|Organisation Information - The Navy [Kreigsmarine]
Unlike the other services, German Navy uniforms and accoutrements have been historically slow in reflecting change. For example, the German Navy edged weapons, which remain in service today, bear only minor modifications to the edged weapons carried by members of the Royal Prussian Navy in the mid-nineteenth century.
Although the Versailles Treaty signed after World War I seriously limited any sizeable overt expansion of the German Navy, covert submarine production continued outside the country.
When Hitler gained power in 1933, he immediately boosted the Navy to a formidable military force under the aegis of Admiral Erich Raeder. Raeder remained at the helm of the German Navy for the next fifteen years, when he was replaced by Admiral Karl Donitz.
Early in the war, German U-boats were the nemeses of Allied sailors throughout the Atlantic Ocean. As the Allies perfected anti-submarine warfare, heavy combat losses were inflicted on the Germans. The main German fleet was limited in its operation at sea due to the overwhelming number of allied war ships. The surface fleet spent most of its time avoiding detection from allied ships.
German Navy Fighting Ship Production
WW2 - Allied Shipping Sunk
Dagger Information Navy Type 2
This dagger was introduced on 20 April 1938 to coincide with Hitlers birthday. The main change was the replacement of the cresting wave and reed with thin throat Ball pommel for the Nazi Eagle holding a swastika.
The scabbard was fitted with 2 carry rings and had an engraved "Lightening Bolt" or "Hammered Finish" decoration. The cross bands for the hanger rings on the scabbard were either decorated with oak leaves or a twisted rope design. The rings could follow the rope design or the hammered style and or be plain. The scabbard was finished in a number of finishes to include a polished brass with clear lacquer coat. Or gold plated finish and the most expensive finish was the fire-gilt finish all were dipped in a clear lacquer coating.
The 25-cm long blade was normally etched with various naval patterns ranging from ships, anchors or similar naval motifs. Some blades were plain with no etching. A twin fuller ran down the centre of the blade. The dagger was locked in the scabbard by a small brass stud that was set in the cross guard, some makers like Alcoso had a two piece style button. Note that on some blades and scabbard throats an O, or an N, with some numbers can be found. These are issued by the Navy to its personal for wear they are Government property. Damast blades on true Third Reich Navy daggers are very rare. And rate as one of the most prized common daggers of the time to collect.
The grip was normally white celluloid over wood base with twisted double stranded brass wire running down the grooves of the grip. Some makers used a solid plastic grip that can range from a Pale butter yellow to a deep dark orange.
Ivory grips were extra cost items. "Note" ivory grips are never found on Government issued daggers.
All metal fittings (brass or alloy based), They were either just plain polished brass or were gold plated of fire gilt finished with a clear lacquer coat.
The hangers were based upon dual, silk fronted moiré straps with back velvet fittings. The buckles took the form of Lions faces and snap fasteners at each end. A small chain was added to the hangers to hold the dagger in a vertical position. With these hangers the very early fittings are made from brass and then gold plated. Where as the late fittings are aluminium with an anodised gold finish. Also of special note these hanger fittings can be found in a silver finish for Administration Officers.
A 42 cm Silver bullion or aluminium Portapee was authorised for wear, note that later made portepees are made from a rayon material. The base of the ball area has a gray twisted woven string like stuffing.
Wearing of the Navy dagger was discontinued in December 1944.
Edited by Bruce Petrin