Organisation Information - The Air Force [Luftwaffe]
Hitler, in an attempt to develop the embryonic Luftwaffe to the maximum extent consistent with the state of the art, designated World War I fighter ace Herman Goring as both Commander in Chief of the Air Force and Minister of Aviation. In the latter role, Goring was a member of the Cabinet and was responsible for co-ordinating and supervising all civil air matters. As the Commander in Chief of the Air Force, Reichsmarshal Goring was made responsible for the administration, training, development, procurement, and maintenance of the entire Luftwaffe.
Goring organized his new command into two major sections:
1) Command section (responsible for tactical operations)
2) Air ministry section (responsible for the maintenance of the Air Force's personnel and equipment and for the control of every aspect of civil and commercial aviation).
The Luftwaffe was to play a very significant role throughout World War II, particularly the early years. Its effectiveness was destroyed as attrition took its toll and the allied airforces grew in volume and quality as the war progressed
3rd Reich Aircraft Production
Dagger Information - Luft 1 (1935)
In March 1935 the Fliegerdolch was introduced for wear by officers and senior NCOs.
It was based upon a similar dagger worn by the German Air Sports Association (DLV).
The grip had a wooden core with dark blue Morocco leather covering. The grooved grip having triple silver coloured wire running down it.
The solid nickel circular pommel featured an inlaid brass disk with raised sunwheel swastika, as did the centre of the cross guard, both obverse and reverse. These disks were silver plated as were the pommels with 4-5 microns of silver, then the swastika was gold plated with 2-3 microns. "Many think that the swastika is a brass insert this is not correct at all, its 100% wrong!" For a short period of time in 1936 a low-grade pot metal was used on these fittings having 1-2 microns of silver plating. The last fittings used were aluminium with anodised gold swastikas.
The cross guard had down swept "wings".
All metal fittings were initially nickel silver with 4-5 microns of silver plating until 1936 when a low grade of pot metal was used for a short period of time on these there was a thin 1-2 microns of silver plating. The last fittings were polished aluminium fittings.
Note: that the Aluminium fittings had a gold anodised swastika. On all exterior silver fittings they were finished with a clear lacquer, on all models from early to late, its very rare to find this lacquer intact.
The dagger was 48 cm long and had a plain, stiletto style blade with no engravings or motto as standard. Extra cost items include Etched presentations and damast blades, Note that as of today only 5 known Originals have ever surfaced with a real period Damast blade, making this the rarest common dagger ever produced
Note: that when one encounters these blades with the small waffen stamping a stick bird with a number, this is a Government issued dagger, on lease to the person using it. This is the same with Luftwaffe swords and 2nd model daggers too. When one is found with NO waffen stamp it is a personal owned dagger.
The scabbard had the same dark blue Moroccan grade leather covering as the grip, with three scabbard fittings. The top and centre scabbard fittings having a fixed metal ring onto which to fix the dual chain hanger. Note again that the scabbard fittings started off as solid nickel silver with 3-4 microns of silver plating, then dropping to a low-grade pot metal with 1-2 microns of silver plating, and lastly aluminium.
The hanger was a simple double chain hanger made early on from solid nickel silver.
The early hangers had solid nickel clips though most will be unmarked, the only known variation on this is from the Alcoso firm that used a DRGM in a ressed box on a pot metal base. On the later aluminium rings an aluminium clip is found and has the marking oLc as well as Gesh Gesch. On mid period made daggers this style can be found too.
A 23-cm silver bullion Portapee was authorised for wear by flying personnel.
Following the introduction of the Luftwaffe Officers dagger in 1937, the Luft1 dagger continued to be worn by junior NCOs and various other ranks who were entitled to wear one of the various air crew badges (Pilot badge, Radio officer).
Wearing of this dagger was discontinued in December 1944.
Edited by Bruce Petrin