Organisation Information - German National Railway System [Deutsche Reichsbahm]
During the 1st world war, the German Railway (Eisenbahn) had the most extension railway network in Europe. It proved vital in maintaining the provision of troops and material to the German war effort on two fronts for 3 years. As a result of the Versailles settlement, the Eisenbahn was made a subject of war reparations.
Under the Nazi regime, the railways once again became of strategic importance to the 3rd Reich. In 1935 all railway authorities were united under a single authority (Deutsche Reichsbahn) with independent funds, administrative and operational authority. By 1942 the Reichsbahn employed 1,400,000 staff across Europe in support of the Wehrmacht.
1) Bahnschutz protected rail property from theft and sabotage.
2) Bahnpolizei kept discipline within the rail workforce.
3) Wassershutzpolitzei patrolled railway facilities in harbours, canals & waterways.
In 1937, Hitler brought the German Railway System under complete national control.
All three services were amalgamated in 1941 under the title of Bahnshutzpolizei. It soon came under the control of Himmler and took more responsibility for the control and management of prisoners and security on the German Railway.
In 1944 the Bahnschutzpolizei changed its name to SS-Bahnshutz.
Dagger Information – Railway Guard 1938This dagger was created for wear as part of the new Railway Guard uniform for guard officers from the rank of Oberzugfuhrer It was also worn by the relevant officials of the Bahnpolizei.
The dagger was designed by Paul Casburg and was manufactured by Carl Eickhorn as well as E.F. Hoster. A number of unmarked daggers of this type exist too.
Hilt fittings are made of aluminium with a silver anodised finish ranging from a bright finish to a dull finish. The backgrounds are finished with a dark burnishing to give the dagger an antique look.
The grip is a thick style black plastic with the standard spirals. The grip ring at the base insertion is twin grooved and fits on snugly, to abut the crossguard. The upper has a cap like format that fits over the top of the grip; it has a hole in the very top where the pommel then screws down onto the tang shaft. The neck on the pommel can and will vary according to which bench maker assembled the dagger and maker etc. So the old wife tale about a long shaft is just that - an old wives tale. No two assemblers did the same thing when hand fitting a dagger.
It had a 40-cm long, hollow ground carbon steel stiletto style plain blade. This blade was crossgrained polished. 90% will be marked by Eickhorn, a few will be found with unmarked blades, and some by E.F. Hoster.
The pommel and cross guard were made from polished aluminium then anodised silver with the dark burnishing and clear lacquer finish; the cross guard featured the Bahnschutz insignia, a winged rail wheel, with the ends of the cross guard turning down. Note that there is an area that appears to be unfinished but is a flaw that is found on 99.99% of all real crossguards. When raising questions of authenticity on these daggers, here is a handy guide - the crossguard on a period made dagger is 87-87.75mm across.
The pommel was spherical in shape with a raised "sunwheel" swastika at its top. On real pommels the lip is thin and sharp looking not fat and flat as some reproductions. The pommel is 24.6-24.7mm across.
A smooth scabbard had two ribbed aluminium suspension rings fitted; a small scrolled ornate feature completed the bottom of the scabbard tip. The base of early scabbards is sheet metal steel with a silver plated finish that is brushed to make it conform to the dull look of the hilt fittings. Later made scabbards are made of a low-grade aluminium and have a natural brushed finish. The throat is held in place by a single back centre placed set screw.
The hanger was a double strap unit made from a silver toned fabric with black line edges, and square plain buckles. The reverse of the hangers was affixed to deep black purple velvet backings. This colour will vary with manufacturer.
42-cm aluminum or silver bullion Portapee, interwoven with black thread in the cord and stem area, was worn with the dagger.
Production ceased in 1942 before the formation of the Bahnshutzpolizei
Edited by Bruce Petrin