Turkish Army Officer's Sword

Place Middle East: Syria, Damascus
Accession Number REL/20371.001
Collection type Technology
Object type Edged weapon or club
Physical description Brass, Nickel-plated steel
Maker Carl Kaiser & Co
Place made Germany
Date made Unknown
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Turkish Army officer's sword and scabbard. Brass P shape stirrup hilt, lions head pommel with brass wire binding on the fishskin grip. Crescent moon and star on the shield shape languet. The nickel plated blade is single edged and has a single fuller to each side to within 20 mm of the spear point. It is etched with a trophy of arms, crescent moon and star and has a manufacturers trade mark of a crown over crossed swords with C K Co on the ricasso. The back edge is etched CARL KAISER & CO SOLINGEN. The scabbard with two ring hangar mounts was originally nickel plated but is badly rusted.

History / Summary

This sword, belonging to an officer of the 46th Turkish Infantry Regiment, was surrendered to Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) Thomas Joseph Daly, near Damascus on the morning of 2 October 1918. At the time Daly was acting in command of 9 Light Horse Regiment (LHR), which had camped for the night at Khan Kusseir, near Damascus. Early in the morning a large Turkish force was seen marching for the pass at Khan Ayash, about a mile from 9LHR's encampment, in an attempt to retreat from Damascus. Daly immediately led his regiment up to the left of the Turkish column between the road and a ridge of hills. As the Australians approached a group of Germans attached to the column employed machine guns, and small parties tried unsuccessfully to move up the hills to prevent 9LHR from reaching the head of the Turkish column. Daly rode on until he was opposite the centre of the force. He sent two squadrons forward, one to block the pass at Khan Ayash and the other to block the road at Kubbett I Asafir. The third squadron dismounted and opened machine gun and rifle fire on the column. The first two squadrons quickly achieved their objective and the Turkish column halted on seeing its retreat cut off. Daly remounted the third squadron, sent a small party to gallop around the back of the column, and charged the enemy, with drawn swords. Although the Australians were only about a hundred strong the Turks surrended before the horsemen reached them. Ninety-one officers, 318 cavalymen, 1064 infantrymen and eight Germans were taken prisoner. Also captured were three field guns, twenty six machine guns and other material, as well as the standard of the 46th Regiment. The entire action was over in less than an hour.