Pattern: 2nd Model
Product Description: This 2nd Model RLB Leaders Dagger is a nice representative example. The steel blade exhibits visible cross-graining along its length, with minor freckling throughout as well as light runner marks. The reverse of the blade is marked on the ricasso with the maker emblem of “Kroneck W Ernst Erich Witte Solingen.” The maker mark is lightly etched, which is typical for this maker. The RLB pattern eagle and swastika cross guard and pommel are made of aluminum, with mild patina in the recesses and scattered light marks throughout. The grip is correctly wrapped with two thin blue leather halves. The leather retains most of the original surface, with a few light marks. The second pattern RLB emblem on the grip shows wear and some damage to the glossy black enamel. This 2nd Model RLB Leaders Dagger is in an original scabbard, though the dagger and scabbard are not a matching set. The body of the scabbard is made of steel, with nickel-plated steel fittings. The body of the scabbard is wrapped with a thin blue leather that has extensive damage down one side. The scabbard’s metal fittings are heavily rusted with only remnants of the original nickle plating remaining. The reverse side of the scabbard’s throat fitting is nicely personalized, with the initials “P. F.” professionally engraved. This dagger is a scarce type to find. The condition rates as good.
Historical Description: The Reichs-Luftschutz-Bund (RLB) was a Nazi organization tasked with air raid defense in German cities and towns. It was a civil organization that was subordinate to the Luftwaffe. Originally organized in 1933 by Herman Göring in 1933, the RLB had 15 million members by 1939. As with virtually all civil, political, and paramilitary organizations during the Third Reich, the RLB had ceremonial edged weapons for use with formal wear by enlisted members as well as officers. The first pattern enlisted dagger was introduced in 1936, with a grip emblem that featured the stylized organizational initials “RLB” in blue enamel, over a swastika, on a black ebony grip. The scabbard was painted black. The organizational emblem of the RLB changed in 1938, so a new, updated pattern of dagger was introduced that year, with the “RLB” grip emblem replaced with the new logo of a black enameled swastika on a sunburst. Officers of the Luftschutz carried similar daggers, with the first, 1936 pattern featuring the early-type organizational emblem on a leather-covered grip, paired with a matching leather covered scabbard with a single suspension ring. The second pattern, 1938 RLB officer dagger used the later organizational emblem on the grip, and a second suspension ring and band was added to the scabbard. Many first pattern officer daggers were converted with the second scabbard ring, after the new pattern was introduced. Although the Luftschutz was a huge organization, few members had formal or dress uniforms, and so only a relatively small number of its members purchased daggers. RLB daggers are scarce and very desirable collectors’ items today.
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