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Army officer dagger. Army Officer Dagger  This dagger was was adopted in 1935 for use by Army officers.  Because the army grew to enormous proportions early in the Reich, this dagger was produced in large number.  Accordingly, examples of this dagger type are both numerous and affordable on today's collector market.

Manufacturers This dagger was manufactured by a large number of firms in Solingen, most of whom used parts that exhibit unique characteristics that make identifying "conforming" examples a relatively easy task.  Makers include Eickhorn, Alcoso, WKC, Klaas, EP&S, Herder, SMF, Tiger, Puma, and Kolping.  See Wittmann's Exploring Dress Daggers of the Germany Army for more details.

Construction The crossguard features a spread-wing national eagle clutching a wreath containing a swastika.  Pommel and ferrule feature raised oakleaf design.  Pebbled scabbard features two suspension bands decorated with oakleaves.

Cast fittings, initially nickle or silver plated.  Pressed steel scabbard with a variety of throat screw types and configurations. Grips produced in many materials, including ivory, blown celluloid over wood or plaster (always appear white in color), Trolon and other phenolic resins (identifiable by the strong odor and the yellow and orange hues resulting from oxidation over time). 

The example pictured above was manufactured by Karl Eickhorn and is in MINT condition.  Most of the factory protective laqueur that was often applied over the plated surfaces to protect the finish remains on this example.  Overall length is 40cm (15.8 inches).

Rarity Common

Variations This dagger was offered with a several of "upgrades" to include an ivory grip, an artificial or genuine damascus blade, and a variety of blades etched, personalized or blued to suit the owner or occasion.  Such dagger should be evaluated with great care, as many high-quality reproduction etched blades have been produced.

Warnings Due to the affordability of these daggers, they are rarely reproduced with quality that approached that of an original.  The real danger comes when purchasing etched or damascus examples.  When purchasing a etched army dagger with a "voos" pattern etch, the safest purchase will exhibit "sprigs" or small branches underneath the eagle on the obverse of the blade.  While original examples do exist without this feature, most reproductions lack this detail.  Also, be VERY careful when purchasing artificial damascus, especially those with gold-plated eagles on the reverse of the blade.   Original daggers did not have this characteristic.  Also, gilted surfaces on a raised blade presentation should have a matte gold appearance.

Additionally, Army daggers should NEVER exhibit an RZM mark, as Army supply production did not fall under party control and therefore RZM control.