The traditional sword was part of the regalia of many of the Third Reich’s military and paramilitary branches, including the Wehrmacht, Polizei, Luftwaffe and SS. Wear of the sword was typically limited to dress occasions, and was generally reserved for officers and NCOs. Each soldier or official had to purchase his own sword. These were made by a variety of manufacturers, and made available through distributors. Although the overall pattern and appearance of Third Reich swords was regulated by the government or military, there were countless options that the wearer of the sword could choose from, depending on his personal taste, and how much money he wanted to spend. Blades were available with or without etchings. Some swords bore German national symbols on the handle, such as an eagle and swastika on the crossguard or grip, or an organization emblem or swastika on the pommel. Other swords were manufactured without these emblems. Swords could be personalized with engravings or etchings identifying the owner. In wear, they were suspended from a sword hanger worn under the uniform. The wide variety of Third Reich swords, and the generally extremely high level of workmanship used in the traditional craft of sword manufacture, makes these extremely interesting to collect and to study.