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THE HISTORY OF THE SA DAGGER


His goal was to overthrow the government, but he had to compete with numerous other Bavarian right-wing groups and with his friend Ernst Roehm, a Bavarian staff officer. Roehm advocated the primacy of the military and wanted to incorporate the party's paramilitary units, called the SA, or Storm Troopers (Sturmabteilung) into his secret army, while Hitler insisted on the primacy of politics. Members of the SA were also known as "Brown shirts".

In recognition for his important service to the SA, The Rohm dagger was created. When the French occupied the Ruhr in January 1923, German nationalist feelings ran high, and military authorities prepared for mobilization. The views of Roehm and the other right-wingers now seemed to be prevailing; Hitler thereupon tried to regain control of the movement by his Beer Hall Putsch of Nov. 8-9, 1923. The putsch was aimed at capturing, first, the government of Bavaria, and then the nation's, but the Bavarian authorities were able to suppress it.

Enlarge image (+) In early 1934, however, he faced new conflicts, mainly from within the party. The SA, still led by Roehm, and the Nazi left vigorously opposed his alliance with business and military leaders, and a group of monarchists was campaigning for a restoration of the monarchy. Hindenburg's deteriorating health raised the question of his succession. Hitler survived the crisis by adopting the most radical methods. He rallied behind himself the party leaders, the army, and HIMMLER 's SS (the Schutzstaffel, or Blackshirts), and on June 30, 1934, he struck. A number of SA leaders, monarchists, and other opponents were murdered; the influence of the SA was drastically reduced; This event came to be known as "The night of the Long Knives". Hitler emerged as the undisputed master of Germany. When Hindenburg died on August 2, Hitler officially assumed the title of Fuhrer, or supreme head of Germany. Beyond its political ramifications, this night represents a milestone in the evolution of the SA dagger.

THE ORIGIN OF THE SA DAGGER
Hitler and the Nazi regime had an obsession with imagery and quality. This is reflected in the uniforms and accutrements of the various organizations, military and paramilitary, created during this regime. Blade weapons ave always captivated the imagination of people. Something about the sleek design and appearance of edge weapons that makes these kind of items appealing to the masses, even today. Perhaps it is the remnants of a time when our very survival depended on such things. Regardless of the reason, Hitler and his designers capitalized in this feeling to make people feel better about belonging to a certain group. Daggers provided a symbol as a unifying force to achieve a common goal.



LARGE PRODUCTION NUMBERS
The SA dagger is the most widely produced dagger during Nazi Germany. Production numbers reached over 1 million. At its peak Several mom and pop type shops emerged as manufacturers of the daggers. over 200 factories manufactured and distributed the daggers.
In some cases the company would only produce a few pieces, like handles and handguards. They would purchase the blade and scabbard from a different company. at assembly, they would stamp their own brand in the blade.

INTRODUCTION OF RZM
As the number of organizations grew, so did the number of types of daggers. Pretty soon it was clear that this was a logistical nightmare. There were so many companies producing daggers and dagger parts but there was no standards for them to follow. As long as the items looked correct they were produced and sold. The problem is that parts among manufacturers were not interchangeable.
The solution to this problem was to implement construction standards. Sizes, colors, materials, etc. All of it needed to be controlled. The standard that was created was known as RZM.
This explains why today it is difficult to assamble a dagger from parts. For example, if you have a dagger that is missing the handle. you find one for sale. the color and materials look good. You purchase it and take it home just to find out it does not fit or that it fits poorly.
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DISTRIBUTION POINTS
After a dagger was manufactured it had to be sent to distribution points where the SA members were able to obtain the daggers. Special stores were set up as distribution points. Some of the stores were ran by the manufacturer itself.
Enlarge image (+) Each member of the SA was entitled to wear the dagger. However, each individual would have to pay for its own dagger. In very much the same way as we do with cars today, a person could outfit the dagger with various options. The old addage "you get what you pay for" applied here too.

District markings were struck on the handguard to denote the location from where the dagger was awarded. The picture shown here displays a stamp of "wf". For additional information and a list of the markings used visit our SA Markings section .

WWII GERMAN SA DAGGER VARIATIONS

There were multiple types of SA daggers that were produced during the Nazi reign. the variations covered here are:
  1. Standard 1933 Pattern SA dagger
  2. SA Rohm dagger
  3. Marine SA dagger
  4. SA Honor dagger
  5. SA High Leader Honor dagger
  6. SA Feldherrnhalle dagger
  7. Post War Daggers


THE STANDARD 1933 PATTERN SA DAGGER
The 1933 SA model was the basic dagger that was issued to all members of the SA. the example shown here has the single leather hanger. This dagger was produced in the millions.


THE SA ROHM DAGGER
The Rohm dagger was created in order to recorgnize Ernst Rohm's great contributions to the SA. The dagger was identical to the regular SA dagger except that it had the inscription "In Herzlicher Freundschaft Ernst Rohm", which translated to "In heartfelt comradeship, Ernst Rohm", on the reverse of the blade. This dagger was authorized on December 1931 and became known as the "Rohm" dagger. Around 100,000 samples were created for distribution among its members.

Over the years Rohm's political views started to divert too far apart from Hitler's views. As a result, Hitler charged Rohm with treason and ordered his execution (The night of the Long Knives). After this action took place it was ordered that all Rohm daggers be eliminated from circulation. This was achieved in one of two ways; The dagger could be destroyed or the special inscription could be taken off via grinder.

Having had to pay for the dagger, many members decided to go the grinder route instead of having to pay for another dagger.
Dagger who still bear the entire Rohm dedication are hard to find.
Common manufacturers of the Rohm dagger include:
  1. Eickhorn
  2. EP&S
  3. F. Dick
  4. Henckels
  5. Wusthof
  6. Herder
  7. Aesculap
A few things to help determine the authenticity of Rohm daggers include:
  1. No RZM number should be present. These daggers were created before the RZM was instituted.
  2. The fittings should be nickel-silver instead of plated.
The Rohm dagger can be found in three primary states. With the Rohm inscription intact, this is the hardest to find. With the Rohm name removed from the inscription (photo shown above). With the inscription completly removed, sometimes even removing the manufacturer's logo. In some cases you can still make out some of the inscription at the end or the edges when found in this last state.


MARINE SA DAGGER
The SA organization had a naval component. It was much smaller than the regular group. The members of the Marine SA were authorized to wear a dagger in 1934. There were two models of marine SA daggers. They both were patterned after the 1933 model with a few differences.

The first model displayed the following changes in relation to the 1933 model:
  1. Black annodized scabbard
  2. Black wooden handle withSA logo and eagle insert.
The second model dagger consisted of the following characteristics:
  1. Brown scabbard
  2. Brown handle
  3. Copper or Brass fittings



SA HONOR DAGGER
The SA Honor dagger was issued by two different individuals; Ernst Rohm and his successor, Victor Lutze. Rohm was more flexible with the criteria for awarding the dagger. He issued a fairly large number of them. When Lutze took over command of the SA he tightened the criteria. Most of the people who got them under his command were high ranking officers.

There was no standardization of the production of the Honor dagger. Therefore multiple configurations of it exist. The design was based on the 1933 model. some of the changes included an embellished hilt and crossguard. These pieces were adorned with oakleaf reliefs. The same treatment was afforded to the scabbard fittings. However, some of the scabbards had plain fittings as well.

The early daggers were outfitted with Damascus blades. The motto "Alles fur Deutchland" was applied to one side of the blade. Sometimes the motto was executed in gold relief.

The scabbard could come as standard issue or have a brown leather wrap. The hanger consisted of the plain brown leather strap.


THE HIGH LEADER HONOR DAGGER
The SA High Leader Honor dagger was introduced in 1938 and was based on the presentation dagger given to the new head of the SA, Victor Lutze. This new dagger was different from the regular Honor dagger in that it was standardize. It had a very specific set of measurements and configurations for its production. It was not simply based on the 1933 model dagger.

The criteria for awarding the dagger was far more strict than the regular Honor dagger. It was limited to high leaders. However, achieving the title of high leader did not automatically imply that the person was awarded the dagger. The person had to excel in the execution of his duties, hence the name "Honor" dagger. In addition, the dagger could only be awarded by Victor Lutze himself.

The design of the High Leader dagger was very similar to that of the Honor dagger. The biggest difference was the suspension chain. Which had a series of plates bearing the Swastika in the front. Each plate was attached to each other via the use of two loops. The chains attached to a large silver clip that had the SA symbol executed in relief.


The handle is made of wood. The SA logo is incrusted in the upper section. A silver eagle is placed near the center of the handle. The hilt and crossguard are decorated with oakleaves and acorns. The blade is done in Damascus with the motto "Alles fur Deutchland" in gold placed on one side. The other side has the manufacturer's logo also done in gold.

The scabbard is of metal construction. The main body is wrapped in leather. Three fittings are present. They are of silver color. The center and upper sections have suspension rings where the chain attaches. The center fitting has a more robust suspension system.

The High Leader Honor dagger was produced exclusively by the Carl Eickhorn company.


THE SA FELDHERRNHALLE DAGGER
The chief the SA, Viktor Lutze, developed a special force of bodyguards in 1936. This elite group was formed of full time SA professionals and was similar inconcept as the early days of the SS, which was created to provide Hitler with security.

The name "Feldherrnhalle" was adopted in recognition of the place where Adolf Hitler first attempted to take control of Germany via the use of force. The Feldherrnhalle was the name of a monument. Hitler's forces engaged in a gun battle with police at this location. As a result several people were killed and wounded. Among the wounded was Herman Goering who would later become head of the Luftwaffe. The Feldherrnhalle mounment became a nazi shrine.

At the start of its existance, members of the Feldherrnhalle wore the standard SA model 1933 dagger or the Feldjager bayonet. In 1937, a special dagger was authorized for use for leaders of the Feldherrnhalle and members of Lutze's staff. It is not clear how many of these daggers were made. It is believed that the number hovers at around fifty.

The dagger is very different in appearance from all other employed by the SA. It was designed by well known artist Paul casberg. Manufactured exclusively by the Carl Eikhorn company. The blade was similar in design as the Army blade. The center section was flat and displayed the motto "Alles fur Deutchland". The other side of the blade had the manufacturer's logo, which was the Eickhorn squirrell employed between 1935 and 1941.


POST WAR PRODUCTION
At the end of the war most German cities were virtually destroyed. Daily life Things that were once taken for granted became difficult things to achieve. Chief among the worries was how to make a living.

As the ranks of the GI's swelled with fresh troops arriving from the States to perform the duties of an occupation force, a new industry was being created, selling souvenirs to soldiers who had money to spend. Factories who had left over stock of daggers and parts saw a golden opportunity. They started assembling dagger to sell to the GI's. It is generally believed that this practice took place primarily between the years of 1946 and 1948. By 1951 the use of the swastika was banned in Germany. Therefore eliminating production of daggers.

The SA dagger was one of the daggers known to fall in the category of post-war production pieces. Other daggers include the SS version and the Hitler Youth Knife.
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The post-war production SA dagger usually was sold without a scabbard. The manufacturer would be BSA, whose symbol was a cross with the letters BSA going from top to bottom as well as left to right. The blade was manufactured in the town of Solingen. The word "Germany" is also stamped on the blade.

Note that only post-war production daggers have the word "Germany" stamped on them. This practice was not observed in the daggers manufactured during war time.


SA DAGGER REPRODUCTIONS
Like many other German WWII items, the SA dagger has been reproduced for several years. There is nothing wrong with buying and selling reproductions. As long as both parties know that the items is not real. The problem occurs when the items are misrepresented as real when they are not.

There are several countries producing replicas of the SA dagger. The most common are China, India and Pakistan. Spain produced several dagger reproductions in the 1950's and 1960's. The quality of the reproductions will vary. some of them are very good while others are not. Ususally the price point dictates the quality of the item.

Paying close attention to the details of construction and materials is the best way to detect reproductions.

WWII GERMAN SA DAGGER EXAMPLES

The more examples of a particular dagger that are examined the more knowledge is gained about the particular piece. Differences in construction can be better appreciated. Markings on the blade and other sections are better understood. The overall knowledge about the dagger is expanded.

This section of the site provides several examples of the dagger.




WWII GERMAN SA DAGGER RZM M7/36 - 1 - Mid to late war production. Painted scabbard. Complete with the leather hanger. RZM stamped. Manufactured by E.u.F. Horster of Solingen.


GERMAN SA DANIEL PERES DAGGER - 2 - The manufacturer is lesser known. The logo includes a double oval with a barrel in the center.


WWII GERMAN SA DAGGER Haenel - 3 - This is a well known manufacturer. Produced in the city of Suhl. Painted scabbard with the leather hanger.


SA Dagger C&R LINDER - 4 - This is a lesser known manufacturer. The dagger was made in the city of Solingen. Painted scabbard. Early fittings.




WWII SA Dagger Ground Rohm - 5 - Correct Eickhorn manufacturing logo. Placement is closed to the handle. The blade shows the grinding markings.


MODEL 1936 SA Dagger E. P. & S - 6 - Annodized scabbard. The letter "K" has been carved on the bak of the handle. Nrh stamp found on crossguard.


WWII GERMAN SA DAGGER - HAENEL - 7 - SA dagger with a blonde colored handle. Manufactured in the city of Suhl. The blade shows rusting.


WWII GERMAN SA Dagger HAMMESFAHR CIE - 8 - Harder to find manufacturer. The scabbard is painted. The fittings are consistent wit mid-war.




WWII GERMAN SA DAGGER MALSCH & AMBRONN - 9 - This is an earlier example with an annodized scabbard. All fittings are vintage as well.


WWII 1939 SA Dagger - 10 - This is an RZM M7./7/39. Marking is placed at the base of the blade. Bright Aluminum eagle placed in the handle. Manufactured by Franz Steinhoff of Solingen-Wald.


GERMAN SA DAGGER EICHORN - 11 - RZM stamped blade. Dated 1941. Early fittings with early fittings. painted scabbard and wooden handle.


WWII SA Herderas Dagger - 12 - Produced by a smaller manufacturer in the city of Solingen. The logo consists of crossed keys. Painted scabbard.




WWII SA Dagger RZM M/72 - 13 - In very good condition. Painted scabbard. Mid war fittings. The hanger is dated 1941 and has an RZM stamped clip. Manufactured by Karl Rob Kaldenbach of Solingen-Grafrath.


WWII SA Dagger RZM 7/2 - 14 - The blade retains most of the cross graining. Nice RZM marking applied to the base of the blade. Painted scabbard. Manufactured by Emil Voos Waffenbrik of Solingen.


WWII SA DAGGER RZM 7/2 - 15 - Complete with the leather hanger. The scabbard is early production with the anodized finish. District stamped "S". Manufactured by Emil Voos Waffenbrik of Solingen.


WWII SA DAGGER BY EPAK & SOHN - 16 - This is an early example of an SA dagger. The blade bears the logo of the manufacturer, Epak & Sohn. Complete with the scabbard.




WWII SA TRANSITIONAL DAGGER - 17 - This is a German SA transitional dagger. In very good condition. Dated 1938. Stamped RZM M7/51 which indicates it was manufactured by Anton Wingen Jr. from Solingen.


WWII SA RZM M7/37 DAGGER - 18 - This is a mint condition SA dagger. The blade is marked RZM M7/37 which indicates it was manufactured by the Robert Klaas company. The handle does not show any wear.


WWII SA GROUND ROHM DAGGER - 19 - This is a ground Rohm SA dagger. Complete with the green scabbard variation. Manufactured by the Eickhorn company.


WWII SA DAGGER - 20 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Dated 1941. Marked RZM M7/33 to indicate that it was manufactured by F.W Holler.




WWII SA DAGGER - 21 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Complete with the scabbard. Manufactured by the Aesculap company of Tuttlingen.


WWII SA DAGGER - 22 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Dated 1941. RZM number M7/66 for the Carl Eickhorn company of Solingen.


WWII SA DAGGER - 23 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. This is a partial Rohm dagger where only the name Rohm has been removed. A very nice example.


WWII SA DAGGER - 24 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Manufactured by the Rich Drees & Sohn Company from Solingen.




WWII SA DAGGER - 25 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Manufactured by the Clemen & Jung Company from Solingen.


WWII SA DAGGER - 26 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Manufactured by RZM M7/36.


WWII ENGRAVED SA DAGGER - 27 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Manufactured by E.P & S. Distribution number engraved on cross guard.


WWII KKR SA DAGGER - 28 - This is a German WWII SA dagger. Complete with the scabbard. Manufactured by Karl Rob, Kaldenbach. Early construction.






INTERESTED IN BUYING OR SELLING AN SA DAGGER?
Visit the "German WWII -> Daggers and Parts" section of our store to see the available inventory. All items there have a money-back guarantee to be original, unless otherwise stated. You can buy from us with confidence.

Fell free to contact us. We will make you an offer for a single item or an entire collection.





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Continued - The history of the SA dagger
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