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Dagger is a thin double-edged dagger. It belongs to cold piercing weapons. The dagger first appeared in the 16th century. Initially, its purpose was to conduct a boarding battle. In naval battles, he was an ideal tool for defeating the enemy at short range. It is noteworthy that shortly before the appearance of the dagger, such weapons had a longer blade than subsequent samples.
In the 20th century, the dagger moved from a combat weapon to a premium weapon. Today it is a mandatory attribute of the naval officer uniform in many countries of the world. However, for the first time this dagger was presented as an award weapon to the German army.
In this article, we will talk about two varieties of the Luftwaffe dagger, which were awarded to pilots of the German army during World War II.
Under the terms of the Versailles Peace Treaty, Germany could not havearmy air force. But in 1933, the so-called German Aviation Sports League was formed. It included all civilian flying clubs. This organization secretly trained military fighter pilots.
When the position of German Chancellor passed to Adolf Hitler, the sports league was officially recognized as a military league and became known as the Luftwaffe. As soon as this happened, students in this organization acquired the status of military personnel. As a result, they received the first samples of Luftwaffe daggers. They became an attribute of the uniform of the pilots of the German army. It is noteworthy that the first samples, dating back to 1934, were later replaced by the so-called Luftwaffe dagger of the second sample, which appeared in 1937. At the same time, this weapon was awarded only to servicemen with officer ranks.
The main distinguishing feature of this weapon is black. It had the shape of a thickened coin. It was engraved with a swastika. Her outlines were inscribed in a circle. It is noteworthy that it was a unique symbol image technology. A layer of silver was applied to the black, as well as to the entire base. Its thickness did not exceed 5 microns. And the symbol itself was covered with a layer of gold, the thickness of which was 3 microns.
However, by the end of 1936, the metal parts of the Luftwaffe dagger were made of poor quality material, and the thickness of the applied silver layer was reduced to 1-2 microns. But the latest examples of these weapons were already made of aluminum.The swastika was anodized with gold. The handle and blade were made from nickel for a while, but later they were made from polished aluminum.
The shape of the 1935 Luftwaffe dagger hilt is borrowed from the ancient Romans. The handle and scabbard of the weapon were covered with natural leather, dyed blue. At the same time, it had a helical shape. Blade, polished, without engravings. Its length reached 12 centimeters. The total size of the Luftwaffe dagger of this sample was 48 centimeters.
What happened to the first sample
After the approval of the second model of this weapon in 1937, the daggers of the first sample were issued to retired and junior officers. Production of this dagger continued until 1944 and was worn until the end of World War II.
1937 Luftwaffe Dagger
The second generation dagger was intended to reward officers of the German Air Force. This dagger was approved in 1937. It is noteworthy that its wearing was allowed not only by officers, but also by candidates for senior positions in the Air Force who passed all the exams.
From the first sample, this dirk, first of all, differed in the pommel, which acquired a spherical shape. It had an engraving in the form of a swastika framed with oak leaves. It is noteworthy that in this model it was depicted rotated by 45 degrees. She, as in the sample of 1935, was covered with a layer of gold. The handle remained the same, spiral shape. It was made from three materials: wood, plastic and ivory. The handle could bepainted in one of four colors - white, yellow, black and orange.
The total length of the weapon was, like the first sample, 48 centimeters. They wore these daggers until the end of World War II.