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Fire Officer

(1870 Dagger)


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Dagger Gallery

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Full Glory

Organisation Information - Fire Department [Feuerwehr]

During the early years of the Third Reich, each German Provincial authority had the responsibility to organise and supply a local fire brigade service.

In 1938 the Nazis brought all the local fire brigade services under a single authority, Feuerschutzpolizei, or Fire Protection Police.

The Various German fire departments were in effect nationalised and placed in the hands of the Minister of Interior, who, in turn, relegated the fire departments as subordinate units within the overall police structure.

All of the larger German cities were required to convert their existing fire brigades into these new police fire-fighting units.

The size of any given fire department was directly related to the size of the population it covered. Any town with a population over 15,000 had additional volunteer fire fighters called Freiwillage Feuerwehr.

The unified Fire Brigade numbered almost 2 million men at its peak with additional support being provided by 700,000 Hitler Youth.

Dagger Information - Fire Official – 1870 Dagger

The Fire Official's Dirk was a very long weapon worn by volunteer and professional Fire Officers. The Dirk was first worn in 1870 and continued through the 3rd Reich period in the same basic configuration. It is one of the few dagger examples that did not incorporate a swastika in the design.

Most examples approached 48 cm in length, while some Imperial pieces were even longer.

The hilt was usually composed of silvered nickel base metal. The pommel was normally a round domed shape, with the cross guard centre block often featuring crossed axes and a firemanís helmet. The pommel on the WKC style looked like a Navy with cresting waves but the top has a longer nipple on it than a 1st navy or Water Police pommel (these have a 5.5mm nipple). Note I have seen many Water Police daggers with this style pommel on them, with Eickhorn blades, and Alcoso blades so I leave this to you to make the connections as to what it is. The nipple from the Fire Police dagger pommel is near 1cm high so when one encounters a Water Police with this style its obvious what you have.

The cross guard arms extended to quillion ends in the shape of spear points or cloverleaves.

The grip was silver wire-wrapped black phenolic resin bakelite or black leather over wood base.

The scabbard shell was produced of black leather with three, line-decorated mounts. The upper two mounts were equipped with hanging rings. The long blade was double-etched depicting floral designs mixed with fire scenes and equipment. The set screws are headless and reset into the fittings like a postal dagger.

The hangers were dual black leather straps with plain oval metal buckles and clips. These are not marked like a HJ leaders hangers with the RZM and DRGM markings.

Use of the dagger was officially terminated in 1936 when commissioned ranks were ordered to wear plain hilted sabres instead of the Firemanís Dagger.

In 1938 with the formation of the Feuerschutzpolize, the Police sword was authorised as dress wear for the Fire Brigade.

Edited by Bruce Petrin