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The Kaiser's Lackey

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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The Kaiser's Lackey
Der Untertan
Movie Poster
Country GER.jpg East Germany
Directed by Wolfgang Staudte
Release Date August 31, 1951
Language German
Studio DEFA
Distributor Progress Film
Main Cast
Character Actor
Diederich Heßling Werner Peters
von Wulckow Paul Esser
Guste Daimchen Renate Fischer
Pastor Zillich Ernst Legal
Napoleon Fischer Friedrich Gnaß
Man at the duel Hannjo Hasse

The Kaiser's Lackey or also known as Man of Straw and The Loyal Subject is a 1951 East-German movie directed by Wolfgang Staudte based on the 1918 novel Der Untertan by Heinrich Mann. Diederich Heßling is an effeminate, authority-hungry child who is afraid of everything. But soon he realizes that one must serve power if one wants to exercise power oneself. Bucking up and kicking down becomes his maxim of life from now on. Thus he makes his way as a student in Berlin and later as a businessman in his paper factory in Netzig. Submissive to President von Wulkow, he knows he will have his support. So he denounces his competitor and forges a fraudulent plot with the corrupt Social Democrats in the town council. On his honeymoon with the rich Guste in Italy, he finally gets the opportunity to do his emperor a service.

The following weapons were used in the film The Kaiser's Lackey:


Mauser Gewehr 1898

Diederich Heßling (Werner Peters) and other recruits are briefly seen holding Gewehr 1898 rifles during the basic training. Since this scene takes place shortly after Wilhelm II's coronation (1888), the use of this Mauser is an anachronism.

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Diederich reports his Hauptmann (Captain) that he can not continue the exercise. Note the side-mounted sling swivel, which is most likely a modified variant of the standard Gew. 98 which has it mounted under the barrel.
After the incomprehensible speech of the captain, speechless Diederich turns around what offers a view of the front sight.
A behind-the-scenes picture shows exercising recruits with Gewehr 1898 rifles. These soldiers are only seen in the background.

Vetterli Model 1878

Some German soldiers are armed with Vetterli Model 1878 rifles.

Vetterli Model 1878 - 10.35x47mm R
A sentry outside the barracks has a Vetterli rifle.
A close-up of the loading gate and bolt-handle.
The same soldier seen from behind.


Rifle Mock-Ups

Several rifle mock-ups standing in for period-correct Mauser Gewehr 1871, Gewehr 1871/84 and Gewehr 1888 rifles are used by German soldiers including Diederich Heßling.

After this scene, Diederich goes to the captain and his rifle switches to the Gew. 98.

Seitengewehr 71

At least, the Seitengewehr 71 bayonets are seen.

Infanterie-Seitengewehr 71
The smoking soldier on the right carries the bayonet in the scabbard.

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