Product Description: This 1st Model Luftwaffe dagger by WKC is an exquisite, top quality piece with outstanding eye appeal. The blade is beautiful, with bright shine as well as typical small marks and runner marks along the length. It’s marked on the ricasso with the knight’s helmet emblem of WKC in Solingen. The leather blade buffer pad is present. The handle is beautiful, with a mellow patina on the aluminum metal fittings. The swastikas retain the original gilding. The grip leather is intact, with some wear to the surface. The correct triple grip wire is present and is tight with no issues. This lovely 1st Model Luftwaffe dagger is complete with its original scabbard. The scabbard has the original leather covering, which shows strong original color. There are eight lines pressed into the surface of the leather. The patina on the metal fittings matches the handle. The scabbard retains the original chain, which is aluminum, matching the fittings. The hanger terminates with a functional spring clip that is maker marked “OLC.” This dagger is a beautiful and charming piece. The condition rates as excellent.
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 down swept, 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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