Product Description: This is an appealing example of a desirable, early transitional 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger. It has an all-original, untouched look, with lots of character. This piece was made by the firm of Robert Klaas in Solingen, and has his maker mark nicely stamped on the obverse ricasso. The fit of the parts on this dagger remains nice and tight throughout. The blade rates excellent plus, with slight age. The original blue pebbled leather buffer pad on the blade remains intact. The handle of this dagger shows wear and age, with a deep, uncleaned patina that is heavy in some areas. The four “sun wheel” swastikas on the pommel and crossguard retain most of their original gold finish, which is somewhat muted from age. The grip leather is excellent, with most of the original surface intact. The triple wire grip wrap is missing. This Transitional 1st Model Luftwaffe Dagger retains its original scabbard. The original blue pebbled leather on the scabbard body remains in excellent condition with very minimum wear. The scalloped scabbard fittings are nice, with an old patina that matches the handle. The fittings are tightly secured with all five original screws. The aluminum chain has 8 lower and 5 upper ringlets, and terminates in a functional spring clip that is marked “OLC” for Overhoff. This is a very charming dagger. The condition rates as excellent.
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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