Russianswords.com is proud to offer advanced collectors of historical
arms a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire a unique
piece of history— Now you can own one of only 4 extremely
rare weapons produced with the personal approval of HM King
George VI of England during World War II, for your own
present you one of these four swords, which were manufactured
in England in 1943, to honor the Victory of the Russian Army
over the Germans troops near Stalingrad. The Battle of
Stalingrad was the great turning point in the course of WW
II—after this spectacular victory, world powers were able to
foresee the end of the formerly unstoppable Vermacht, and the
great fear fascist German domination over Europe, and the
world, was over.
Sword was designed in 1943 by R. M. Y. Gleadowe, former Slade
Professor of Fine Art at Oxford.
The design was approved by no less an authority than
His Majesty King George the Sixth, above a number of other
committee of nine members of Goldsmiths Hall supervised the
work of England’s best craftsmen, and the blade was
forged by Wilkinson Sword. The two swordsmiths chosen for this
important undertaking were Tom Beasley and his assistant Sid
Rouse. Mr. Beasley was already in his eighties at the
time—he was born in 1860 and began work at the age of eight
helping his father at the forge.
His family had been sword makers since the early 1700s.
During World War II he was still working full shifts and
overtime in his eighth decade!
Tom fathered a considerable number of children
(accounts vary from 21 to 23; apparently he was never quite
certain himself). This fact was mentioned to the Russian
Ambassador at an exhibition in 1946 where Beasley was
introduced as the ‘maker of the Stalingrad Sword.’
The Ambassador congratulated him and invited him to
Russia, whereupon Tom (86 years old at that time) replied that
if they paid his fare he’d be happy to oblige! Tom Beasley
died on October 12th, 1950 at the age of 90, and is
buried at Acton Cemetery.
In 1944, the citizens of Stalingrad presented
approximately 30 special folios to the craftsmen who had
worked on the sword. One
book, containing numerous photographs, which was presented to
Sid Rouse, is now in the possession of his grandson John
Dixon, who carries on the family sword making tradition at the
The special steel for this
blade was supplied by Sanderson Brothers and Newbould of
Sheffield. It was acid-etched with the words ‘TO
THE STEEL-HEARTED CITIZENS OF STALINGRAD, THE GIFT OF KING
GEORGE THE SIXTH, IN TOKEN OF HOMAGE OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE.’
This inscription was translated into Russian on the
reverse of the 36” double-edged blade. The crossguard was
10” wide and solid silver. The two-handed grip was bound with gold wire and fitted with
a rock-crystal pommel. The
scabbard was covered with crimson Morocco leather, and fitted
with silver mounts bearing the Royal Arms, Crown and Cipher
(unfortunately was lost), and three gold-mounted red enamel
stars. Corporal L. G. Durbin, RAF, did all the gold and silver
work on the sword and scabbard.
He was granted special leave from his normal duties
after the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths approached the Air
worked in Meadow Road, Kennington, at the forge of Frank Adam,
his tutor at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. While
this sword was being made, Wilkinson made three additional
swords, (one of which I now proudly
offer to you). These swords were precisely the same in
every detail except for the gold and silver. One of theses
three swords is displayed in Wilkinson museum at the Sword
Centre In Acton. After the Sword was completed, it was taken
on a tour of the UK and put on public display in several
cities including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff,
Coventry, and London, where it was displayed at Goldsmiths
Hall and the V&A Museum.
It also appeared in Manchester (with Cpl. Durbin
himself in attendance), and at Sheffield and Winchester
sword created great interest and enjoyed wide press coverage
wherever it was shown. Presentation of the Stalingrad Sword
was made by Winston Churchill in the Ballroom of the Russian
Embassy at Teheran on 29th of November 1943, and
was the highlight of the Teheran Conference.
Though Churchill gave the sword into Marshal Stalin’s
hands, the sword was intended specifically to honor the heroic
defenders of Stalingrad, and with this understanding, Stalin
accepted on their
behalf. Amongst those present were President Roosevelt and the
British, Russian and US Chiefs of Staff.
The place of honor however, was held by Marshal
Klementi Voroshilov, defender of Stalingrad. Molotov was also
at the Conference, but left before the presentation. For the occasion, an Honor Guard was formed of 22 Russian
officers and 16 British soldiers from The Buffs.
This weapon, one of only
four made, is a fine example of the bravery and spirit of the
Allies during the darkest part of the 20th century.
It is of superior craftsmanship- and is therefore
suited to the very best antiques arms collections.
of the three additional copies of the famous sword was
presented to mr. Cardiner - the head of the American mission
in England at that time. That’s how the sword was brought to
America. The sword was kept privately by Mr. Cardiner and was
forgotten for years after his death. Couple years ago, the
sword was found in the attic of the Mr. Cardiner’s house by
his grandson. The grandson of Mr. Cardiner then contacted
Wilkinson Co. trying to find out the details. After getting
the positive response from Wilkinson Co, the family decided to
contact swords experts and asked for assistance in selling the
sword. That’s how this famous sword ended in my possession.
I also have all original letters and other supporting
documentations, including the offer from Wilkinson Co., to
restore the missing part.
sword is a unique historical relict.
to the sword