After WWI, the German military, known as the Reichswehr, was restricted to a relatively small force. Hitler changed this in 1935, reintroducing universal military conscription, and creating a new German Armed Forces- the Wehrmacht. Within the Wehrmacht, the German Army was knows as the Heer, and a new dagger was designed and introduced for the officers of this new German Army in May 1935. As with all German Army officer uniforms and accoutrements, they were not issued; rather, the officer had to purchase them. These were ceremonial and decorative pieces of regalia, that were worn on occasions that did not call for carrying a sword. The overall pattern and design of the dagger remained consistent throughout the production run, but the large number of individual manufacturers created a wide variety in details, especially with regard to the handle fittings. There were approximately 42 different manufacturers of the blades. There were construction changes over time as well. Early German Army daggers generally featured plated brass alloy handle fittings. Later, zinc was used. Wartime type scabbards were generally unplated, with a gray finish. Production of German Army daggers ceased around 1943. The German Army was a huge organization, and large numbers of these daggers were produced. But there were many specific variants that were produced in low numbers, especially the highest quality, luxury type pieces for well-heeled officers. Some daggers were personalized and customized, and are unique. The striking and attractive design of the German Army dagger was well-received by officers at the time, and these are very sought-after by collectors today.