Original German WWII HJ Trench Fighting Knife by E. & F. Hörster with Steel Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. Fitted with a single-edged clip-point blade, this is an original Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth or HJ) fighting knife used by the Germans in WWII. At first we thought it was some sort of dress bayonet, but the all steel hilt and functional blade indicates that it was not just for show. The hilt is nickel plated, and has bakelite grip panels with an inlaid HJ "shield" emblem. This is not an emblem we have seen before, but it could be custom order, or possibly for HJ in one of the occupied countries. Definitely worthy of further research!
The grip plates are closely checkered and in excellent condition, retained by nickel-plated rivets with dressed obverse heads. The insignia is also in very good condition with only a bit of wear, though there is some flaking in the enamel. The heavy blade is full length on the bottom of the blade, while the top has a false edge. The blade has seen light use, but is still quite sharp and in solid condition, with no edge nicks, just some light wear and staining. The factory cross grain can be seen throughout the blade. Overall length is about 10 3/4 inches with a 5 7/8 inch blade, which is the typical length for a fighting knife.
The ricasso of this fine fighting knife is maker stamped E. & F. HÖRSTER / SOLINGEN. E. & F. Hörster & Co Gmbh, is a well-known maker from Solingen, the famous "City of Blades" in Western Germany, which marketed many fine edged weapons. The firm lasted long after WWII, finally being declared insolvent in 1996. For more information please see GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS by J. Anthony Carter.
The knife comes in an genuine rolled steel scabbard, with a very nice enamel finish. Unfortunately, the belt/boot attachment is missing, with just two empty rivet holes. The scabbard body is in good shape, with minimal denting and a great finish.
Definitely an interesting example of a fighting knife, a type that we have not seen before. This would be perfect for display in any quality German edged weapons collection.
Hitler believed German youth to be the future of his 3rd Reich. The Hitler Youth (Hitler Jugend) was formed officially in 1935, and with the exception of Nazi ideology indoctrination was very similar to the Boy Scouts. Beginning at about the age of ten years, both boys (Hitler Jugend) and girls (Bund Deutscher Mädel) were enlisted in the Party-run organization. The boys only were given HJ Knives after having passed minor exams. The knives had nickeled hilts with black checkered grip plates. The obverse plate was fitted with an enameled HJ swastika insignia. Through 1937, these knives were etched with the motto of the organization, Blut und Ehre! (Blood and Honor!). Examples produced after this date were made with plain blades usually bearing an RZM marking.
The Hitler Youth Leaders were professionals in charge of the training and NSDAP education of the German Youth. They wore a special dagger consisting of silvered hilt fittings with blue-black leather-covered scabbard. The grip was composed of tightly wrapped silver wire, over a wood base. The pommel cap featured an HJ diamond on top, complete with swastika. The upper scabbard fitting portrayed an open-winged Hitler Youth eagle with swastika cut into the bird's chest. The blade was etched with the Hitler Youth motto, Blut und Ehre!
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