European antiques what­ever they may be, due to two great wars many library and museum collections and documents were destroyed or dispersed to the four winds.

Let one of the authors describe with his own words how he became one of the experienced collectors of the Automobil-Corps daggers:

Collecting for me has always meant German military daggers, especially those of the Imperial German Navy.  Those ivory grips and gleaming gold fittings from the days of the Kaiser just captured me like no other edged weapon.

In the early 1980's I started running into daggers that looked like German navy daggers but were silver and had a horn or a propellor on the crossguard center instead of the fouled anchor. The first one I saw was in 1981 at a gun show and it was labeled Balloon Officer Dagger $1000.00.  This dagger held my interest and I wrote a friend Hermann Maurer whom I had corresponded with over the years regarding navy daggers.  Hermann advised me they were called Automobile and Aero Corps daggers but in 25 years of searching he had no period documentation about them. After some more searching I did discover enough history to know that these beautiful daggers belonged to an elite group of men who offered their personal cars to the service of the Kaiser. That was about the last bit of information I found out for years. There have been a few articles written about these daggers over the years, but mostly a review of what was already known.  Even searching the mighty internet yielded nothing new.


One snowy night I got an email from a friend advising me that there were some German documents for sale on eBay that may interest me as they seemed to relate to the Kaiserliche Automobile Corps. I quickly found the site, placed a bid, and for the princely sum of $12.00 I purchased what was to me the answer to over 20 years of searching. What I purchased were original period documents relating directly to the Kaiserliche Automobile Corps and the war­time organization the Kaiserliche Kraftfahr Korps. The documents included a complete list of members from 1906 to 1917, minutes from a meeting held where members were honored, a travel pass with original stamps, a telegram regarding map depots and the treasure of it all a complete set of  wartime uniform regulations including my wonderful daggers!

German  regulaion and photo Vic Diehl Collection


Dress Regulation

Applicable to

The Kaiserliches Kraftfahr-Korps (Imperial motorised Corps) (K. Kf. K.)

Comments:
1. Clothing, accoutrement, and arms have to be procured and maintained by the members of the K. Kf. K. at their own expense, cf. section 31 of the FD. A.
2. Section 11 of the A. K. O. Implementing Provisions dated 9/29/15 (A. V. Bl. p. 423) concerning the taking of pieces of clothing or accoutrement from troop inventories shall apply to the members of the K. Kf. K. as well. *)
3. The army regulations enacted with regard to the wearing of medals and decorations shall apply.
4. The carpool staff is allowed to wear a poncho conforming to the following description:
Basic material: lined worsted serge with rubber underliner
Basic colour: field-grey
Shape:              bag-shaped, without pockets and buttons, only with a head-hole to slip through; short breast and back yoke ending in a  neckline of 12 - 15 centimetres with laces; wide sleeves with elastics at the wrists.
Accessory: sheath, 32 x 50 centimetres in size, out of the same material with a 3-buttoned flap and a carrying strap.
5. Infantry bayonet 98/05 with saw-back is to be procured conjointly by the K. Kf. K. Command from the office of the Royal Master of Ordnance in Berlin against payment.
6. It is left to the corps members’ discretion to wear out their current tunic pursuant to the dress regulation applicable to the Kaiserliches Freiwilliges Automobil-Corps (Imperial Volunteer Automotive Corps) after having changed the badges.
7. Draftee members in the rank of a Captain or even higher military rank shall wear spurs.
8. Saxon members of the K. Kf. K. are subject to additional regulations enacted by the Royal Saxon Ministry of War.



*) Section 11 of the A. K. O. Implementing Provisions reads: Officers may take cloaks, blouses, and breeches, as well as tommy-bags, field-bags, and drinking cups from troop inventories against reim­bursement of the cost to be determined annually by the Army Administration Department. Any neces­sary modifications, if any, must be arranged for by the officers themselves. Officers are also allowed to purchase cloth for the above mentioned pieces of clothing from the clothing offices through their re­spective formation, etc.  Clothing offices will stock lighter cloth for officers.

Nr.

Kleiner Rock

Bluse

Mantel

Umhang

1

As for army officers; however, piping in dark madder-red, collar of mignonette-coloured cloth with a patch in dark madder-red. On both sleeves, 2 centimetres above the top edge of the cuff, a silver imperial crown of 3.5 centimetres in diameter, either embossed or embroidered.

As for army officers; with aperture for the dagger. Dark madder-red collar patches. Imperial crown of 3.5 centimetres in diameter in tarnished silver 2 centimetres above the top edge of the cuffs. Metal buttons in matt silver with imperial crown, as for the colonial forces.

As for army officers; buttons in matt silver with imperial crown, as for the colonial forces.

As for army officers;

Helm

Mütze und Feldmütze

Achtelstücke

Stiefelhose und lange Tuchhose

Stiefel und Gamaschen

Handschuhe

.

As for officers of the motorized forces; with eagle as for colonial forces and without crest.

As for army officers;

Basic cloth in field-grey, cords and cap braids of dark madder-red cloth

Epaulets of flat cord, silver (matt-grey silver for battle tunic) interweaved with black-white-red threads, plaited or even, depending upon the respective military rank.

Insignia of rank in accordance with the rank achieved in officer’s service; underlay  in dark madder-red cloth; different for the Chief of Staff: staff-officer – epaulets with dark madder-red padding without any badge

As for army officers, however dress trousers with braids in dark madder-red

As for army officers, (black).

.

As for army officers, for carpool service: brown cuffs or gauntlet gloves at the member’s option

Feldkoppel

Seitengewehr

Portepee

Pistole, Pistolentasche, Fernglas und Fernglasfutteral

As for army officers, in addition matt-silver buckle with imperial crown as used by colonial forces

For carpool: infantry bayonet 98/05 with saw-back in bayonet frog  affixed to waist-belt; otherwise dagger with pointed blade, 30 centimetres in length, decreasing towards the cutting edges; crossguard with button-like ends, ivory handle braided with silver wire ending in a silver-plated imperial crown; a gold-plated horn of 1 ½ centimetres length on the outer mid-area of the crossguard. Total length of the dagger: 45 centimetres; length of the handle with crossguard and crown: 12 ½ centimetres; length of the crossguard: 8 centimetres.

Accessory:

Brown leather sheath with silver-plated mountings at top and bottom; at the upper mounting: a downward open hook of 4 centimetres length for the sling; sheath retaining spring at the inner side of the blade below the crossguard.

After probation for officers of colonial forces. Small-sized sword-knot allowed in combination with the dagger.

Automatic pistol system Parabellum, cal. 9 millimetres, with accessories: holster: black stiff calf leather with small tool pocket and loops to pull through the waist-belt.

Accessories:

Magazine pouch out of black calf leather to accommodate 2 spare magazines; field glass: of member’s choice; field glass case: out of black stiff calf leather, vaulted, with loops to pull through the waist-belt.

.

Nr.

Kleiner Rock

Bluse

Mantel

Umhang

2

As for 1; in addition, a silver aiguillette, interweaved with red and black silk, in hussars’ web – officer – aiguillette with one longitudinal slide and one cross slide out of silver web, ending in a snap hook. The aiguillette’s upper aperture is being pulled up the right sleeve up to the shoulder with the epaulet being buttoned on top, the snap hook is being hooked into the second-top button.

As for 1, with aiguillette as worn with the tunik; aiguillette in matt style

As for 1,

 but with aiguillette as worn with the tunik; aiguillette in matt style

As for 1.

Helm

Mütze und Feldmütze

Achtelstücke

Stiefelhose und lange Tuchhose

Stiefel und Gamaschen

Handschuhe

As for 1.

As for 1, but without badge,

As for 1.

As for 1.

As for 1.

Feldkoppel

Seitengewehr

Portepee

Pistole, Pistolentasche, Fernglas und Fernglasfutteral

As for 1.

As for 1.

As for naval dagger, but with strap of 12 millimetres width in the German colours.

As for 1.

Nr.

Bluse

Mantel

Helm

3

As for 1; however, if appropriate, with the insignia of the respective military rank (field-grey piping, interweaved with 2 white stripes and 1 red stripe, honour buttons).

As for 1; If appropriate, black-white-red decoration piping and honour buttons at the collar.

As for 1.

Achtelschnüre

Stiefelhose und lange Tuchhose

Stiefel und Gamaschen

Handschuhe

Double-wrapped silver shoulder cord of 4 millimetres width, buttoned at the upper end and sewed into the shoulder seam at the lower end; matt-grey silver shoulder cord at cloak and blouse.

As for 1.

As for 1.

As for 1, but only for carpool service, otherwise like army men. No red-brown officer’s gloves.

Achtelschnüre

Stiefelhose und lange Tuchhose

Stiefel und Gamaschen

Handschuhe

Double-wrapped silver shoulder cord of 4 millimetres width, buttoned at the upper end and sewed into the shoulder seam at the lower end; matt-grey silver shoulder cord at cloak and blouse.

As for 1.

As for 1.

As for 1, but only for carpool service, otherwise like army men. No red-brown officer’s gloves.

Koppel

Seitengewehr

Portepee und Troddel

Pistole, Pistolentasche, Fernglas und Fernglasfutteral

Men’s waist-belt, black, buckle as for colonial forces.

Infantry bayonet 98/05 with saw-back or dagger as for 1.

Sergeants wear the officers’ sword-knot, other non-commissioned officers wear a black-white-red sword tassel, and other members wear a white sword tassel.

As for 1.

These regulations are priceless for the information they provide and they are reprinted here in their original German and in a complete English translation for every collector and historian to enjoy, but most importantly add to the limited knowledge surrounding these elusive or­ganizations. It is hoped this material will answer many questions and also raise many others. Quoting Benjamin Franklin, " Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, dis­course a clear man."

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The German Imperial Automobile Corps and its daggers - By Vic Diehl and H.Hampe