Product Description: This is a near-perfect example of the 1st Model Luftwaffe Miniature Dagger. These were marketing tools, intended to show off a manufacturer’s capabilities. This one is in excellent condition overall, showing only slight wear. It has all the details of a full size Luftwaffe/DLV dagger, but measures 9-1/2 inches long. The blade on this is beautiful, and the large E. & F. Hörster double-oval trademark is very well defined. The handle fittings appear to be aluminum. The grip is wrapped in blue leather, with the seam on the rear of the handle. The finish of the leather grip covering is slightly worn. The scabbard has zinc fittings, is covered with a blue stippled fabric, and is essentially flawless. This one even has the original Hörster paper sales tag still attached. The tag is in great shape showing slight age toning. This 1st Model Luftwaffe Miniature Dagger is an extremely attractive piece.
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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