SECOND PATTERN OFFICER'S DAGGER. (Offizierdolch)
BACKGROUND: In March 1933 the Deutscher Luftsport Verband, (German Air Sports League), was established by incorporating all civilian flying clubs into the one organization. The DLV was utilized as a camouflage civilian organization to train personnel for the future Luftwaffe. As a civilian organization it was able to circumvent the restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty, which prohibited a German military air service. In February and April 1934 respectively the DLV introduced a dagger for Officer’s and a knife for all ranks. Later in 1934 members of the Fliegerschaft, the secret military branch of the DLV, adopted both sidearms for wear. Shortly after the unveiling of the Luftwaffe in March 1935 a modified version of the DLV’s Officer’s dagger was adopted for wear by Luftwaffe Officer’s and EM/NCO’s personnel who held a valid pilots licence. On July 15TH 1937 a second pattern Luftwaffe dagger was introduced for wear by Officers, Senior Officer Candidates and Officials with the equivalent Officers ranks and the first pattern dagger was discontinued. Additional regulations of March and August 1940 extended wear of the second pattern dagger to senior NCO’s, senior reserve NCO’s and Officials with the equivalent NCO’s ranks. Blade side arm portepees and troddels were originally introduced in the Prussian army in 1808, and continued to be worn with the Dress uniform, as a tradition and identifying item through WWI, the Weimar Republic and on into the Third Reich, with minor modifications. The Luftwaffe version of the portepee was officially introduced on March 1ST 1935 and the design was based on the earlier army officers portepee.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 29cm long, bright, nickel/silver plated, double edged, drop forged steel, stiletto style blade with a flat central plane. Maker marked to "WKC - Solingen", indicating manufacture by Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co. The leather washer is still intact. The dagger has a well defined, nicely detailed, cast, aluminum cross guard, ferrule and pommel. The cross guard features a stylized national eagle with down-swept wings clutching a swastika to the obverse with a random pebbled field to the reverse. The top edge of the cross guard has an ornate embossed oak-leaf pattern. The cast ferrule has a repeating, embossed oak-leaf pattern. The orb shaped pommel features an embossed oak-leaf pattern encompassing a dual encircled, canted, embossed swastika on a pebbled field background to both the obverse and the reverse. The dagger has a molded, orange, bakelite grip with the correct, fine, twisted silver/aluminum wire wrap inset into the diagonally angled grooves. The dagger also comes complete with its original magnetic sheet steel scabbard. The scabbard features a pebbled field to both the obverse and the reverse with smooth side panels. The scabbard has an ornate, embossed, oak-leaf pattern to both the obverse and reverse of the bottom tip. The scabbard also has sweated on, alloy hanger suspension bands with an ornate, embossed, repeating oak-leaf pattern. The hanger suspension rings are both intact. The scabbards top throat has its retaining screw intact. The dagger comes with its original woven silver/aluminum portepee, tied in the correct manner. The portepee consists of a bright interwoven silver/aluminum cord, slide, stem, crown and ball. The slide and stem are both woven with a repeating "V" pattern while the crown is in horizontally laid, twisted, bright silver/aluminum braid with the ball in vertically laid, twisted, bright silver/aluminum braid. Also included are a set of original Luftwaffe Officer’s dagger hangers consisting of two, machine woven, Luftwaffe blue/grey rayon straps with a central, waffle pattern weave flanked by fine, parallel, vertical, silver/aluminum edges stripes. Aluminum fittings. Very nice.