Original German WWII RAD Labor Corps Enlisted Mans Hewer by Carl Julius Krebs with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: This German Early War Enlisted Man's RAD Hewer is in very nice condition, with its plated nickel mounts having lovely light patination. The crossguard has a fine, curled quillon, and it appears as though some of the original darkening is in the grooves of the quillon. It is retained very well, with minimal wear and flaking, and a lovely patina.

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 screws and spanner nuts, which are in good shape, but do show some oxidation. They do not appear to have been turned in decades, if they ever were since production.

The scabbard shell is straight throughout, without any denting that we can see. It does look to have had the body painted black during wartime once the original blued finish had faded, something we see often. The scabbard mounts are nickel plated over steel, and there just a bit of denting on the chape. Most of the plating is intact, though the back of the locket mount has worn through the plating, exposing the flash coat and some of the underlying steel.

The lower mount has almost all of the plating intact, and 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. The mounts are usually held in place by 4 screws, however one of the locket screws is missing.

The blade is the heavy bolo style, being produced in a matte finish, with single fuller on both sides. It has runner wear, and has been cleaned and polished over the years, however the brushed matte finish is still readily apparent in areas. The blade does show signs of sharpening and use, something we do not often see.

The Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles) motto on the obverse is quite deeply etched, and still crisp. It retains about 50% of its original darkening in the letter backgrounds. 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 was a trademarked design.

Beneath this is the logo of Carl Julius Krebs, Kronenkrebs-Stahlwarenfabrik, an oval trademark logo with a CROWN over K, surrounded by CARL JUL. KREBS / SOLINGEN. This version of the oval trademark has the internal oval, and was seen on early war edged weapons for the SA and other organizations such as the RAD. Later RAD Enlisted hewers had a simplified trademark, per J Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. This maker was founded in 1866, and continued trading long after WWII. 

A great example of an early-war RAD EM/NCO Hewer by a rare maker, complete with scabbard. 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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