Object Title

Cavalry Sword, Ottoman Empire

Cavalry Sword, Ottoman Empire


Following the German led reforms of the Ottoman military in 1908, Ottoman regular cavalry were reequipped with a sword of German design and manufacture. With a pipe-back and quill point, it had an almost identical blade to the German KD 89. However, its slightly curved, flexible blade made it a combination cut and thrust weapon, keeping alive the long Eastern tradition of curved cavalry swords. On the back of the grip is a chequered thumb depression, to provide a secure position when thrusting. However, unlike the KD 89, the lack of a forefinger protrusion and straight, rather than cocked, grip means the sword can also be held in a manner conducive to cutting.

Produced in Solingen by the sword manufacture Carl Eickhorn, over 10,000 of these swords were shipped to reequip the 24 regular cavalry regiments of the Ottoman army, between 1909-1914.

Use and effect

Despite the success of a divisional level cavalry charge against Bulgarian infantry in the otherwise disastrous battle of Lule-Bargas of the1912 Balkan War, little evidence exists for the use of this weapon. The story of Ottoman cavalry in the First World War is one of them avoiding combat with the vastly superior numbers of cavalry of the British Empire that opposed them, whilst brining back valuable intelligence on their surefooted Arab horses.

However, when Ottoman cavalry were deployed in strength at Buqqar Ridge, 27 October 1917, their repeated mounted charges against the British garrison left only three survivors after seven hours of bitter fighting.


Blade length 83.8 cm (33 in)
Country of manufacture Germany
Date entered service 1908
Manufacturer Carl Eickhorn, Solingen
Overall length 95.3 cm (38.5 in)
Primary operator Ottoman Empire
Weight 1.2 kg (2 lb 3 oz) (without scabbard)


Henry Yallop