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   Wardaggers.com - has supplied this page for the German Army dagger enthusiast and period edged weapon collectors Worldwide. The information it contains is my interpretation of the individual Solingen manufacturers traits and timescales and as such is open to debate and correction.
Constructed in conjunction with this websites German Army dagger cross-guard reference page information, it lists both in house produced German army dagger patterns and also patterns or parts known to have been utilized from other makers.
 Please bear in mind when assessing an authentic German Army dagger, that many manufacturers did also include a Generic design in the production order and not all Generic daggers are listed below.

Please do not copy or distribute the information held within this page without my consent or I will choose to introduce password protection. 
Note: This page is a work in progress and is updated as new information becomes available, also many makers did swap parts on occasion. If your dagger configuration is not listed below, it does not mean that the German Army dagger itself is questionable. I have only listed recurring or widely accepted variations. © wardaggers.com

KEY: 5 / 3  = ( 5 cross-guard patterns used, 3 manufactured in house )
   
1935 1935-39 1939-1940 1940-1941 1941
MAKER MARKS  - 5
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 4 / 4 
( ACS-1st, ACS-2nd, ACS-3rd, ACS-4th )

     ( Alcoso 1st ) The first initial dagger produced in house by the Jewish owned firm featured a highly detailed and unique eagle normally finished with a brass base material and heavily silver plated. The ACS 1st also used uniquely identifiable fittings throughout production, with a slim beveled appearance to the early scabbard bands and twin flat headed side throat screws. The grips on these 1935 produced German army daggers should always be of the slant variety with the blade bearing a tapered tang and marked with the large ACS and scales trademark . The pommels on Alcoso daggers produced later in the period featured a unique flared style only observed on daggers from this maker, however most early ACS 1st daggers are not flared in appearance and are more in keeping with the normal techniques of early 13 & 14 leaf pommels. The eagle itself  has an almost chicken like appearance, with extreme definition around the higher legs giving a fillet type of cut and clear break from legs to eagle chest. The wings are quite pointed with a slender appearance and are normally matched with small circular quillions and a large leafed typical ACS ferrule.

  ( Alcoso 2nd ) One of my personal favorites here, the Alcoso 2nd. This dagger configuration was one of the best produced in the period in my opinion, this design made a statement and featured not only the highest quality materials but also was very delicate in the finishing of the fittings and the overall look of the dagger. It has the largest eagle on the cross-guard ever produced by any firm at any point through the war years. So large that the bottom of the swastika wreath, in many case will touch the upper scabbard band. The pommels remain the earliest style with the blades still bearing the early tapered tang and earliest trademark. The grips however can be found on this 2nd pattern ACS with either the slanted or non-slanted style of grip. The scabbards are carried over from the first design, small beveled bands and twin flat headed side screws. The firm appears to have started experimenting with alternative base metals during this design period with some Alcoso army daggers featuring iron base metals to the fittings. These daggers will feel heavier than normal and of course the fittings will attract a magnet. From the start of production the company also adopted a technique of fixing their pommels in place with some pommels filled with a slag or sand type material.

  ( Alcoso 3rd ) A hugely prolific design when the Alcoso company was at its height of production. Produced from late in 1936 right through until 1940/41 the firm along with Eickhorn and WKC held a large section of the production market for German Army daggers. It is possible with this configuration of 3rd pattern dagger to see the progression as the firm used a mixture of earlier parts along with the newly designed cross-guard as well as manufacturing a new pommel, grip shape and scabbard shell and bands. It is therefore possible to find this dagger with a number of different fittings all typically Alcoso but from a range of different production periods. For example, the 3rd style cross-guard matched with an earlier style pommel and later scabbard with the larger broad scabbard bands, or as parts dwindled and progression and production got later, the 3rd style cross-guard, slim small necked type B grips matched with the unique flared pommels and shoulder tang blades with mid period trademarks ( the most prolific design encountered ). Materials and base metals also varied hugely on this design because of the large timeframe that it was in use, from pot metal to iron, from full brass to various alloys and as such the condition and detail can vary massively. Never force turn a pommel on any Alcoso marked army dagger, it was fixed by design. It is possible and quite a common occurrence to find ACS daggers featuring parts from various periods of their own design. Merely a case of using up existing stock.

 ( Alcoso 4th ) The final design from Alcoso featured a daring and stylized Art Deco pattern affectionately known as the "Hi-Lift" variant. The cross-guard featured an eagle with an extended outward profile to the bird giving an almost 3D appearance to the cross-guard. the upper birds wings will show distinct feathering raising upwards at the mid points and the birds head will show distinct feathering and an angry sharp appearance. The unique leg feathering returned on this design with the legs having the look of an almost baggy trouser style of cut. Because of the later production for this pattern many of the daggers will have a white, possibly Galalith ( milkstone ) or celluloid grip and the base metals will generally be inferior although decent examples do exist. The pommels are always of the flared variety and the scabbards of the later style with twin flat headed screws and well defined scabbard bands. This pattern can also feature iron fittings occasionally although relatively rare. Blades are the shouldered tang variety and normally matched with the later perpendicular trademark. Due to the firm being involved in their own in house production from the outset, it is rare to find Alcoso marked daggers featuring parts from any other maker.

Footnote: To recap, Alcoso dagger should always feature exclusive ACS parts. The pommel to grip fit on post 1937 daggers nearly always will have a flared and slender fit or match, occasionally with the grip looking like it is oversized where it meets the pommel. Many pommels are fixed by the firm, over the years the leather blade buffers shrink meaning some play can be encountered sometimes on period untouched daggers.
     
1935 1935-1941 1936 1942  
MAKER MARKS  - 4
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 4 / 4  ( EICK-1st, EICK-2nd, EICK-3rd, EICK 4th )

     Paul Casberg, a renowned artist from the period was working for Eickhorn when he was asked to submit drawings for a new dagger design for the German armed forces in 1935, it stands to reason that arguably the largest manufacturer of its time would have been the first to complete and assemble an early base design that would remain a template for other manufacturers for the next seven years. The firm was established in 1865 and the back to back squirrel trademark found on many early edged weapons, sabres, swords, bayonets etc first made an appearance in 1906.
 The earliest German Army daggers made by Eickhorn bear the double oval trademark, this mark was only used for a very short period in 1935 before switching to the 1935-1941 trademark that most collectors will recognise. These earliest contributions are normally matched with a slant grip ( later grips also ) and the very early brass based type 1 cross-guard. The practice of using slant grips by Eickhorn was very short indeed before switching to the standard grip design late in 1935,  it is my personal opinion that the firm never returned to using slant grips after this date and care should be taken when assessing daggers that do not bear the double oval trademark. Eickhorn also had a habit of mixing some early and slightly later parts during assembly throughout the early years and this can cause confusion when assessing the parts on period daggers.
It is thought that Eickhorn introduced three of the four cross-guard designs ( one transitional ) within a 12-24 month period starting in 1935, before finally settling on the prolific 4th pattern around 1937. Many early daggers will have C.E. cast onto the blade tang, with the mid and later designs having the typical Eickhorn flat banded ferrule and scabbard bands and thicker throat to the scabbard. The last two trademarks shown above were only in production for a very short period as resources and materials became short and the war effort took it's toll. Probably the largest manufacturer of Army daggers during the period, Eickhorn produced one of the finest quality edged weapons of the era including many presentation, Damascus, Etched,  Ivory & Glass gripped  examples.
Note: There are three variations of the last "over the shoulder" trademark from 1942 found on period army daggers.
     
1935 1936? 1937-1942    
MAKER MARKS  - 3 ( With Variations )
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 5 / 4  ( WKC-1st, E-PACK-1st, E-PACK-2nd, E-PACK-3rd, E-PACK-Generic )

( WKC 1st ) The E-Pack trademarks will show slight variations between daggers, it would appear that Pack sourced or manufactured their blades from various locations or held several templates of the same makers mark with minor differences. The second transitional mark without the Siegfried scroll is extremely rare on German Army and Luftwaffe daggers, it was used for a very short time probably around 1936 and the examples that have come to light in recent years can be counted on one hand.
 E-Pack was a large company and was very quick off the mark in 1935, assembling an early contribution army dagger using purchased parts from WKC. The fittings on these earliest E-Pack daggers are probably the most detailed and heavily hand enhanced and chiselled of any early slant gripped German army dagger from any manufacturer. With extreme punch work to the pommel and leaf veining and heavy chiselling to the cross-guard eagle and scabbard bands, limited examples where released and would have been an interim or short term solution while their own in house fittings were being finalised. These WKC fitted E-Pack daggers bear the earliest blacksmith trademark positioned low on the tapered tang blade and of course an early slant based grip.

( E-Pack 1st ) The firm quickly adopted their own design and continued in most cases to add extreme hand chasing and chisel work to the fittings. E-Pack along with Klaas certainly went the extra mile when it came to workmanship on these early daggers. Due to the amount of 1st Pack fittings found today on daggers by other manufacturers who utilised this pattern, it would suggest the timescale that it was introduced  was very early in 1935. Using only quality materials and mostly brass based fittings, the firm also introduced their own scabbard design ( thin scabbard bands and twin dome headed screws ) that remained consistent throughout the period and became very popular with other manufacturers involved in early army dagger production. Packs first pattern dagger can be found with or without nickel plated blades matched with the first style E-Pack trademark, and in most cases a slant grip. Several firms chose to purchase and assemble Packs early design and fittings/scabbard and to add their own trademarked blade, these include Spitzer, Heller, Henckels, Wingen, Helbig, C.Schmidt, Voos, Grafrath, Hartkop and Tiger. The level of hand finishing employed by these makers on the 1st Pack fittings was nowhere near the level of Pack themselves and as such the appearance and differences of the same base fittings can be quite dramatic.

 ( E-Pack 2nd ) The next design introduced by E-Pack, in many cases is mistaken for a modified first Pack, however after studying several identical German daggers by Pack and the fittings, it is my belief that it is in fact a unique transitional pattern probably used late in 1935 and before the introduction of Packs final and very common third pattern cross-guard. Still heavily hand enhanced ,the fittings, grip and scabbard remain of early construction. With the first style trademark to the blade and a slant grip, the only major difference to the first pattern dagger from Pack, is the cross-guard eagle itself. The head and beak are cropped in comparison to the 1st, with a chequered weave pattern to the breast of the eagle compared to the diamond cut of the normal design. The leg feathering is not evident on this second design and in many cases the eye of the eagle has the lazy eye or half moon shape, evident on the third pattern configuration but not on the first, which normally has a punched circular eye. This cross-guard has also been observed on early German daggers by Spitzer.

 ( E-Pack 3rd ) E-Packs final dagger configuration and fittings proved to be just as popular with other manufacturers as it's first design. Weyersburg and Holler purchased Packs 3rd and modified the fittings to suit. Introduced possibly early in 1936, the casting and mould's utilised had been refined resulting in a more detailed and crisper end product. Hand finishing although still evident on some of the earlier production runs of this pattern was in decline as it was not necessary to add personalisation to unique in house detailed fittings. The quality of the materials and plating techniques remained high on the initial introduction of these fittings but declined over time as resources became short and many of the factory workers where conscripted for the war effort.

( Aluminium Generic ) Not only did Pack produce one of the most highly detailed and intricate German Army daggers of the era, the firm was also the primary manufacturer of aluminium hilted Heer daggers. These unique fittings had an extruded or matte finish and a high aluminium base metal content which resulted in a lightweight, typically aluminium coloured cross-guard and pommel that was completely different to the normal plated varieties. Extremely desirable and collectable Worldwide, E-Pack introduced the new Generic type design probably in 1936. Initially based on the 1st Pack standard cross-guard, the firm also continued to produce these aluminium fittings slightly later, using the standard E-Pack 3rd template or mould, although not to the extent seen earlier in the period. The majority will display heavy hand finishing and enhancing and remain extremely detailed and resilient to wear, in part due to the high quality aluminium base metals utilised and the fact that the hand finishing or chiseller work was not filled with a silver plate. Most will bear the earliest trademark and be matched with a non-slant grip and the typical early Pack scabbard. Rare silver plated examples of this Pack Generic design also exist.
Visit this link for VERY high quality examples > ALUMINIUM HILTED  German army daggers.
     
       
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 1 / 0  ( E-PACK-1st )
                                 

( E-Pack 1st ) Gebruder Heller or "Balloonman" was a smaller cottage maker who purchased parts from other manufacturers, adding their own trademarked blade and in some cases personalising or adding unique chiselled enhancing to the hilt fittings by skilled factory workers. This procedure of hand finishing the product was to add some degree of individuality and to alter the look of the parts produced by another company. It is interesting to observe the details on these early daggers by the small makers, in many cases it is possible to recognise the individual skilled workers handiwork during comparison of two separate daggers by the same manufacturer.
 This particular firm's German Army daggers have become highly desirable and collectable by advanced collectors Worldwide for a number of reasons but mainly because of the unique and somewhat comical trademark added to the high quality nickel plated tapered tang blades. The company went the extra mile during the very short period the firm was in army dagger production in 1935, using the early or first E-Pack quality brass based fittings and twin domed screw scabbard that where so favoured by many of these smaller firms trying to secure Government contracts. The addition of a thick nickel plated blade and the labour involved with hand finishing ultimately drove up costs but this is testament to the steps these firms would go too in a time of recession and huge competition to secure lucrative business.
 Heller army daggers, although ONLY assembled by the firm during 1935/6 and with the earliest hilt fittings from E-Pack, are thought to be a relative late comer, with most examples found in collections today having the slightly later non-slanted grips. This practice of mixing early hilt fittings and scabbard and a later style grip is almost unique to Heller during the early years and examples without the Pack fittings or with the addition of a slant grip need to be scrutinised. All blades should bear a tapered tang and as far as I am aware, all should be nickel plated.
     
     
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 1 / 1  ( HERDER )
                                
( Herder ) Rich A Herder was not involved in the early production of German Army daggers but did produce a relatively large number of mid to late war daggers fitted with a cross-guard very similar to the Generic type B. It was initially thought that the prevalent Generic B cross-guard that was purchased and used by many of the smaller makers was based on the original design by Herder, I personally think it makes more sense that the Generic B design was based on the Wingen 2nd which is also very similar and in many cases cannot be distinguished as a different pattern. Wingen was also producing Army daggers from the offset early in 1935 whereas Herder is known to have only joined the game probably late in 1936. The Wingen 2nd, Generic B and the Herder designs are virtually identical with the only obvious difference being a flat head to the eagle on the Herder design in comparison to the discreet dip between the brow and beak on the other two.
 A large percentage of Herder produced daggers will be nickel plated over an inferior base metal, this method of plating was cost effective for the period but does not hold up well over time. Any slight knock or damage to the thick nickel plate allows the air to penetrate and moisture to react with the pot metal base. Herder also used two trademarks although I am not sure which came first. Both trademarks can be found on daggers that are identical in design in finishing and also on the earliest silver plated patterns which I believe to have been amongst the first daggers released by Herder around the end of 1936. These silver plated examples can also bear the earlier tapered tang blades which would suggest that Herder purchased in stock from other earlier manufacturers and added their own trademark to suit.
     
1935-1941        
MAKER MARKS  - 1
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 5 / 2  ( HOLLER-1st, WKC-1st, E-PACK-3rd, HOLLER-3rd, E-PACK-3rd )
                                 
( Holler 1st ) Do not be fooled by the single trademark used by F.W.Holler throughout production, the firms use of several German dagger configurations and repeated use of purchased and modified cross-guard designs is probably the most complicated of any manufacturer. One of the larger companies and producing from the offset in 1935, Holler was a quality manufacturer employing highly skilled workers and purchasing only the best quality materials and fittings, many of which where hand enhanced late into the period.  The firm appears to have been very successful, securing an early production contract after submitting its first unique in house designed German Army dagger that bore little resemblance to any other maker, other than dimensions and proportions. This early 1st Holler had several unique attributes including horizontal cross-graining or polishing to the centre segment of the blade, heavy hand enhancing to the fittings, slant grips and tapered tang blades. The dagger was matched with an early scabbard fitted with twin dome headed screws and in all likelihood was purchased from WKC.

( WKC 1st ) Holler decided very early in the period and probably shortly after securing it's production contract that it would purchase parts from other suppliers as a cost cutting measure and the second Holler design probably introduced halfway through 1935 featured the WKC 1st cross-guard and fittings. These parts where heavily modified, adding Hollers unique punched eye to the eagles head, the half moon crescent tool mark to the rear of the head and double stamped acorn's to cover the seam on the scabbard bands. The polishing to the blade also changed with the more recognised vertical cross-grain returning, which may suggest that these early tapered tang blades where also sourced. Still showing early production, slant grips and quality materials this pattern German army dagger was only used for a very short period.

( E-Pack 3rd ) The third dagger configuration from Holler can be considered rare and featured a modified E-Pack 3rd base cross-guard, the fittings in most cases will be heavily chiselled and will show typical Holler characteristics with a circular punched eye, tool marks to the head and neck area and the enhanced acorns to the scabbard bands. The continued use of tapered tang blades suggests that this third heavily chaste offering was still an early contribution, probably in the latter part of 1935 or early 1936. Many will have the horizontal cross-grain or polishing to the centre segment of the blade, with the outer flanks having the more recognised vertical polishing. The grips had changed at his point of manufacture to the non-slanted variety and most will be matched with a Holler scabbard and single flush mounted reverse placed throat retaining screw.

( Holler 3rd ) Around 1936 most of the successful companies who had achieved contracts and who had been producing expensive quality products, chose to streamline and standardise the fittings on German daggers in an effort to reduce costs and to increase production. Holler was no different, switching to a cheaper in house designed cross-guard ( Holler 3rd ) and hilt fittings that required limited finishing and no hand enhancing. This design was prolific and was used by the company for at least 4 or 5 years, the majority of Holler pattern German Army daggers will feature this design. Due to the continued use of quality base metals and heavy silver plate even late into the period, this design remains one of the most detailed and resilient patterns produced by any manufacturer. It can be found with and without a tapered tang to the blade, although the grips are nearly always of the non-slant variety. The scabbard is Holler produced on most examples although Generic scabbards have also been observed and the throat is retained by a single flush mounted reverse placed screw. The practice of hand finishing the scabbard bands with acorns appears to have been aborted after standardisation in 1936/7 although a few examples will still be found. Probably excess parts from earlier production.

( E-Pack 3rd ) The final design from Holler see's a return to a previously used pattern ( E-Pack 3rd ) but with differences to the modifications and enhancing. Why Holler chose to use or purchase this pattern very late in the war could be for a number of reasons, possibly lack of materials and resources to produce their own or simply that they held a stock of base Pack 3rd fittings from earlier in the period. Either way this German dagger configuration can be classed as scarce as it was only in use for a short period, probably around 1941-42. It closely resembles the standard E-Pack 3rd cross-guard but instead of the normal lazy eye, this design has the simple circular punched eye synonymous with Holler production. It is normally found with silvered hilt fittings and a Generic scabbard. The tangs are always the later shouldered variety.
Note: There is a possibility that Holler utilised early Horster fittings on the very first daggers it produced, prior to producing their own. This is yet to be confirmed as examples have been very limited.

 
 
     
1935-1937 1937-1941      
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 4 / 2  ( WKC-1st, HORSTER-1st, WKC 2nd, HORSTER - 2nd )
                                
     E&F Horster used two variations of the same trademark, one large ( used on the first three dagger configurations ) and one small, used on the last and latest dagger pattern. Horster adopted an almost  unique procedure of internally marking it's parts, on the very first daggers produced they allocated the dagger a number and marked each part internally or on the underside. It is thought the first 45 daggers produced feature the 1st WKC cross-guard, numbers post 45 seem to be matched with the 1st Horster fittings. This suggests that the firm only produced 45 daggers utilising the earliest WKC parts and as such are extremely rare. On later daggers the company switched to marking the parts with the firms logo, an H with sword and this mark can be found on the underside of the cross-guard under the leather blade buffer and on the interior of the pommel. It was originally stated that Horster did not produce an early contribution, this was mainly due to the fact that Horsters1st in house fittings always appeared to be matched with the later type B non-slant grip that was not in use until later in the period. Horster did in fact use WKC parts for it's initial German dagger release prior to producing their own parts, which did include a slant grip.

( WKC 1st ) The earliest Horster will feature the WKC 1st cross-guard, 14 leaf pommel and unique scabbard with a thicker throat and two small dome headed side screws. The blades are polished, with a tapered tang and bear the larger Horster trademark positioned relatively close to the cross-guard. The fittings should be marked or stamped with a number lower than 45 ( I would like to now if you have one with a higher number ). As with all early WKC parts they will be of the highest quality, probably brass based and with a heavy silver plate. The grip should be slanted. Be aware also that Horster is known to have produced an aluminium hilted version of this early WKC variant, although I am not sure if the parts are marked internally in the same way. This initial dagger release would have been early in 1935 and was probably used to secure a manufacturing contract.

( Horster 1st ) Next came Horsters own factory version and unique Horster 1st cross-guard. A limited number of slant grip examples have been noted although the majority will have the slightly later type B grip. These scarce slant gripped variations appear to have continued to be numbered internally and further information is required if you own one please. I suspect that this pattern or the unique Horster in house fittings where not produced until contracts had been secured. This theory would tie in with the initial release of the early Horster army dagger fitted with another companies parts and assembled to secure the contract .Then the apparent addition of the later style grip that was only in use by the time that Horsters in house parts rolled off the production line. It is of course purely speculation.
Highly desirable in the collecting community, this very detailed German army dagger consisted of early parts and in most cases very high quality. The blades should be tapered, polished and have the large early Horster trademark. They can be found with both slanted and non-slanted grips although 90% will be the latter. The scabbards should have a thicker than normal throat and be retained by small diameter dome headed side screws. The pommels remained consistent on all three of the earlier releases and many daggers will display some form of hand chasing. Another Horster characteristic evident on this pattern was to have a raised circular platform under the swastika on the cross-guard.

( WKC 2nd ) It is listed in Tom Wittmanns excellent reference that Horster produced four in house patterns, however pattern 2 ( page 39 ) is in all likelihood a Herder or Wingen production and pattern 3 ( page 40 ) a WKC 2nd. Therefore in my opinion, Horster only manufactured two cross-guards themselves. I was also unable to find enough convincing examples of a Horster fitted with the Herder or Wingen parts to list it here but I do believe the WKC 2nd transitional was used as a stop gap or filler around 1936 between the Horster produced 1st and 2nd. These daggers in most cases will still have a tapered tang to the blade and the second style smaller trademark which was moved a little closer to the cross-guard and was probably introduced as part of Horsters standardisation. The twin dome headed scabbard with a thicker throat was carried over from the previous design as was the pommel.

( Horster 2nd ) The final German Army dagger configuration from Horster and by far the most widely used was the Horster 3rd. This design was a typical post 1936/7 production using poor base metals, inferior plating and in my opinion a very bland and basic cross-guard pattern, similar in size and proportions to the Eickhorn 2nd. Produced after standardisation and cost cutting improvements on or around 1936/7 it remained in production until the latter stages of the war. Often constructed using a pot metal base, the plating was prone to peel and lift and the fittings easily lost definition and detail. The blade had the later shouldered tang and was normally etched with the smaller trademark. Occasionally the fittings can be found with nickel plating and the parts are often cast with the raised company motif internally, an H with sword. The scabbard also changed slightly and for cost cutting reasons, with a single reverse centre placed retaining screw, the thicker throat remained. The pommels on this late pattern dagger are often lacking detail and with a basic flat 14 leaf design. Occasionally the blade tang will also have a cast "H" motif on later German Army daggers by Horster.
     
1935-1941 1940-42?      
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 4 / 2  ( KLAAS-1st, KLAAS 2nd, WKC-2nd, E-PACK-3rd )
                                
( Klaas 1st ) The Klaas companies production run is very unusual compared to other manufacturers as their initial German army daggers featured little or no enhancing. Fitted with an in house designed cross-guard, unique pommels and scabbard, the earliest slant gripped daggers from Klass can have nickel plated or polished blades, both with a tapered tang and many of these nickel plated quality blades will also bear a hole in the tang that was used to suspend the blade in the plating tank. Another trait was to cast the firms twin stork logo onto the blade tang. During the first couple of years starting in 1935 Klaas chose to add heavy enhancing and chisel work to it's design as time progressed, totally the reverse of most other makers. Although the firm opted for the more expensive nickel plated blades, I do not think these started to appear until slightly later in the production run due to most examples being matched with the later detailed cross-guards and fittings. Klass polished blades have also been observed to have the horizontal cross-grain on the centre segment of the blade compared with the normal vertical polishing. This procedure has only been noted on daggers by Klass and Holler.
Another unique Klass attribute was to add an asterisk or star shaped chisel work to cover the seams on their scabbard bands, which remained consistent with two flat headed throat side screws throughout the period.
The easiest way to tell a Klaas type one from a Klaas type two is to count the sections of feathering on either wing of the eagle. The type 1 will display five clear vertical sections per wing, the later type 2 cross-guard, only four.

( Klaas 2nd)  Side by side, the Klaas 1st and Klaas 2nd initially appear very similar. However there are major differences. The quillion roundels on the latter cross-guard are larger in comparison with the 1st, there is normally a circular pedestal added to the type 2 under the swastika giving it a raised appearance. The detailing to the bird is normally sharper and more defined and the wreath work more pronounced. The type 2 Robert Klaas army dagger is normally matched with the type "B" grip although the occasional slant grip example will exist and can be found with either a tapered or non-tapered tang to the blade and in either a polished or plated variety. The scabbards of both Klaas in house cross-guards will normally have the asterisk stamps on the outer edge of the scabbard bands.
The easiest way to tell a Klaas type two from a Klaas type one is to count the sections of feathering on either wing of the eagle. The type 1 will display five clear vertical sections per wing, the later type 2 cross-guard, only four.
On the slightly later daggers bearing the enhanced cross-guard, the quality of the finishing and overall appearance of their daggers seemed to improve with a heavier silver plate, quality nickel blades, very detailed and chiseled pommels and scabbard fittings and in most cases the later style type B grips. The use of tapered tang blades was still in use although they seemed to be producing both plated and non-plated versions ( possibly an extra cost option ). In many cases, these hand chiseled fittings will display a raised circular platform beneath the swastika on the cross-guard, deep cross-hatch chisel work to the breast feathering, and heavily enhanced wing feathering and pommels.

( WKC 2nd & E-Pack 3rd ) The later daggers from Klass probably in use from late in 1936 utilized parts purchased from other manufacturers. I have listed the transitional WKC 2nd as a configuration used by Klass although it was only used for a very short period and limited numbers would have been produced. This pattern of Klass produced German army dagger will continue to include a tapered tang blade marked with the first style trademark and also the inclusion of the horizontal cross-grain in some cases. The in house produced scabbard with asterisk marked scabbard bands and twin screws and the continued use of the 12 large leaf enhanced pommel continued. Klass then quickly adopted the 3rd Pack cross-guard and the quality of the plating and base metals started to deteriorate even though these daggers could still be found with or without nickel plated early tapered tang blades. This configuration of typical Klass produced parts and scabbard matched with the E-Pack 3rd cross-guard date to around 1936/37, and with a wide scope of base materials and plating techniques. The first style trademark was still in use at this point.

( Generic ) The Klass final and latest pattern army dagger featured the Generic B or A style fittings, I have stated that I would not list Generic parts as most manufacturers used them at some point however Klass appears to have produced a relatively large number of daggers using these standard parts. Also the rare second trademark made an appearance on Klass produced daggers fitted with Generic parts and appears to be a late war alteration. Plated blades and Klass manufactured scabbards are often matched with these Generic fittings.
Note: There is also some debate regarding wire wrapped grips on Klass marked daggers, while I personally believe that this was a unique extra option offered by the firm I also believe that many are post war additions. The firm also used up a stock of black Railway dagger grips on German army daggers, probably as a cost saving procedure, many of these grips had a white coat of thick paint added that was prone to chipping and also yellowed over time. They are also known to have used wood cores, painted white on many late war grips.

   
1935  1935/36 1936/7 1937-41  
MAKER MARKS  - 4
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 3 / 0  ( WKC-1st, E-PACK-3rd, GENERIC )

( WKC 1st ) It is thought that Luneschloss joined production of German Army daggers late in 1935, not producing their own parts, they purchased the early fittings from WKC and added their own trademarked  polished blades. Due to the amount of early examples found in collections today it is apparent that PDL only manufactured a relatively small amount of early German daggers in comparison to other smaller cottage makers and ramped up production later in the period with the introduction of the standardised Generic parts. The earliest examples are extremely rare, bearing a vertically placed stamped trademark hidden under the cross-guard and the first style earliest WKC parts which includes the typical WKC twin flat headed screwed scabbard, brass based fittings and WKC 1st cross-guard. I am yet to see an example of this early design with a slant grip, all appear to be the later type B which is what you would expect from a company joining the game late. All examples should have a tapered tang to the blade.

( E-Pack 3rd ) PDL then switched to E-Pack designed fittings, using the 3rd pattern parts. This dagger configuration was probably in use from 1936/7 and production appears to increase probably after a manufacturing contract was achieved. Normally found without hand enhancing and with either the second or third PDL trademark ( Picture required of 2nd TM please ) the quality of the parts remained good with heavy silver plate, the type B grip and a WKC or Pack scabbard. The majority of these Pack fitted German army daggers will have a tapered tang polished blade although later shouldered tangs have also been noted. Both of the stamped trademarks from Luneschloss can be considered scarce due to the limited production run, with the first vertical mark being almost impossible to find within the collecting community.

( Generic ) The final configuration from PDL was by far the most prolific and easily the worst quality. As with many of the smaller firms, they quickly switched to cheaper Generic parts on later daggers saving costs by any means possible. These later daggers, normally found with Generic B parts vary in quality as time progressed and nearly always bear the last and widely recognised trademark helmet and dagger inside a double oval border. Another cost cutting routine utilised mainly on the latest army dagger production run was the introduction of wood cored or plaster filled grips. These grips had a plastic or celluloid coating which did not change colour over time and as such a very large amount of PDL daggers will have a white grip. It should also be mentioned that the firm's final trademark was widely used on fake Damascus blades in the 60's and any German dagger found with an apparent high cost engraved, Damast or personalised blade should be scrutinized.

 
 
   
1935/6 1937-1942       
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 3 / 0  ( HORSTER-1st, WEYERSBURG-1st, WKC-1st, GENERIC )

( Horster 1st ) This is one of the most intriguing manufacturers of the period especially on the early production German army daggers. The firm was heavily engaged in the manufacture of bayonets and swords during the period and is somewhat overlooked as an early producer of Heer daggers. The reason is say intriguing is because the two initial early daggers from this maker featured two cross-guards from Horster and Weyersburg who's products are hardly ever found on early daggers by other makers. Seilheimer obviously focused on individuality and wanted a unique design in order to set it's product apart from other early manufacturers who chose to use products from the larger companies. The earliest design observed by Paul Seilheimer will feature the 1st Horster cross-guard and fittings and a slant grip matched with a tapered tang blade and the early first PS motif trademark. This pattern of cross-guard is rare enough to find on Horster marked daggers let alone by other makers ( Seilheimer, G.Weyersburg ). Limited examples of this configuration have been observed and it is thought the firm quickly switched to the second design probably late in 1935/6.

( Weyersburg 1st & WKC 1st ) Both early designs from Seilheimer have quality brass based fittings and the second offering had a very rare Weyersburg modified cross-guard design that originally was manufactured by WKC. Seilheimer appears to have chosen this pattern of cross-guard because it had already been hand enhanced and modified by Weyersburg from WKC's initial design saving them the time consuming and expensive option of hand enhancing and chiselling. These highly desirable daggers dating from the later stages of 1935 or possibly 1936 have a non-slant type B grip but with the bonus of heavy hand enhancing to the fittings courtesy of Weyersburg and normally a WKC scabbard with enhancing to the scabbard bands and the typical twin flat headed WKC throat retaining screws. Both early designs have the first style large centre placed trademark and tapered tang polished blades. Examples bearing the same fittings but with an un-modified WKC 1st cross-guard have also been observed.

( Generic ) I was unable to find any information on Seilheimer daggers during the standardisation period late in 1936 or early 1937 when most smaller cottage firms used an intermediate design such as the E-Pack 3rd before switching to the Generic fittings. Due to the amount of daggers observed and in collections today with the second configuration of Weyersburg parts I doubt that this design was in production for very long and in all likelihood there will be another configuration prior to the introduction of the final Seilheimer German army daggers fitted with Generic parts.
These Generic daggers are typical of the smaller cottage maker designs later in the period, featuring the Generic A or Generic B cross-guards and pommels, Generic scabbards and the second style comical trademark of a dog with a dagger in its mouth. The blades should have the later shouldered tang to the blades and as with most Generic parts daggers they can be found with a variety of finishes, deteriorating as time progressed with the final daggers showing limited silver plate or silver wash, plaster or wood filled grips and in some cases pressed scabbard throats with no retaining screw.

   
1935        
MAKER MARKS  - 1
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 1 / 1  ( SMF )

( SMF ) SMF ( Solinger Metallwaffenfabrik  ) only produced one early German Army dagger configuration and you can understand why after studying the rather constipated chicken that featured on the companies in house designed cross-guard. The firm was obviously not successful in achieving a manufacturing contract based on this early design and I was reliably informed that the factory workers only stopped laughing, late in 1945!. The dagger itself was a poor contribution when compared to the early designs and the quality of the materials used by other manufacturers. The base metals on the majority of the fittings by SMF are an inferior alloy or aluminium based metal that did not hold the detail or the silver plate. Several examples have been found with brass based fittings and these were probably the earliest produced by the firm, as such the detail holds up much better and for a type collector would be the preferred choice.
 Fitted with slant grips and an in house scabbard with slim scabbard bands, the dagger design itself is unmistakable as it bears no resemblance to any other manufacturer of the period, the cross-guard also has a noticeable slimmer taper to the rear section and larger than normal swirls to the quillions. The blades should be a tapered tang polished variety and the pommel's are generally flat in appearance with chiselled oak leaf detailing.
Although comparatively unsuccessful in German Army dagger production, the firm excelled in Luftwaffe edged weapon production, manufacturing large quantities of 1st and 2nd pattern Officers daggers and paratrooper gravity knives.

   
1935-1937 1937-41      
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 4 / 0  (  E-PACK 1st, E-PACK GENERIC, E-PACK 2nd GENERIC  )

 The information supplied here regarding early Spitzer German daggers remains under review as new examples come to light, however after studying all available German Army daggers from this smaller cottage maker I believe this production order and configuration data to be correct. This page contradicts my cross-guard page, as I have Spitzer listed as producing a unique in house design ( also listed in Mr Wittmann's Army Dagger book ) but on reflection I am not sure this is correct. All E-Pack fitted army daggers by Spitzer will have the larger Spitzer trademark positioned close to the cross-guard, the later Generic Type A and Generic Type B daggers mostly will have the slightly smaller block lettered second trademark. Spitzer used three early designs, all utilising E-Pack fittings and in some cases heavily enhanced. Because these three variations all bear tapered tang blades, the early trademark and slant grips, it is very difficult to judge which came first , however based on the production order from other firms during the early years, I believe this order to be correct. Spitzer did not produce their own fittings, but did alter the appearance with hand chiselling.

( E-Pack 1st ) The initial German dagger release from Spitzer has the typical E-Pack first configuration, bearing early brass based fittings, a tapered tang polished blade with the first Spitzer trademark positioned close to the cross-guard, a 14 leaf Pack pommel and matched with the usual twin dome headed side screw Pack scabbard. They will be encountered with or without detailed enhancing and all should have a slant variety trolon grip. This will be the usual configuration of fittings to be found on early slant gripped German army daggers from Spitzer.

( E-Pack Generic ) I should firstly state that I have only ever seen two examples of Spitzer German army daggers fitted with this configuration of parts, but due the the fact that it is shown in Mr Wittmanns bible as a unique pattern and because of it's rarity, I think it deserves to be listed. The Pack Generic cross-guard is normally only observed and reserved for Aluminium hilted army daggers however silver plated examples are known to exist. I believe the example shown on page 59 to be a modified and hand enhanced silver plated Pack Generic design, although on first appearance this is not apparent. Spitzer is also known to have produced a period aluminium hilted version utilising the same cross-guard pattern and these are also usually found with heavy hand enhancing to the same areas.
There are several unique Pack characteristics that lead me to this conclusion, including the wing feathering positioning, wreath work and large oversized feet to the eagle.  Both daggers observed using this rare configuration of silver plated Generic Pack parts had heavy hand enhancing, completely altering the appearance of the eagles head and chest weave, slant grips and the first style trademark on a polished blade positioned close to the cross-guard.
Note: E-Pack themselves are known to have used limited numbers of the plated Generic design.

( E-Pack 2nd ) In use for only a short period and probably as a transitional design, this pattern is occasionally found during the latter stages of 1935 or early 1936 as firm's where experimenting with alternative designs and prior to standardisation in 1936 and the introduction of Generic parts favoured by many of the smaller cottage makers. The cross-guard pattern itself is largely un-recognised as a Pack design, however as listed above in the E-Pack section, too many daggers featuring exactly the same characteristics, eagles head, wreath, body shape etc and matched with other E-Pack parts throughout leads me to believe it is definitely E-Pack production. Spitzer German daggers can be found in both slant gripped and non-slant versions and are usually matched with Pack scabbards ( although variants have been observed ) and the slightly later Pack pommel and typical ferrule. In many cases these daggers are still hand enhanced to include the scabbard bands, cross-guard and pommel and the blades remain polished with the early first Spitzer trademark with a tapered tang.

( Generic ) Spitzer's final German dagger pattern featured Generic parts and the quantity produced remained limited. The firm also had a redesign of the trademark, switching to a slightly smaller oval, with changes to the Lion and a bolder font to the external lettering. The TM placement was also moved further down the blade to provide better exposure for the product name. Many of these Generic daggers will feature a white grip, this could be an indication that Spitzer produced very few German daggers after 1936/7 and ramped up production once again later in the period. It is not thought that these plastic coated white grips became mainstream until the latter part of the war. Trolon coloured grips do exist on these Generic Spitzer's but they are certainly less prolific. Normally nickel plated, a few examples have also been noted with E-Pack scabbards, probably surplus stock from earlier production.

 
   
1935 1935/6  
MAKER MARKS  - 6
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 3 / 0  (  E-PACK 1st, WKC 1st, GENERIC  )

 Tiger had more trademark variations during the period than any other maker which is a little surprising for a firm that purchased parts from larger manufacturers and who did not produce their own. It quickly became apparent while studying trademarks for this page that Tiger used a double punch process in the striking of the later stamped trademarks. One for the Tiger motif and another for the font. This can cause confusion and the misconception that certain daggers have a unique variation trademark. The positioning of the motif and the font can vary wildly and was obviously a result of hand punching by eye. The trademarks shown above do not include any positioning variations but instead are based on either differences to the font or the Tiger motif itself. I am afraid I was just too lazy to determine exactly when each trademark was used, however I do believe the order in which they are placed matches the production order.

( E-Pack 1st ) Tiger was another small cottage maker who was quick off the mark in 1935, purchasing fittings from E-Pack and assembling a very desirable early slant gripped dagger, in an attempt to secure a manufacturing contract for the firm. Using a large oversized etched Tiger trademark to add personalization to the polished tapered tang blade, this was the only Tiger trademark of the period to be placed horizontally across the blade. The fittings are normally brass base metals, silver plated and heavily hand chaste or enhanced, with punch and leaf work to the pommels and scabbard bands. This first production run from Tiger will feature a Pack 1st cross-guard, 14 leaf pommel, a slant grip matched with a tapered tang blade and a Pack scabbard which unusually normally has twin flat headed screws instead of the usual dome head Pack screws.

( WKC 1st ) The second Tiger contribution switched to WKC supplied parts and would have been manufactured late in 1935 or early 1936. These daggers can be found with either a slanted or a type B grip but other than this slightly later grip, it remained of early construction with the first or second style Tiger trademark and tapered tang blade. The scabbards from Tiger during this transitional period are also worth a mention as I have noticed that many daggers feature parts from both E-Pack and WKC. For example a typical Pack produced early scabbard but with WKC twin flat headed throat retaining screws, or an early WKC scabbard shell matched with Pack dome headed screws. The firm obviously held a stock of parts from both manufacturers at this time and assembled ad-hoc.
The majority of these WKC fitted Tiger German Army daggers will still display hand enhancing and early quality fittings and in my opinion are more scarce to find than the initial Pack 1st contribution.

( Generic ) Typically, as with most of the smaller firms based in Solingen, the company was quick to reduce costs and improve on production techniques once a manufacturing contract had been achieved. The firm streamlined production, opting for Generic produced cheaper cast fittings that would remain in place for the remainder of Tiger production from 1936-7 and throughout the war until 1941-42. Many of these earliest Generic A or Generic B Tiger army daggers still retain the highest quality, albeit without any enhancing. As with most manufacturers the quality deteriorated as the period progressed and resources where re-directed to the war effort. The use of the final five trademarks made an appearance during this 5-6 year period on these Generic style daggers. It should also be noted that a variety of higher cost options was available to the purchaser which included ivory or glass grips, Damascus or etched blades and personalization, to increase the appeal of these Generic fittings.
Note: There is a chance that the final Tiger trademark has merely only had half a stamp, limited examples are known to exist and it may just be an oversight on behalf of the factory worker.

   
1935 Courtesy of the TK Collection 1935-1936 1936-1937 Vertical Placement 1936/7 Horizontal Placement  1937-1941  
MAKER MARKS  - 5
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 4 / 0  (  E-PACK 1st, UNKNOWN 1, UNKNOWN 2, PACK 3rd, GENERIC B, GENERIC A )

 Voos is well known for being the primary manufacturer of mid to late period German Army daggers with etched blades and high quality Generic daggers with additional cost extra's. I do not plan on going into the rights and wrongs of blade etches in this section as the subject is rather involved and virtually impossible to tackle without high resolution pictures. Correct examples however are almost always matched with the Generic type cross-guard and bear the fifth style single oval trademark. ( Many of the Generic type "B" versions are actually sourced from the Wingen company ).
Voos assembled a variety of early configuration daggers using fittings from numerous manufacturers but as far as we know they did not produce their own parts early in the period. All but the earliest will have a nickel plated blade.

( E-Pack 1st ) The earliest Voos production dagger featured the typical Pack 1st style fittings but with a few variants observed. In most cases these daggers will have the usual slant grip, 1st Pack cross-guard, 14 leaf pommel, a tapered tang polished blade bearing the double oval trademark ( very rare examples - snake with stump ) and a Pack or Wingen scabbard. However several variants have been noted, which included all the above but with a later non-slant type B grip, scabbards with twin flat head side screws and occasionally nickel plated blades. More in keeping with Heller assembly techniques than E-Pack.

( Unknown ) This particular cross-guard has been observed on German Army daggers by Voos, Puma, Krebs and Wusthof but as yet is still unknown as to it's origins. If I was to hazard a guess it would be a Klaas variant. The other fittings on the limited number of Voos examples that I have seen, had what appears to be an Alcoso pommel and scabbard and a high quality nickel plated blade bearing the double oval etched trademark to the reverse. Most will be matched with the later type B grip suggesting the assembly period to be late 1935 or 1936. The cross-guard on this particular Voos configuration remains an anomaly, only found on daggers by the smaller cottage makers, Mr Wittmann suggested that it was produced by Wusthof ( page 259 ) and is as good a guess as any!. A very scarce variant.

( Unknown ) A new unknown variant recently came to light with three exact matching examples. All heavily enhanced and bearing the single oval Voos trademark, the actual timeframe that this cross-guard was in production is confusing. Normally any early cross-guard showing extensive hand enhancement to the wing feathering and fittings in general with be matched to a blade bearing one of the earliest trademarks. These daggers however came matched with what was thought to be the final single oval trademark from Voos. This single oval trademark is nearly always found on Voos daggers bearing an etched blade ONLY.
There is a possibility that Voos was using the last three trademarks ( Horizontal & Perpendicular Stamped and Single Oval ) all at the same time, with the latter almost solely reserved for etched bladed daggers. The two stamped trademarks are nearly always found on plain blade Voos daggers.
The reasoning for why this particular cross-guard is matched to a trademark considered special enough to reserve for etched blades is unknown, however if you look at the amount of high quality workmanship and enhancement that this particular cross-guard has sustained, I think the company was simply proud enough of their work to warrant a higher status trademark. Pure speculation on my behalf.
It is also my belief that the origins of this cross-guard has Wingen roots, bearing similarities to both the Wingen 1st & 2nd cross-guards. The firm is known to have used Wingen parts throughout the period from the earliest slant daggers to the final Generic versions. Whatever it's origins, it can be classed as unique and with only 3 examples known to date, the rarest of all cross-guards for the type collector to obtain.

( E-Pack 3rd ) Voos followed tradition with it's third early configuration, as with many other smaller manufacturers, the firm adopted the popular E-Pack 3rd cross-guard and fittings. This version employed a new trademark with a perpendicular stamped name and stump ( third style ) onto a tapered tang or shouldered nickel plated blade. Using the later E-Pack parts, this dagger would have been constructed for a short time only, probably in the transitional period and prior to the introduction of Generic parts. Normally observed with a 12 leaf pommel, type B grip and twin headed screwed scabbard. This configuration of 3rd E-Pack fittings was used by many of the smaller manufacturers and in some cases by the larger firms also such a Holler. The Voos contribution was of very high quality, normally heavily silvered with brass based or a quality base metal and matched with the more expensive option nickel plated blade in both a tapered and non tapered form. All early examples of German Army daggers by Voos can be considered scarce.

( Generic ) The majority of Voos maker marked and non-marked etched daggers will feature the Generic type cross-guard. In most cases these Generic etched daggers feature the last style oval Voos trademark, it is thought the horizontal stamped TM was only used on the plain bladed versions featuring Generic parts. The firm continued to use the nickel plated blades and introduced blade etching on this configuration of German army dagger. It was this high quality blade etching that was to become synonymous years later as a Voos specialty. As far as I am aware original Voos etched examples will always feature the Generic type  cross-guard and if maker marked, the last style trademark. A large number of these blade etched daggers can be found without a trademark which is a little surprising as you would have thought the company would have wanted to broadcast it's name on such a high quality item. These unmarked etched daggers and indeed all blade etches need to scrutinized,  reproductions are prevalent. Occasionally the firm also added additional cost extra's as part of the Generic dagger offering to include ivory and glass grips.
 By far the most prevalent cross-guard used by Voos was the Generic type "B" on both the etched types and plain blade daggers by the company. However on close inspection of all the fittings including the scabbard ( beveled scabbard bands ) it is evident that the parts are in fact from the Wingen company. Both the Generic "B" and Wingen 2nd pattern cross-guards are identical.

FOOTNOTE: Only three crossguards from the period are as yet unknown by manufacturer. Two appear or have been found on Voos marked German army daggers. There is a possibility both are unique and produced in house by the Voos company but I think it more likely that Voos was just highly skilled in taking a base cross-guard from other manufacturers and totally changing the appearance with the use of very highly skilled chiseling and enhancement techniques.

   
1935 1935/6        
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 3 / 2  (  WKC 1st, WEYERSBURG 1st, WEYERSBURG 2nd  )

 Ultimately one of the most desirable makers of German army daggers, Paul Weyersburg joined the game early with a dagger fitted with early parts from WKC. The firm employed a technique of numbering all of the parts ( including stamping the blade tang ) associated with these initial daggers and after in depth studies of this makers daggers on various forums we now know the production order in detail.  The first 200 daggers featuring unaltered WKC parts are all fitted with polished blades and a larger double oval trademark positioned low on the blade, somewhere around dagger 200 the firm switched to a nickel plated blade and between daggers 211-290 moved the trademark closer to the cross-guard. The firm also started to add in company enhancing or personalisation to the WKC eagle, adding the trademark sleepy Weyersburg eye to the WKC eagle and accentuating the birds forehead and raising the breast feathering.

( WKC 1st ) As stated above the initial 200 German daggers by Weyersburg will feature typical un-enhanced WKC cross-guards, a polished tapered tang blade with the trademark positioned 2 or 3" down the blade, a slant grip and what I believe to be a unique in house produced scabbard. These scabbards have twin flat headed throat retaining side screws and a unique flaw or mark to the pebbling just under the scabbard throat. The majority of these earliest Weyersburgs will be numbered internally to include a stamp to the blades tang and under the cross-guard, and in most cases a hand written number to the grip collar. From between dagger's 211-290 the firm started to add minor enhancements to the WKC crossguard eagle, which included mostly chiselling work to the head and eye of the eagle on the cross-guard and moved the blade trademark closer to the hilt.

( Weyersburg 1st ) Shortly on or just after dagger number 300, the company ceased the numbering of parts on individual German Army daggers and introduced a new unique cross-guard variation ( Weyersburg 1st ), which was based on the earlier WKC base cross-guard. I suspect that this offering would have happened towards the end of 1935 due to the continued use of hand enhancing and the fact that they are found with both slant and non slant grips. All daggers bearing this slightly later configuration of Weyersburg produced parts should have plated blades and the trademark positioned closer to the cross-guard. Other traits observed on this Paul Weyersburg produced German army dagger includes a change to the scabbard side screws with a move away from the previous flat head variety, to a wood type screw. Also many wreath / swastikas on the cross-guard will show a fine stippling effect to the background which is unique to this firm. The eagle has a more rounded head to the bird than a standard WKC 1st with the addition of a large oversized sleepy eye which became consistent on the remainder of production. At this stage of manufacture all of the blades should still retain a tapered tang.

( Weyersburg 2nd ) This final configuration featured a change from WKC purchased parts to E-Pack. Weyersburg opted for the Pack 3rd probably in 1936 and probably as an entry dagger to secure a manufacturing contract. The fact that this is the final dagger or configuration found from Weyersburg would suggest that their bid was unsuccessful. The hand enhancing techniques and detailing found on the earlier WKC enhanced cross-guards was carried over to the 3rd Pack base cross-guard, with the typical lazy eye and rounded head to the eagle being the most obvious. The blades are nickel plated with the trademark positioned close to the guard and as far as I am aware, are all tapered tangs. The unique wood type scabbard screws were carried over from the previous design but because of the later production period we see a move away from slant grips to the standard type B grip. The continued use or addition of the stippling behind the swastika was also employed and is an easy way to differentiate between Weyersburg or Pack manufacture. This particular configuration or pattern from Weyersburg is extremely rare, it was only used for a very short period, especially as the firm was thought to have ceased German Army dagger production by 1937. Weyersburg however was very successful in the manufacture of Luftwaffe edged weapons.

   
1935        
MAKER MARKS  - 2
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 3 / 2  (  E-Pack 1st, Wingen 1stWingen 2nd  )

 Wingen used two trademarks throughout the period, the first of which was only used for a short time in 1935 on the first initial daggers featuring E-Pack 1st fittings. The firm probably used these Pack parts as an interim or short term solution while they worked on producing their own in house design . The Wingen company quickly completed it's initial in house contribution, which was fitted with a unique brass based cross-guard that lacked detail and was prone to wear. It did however consist of very early parts and either a slant or non-slant grip with a tapered tang blade, the company also introduced a new trademark and was obviously keen to introduce a totally new design and step away from the widely utilised Pack 1st fittings. Both Wingen early configurations can be classed as rare, with the slightly later in house Wingen 1st cross-guard rating as one of the hardest to find on the open market.
The firm introduced a new design once again probably in 1936 and it is thought that the Generic B cross-guard was based on this final design from Wingen. This introduction became prolific for Wingen, with the firm using it for the remainder of production and several other firms also purchasing the parts. It has also been noted that the trademarks on Wingen German army daggers can appear in various locations up and down the blade, especially on the early designs.

( E-Pack 1st ) Fitted with the typical 1st E-Pack early parts and the first style trademark, these daggers are amongst the earliest produced. They also appear with a variety of base metals and finishes which is unusual for Pack produced parts ( It may just be coincidence ). These daggers feel very heavy in hand and  Wingen employed a technique of securing the pommel by filling the thread and internal void with a slag type material or filler which formed a seal as the pommel was tightened. All of these earliest Wingen German army daggers should have a slanted grip, a tapered tang blade, Pack pommel and ferrule and a Pack scabbard with twin dome headed screws. Wingen held a large stock of these early Pack parts as they used the excess pommels and scabbards on the subsequent design.

( Wingen 1st ) On every example I have seen of this 1st Wingen in house produced cross-guard, they have lacked definition and detail and have the appearance of being poorly finished. That being said, they are extremely hard to find for the type collector. They can be found with or without a slant grip are normally finished with Pack parts to include the pommel, ferrule and scabbard, probably excess stock from the previous design. Normally observed with a brass base metal to the fittings they are rarely hand enhanced and have noticeably larger swirls to the quillions than most other makers. Many of these daggers will have the second style trademark positioned a long way down the blade ( 3" from cross-guard ) and was probably a company ploy to advertise their product to the maximum extent. It should also be noted that several examples of this 1st Wingen in house cross-guard have also been observed matched with apparent later production fittings, i.e. milk stone or galalith grips, generic pommels etc, although most will always have some form of Pack produced parts as well. Another example of the firm using up existing stock of parts.

( Wingen 2nd ) This final design from Wingen was extremely prolific and was adopted by several other manufacturers and smaller cottage makers shortly after standardisation in 1936. It is my opinion that what we commonly refer to as the Generic B cross-guard today, is in fact an unaltered Wingen 2nd as there are no discernable differences other than the plating or base metals. Generic or Wingen, the design proved to be very popular and can be found with any number of finishes, heavy silver plating, nickel plated or silver washed and from a number of manufacturers based in Solingen during the period. Wingen used this design for the remainder of production and late into the war with an obvious degradation of materials as time progressed and resources became scant. Without a doubt, the Herder designed in house cross-guard pattern was based on this Wingen design, with Herder only making a slight adjustment to the eagles head ( no dip from brow to beak ). Most examples of this design from Wingen with have the later shouldered tang to the blade and the firm moved the second style trademark closer to the cross-guard. A large amount will feature nickel plated parts, generic 14 leaf pommels and generic scabbards although earlier heavy silvered examples can be found and are sometimes dressed with the earlier Pack pommels and scabbards.
Note:  I have also noticed identical Wingen German army daggers fitted with a mixture of parts from all three designs. Very unusual but totally legit in my opinion. On first glance these daggers would immediately be discounted as parts daggers with a 1st Pack cross-guard, slant grip and later production Generic pommels and scabbards. However this firm was obviously very frugal as already mentioned and probably used up excess parts just to confuse me!.

   
         
MAKER MARKS  - 1
CROSSGUARD VARIANTS - 3 / 3  (  WKC 1st, WKC 2nd, WKC 3rd  )

 WKC or Weyersburg & Kirschbaum was arguably the largest manufacturer of German army daggers during the period with the possible exception of E-Pack and Eickhorn. The company already had an extensive history of manufacturing edged weapons and high quality steel products for decades ( 1883 ). They appear to have joined the game very early, being one of first to introduce an in house unique produced dagger pattern that was extensively used by many other makers from the offset. ( E-Pack, Holler, Horster, Luneschloss, Seilheimer, Tiger ) to name a few of the larger firms.  Other companies such as Paul Weyersburg purchased the base cross-guard and hand chiselled or adapted the features to make it their own. I suspect the WKC factory and resources already in place at the time of the introduction of the German army dagger design by Casberg, gave them a huge advantage in responding over their competitors and it appears that many of the other firms used this design as a short-stop while they worked on getting their own designs and production up and running. Surprisingly WKC did not alter their trademark at all during the period. Some grips from this firm also can be found with a production number stamped onto the collar although I cannot remember the exact figures? (236?).

( WKC 1st ) WKC did not miss a trick in the early production and supply of fittings and parts for German army officers daggers. They produced their own pommels, ferrules, cross-guards, blades and scabbards which were unique to the company and making them relatively easy to spot for collectors today. The early introduction from WKC featured a tapered tang polished blade with the trademark normally positioned close to the cross-guard and can be placed either on the obverse or reverse of the blade. The cross-guard  featured an eagle that was small in proportions compared to other designs, with a square shaped profile to the eagles head and a sharp step down from the brow to beak. The body of the bird is squat and the wings of the eagle are sleek and have a slimmer profile than any other design. These early daggers, in most cases will be matched with a slant grip ( non-slant's have been observed ) and a 12 leaf WKC pommel. The scabbards on the earliest daggers from WKC are fitted with twin flat headed side screws and unique wide leafed chiselled scabbard bands. This configuration from WKC was probably produced throughout 1935 and into 1936,  the occasional dagger later grip supports this theory.

( WKC 2nd ) This transitional dagger from WKC was only used for a short period and was only recently recognised as a unique pattern attributed to WKC. Still featuring the early WKC parts, pommel and scabbard and early tapered tang blades etc, the grip's in all cases to date are the later type B. This pattern of dagger would have been used as an interim prior to standardisation, probably in 1936 and can also be found on daggers by other makers with a history of purchasing parts from WKC ( Horster and Luneschloss ). The dagger had a unique cross-guard with an eagle that sported a large rounded beak, giving it an almost vulture like appearance. The slim profile to the wings remained and all fittings on these transitional daggers from WKC are normally of the highest quality and heavily silver plated. A rare pattern or design that can be found on daggers by numerous makers including the smaller companies who joined production slightly later.

( WKC 3rd ) The most prolific design of cross-guard used during the period, this pattern featuring the tomahawk style eagle from WKC was utilised for approx 6 years. It was undoubtedly the design that was used, on which the Generic type A was based, with the only discernable difference being the flat head to the WKC compared to the step down from brow to beak on the Generic type A. Due to the length of time that this configuration of parts and fittings was in use, the range of finishes, plating techniques and base metals varies hugely. The early contributions dating from 1936 will normally be fitted with a tapered tang polished blade, the type B grip and the earlier WKC produced pommel and scabbard ( with twin side screws ). Mid period daggers from WKC featuring the same affectionately named tomahawk cross-guard, remain of a very high quality, heavily silvered with quality base metals but with a change to the parts employed. These daggers will normally have a shouldered tang to the blade and with a variety of later style grips to include glass, galalith, wood and plaster cored and the usual type B,C trolon and just about  every other type of grip you can imagine. The pommels also change as part of the WKC standardisation, to a preferred crisp 14 small leafed design that remained consistent for the remainder of production. The scabbards on these mid period tomahawk WKC fitted army daggers are modified, with a streamlined cost effective single flat headed side screw version to replace the earlier more expensive twin screw config. It is also worth noting that I have never seen hand enhancing or chisel work on this design from any period.
The late war examples suffer greatly due to the lack of materials and resources as the war took it's toll, cheaper alternatives are often observed and the quality suffered as a result. Often silver washed over a zinc base instead of silver plated and with the use of cheaper coated plaster or wood filled grips,sounded the end of an era ( and my typing...thank god ). WKC was unable to source enough raw materials  to maintain in house production late in the war and was forced to purchase parts from other manufacturers who still held stock. This is probably why we occasionally see WKC marked daggers fitted with Generic parts.

Note: WKC sometimes used a unique oval shaped scabbard throat insertion hole that accompanied many of their daggers. On most scabbards the outer corners will be squared slightly, the completely rounded versions are typical of WKC manufacture.


 
KEY: 5 / 3  = ( 5 cross-guard patterns used, 3 manufactured in house )
 
 
 
 
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