Product Description: This Late War Luftwaffe Dagger by Herder is a great, representative piece, with a mega blade. The blade on this piece is near mint, with outstanding original luster and loads of original crossgraining. The reverse of the blade is etched with the commercial type manufacturer marking of the firm of Rich. Abr. Herder, in Solingen. The handle on this one is complete and intact, with no condition issues to the late war white grip. All of the original grip wire remains present. The crossguard and pommel are zinc, with dark age patination throughout. The Luftwaffe eagle and swastika emblem on the crossguard retains virtually all of the original detail. This late war Luftwaffe Dagger by Herder is complete with its original scabbard. The original finish on the scabbard is excellent, especially for a late war piece, with plenty of shine. The detailed ornamentation on the scabbard remains crisp. Both suspension rings are intact. This Luftwaffe dagger is a desirable, maker marked piece, 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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