" Which would your men rather be, tired or dead "   Erwin Rommel

HOME DAGGERS       BAYONETS       SWORDS       KNIVES       HELMETS       MISC / CONSIGN       GALLERY     - German dagger reproductions are prevalent in today's collector market and cover all branches of the German Military during WWII. This page is dedicated to expose some of the more blatant reproductions and the minor details that can sometimes be used to determine a good dagger from a reproduction. Right after the end of the war in 1945 some enterprising Solingen factories switched their allegiance from producing edged weapons and related wares for the war effort, to satisfy an increasing demand for the souvenir hunting occupying forces.
 Unfortunately for the dedicated edged weapon collectors of today, this production of post war copies and reproductions has continued and from Countries all over the World.

  While this page should give an insight into some of the pit-falls and obvious flaws relating to original and post war German daggers, there is no substitute for experience, good reference material and hands on inspections. The details shown here will of course vary from each and every dagger, original and fake but I hope to provide enough information for you to feel comfortable in making an informed decision on what can be a very costly mistake or worthwhile purchase.
Shown below are what appears to be three German Army Officers daggers however only one is authentic and original to the WWII period. This page has been constructed to act as an aid or reference to both new and experienced German dagger collectors who may be considering purchasing an original dagger and the tell tale signs to look for in diagnosing an original dagger from a number of reproductions that have surfaced from numerous sources ever since the end of the war in 1945. This side by side comparison should make it relatively obvious that the fakers are in fact going backwards in regards to quality and precision although bad lighting, blurred or out of focus pictures and modifications can hide a multitude of flaws and the inferior quality. I have chosen not to list every fault for obvious reasons but enough for new collectors to be able to feel confident in making what should be an exciting purchase.
While this page focuses on the Holler reproductions, other makers do exist such as Weyersberg, Clemen and Jung, Herbertz & Muerer etc.
( A ) ORIGINAL - 1937-1942 (B) REPRODUCTION 1946-1960's (C) REPRODUCTION 1970-PRESENT
German Dagger Rotate German Dagger Rotate German Dagger Rotate
An original mid-period German Army Officers dagger by Robert Klaas. Fitted with Generic "B" hilt fittings and a Generic scabbard and pommel. These mass produced parts by an unknown maker ( probably Herder or Wingen ) where used by many manufacturers who did not produce their own factory made dagger parts from 1937-1942. Some of the larger firms are also known to have used them for short periods, probably during material or man-power shortages as the War began to bite and in order to keep production rolling.
 Firstly, the most obvious difference between this German dagger and it's following pretenders is the detail.  Notice how small and well defined the detail is to the pommel, crossguard, ferrule and scabbard bands. The Trolon grip has NO evident seam or finishing marks and is hand milled to fit the pommel, ferrule and the interior blade tang. It is also worth noting on this German dagger that a seam mark is visible to the edge of the ferrule, in most cases this will be hidden or disguised but occasionally you will find period flaws, just not to the extent shown on the other two. The scabbard band rings are smaller and well sealed, the pebbling to the scabbard shell is much smaller and with well defined channels running down the length. Every part of this Officers dagger has been smoothed and lovingly perfected by skilled craftsmen. The blade tang in 95% of all Generic B type daggers, will be the later shouldered variety and the interior milling of the grip should be sized accordingly to fit.
 I could go on for pages but I have chosen to stop there, giving a few hints to the most obvious traits and differences based on first impressions. 
This reproduction is one that everybody should be aware of.  Produced, so I am told in England around the 1950's and with a variety of trademarks, this dagger can quite easily pass as an original Heer dagger going on pictures alone. The general appearance, detail and faux patina is relatively convincing and this coupled with a blade trademark that is also very accurate does confirm that caution should be taken no matter how confident you are in the seller. Most post was army dagger trademarks are poorly struck, with incorrect location attributions, i.e Holler bearing the Berlin location in the trademark. This dagger being a relatively early copy has the correct " Solingen " detail and an impressive etched and burnished TM. The scabbard throat has a retaining screw where most repro's are either pressed or non-existent. The dagger breaks down just like an original and even includes a leather blade buffer on the underside of the cross-guard.
 There are three major dead give-a ways with this example, all of which will require pictures of the internal parts. Firstly, the blade tang. As mentioned before, the Generic B style parts should be matched with a shouldered blade tang ( original tapered tangs do exist ) and the tang on this dagger is modeled on a tapered tang blade. It is hugely over-sized and this was intentional by the manufacturer to suit the internals of the molded  PLASTIC grip. No hand finishing or milling required here, mass produced and to ensure a snug universal fit, both points serve today as recognizable signs of this style of German Army dagger reproduction.
 The third obvious mistake is the hole for the blade tang in the crossguard, this is machine cut and exactly rectangular. Originals are hand filed and rarely exhibit exact proportions and dimensions.
 Other points worth noting on this German dagger copy is the rough casting evident on all the fittings when held in the hand, you can actually feel the residue left by casting which has not been polished or coated as seen on original dagger parts. The holes for the scabbard rings in the bands are countersunk and oversized, the blade ridges are wrong, excessive swirl pattern evident to the scabbard shell.
 These German dagger reproductions are good but not THAT good, they even tarnish over time. If you are not sure, always insist on pictures of all parts of the dagger to include the internals.
The less said about this pile of junk, the better. If you are unsure of the differences between this one and an original then collecting spectacles might be a safer bet!. I am not going to list everything that is wrong with this dagger as it would probably be easier to list things they actually got right. Very poorly cast fittings, plastic grip, no scabbard throat, no retaining screws, piece does not break down, huge side seam marks on ALL the parts, stamped trademark, chrome plated blade..........enough already.
 Its terrible.

Another great point and observation made by a warrelics forum member regarding the repro's shown on this page vs original daggers is that the scabbard band oak leaves face the opposite direction to the original. While this can serve as an indicator it should not be used as a fool-proof method of detection, as many original daggers can also feature right facing leaves. Wingen for example seem to have adopted this style of scabbard band orientation as standard on their early daggers.
  Army Dagger Trademarks  
( A ) ORIGINAL - 1937-1942 (B) REPRODUCTION 1946-1960's (C) REPRODUCTION 1970-PRESENT
Holler Original Holler Solingen Holler Berlin
Original - Correct Solingen designation and numerous ticks within the thermometer, crisp etched and burnished F.W.Holler trademark.
Reproduction - Correct Solingen designation but with lack of  ticks within the thermometer, some minor discrepancies with the oval borders and style of font.
Reproduction - Looks like it was struck with a sledge hammer. Incorrectly stamped and with the "Berlin" designation. Just terrible.
  Army Dagger Crossguards  
( A ) ORIGINAL - 1937-1942 (B) REPRODUCTION 1946-1960's (C) REPRODUCTION 1970-PRESENT
German Army Officers dagger with typical silver plated Generic B parts. The casts for these fittings where standardized in 1936/7 to do away with the need for hand enhancing on earlier designs and streamline production. This particular cross-guard can be found in a number of finishes from heavy silver plate to late war silver wash and with pot metal base metals. It was in use for approx 6 years and was utilized by numerous companies, many of them relatively small. The later pot metal examples do not tend to show the detailing found on the quality silvered example as shown above but they will still be of a much higher quality than the reproduction examples. Compare the ferrules and the head of the eagles on all three which should give you a good footing on recognizing a good German army dagger from a bad one.
This reproduction German army dagger crossguard was almost certainly cast from an original well detailed Generic B crossguard. They used a much heavier base metal ( probably steel ) and coated the finished product in a substance that resembles silver wash. On original German daggers they coated the base metals prior to silvering with a thin coat of nickel or copper so that the plate would adhere, these numerous coats resulted in a smooth quality and well detailed finished end product. No such layering or under coat exists on this early reproduction and the base metal flaws are evident under the zinc wash.
Not even going to waste my finger tips typing anything about this one. It is a tenth generation copy of a poor copy and looks more like a turkey. Simply compare the ferrule on this one to the first dagger.
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