WWII German SS Dagger -
The SS was formed in 1925 as a personal guard unit for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, ("Die Schutz-Staffel der NSDAP" - Shield Squadron of the NSDAP). Under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler between 1929 and 1945, the SS grew from a small paramilitary formation to become one of the largest and most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany. It was composed of police, security, paramilitary and military branches.
The initial purpose of the SS was to provide bodygurds for the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. The members were drawn from the
ranks of the SA and served under the SA. Membership for the SS grew steadily during the early 1930's. After
Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the SS began to get more notoriety as an elite force.
The anatomy of the SS dagger is discussed here:
The manufacturing of the SS dagger was under the supervision of the
RZM in 1934, Which exercised a tight control
over the materials, construction and dimensions used in producing the dagger.
By 1935 the blades began to be marked with the RZM logo instead of the manufacturer's brand.
However, like in many other German blades, there are some examples in which both stamps were placed on the blade.
These cases are referred to as transitional. The date may also be stamped just below the logos.
It is important to note that some of the SS daggers did not have any markings at all. These remain legitimate
examples of the dagger as not all of the blades were stamped.
The pommel of the dagger consists of a small round nut. This part screws straight into the tang of the blade holding
all the components together. Fittings are found at both ends of the handle. It was in 1934 that these fittings
began to be made of Zinc.
The scabbard is of metal construction. Painted black. Fittings at both ends were also made of Zinc after 1934.
The throat section has a single suspension ring, which is where the dagger hanger was attached.
SS DAGGER MODELS
The SS produced the following dagger variations during WWII:
each of these daggers is discussed in this page.
- 1933 Model SS dagger
- SS Rohm honor dagger
- SS Himmler honor dagger
- 1936 Model SS dagger (chained)
- 1936 Model SS honor dagger
1933 MODEL DAGGER
The SS model 1933 dagger
was introduced in 1933 for wear by all ranks of the SS. The dagger was based
on the SA type
with a few distinctions. The handle and scabbard were of black color. The blade had the
motto "Meime Ehre heist Treue", which translates to "My honor is loyalty". The maker's logo is placed
on the other side of the blade. The handle had an insert bearing the SS runes.
The example efatured here has a the most basic hanger available. The dagger could have come with different
types of hangers . all of them were made of leather.
SS ROHM HONOR DAGGER
The SS was created from members of the SA. The SS splintered from the SA as its ownn group in 1925.
The SS Rohm Honor dagger was introduced in 1934. It was awarded to 9,900 members of the SS that were in
good standing prior to December of 1931.
The blade is engraved with the text "In herzlicher Freundschaft, Ernst Rohm", which translates to
"In heartfelt comradeship, Ernst Rohm".
The details of the inscription are identical to those found in the SA Rohn dagger. After Rohm was
assassinated the command from the SS and SA ordered that anyone who had a Rohm dagger have the motto
removed. Members who were issued the daggers were instructed to take then to assigned locations
where the blade was subjected to a grinder.
As a result, the Rohm daggers can be found in three basic states: The first condition has
the complete inscription untouched. This example if the hardest to find.
Type two has a partial inscription where only part of the motto was removed. Usually it is the name
Ernst Rohm that has been taken off. This is known as the "Lazy grind".
The last condition is where the entire inscription was removed leaving no visible traces. In some
cases even the maker's logo was removed.
SS HIMMLER HONOR DAGGER
The SS Himmler Honor dagger was issued to SS selected SS members who participated in the operation known
as the Night of the Long Knives (1934), which was the assasination of the leadership of the SA, including Ernst
Rohm. A total of 200 of these daggers were issued.
The blade is engraved with the text "In herzlicher Freundschaft, H. Himmler", which translates to
"In heartfelt comradeship, H. Himmler".
The design of the dagger was identical to the SS model 1933
type, with the exception of the additional motto. The scripting was performed in the same style of handwritting
that Himmler used. Another difference was the control number (1 to 200) that was applied to the crossguard. This
was an issue number as opposed to an organizational or district numenclature.
1936 MODEL CHAINED DAGGER
The SS Chained dagger
was introduced in 1936. It was awarded to individuals who joined the organization
prior to January 30th 1933. The dagger was worn by officers and enlisted men alike. The only identification
mark to distinguish those assigned to officers was a silver portapee that was tied around the grip.
The 1936 model dagger was identical to the 1933 SS dagger in every aspect except for the scabbard. The
1936 model has a mid-body fitting with square patterns adorning it. The throat and mid-body fittings
have loops where the chain attaches.
The chain consists of alternating SS runnes and death head links. The upper chain has one SS and one death
head link. The bottom chain has a total of four alternating links. The links are attached together via the
use of a two piece loop.
The back of the links can be plained. Have no markings. In some instances they will be stamped with a simple
line type SS runnes inside a rectangular box.
Like all other examples of the SS dagger, the owner wears it by hanging it from a belt or special hooks inside the
uniform. The chains of the 1936 model attach to a celtic designed spring loaded clip which is connected to the belt.
1936 HONOR MODEL DAGGER
The 1936 Honor dagger
was created from the 1933 dagger pattern. Both daggers shared the same shape. However,
the 1936 Honor dagger had the fittings were richly adorned with leafy designs. The scabbard was covered with
black finely grained leather. The fittins of the scabbard were of silver color and were also decorated with
The blade is adorned with the motto "Meime Ehre heist Treue", which translates to "My honor is loyalty". It is
done in gold inlay. A gold leaf is placed to the left and the right of the motto. The blade is also adorned with a
damascus pattern. The opposite side of the blade from the motto displays the manufacturer's logo, which is also done in
gold inlay. This dagger was produced exclusively by the Carl Eickhorn company.
The handle was made of black ebony decorated with a circular silver enamelled SS runnes near the top and a silver
eagle at about the center point. The handle is roughly in the shape of a Coke bottle.
The crossguard and pommel guard were designed with an acorn in the center. Leaves extend to the left and the right
It is important to note that the dagger shown here is a very high option model. Not all of the 1936 honor daggers
were as lavish as this one. some examples did not have any decorations applied to the blade outside of the