Product Description: This SMF Luftwaffe Miniature Dagger is a very desirable 3/4 size piece. It features a gorgeous blade, which is still very bright, with only extremely minor surface marks. The front of the blade is very cleanly marked with the name of the distributor, “Rudolph Heinrich G.M.B.H., Zwickau i. S.” On the other side of the blade, the ricasso is stamped with the logo of the manufacturer, SMF in Solingen, as well as “D.R.G.M.” indicating a Reich trademarked design. The handle on this dagger has beautiful metal fittings, with bright high points that contrast beautiful with some patination in the recesses. The grip is an attractive light orange color, and is free of chips and cracks; the grip wire is nice and tight, and has toned dark from age. The detail on the metalwork is clean, with no real evident wear. This SMF Luftwaffe miniature dagger is complete with its original scabbard. The scabbard is nice and straight, with no dents, and shows even toning from age. This is a great representative example of a scarce 3/4 size Luftwaffe dagger, in excellent overall 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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