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Old 14th March 2007, 07:56 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 285
Default the age of hembrug klewang

Originally Posted by kronckew
i have one made in solingen,

the design gets around alot. apparently the dutch General Van Heutsz who commissioned the first ones had some made in germany as well as his local supplier couldn't make them fast enough....

i have seen references to the japanese issuing captured indonesian ones to their own forces. mine was supposedly captured from a german e-boat in ww2, i aquired it in the late 80's, so we have the dutch/germans/USA/japenese and who knows who else all using exactly the same design. cold steel makes a modern replica also.

AHA! - we also had a discussion HERE which was a bit off topic.HERE
starting about post no. 16

there is a linky in my last post there to a thread by paul hansen, his 2nd post down is very informative (and indicates my solingen one was probably the earliest version) thread by paul hansen

extract from that thread:

In the Aceh (northern Sumatra, Indonesia) war (end 19th, early 20th C.) the Dutch colonial troops were fighting a losing battle against effective guerilla fighters.

A new commander, General Van Heutsz, arrived and ordered the formation of small "companies" (so-called Marechaussee (Military Police) brigades) armed with short sabres of a mixed European-Indonesian design. This design was named Marechaussee Klewang. Early versions featured a Sumatran Klewang blade (straight or very slightly curved, with very wide tip), but eventually those were replaced by a more European clippoint blade. Production also shifted to Europe. First to Solingen, then to the Netherlands (Hembrug).

Van Heutsz' tactics were ruthless but highly effective. The same classification could be used for the Klewang: ruthless but highly effective in jungle warfare.

Apparently someone high in the US Navy was impressed and ordered a somewhat similar sword (but without the cut-out guard) in the US. This is the M1917.

Just before the war, the Royal Netherlands Indies Army (KNIL) wanted to purchase a very large amount of Klewangs. They were ordered in the Netherlands, but the Netherlands were overrun by the Germans before they could be delivered.

As ordering in Germany wasn't an option, the KNIL turned to US manufacturers. The US company Milsco got a contract for a large number of klewangs. Before they could all be delivered, the Dutch East Indies were also overrun. Without a paying customer, the US military took a lot of these swords into service as M1941. They did serve in the US army and marine corps, but perhaps not as an official item.

After WW2, many of the unissued Milso klewangs were bought by the Dutch government and used in the "policing actions" in Indonesia in the late 40's. Others found their way to the collectors market in new condition.

The definitive book on the subject is "Klewang" by J.P. Puype & R.J. de Stürler Boekwijt. Highly recommended!

the estimated age of the hembrug klewang .....
any body know how old is the klewang?
ferrylaki is offline   Reply With Quote