Product Description: This E. & F. Hörster 1st Model Luftwaffe Miniature Dagger is an exquisitely made piece, in a very desirable 3/4 size total 9 1/2 inches in total. The blade on this one is nice and bright, with only very small scattered marks. One side of the blade is neatly etched with the commercial type manufacturer logo of E. u. F. Hörster in Solingen. The handle on this miniature dagger is really nice, with nice intact grip wire and pleasant uncleaned toning to the metal fittings. The swastika emblems on the pommel and crossguard are nicely defined, and the grip is free of chips and cracks. This Hörster Luftwaffe miniature dagger is complete with its original scabbard. The scabbard retains all of the painted cloth covering, which shows only very slight signs of wear and age. The metal fittings on the scabbard have attractive, old toning that matches the handle perfectly. This is a scarce and desirable miniature dagger, very well made, and 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 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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