Automobilcorps


The First World War

Manner of wear of the Automobile Corps Dagger


The suspension of Automobile Corps daggers was generally in the accepted manner for both civilian and military edged weapons of the period. The 1906 Hirschfanger as pictured in this article was worn from a belt loop on the left side with a leather hanger connected to the double suspension rings of the scabbard which resulted in horizontal wear of the weapon. This weapon was rather large and somewhat uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

The later 45 cm. length daggers continued to be worn on the left side in three different man­ners.  These daggers were all private purchase items so the preferred manner of wear was determined by the selection of the upper scabbard fitting.  Those daggers selected with a frog stud only were worn in two ways.  As prescribed by regulations the dag­ger may be worn through the dagger slit at the top of the pocket flap on the left side of the uniform. When worn in this manner only the crossguard and hilt of the weapon were visible other than a portion of the lower scabbard fitting which may hang below the tunic. The actual weight of the weapon was supported by a shoulder strap worn across the chest under the uniform.  The second method of wear was with an external brown leather frog suspended from a belt loop, bayonet style. The frog which was worn on the field belt was constructed with a V shaped slot for hooking the frog stud. The depth of this slot ensured a proper hanging angle for the dagger.  This manner of wear resulted in the entire dagger being seen which was favored by many members.

Other members selected the optional upper scabbard fitting which contained both the lug and a hanger ring for horizontal wear. This gave the member all of the suspension options. When the dagger was worn horizontally it was suspended from a leather hanger. The hanger had a “D” ring which was snapped to the belt loop. The bottom of the hanger had a snap hanger fitting which attached to the dagger suspension ring. The suspension sling contained an elongated, rounded nickel silver buckle located in the lower third which allowed for minor adjustment of dagger wear.  These hangers are extremely rare and seldom seen.  It is entirely possible that some hangers were issued with regaining hooks.  Still other hangers may have been issued without the lower snap fitting, in this case the buckle had to be undone to allow the punched leather end to slip through the suspension ring and be buckled. 

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