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Original German WWII Early NSKK Dagger by C.G. Haenel of Suhl - Possible Ground Röhm Signature

Regular price $995.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Prior to his "unmasking" as a traitor, Ernst Röhm was the leader of the Sturmabteilung (SA). In 1934, he distributed approximately 100,000 SA daggers with his personal inscription on the reverse blade. These daggers were to honor individuals who had served with the SA prior to December, 1931. Other than the inscription, these pieces were identical to the standard M1933 SA dagger. After the Röhm purge, the inscription was ordered to be removed, and failure to comply would be considered treason. Some were simply ground in the field by whatever means were available. Many other examples, as we suspect this is one of, were returned to the factory for grinding and refinishing. Examples will occasionally be encountered with remnants of the original inscription remaining on the blade, but mostly none will remain. Some blades exist with an intact inscription, exhibiting only the removal of the Röhm signature. Very, very rarely is an example seen with a full, untouched inscription, as the holder would have surely risked a charge of treason.

This dagger looks to have seen long service after the inscription was removed, and how shows significant wear overall. The front side of the blade on this is very nice, with some of the factory cross grain visible towards the guard. This texture is iconic, and is the definitive identifying characteristic for a real WWII German Blade. There is some scuffing and sings of cleaning and sharpening on the rest of the blade's front. The acid etched Alles für Deutschland motto is beautifully executed, though polishing and cleaning has removed some of the darkening.

On the rear of the blade, there is clear evidence of a manufacturer or arsenal refinish, stretching from just above the maker mark, to the tip of the blade. The central ridge of the blade has been flattened out quite a bit, even a bit over the maker mark, which is typical of when the signature is removed, as it was right over the center of the blade. There are even some small spots that look to be remnants of the signature. Towards the ricasso there is the maker name and logo of C.G. Haenel, Waffen- und Fahrradfabrik AG (Weapons and Bicycle Factory), located in Suhl, Thuringia, which is clear:


Per J. Anthony Carter's book GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, this firm produced SA / NSKK daggers during the 1934-1935 period ONLY, which would make it fit perfectly into the period when the Röhm daggers were distributed. Around the logo is the correct original factory crossgrain, which has not been redone like the rest of the rear surface. Unfortunately there is no way to conclusively prove it had the markings, but the evidence is there.

The honey colored hardwood grip is in good condition with a lovely color, though there is a large chunk missing on the rear by the cross guard, and the other side has a smaller chunk missing, as well as some cracking. The dagger has seen long service, which over time can damage the grip due to sweat and oils. The solid nickel eagle is now somewhat worn, but still has a perfect fit. The SA roundel also has a great fit and retains most of its enamel, though it is stained around the edges. The pommel and cross guard are fine solid nickel silver examples, still tight to the grip, with the expected wear from age and service. The lower reverse guard is Gruppe/Gau marked Th, for Thuringen (Thuringia), a district in central Germany, with the principal cities being Weimar and Erfurt. This feature was only seen on daggers produced 1935 and prior.

The steel scabbard shell is straight throughout and is the early-war style, with a brown "anodized" finish on the steel, which was then protected with lacquer. This example has lost almost all of the lacquer coating, and the brown finish has worn and aged over the decades. There is some retained near the fittings, while the rest has faded to a dull oxidized patina, with some overall rust speckling. The upper and lower fittings are solid nickel silver, and have a nice patina, with some dents and scratches showing typical wear. The bottom fitting is quite dented in, typical of the softer alloy, and the retaining screws are both intact and look great. The top mount and throat throat nicely matches the crossguards, with both screws present.

The attached leather hanger definitely has seen long service, and all of the hardware is plated steel, which has now lost the plating and oxidized, possibly due to moisture exposure. The back of the hanger clip leather is (RZM) marked with L2 / 371 / 39, so it was made just prior to the start of the war. The belt loop is unmarked, and there is another small strap on the D ring that we do not know the purpose of.

A very interesting early SA dagger, Maker marked and most likely "sanitized" after the Night of the Long Knives! Ready to add to your collection and display!

Blade Length: 8 3/4"
Overall length: 13 3/4”
Crossguard: 3”
Scabbard Length: 10”

History of the SA / NSKK: The SA or Brown Shirts, were a private political formation which Adolf AH and the NSDAP used to maintain order at organized Party meetings and demonstrations. The group was formed in 1921, and grew to a huge force of nearly 3,000,000 men by the later 1930's. To instill esprit de corps, as well as create employment for the Blade City of Solingen, it was decided each SA man would carry a dagger with his Brown Shirt uniform. Huge quantities needed to be produced to accommodate the demand. The dagger initially was produced of hand-fitted nickel mounts with attractive finished wood grip and brown anodized (a bluing process) finished scabbard.

The blade was etched with the SA motto, Alles für Deutschland. Examples produced prior to 1935 were stamped with the German sector of the SA group on reverse lower crossguard. Later examples underwent standardization through the RZM ministry. These pieces were produced of cheaper plated zinc-base fittings and scabbards were simply painted brown.

The Night of the Long Knives, in June 1934, saw the wiping out of the SA’s leadership and others who had angered AH in the recent past in NSDAP Germany. After this date, the SS lead by Heinrich Himmler was to become far more powerful in NSDAP Germany. For all the power the Enabling Act gave AH, he still felt threatened by some in the NSDAP Party. He was also worried that the regular army had not given an oath of allegiance. AH knew that the army hierarchy held him in disdain as he was ‘only ‘ a corporal in their eyes. The Night of the Long Knives not only removed the SA leaders but also got AH the army’s oath that he so needed.

By 1934, the SA’s numbers had swollen to 2 million men. They were under the control of Ernst Röhm, a loyal follower of AH since the early days of the NSDAP Party. The SA had given the NSDAP’s an iron fist with which to disrupt other political parties meetings before January 1933. The SA was also used to enforce law after AH became Chancellor in January 1933. To all intents, they were the enforcers of the NSDAP Party and there is no evidence that Röhm was ever planning anything against AH. However, Röhm had made enemies within the NSDAP Party – Himmler, Goering and Goebbels were angered by the power he had gained and convinced AH that this was a threat to his position. By June 1934, the regular army hierarchy also saw the SA as a threat to their authority. The SA outnumbered the army by 1934 and Röhm had openly spoken about taking over the regular army by absorbing it into the SA. Such talk alarmed the army’s leaders.

By the summer of 1934, AH had decided that Röhm was a ‘threat’ and he made a pact with the army. If Röhm and the other SA leaders were removed, the rank and file SA men would come under the control of the army but the army would have to swear an oath of loyalty to AH. The army agreed and Röhm’s fate was sealed. On the night of June 29th – June 30th 1934, units of the SS arrested the leaders of the SA and other political opponents. Men such as Gregor Strasser, von Schleicher and von Bredow were arrested and none of them had any connection with Röhm. The arrests carried on for 2 more nights. Seventy seven men were executed on charges of treason though historians tend to think the figure is higher. The SA was brought to heel and placed under the command of the army. AH received an oath of allegiance from all those who served in the army. Röhm was shot. Others were bludgeoned to death. The first the public officially knew about the event was on July 13th 1934, when AH told the Reichstag that met in the Kroll Opera House, Berlin, that for the duration of the arrests that he and he alone was the judge in Germany and that the SS carried out his orders. From that time on the SS became a feared force in NSDAP Germany lead by Heinrich Himmler. The efficiency with which the SS had carried out its orders greatly impressed AH and Himmler was to acquire huge power within NSDAP Germany.

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