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eMedals-A Unique & Interesting German Fighter Ace's Hand Carved Kill Cane

Item: G26402

A Unique & Interesting German Fighter Ace's Hand Carved Kill Cane


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A Unique & Interesting German Fighter Ace's Hand Carved Kill Cane

A One-Of-A-Kind Second War German Field-Made Wooden Cane Displaying Several Kills; This item seems to be of private manufacturing, measuring 810 mm x 95 mm, with a 40 mm circumference. The shape is slightly irregular, as the cane is not completely straight, but has two slight bends, clearly indicating that it is hand-crafted. The grip of the cane is hand-carved into the shape of an eagle’s head with initials “R.E” (presumably the initials of the original owner) carved into the reverse of the grip. Below that are three oak leaves and an acorn, all painted green with a black-painted Iron Cross, bordered in white, on the opposite side below the eagle’s beak. Below the oak leaves are 13 markings that presumably symbolize 13 kills that R.E. made, either as a pilot or in some other capacity. The first two show French flags on yellow ground. The third is a British Royal Air Force symbol on a white background, following are ten red stars, symbolizing Soviet kills. All of the hand-etched symbols are on a white background, except the third-last one, where the colour has almost completely faded. Below the last etched flag is the word “Stalingrad” with a diamond carved into the wood on the opposite side that might point to a badge or something similar that had been placed there originally that has come off through time or use. On the very bottom of the cane there are two rings carved into the wood around the circumference of the cane, indicating that maybe a metal protective casing was originally attached there. The overall condition is good, considering the age of the item, with just a few impurities and wear and tear of the material. It is completely handmade in the field, making this a rather personal memorabilia, and unlike any other collector’s item.

Footnote: The Battle of Stalingrad (now Volgograd, southern Russia) (August 23, 1942 – February 2, 1943) was perhaps the most decisive battle of the entire Second World War, and arguably the one with the most casualties on both sides. The defeat of the Axis powers meant a shift in fortunes that slowly but steadily inaugurated the eventual German defeat. Furthermore, oak leaves, such as those etched into the wood of this cane, were a widely used symbol in Third Reich Germany militaria. It is difficult to say if this is just a random symbol of strength and honour, or if there is a deeper meaning to it. An example of use of the oak leaves badge is that of the Jäger Troop Headwear Badge for mountain troopers, or that of German Snipers. The cane might indicate that R.E. was wounded, maybe even shot down himself, and had difficulties walking afterwards.

After considerable research, the likely owner, creator and likely candidate is Rolf Engelke, Uffz., II./Stuka-Geschw. 2.

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