Original German WWII DRK Red Cross EM/NCO Sawback Hewer - Deutsches Rotes Kreuz
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of the German Red Cross (DRK) Enlisted Man / Non-Commissioned Officer Sawback Hewer, complete with scabbard. The hewer has a blunt tip, and edge, as it was intended for combat medics, who would make more use of the Sawback blade, which could be used to cut wood for splints. The heavy blade could be used for chopping, similar to the U.S. Hospital corps "bolo" knives of WWI.
The hilt mounts have over 80% of the original nickel-plating still intact, with just some small areas of flaking on the pommel. This hewer does not seem to have been used much, as the wear to the plating is overall, and seems to be more from age than use.
The crossguard features an oval boss on each side, with the obverse featuring an eagle with half-opened wings and a raised out mobile swastika on his breast. The bird clutches a cross in his talons. The grip plates are bakelite, with the top plate being checkered, and the bottom plate being smooth. They are retained by the original screws and slotted bolts. The crossguard also still has the original leather buffer washer around the blade.
The scabbard is in very good condition, though it does show its age. It does not have dents we can see, but the enamel shows some crazing and checking due to age, with some flaking. The nickel plated steel fittings are still present, each retained by two screws. The plating is retained very well, with some overall speckling, but no major wear or oxidation of the base metal.
The 10 1/2 inch blade of this hewer is the classic saw back type, and is really in great shape. It has just a bit of light staining, and a great factory crossgrain throughout. It has just a bit of runner wear, and was never sharpened on the edge, so it is blunt over all. Under the cross guard the blade is marked GES. / GESCHÜTZT, for Gesetzlich Geschutzt (Protected By Law), indicating that this knife was a trademarked design.
If you have been looking for a great condition Red Cross hewer, you just found it!
History of the German Red Cross (DRK)
The DRK, "Deutsches Rotes Kreuz" (German Red Cross), a voluntary civil assistance organization originally instituted in 1864, was officially acknowledged by the Geneva Convention in 1929. In December 1937 it gained status as a legally recognized organization by the NSDAP. As with other essential services in Third Reich Germany, it came under control of the NSDAP in late 1938 under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior's Social Welfare Organization.
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