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This Model 1892 Bavarian field artillery side- arm [seitengewehr] is an exceptional piece of armourer's craft. Obviously a presentation piece to a senior non-comissioned officer, it's a true work of art. The etching on the blade is one of the crispest and most detailed I have ever seen. The detail of the pommel casting is also quite fantastic, down to the little teeth in the lion's mouth. The condition is outstanding throughout, both the the hilt and the 47.5 cm-long blade, with only minor plating loss at the point. Scabbard is also in fine shape.
Rarity of this piece is compounded by the inscription on the obverse blade - 4 KGL. BAYERISCHE FELDARTILLERIE - KONIG REGIMENT. In other words, this sidearm belonged to a NCO of one of Bavaria's elite troops - 2. Königlich Bayerische Division - 2nd Royal Bavarian Division.
The 2nd Royal Bavarian Division was a unit of the Royal Bavarian Army which served alongside the Prussian Army as part of the Imperial German Army. The division was formed on November 27, 1815 as the Infantry Division of the Munich General Command (Infanterie-Division des Generalkommandos München.). It was called the 2nd Army Division between 1822 and 1848, again between 1851 and 1859, and again from 1869 to 1872. It was called the 2nd Infantry Division from 1848 to 1851 (as well as during wartime) and was named the Augsburg General Command from 1859 to 1869. From April 1, 1872 until mobilization for World War I, it was the 2nd Division. In Bavarian sources, it was not generally referred to as a "Royal Bavarian" division, as this was considered self-evident, but outside Bavaria, this designation was used for it, and other Bavarian units, to distinguish them from similarly numbered Prussian units. The division was headquartered in Ingolstadt from 1815 to 1817, in Regensburg from 1817 to 1822, and in Augsburg from 1822 to 1919, except for the period 1871-1873, when it was part of the German occupation forces in France. The division was part of the I Royal Bavarian Army Corps.
The division fought against Prussia in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, seeing action at Kissingen, Helmstadt and Roßbrunn. In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the division fought alongside the Prussians. It saw action in battles of Beaumont and Sedan, the 1st and 2nd battles of Orleans, the battles of Loigny-Poupry and Beaugency-Cravant, and the siege of Paris.
SERVICE IN WORLD WAR I - During World War I, the division served on the Western Front. It fought in the Battle of the Frontiers against French forces in the early stages, and then participated in the Race to the Sea, fighting along the Somme. It remained in the trenchlines on the Somme until October 1915, and then went into the line in Flanders and the Artois until May 1916. In May 1916, the division went into the Battle of Verdun. After Verdun, it fought in the later stages of the Battle of the Somme. In May 1917, it fought in the Second Battle of the Aisne, also called the Third Battle of Champagne (and by the Germans, the Double Battle on the Aisne and in the Champagne). After a period in the reserve and in the trenchlines, it resisted the late 1917 French offensive at Verdun. In 1918, the division participated in the German Spring Offensive, fighting in the First Battle of the Somme (1918), also known as the Second Battle of the Somme (to distinguish it from the 1916 battle). It fought in the Second Battle of the Marne, both in the initial German offensive and the Allied counteroffensive. Thereafter, it resisted various Allied attacks until the end of the war. Allied intelligence rated the division as one of the very best German shock divisions.
A fantastic historical piece with an unbreakable battle provenance!