Product Description: This 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger by Eickhorn is a great, early, aluminum example. The blade still shines, and has some graying in spots here and there, but no real damage. The reverse of the blade has an etched maker mark of Carl Eickhorn, a Solingen firm known for manufacturing very high quality pieces. The original leather blade buffer pad is still present. The handle is extremely attractive, with strong original gilding to the swastikas on the aluminum crossguard and pommel. The leather grip wrap retains nearly all of the original surface, with only extremely minor wear, and the grip wire remains nice and tight. This 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger by Eickhorn is complete with its original scabbard. The leather scabbard covering is all original, with slight wear. The scabbard fittings are undamaged and match the grip nicely. The original chain suspension hanger is intact, and the spring clip on the hanger is marked “Ges. Gesch. OLC” indicating a legally protected design made by Overhoff. Overall, this early dagger remains in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe dagger was a piece of regalia with a unique history. After WWI, Germany was prohibited from having an Air Force. In 1933, the Nazis formed the Deutscher Luftsport-Verband (DLV), which was a paramilitary aviation organization. DLV officers wore a long dagger. In 1935, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler instituted the new German armed forces, the Wehrmacht. One of the branches of the Wehrmacht was the Luftwaffe. Luftwaffe officers at this time wore what we know as the first model Luftwaffe dagger. This was a shortened version of the earlier DLV dagger. It featured a scabbard covered in blue leather, and a blue, wire-wrapped grip. The crossguard featured a round, “sunwheel” type swastika, flanked by downswept, stylized “wings.” The pommel was in the form of a vertical disc, with another, larger “sunwheel” swastika. In 1937, the Luftwaffe instituted a new dagger form, known to collectors as the second model. This new dagger was similar to that worn by officers of the German Army. The second model had a metal scabbard with impressed decoration, and no leather covering. The crossguard bore a Luftwaffe eagle, clutching a swastika. The blue grip was replaced with one that was orange, white or yellow. The various types of grips were a matter of personal preference and did not indicate branch or rank. The pommel of the new dagger featured a swastika within an oak leaves motif. The blades of these daggers were steel, and many but not all were manufacturer marked.
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