Original German WWII HJ Knife by Gebrüder Gräfrath Converted to USGI Fighting Knife - RZM M7/30
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great USGI captured later pattern HJ Fahrtenmesser (HJ Trip Knife), which has had the original handle replaced with a U.S. -style stacked leather grip. The original markings were partly stamped out, but are still legible, and it comes complete with the original issue scabbard.
This knife was originally produced by Gebrüder Gräfrath, a known Solingen producer of this knife during the pre-WWII period. The rear of the dagger is marked with the companies trademark logo, which is partly worn away:
The stylized W in the center stands for "Widdert", and the ricasso also bears RZM code M7 / 30, correct for Gebr. Gräfrath.
This company was founded in 1869, and registered in Solingen in 1879. In 1939, it was owned and operated by Karl, August, Friedrich Wilhelm, and Ernst Gräfrath, hence the name "Gräfrath Brothers". The company did have several registered trademark logos, however during the Third Reich period they marked early SA and NSKK daggers with just the company name and address in an oval. The company made many types of knifes during WWII, including SA, NSKK, HJ, and others per J. Anthony Carter's GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.
These knives were given to boys who were educated in the paramilitary organization, which they often continued to carry into their military service. Unlike the early pattern knives, these have a thicker blade with a raised ricasso, which significantly strengthened the blade. They also do not have the HJ motto etched on the blade, and often are marked not with a maker, but a German RZM Code.
The Reichszeugmeisterei, or RZM, was based at the Brown house in Munich and NSDAP party headquarters in Berlin. The RZM ensured that the manufacturers of military items were consistent in design, quality of materials and other characteristics of the items. It also defined standards of design, manufacturing and quality and published an authoritative color chart for textiles. The M7 in the code stands for knives/daggers, with Gebrüder Gräfrath being contractor number 30.
The scabbard shell the typical tapered example, steel with a lovely worn finish. The scabbard looks to originally have been black enamel, but only about 50% of that is left, with the rest a nice oxidized patina, with no dents we can see. The leather hanger and belt loop are still present, and in nice condition, with the expected service wear. The retainer loop has been removed, most likely torn away due to age.
A wonderful HJ Knife, captured during the war and turned into a fighting knife to use against the German forces. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 5 3/8"
Blade Style: Single Edged Knife
Overall length: 9 1/4”
Crossguard: 1 1/4”
Scabbard Length: 5 3/4” with belt loop
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