Original German Pre-WWII RAD Labor Corps Enlisted Mans Hewer by Eduard Wüsthof with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: This German Enlisted Man's RAD Hewer is in very nice condition, with very nice plated steel mounts on the scabbard. The crossguard has a fine, curled quillon, and it appears as though some of the the original darkening is in the grooves of the quillon. The nickel plating on the hilt has been well maintained and is still bright, showing just a bit of oxidation speckling where it has worn through. The plating on the steel hilt is still mostly intact, except on the "beak" area of the pommel, as well on the back of the pommel. It looks like this is a real service used example, used possibly hammer wooden tent stakes into the ground.

The grip plates on this example are genuine stag, and look to be the larger earlier type. The stag shows only minor wear from its years of usage and gives this antler a great, attractive appearance. Both plates are fully intact and have a great color. The stag plates are retained by nickel plated steel screws and spanner nuts, which are do show some wear and oxidation. They show no signs of being turned anytime recently.

The blade is the heavy bolo style, being produced in a brushed steel matte finish, with single fuller on both sides. It has been sharpened and field used during service, something we rarely see! This has removed most of the original matter finish, and made the markings somewhat faint. It has been machine polished after use, which added some nice striations to the blade. There is just a bit of oxidation in areas, as well as the usual runner wear, which has happened since it was machine polished.

The Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles) motto on the obverse is still visible, though not as crisp as it was before polishing, and the original factory darkening is completely worn away. The reverse ricasso is matching etched, with the RAD triangle positioned above the abbreviation, GES. GESCH., for Gesetzlich Geschützt (Protected By Law), indicating that the hewer is a trademarked design.

Beneath this is the oval "lozenge" style trademark logo of Ed. Wüsthof, Dreizackwerk (Trident Works), located in Solingen, the legendary "City of Blades" in western Germany. In the center of the marking is the company's "Trident in a Circle" trademark logo, surrounded by the company address:


During the WWII Period they are noted for using the oval logo on RAD Officer's and EM/NCO Hewers. The firm was founded in 1814 by Johan Wilhelm Wüsthof, and recently celebrated its 200th anniversary. It is one of the premier mid-sized cutlery companies in Germany today. For more information please see GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS by J. Anthony Carter.

The steel scabbard shell is straight throughout, and looks to originally have had a black enamel finish, which is now almost completely worn away, leaving a lightly oxidized patina overall. The scabbard mounts are steel, which was brass and then nickel plated. The lower chape fitting has the plating nearly 100%, while the locket fitting does show some wear through to the brass layer. The lower mount depicts an RAD shovel, with lined surfaces, having a contrasting, smooth mobile swas (hook cross) in the center of the spade. This spade rests between two wheat shafts. The mount is decorated along the borders with beaded circles. The same beaded circles appear on the border of the upper mount, and above these are the RAD curls. These curls are deeply stamped, having good lined backgrounds. Only one of the four retaining screws is still present, with the chape fitting now able to be moved back and forth on the bottom.

A very nice early example of a pre-war RAD EM/NCO Hewer by a famous Solingen maker, complete with scabbard and ready to display!

Blade Length: 9 3/4"
Blade Style: Single Edged Clip Point Hewer
Overall length: 13 3/4“
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10 1/2"

The basis of the RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst, (National Labor Service), dates back, at least, to 1929 with the formation of the AAD (Anhalt Arbeitsdienst) and the FAD-B (Freiwillingen Arbeitsdienst-Bayern). Shortly after AH’s appointment as Chancellor in Jan 1933, the NSDAP consolidated all labor organizations into the NSAD (Nationalsozialist Arbeitsdienst), a national labor service. It served as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce and indoctrinate it with NSDAP ideology. It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women.

On June 26 1935 the NSAD was officially re-designated RAD. Originally personnel serving with RAD wore a variety of earlier FAD/NSAD belt buckles until February 15TH 1936 when new pattern belt buckles for Officer’s and EM/NCO’s were introduced to provided uniformity in dress.

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