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Säbel

                                 The Sword/Sabre is an age old military tradition, that evolved from a functional weapon into an item of uniform dress ornamentation by the start of WWI. This strong tradition continues in many army’s to this day as a symbol of strength and power. After Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 and the reintroduction of conscription in early 1935 a wide variety of new sword and sabre designs were introduced to outfit the rapidly growing Wehrmacht. 33 1/4" long, slightly curved, nickel/silver plated blade with narrow, shallow fullers to each side. Obverse, scalloped tipped shield shaped langet has highly embossed Wehrmacht style eagle with spread wings forming part of the cross guard on a slightly textured field. Reverse langet features a plain scalloped tipped shield with a slightly textured background field. Cross guard features a downward curved tip to one side with foliage pattern, and the base of the, "P", knuckle bow to other side. Ferrule, back-strap, and knuckle bow all feature highly embossed foliage and stylized oak-leaf patterns which extended right up to the "dove’s" head pommel.

Army/SS Officer's Sword Prinz Eugen by Eickhorn

One of the more unique officer's swords produced during the Third Reich. It was part of a promotional series of swords produced by the firm of Carl Eickhorn of Solingen. This series was named after a group of nine German Field Marshalls from centuries before. Prinz Eugen of Savoy was an Austrian General who was born in 1663 and died in 1736. He fought against the Turks at Vienna in 1683 and became a Field Marshall in 1693. The sword that was named after him was very fancy and had not only an unusual long winged eagle on the stylized crossguard but also a Wehrmacht style eagle (wings by its side) in the pommel cap area. This example bears the 1935 - 1941 Eickhorn squirrel logo.

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Prinz Eugen officers sword Schwertgehänge Schwertgehänge

Army officers dagger

The Army dagger can be found in several type’s, with engraved blades and ivory grips,…etc but we are going to describe the standard type of this dagger..

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The metal fittings of the hilt and the entire scabbard are normally silver plated, however, in late wartime production, several less expensive finishes were utilized (aluminum). The pommel of the Army dagger bears a relief design of oak leaves and secures the blade to the hilt. The grip can vary in color from white to orange. The crossguard shows on the obverse the national eagle with stretched wings and wreath encircled swastika in his talons. The standard blade of this dagger is a plain blade without a motto, unless the purchaser desired to order, an engraved blade or Damascus blade. The scabbard is made of steel and has two suspension bands which are decorated with an oak leaf motif. On the scabbard bands are rings to put the hangers on. The complete length of the dagger is 40 cm. The dagger has normally a aluminum portepee which is 42 cm long. The hangers for this dagger, are a double strap, detachable fabric hanger, constructed of aluminum facing sewn to field grey velvet backs. The buckles are oval and bear oak leaf design.

This dagger was adopted in 1935 for use by Army officers. Because the army grew to enormous proportions early in the Reich, this dagger was produced in large number. This dagger was manufactured by a large number of firms in Solingen, most of whom used parts that exhibit unique characteristics that make identifying "conforming" examples a relatively easy task. Makers include Eickhorn, Alcoso, WKC, Klaas, EP&S, Herder, SMF, Tiger, Puma, and Kolping. The example pictured above was manufactured by Karl Eickhorn

Kriegsmarine officers dagger

The German Navy (Kriegsmarine) officially carried daggers as early as the 1840's and continued to wear edged weapons throughout the Third Reich Period. Naval dirks were normally produced of gilded brass fittings and scabbard, with white grip and bright blade often having nautical theme etchings. The scabbard was produced with a engraved lighting bolt pattern or had a hammered finish. The so-called 1st Model, actually a Model 1929, was equipped with a round pommel top. After 1938, Naval dirks received a pommel change which depicted a closed-winged eagle which clutched a wreathed swastika. These dirks are often found with a portepee, i.e. decorative tassel wrapped about the grip.

 

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The Kriegsmarine was the last of the three branches of the German Armed Forces to adopt a Nazified dagger on January 28TH 1938. The Kriegsmarine dagger was a modified version of a traditional design that dates back to the creation of the Prussian Navy in 1848. The main modification of the Third Reich era dagger was a change in the Reichsmarine flame shaped pommel to one featuring the national eagle with swastika. The dagger is roughly 10" long, nickel/silver plated, drop forged steel, stiletto style blade with dual, narrow, central fullers to each side. The blade features the standard acid etched design of fouled anchors and ornate foliage pattern. The dagger has a nicely detailed, fire gilted, brass crossguard and pommel. The crossguard features an embossed fouled anchor to both obverse and reverse centerpieces and an ornate foliage pattern and rosette tips to the horizontal arms. The reverse centerpiece of the crossguard has an integral spring loaded locking button. The pommel is a likeness of the Wehrmacht style eagle with down-swept wings clutching a wreathed swastika. The dagger has a white celluloid grip mounted on a wooden sleeve with twisted, dual strand, brass wire wrap still intact. The dagger comes with woven gilted/aluminum portepee which is tied in the correct manner. Originally designed as a functional item to secure the blade sidearm to the holders wrist the portepee evolved into a purely decorative accessory. The portepee consists of a gilted/aluminum cord with interwoven gilted/aluminum slide and stem and twisted braid crown and ball on a wooden template base. The dagger also comes with its original hamered brass scabbard. Hammered scabbard version Naval dirks are quite rare, as they were only available at extra cost during the period.

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Kriegsmarine officer's dagger undress belt and hangers

First pattern luftwaffe dagger (borddolch)

In March 1933 the Deutscher Luftsport Verband, (German Air Sports League), was established by incorporating all civilian flying clubs into the one organization. The DLV was utilized as a camouflage civilian organization to train personnel for the future Luftwaffe. As a civilian organization it was able to circumvent the restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty, which prohibited a German military air service. In February and April 1934 respectively the DLV introduced a dagger for Officer’s and a knife for all ranks. Later in 1934 members of the Fliegerschaft, the secret military branch of the DLV, adopted both sidearms for wear. Shortly after the unveiling of the Luftwaffe in March 1935 a modified version of the DLV’s Officer’s dagger was adopted for wear by Luftwaffe Officer’s and EM/NCO’s personnel who held a valid pilots licence. Originally the early daggers were produced utilizing nickel/silver fittings until 1936 when the early fittings were replaced with polished natural aluminum fittings. Of Note: On July 15TH 1937 a second pattern Luftwaffe dagger was introduced was introduced for wear by Officers, Senior Officer Candidates and Officials with the equivalent Officers ranks and the first pattern dagger was discontinued.

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SS dienstdolch (SS transitional service dagger) 1939

The SS M33 service dagger was introduced on December 15TH 1933 for wear by all full SS members, regardless of rank. The dagger was intended as an ornamental item and the design was based on the traditional 16TH century Swiss "Holbein" hunting dagger as was being utilized for the SA personnel’s dagger with a different coloration and insignia. The daggers were bestowed annually to newly accepted SS members on the anniversary of the unsuccessful Beer Hall Putsch, (November 9TH), in front of the Feldherrnhalle in Munich. Originally the daggers featured an anodized scabbard and utilized nice quality solid nickel/silver fittings until roughly early 1937 when the scabbards began to have a painted finish and cheaper nickel/silver plated fittings replaced the earlier solid nickel/silver fittings in 1938. Of Note: During the course of the Third Reich there were five distinct SS daggers introduced starting with the M33 dagger in 1933, the Röhm inscription, the Himmler dedication and the SS Honor dagger in 1934 and the M36 dagger in August 1936. Of Note: The RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster), was official founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. Starting in late 1934 items manufactured for the SS came under the quality control of the RZM and as a result were marked with the RZM logo when appropriate.

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SA dienstdolch

The SA, Sturmabteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment), was originally formed in the August 1921 as a protective guard unit for the political leaders of the fledgling NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), and as with the NSDAP the SA was structure along para-military lines. The SA recruited most of its personnel from the ranks of the various Freikorps groups composed mainly of disgruntled ex-soldiers and was first utilized at a NSDAP meeting in Munich in November 1921. The SA M33 service dagger was the first dagger officially sanctioned by the NSDAP and was introduced on December 15TH 1933. The dagger was intended as an ornamental item and the design was based on the traditional 16TH century Swiss "Holbein" hunting dagger. Originally the daggers featured an anodized scabbard and utilized nice quality solid nickel/silver fittings while later models had cheaper nickel/silver plated fittings and painted scabbards. In late 1934 items manufactured for the SA including daggers came under the quality control of the RZM, Reichzeugmeisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster) and as a result were marked with the RZM logo when appropriate. Of Note: The RZM was official founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA Quartermaster’s Department. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized.

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Bayonet Model S 84/98

This type of bayonet (seitengewehr) was introduced around 1905. The S 84/98 bayonet was used during the Imperial, Weimar and Nazi period. It was intended for use with the Karabiner 98 rifle, hence the name K98 bayonet. The grip is made of smooth wood with a small hole at the bottom, this allowed the water to find a way out so the wood would not rot away. The pommel, blade (25 cm) and scabbard are made of steel and blued for protection against rust. The blade and scabbard have makermarks and serial numbers. The pommel often has Waffenamt marks. During the Nazi period the makermark was replaced with an S-code followed by a K (1934) or a G (1935). From 1936 onward the S-code was followed with the last two digits of the year of manufacture (eg. S/172K , S/155 37). From 1937 untill 1940 the S-code was replaced with the actual makermark (W.K.C, F.W. Höller, Coppel GmbH...). From 1940 the manufacturers mark was replaced with a new code system.The date and makersmark were combined and resulted in the following codes: 42asw (Hörster 1942), 41cof (Eickhorn 1941)...During the war, when supplies were difficult to maintain, the wooden grips often were replaced with bakelite or even plastic grips.

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The bayonets were worn on the left hip and were attached to the belt with a bayonet frog (Seitengewehrtasche). The frog and belt were of the same color but were different for SS, Heer, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe. If the S 84/98 was worn by a member of the SS the frog would match the black belt. A member of the luftwaffe would wear a brown frog on his belt.

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M40 frog

Webbing DAK frog

The frog has a bayonet knot, named portepee, faustriemen or troddel. The portepee was used by officers and senior NCO's. The faustriemen and troddel were used by NCO's and enlisted men. The knot identified the company and battalion the member served in.


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