Other than the WWII German Helmet and WWII German Luger, The WWII German Dagger was probably the most coveted War Souvenir for the U.S. GI to bring home from their service in Europe during WWII. And, like the German helmet, there wasn’t just one type or style of WWII German Dagger. There are many sites and books written on this subject, so we have decided to show the daggers that we received from the WWII Veteran or their family who we will note.
WWII German Chained Officer’s SS Dagger. The SS dagger was first introduced in 1933. Both officers and enlisted men wore the identical dagger until 1936. After this time, only enlisted men wore the M1933 dagger and officers wore the new M36 Chained Dagger. The SS Dagger was equipped with nickel crossguards with an ebony wood grip. The black grip contained a National eagle with swastika insignia recessed in the center area and an SS rune button inset at the top. The SS blade contained the SS motto, Meine Ehre Heisst Treue (My Honor is Loyalty).
WWII German Army Dagger. The German Army (Heer) began carrying daggers in 1935. For more formal occasions the sword was still worn. The dagger design featured silvered fittings with white or colored grips. The crossguard depicted a German Army open-winged eagle clutching a wreathed swastika.
WWII German Luftwaffe Dagger (1st Model). Although being a fairly long weapon, it was still shorter than the previously carried DLV Officer. Initially, only Luftwaffe Officers with flying status wore the new dagger. Later, regulations were relaxed and other Officers were permitted to wear the “flying dagger”. After 1937, Officers were required to wear the newly introduced 2nd Model Luftwaffe dagger. The 1st Model was constructed using heavy solid nickel materials for hilt and scabbard mounts. A gilded brass sun-wheel swastika decorated the pommel and crossguard. The wood-based grip and scabbard are covered in a rich Moroccan blue leather. A chain hanger with snap clip is attached to the scabbard.
WWII German Luftwaffe Dagger (2nd Model). The 2nd Model Luftwaffe Dagger was adopted for wear by officers and certain high-ranking NCO’s in 1937. The dagger had an aluminum top pommel featuring swastika on both sides, and a matching crossguard which depicted an eagle in flight clutching a swastika. The grip was white or colored celluloid. These daggers are often found with a a decorative portepee/tassel wrapped about the grip.
WWII German SA Dagger. The SA was a private political organization which Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP used to maintain order at organized Party meetings and demonstrations. The dagger initially was produced of hand-fitted nickel mounts with attractive finished wood grip and a brown anodized finished scabbard. The blade was etched with the SA motto, Alles für Deutschland (All for Germany).
WWII German NSKK Dagger. The development of the NSKK, “National Sozialistisches Kraftfahr Korps” (National Socialist Motor Corps), can be traced back to 1923 when the SA introduced a Motorized Section to transport personnel as required. Still subordinate to the SA in 1933 when the SA dagger was introduced, the NSKK also adopted the dagger shortly after its introduction. In May of 1936 Korpsführer Hühnlein decreed the NSKK dagger scabbards were to be finished in black to differentiate them from the SA Dagger.
RAD Officers and men initially wore the same edged weapon, a large Hewer with stag gripped plates. In 1938, RAD Officers wore a scaled-down hewer. It has silvered fittings with eaglehead pommel top. The crossguard features a shovel over wheat shafts, with a superimposed swastika. The silvered scabbard has curled design decoration at the upper and wheat stalks at the lower. The matte-finished, Bowie-shape blade is etched with the RAD motto, Arbeit Adelt.