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Diplomatic Officer


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Organisational Information - Diplomatic Corps

The German Foreign Office had its formation under Bismark during the First Reich. Hitler's successful overthrow of the Second Reich and the Nazi Party's rise to power necessitated numerous changes in the German Diplomatic Corps.

After his appointment as Foreign Minister in 1938, Joachim Von Ribbentrop established two distinct branches of personnel within the Foreign Office –

Diplomatic Corps - personnel who were diplomats per se. The Diplomatic Corp concentrated on foreign affairs and represented the German Government and maintained dialog at International level. The early successes of the German Government in the Rheinland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Memel and the signing of various military alliances and none aggression pacts with Italy, Japan and Russia testifies to the effectiveness of this branch of the German Government under Von Ribbentrop. Hitler kept tight control of the Diplomatic Corps by working close on International affairs with Von Ribbentrop.

Government officials - were concerned with internal government administration and were ultimately responsible to the Minister of the Interior, Himmler. As the German expansion took place during the war, other General Government Departments arose in occupied countries that controlled the local civil populations. These departments controlled routine civil functions as well as organising labour for the German war effort in their areas.

Dagger Information – Diplomatic Corps

This dagger was authorised by Hitler in May 1938 to commemorate his visit to Rome. The dagger was 39 cm long with a stylised eagle’s head pommel and a mother of pearl grip. It should be noted that on some of these grips with age they turn a very pleasing yellow and orange colour. The reason why is questionable.

The cross guard featured a national eagle with upturned spread wings; the eagles face to the viewer’s right. The eagle’s feet held a wreath with a Nazi swastika at the centre.

The scabbard was identical to the Army dagger but had larger oak leaf suspension rings. The scabbard was silver plated.

The hanger had two fabric straps that had silver aluminium facings on the front. The back of the hangers was sown to black lengths of fabric. Square buckles with oak leaf motif were used on the hanger. The fittings can be found with a fine silver plated finish and a gold plated finish as well as a polished anodised silver finish.

The accoutrements were completed with a 42 cm silver Portapee which had a smaller than usual acorn. The size is 3.2 cm long by 2.1cm wide with a thin stem, being 2.4 cm long by 1cm wide. As well the cord itself is very thin. Army size portepee can also be found on these daggers.

The pommel was secured with a special double screwed tang nut to maintain the smooth features of the dagger. Each dagger part had matching inspection part numbers that can only be seen by dismantling the dagger.

The main manufacturers of the Diplomatic dagger were Alexander Coppel and Carl Eickhorn. Yet to date an Eickhorn dagger has not surfaced that has been approved by the "experts."

Production of this dagger was discontinued in July 1942.

Edited by Bruce Petrin