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Etched 2nd Model Luftwaffe dagger


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I bought this dagger (with hangers and portepee), together with the shoulder boards and Erkennungsmarke (dog tag) from Hamburg based dealer Helmut Weitze. One of his "pickers" had bought the group, which also included some medals, directly from the family of Luftwaffe Stabsfeldwebel H. Reitzig in Berlin. The picker explained to me that the group was bought after the widow of Herr Reitzig passed away and the home with all its contents was sold by her daughter. I am working on getting more details from him and from WASt on this NCO.

The second model Luftwaffe dagger is unmarked, has a near perfect plated blade, and bears on the reverse a beautiful factory etch with the two line inscription "Zur Erinnerung an K?niggr?tz, Protektorat B?hmen und M?hren" (in remembrance of K?niggr?tz, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia)

The pommel?s original detailed design is faded as a result of age and wear, and no hand enhancements are visible to the oak leafs, acorns etc. A pommel feature possibly indicating WKC manufacture is the trio of acorns just below the swastika on both sides, as one points upward and the other two downward (Wittmann, Luftwaffe dagger volume p. 142)

Second model Luftwaffe crossguard eagles do not vary as much as their Heer counterparts from maker to maker. Greater variety exists, however, in the design of the upper quillon arms. This particular piece exhibits the engraved (as opposed to relief) variety.

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The Erkennungsmarke (I.D. disk, a.k.a. "dog tag") was instituted and first issued in August of 1939 to all members of the German Wehrmacht. Therefore, H. Reitzig was at Fliegerhorst Kommandantur Staaken in late 1939. The 270 number is the Stammrollnummer of Reitzig within his unit. H. Reitzig retained the same Erkennungsmarke unchanged throughout the war, even after his unit was no longer FHK Staaken. The waffen farbe of the shoulderboards is yellow, the color of the fliegertruppe. This is consistent with his air gunner & radio operator award which was obtained from the Reitzig family together, but sold separately by Weitze to a medal collector.

E-H?fen K?niggr?tz was part of Luftgau-Kommando VIII Breslau. Luftwaffe units stationed there included , I Gruppe KG4, Luftflotten-Nachrichtenschule 2, JU290 squadron of KG200, among others. I am told Reitzig belonged to KG4.

Sorry about te long text, but the fun of these artifacts for me is the context....

All comments welcome

Edited by Gustavo
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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear Gustavo,

Indeed a wonderful piece. It is always nice to put a name along with some history to an item. If I were you I would attempt to find out who purchasd the ROAG and see if you could unite the 2. I know of several collectors who have been persistent and have been able to reunite items of a group.

Gary B

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Thanks guys.

The radio operator medal was over ?1K by itself... so I decided to pass... heres the image from Weitze

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I wish someone with the knowledge and the time would write a solid book on German blade etchings. This is a real minefield for the collector. The best known and most expensive examples are the Voos factory etches we find in Heer and Luftwaffe daggers, but these specially ordered examples are more interesting to me because of the research potential and the rarity.

When it comes to determining authenticity a key issue, and one not adequately addressed most times is criteria. Imperfections in the etch, for example, are often immediately judged to be evidence of a post war piece. I am not convinced that this is necessarily always the case. The myth of the perfection of German craftsmanship is behind a lot of these assertions. Again, I know very little about etches, but regarding engravings for example, varities of styles, fonts and degrees of engraving skill coexisted in the period. Materials and manufacturing in general are known to have deteriorated as the war advanced.

In any case, daggers that sell for thousands of Euros (i lost track of the $ exchange rate...) will be increasingly the object of fraudulent copying. Yet, a solid set of criteria for authenticity, based on real knowledge and not speculation and inflated ego remains to be produced.

Edited by Gustavo
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Dear Gustavo,

Indeed a wonderful piece. It is always nice to put a name along with some history to an item. If I were you I would attempt to find out who purchasd the ROAG and see if you could unite the 2. I know of several collectors who have been persistent and have been able to reunite items of a group.

Gary B

Gary,

The badge is now in my collection.

Here are some scans.

I had no idea that it was part of a larger group until John Temple-West directed me to this thread.

Stan

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