Original German WWII RAD Labor Corps M1937 Officer's Dagger by Carl Julius Krebs with Damaged Handle & Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available: This is nice example of the extremely rare Model 1937 RAD Führer Haumesser (Officer/Leader's Hewer), complete with original plated steel scabbard, and a damaged aluminum alloy hilt. It originally would have had early plastic ivory colored grips, but unfortunately many early plastics were very chemically unstable, such as cellulose nitrate. It looks like the original grips deteriorated, producing corrosive chemicals before crumbling, which led to corrosion of the tang and the grips. This is easily seen in the picture.

Even with the damage however, the high quality original level of manufacturer is still evident. This dagger was produced by the Solingen-based firm of Carl Julius Krebs, a highly desirable maker, and a known producer of both the Officer and Enlisted RAD edged weapons.

As mentioned earlier, the grip is in damaged deteriorated condition in the center, with the grip plates and screw completely missing. However, the pommel still features a vey nice noble eagle looking to the viewer's left. The details to the eye, brow and beak are exceptional. The reverse of the head has the four decorative accents that give the viewer the feel of feathering, and there is a similar accent under the chin.

The "ferrule" portion of the grip has the accent grooves that are set on about a 30 degree angle running the right to left direction. The crossguard features the two quillons that ride outward and curl at the ends. The reverse is plain, while the obverse center area depicts the RAD logo. It is a lined spade, having a superimposed, raised ;mobile swas in the center. Below, the shovel is bordered at the bottom with two wheat stalks positioned on 45 degree angles.

The blade is actually a great example, with a subtly brushed finish, and a curved "clip-point" (bowie) style tip. It is quite nice, with the usual thin fuller at the top, and a very nice acid-etched RAD Motto: Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles). This motto retains almost 100% of the factory blackening in the letters. The blade does not really show any use, with just a few specks of light staining, and the edge is correctly unsharpened. This is a really nice example, with the full factory final polish.

The reverse ricasso is stamped with the trademark logo of Carl Julius Krebs, Kronenkrebs-Stahlwarenfabrik (Crowned Crab Steelworks), a simplified "Crowned K" over SOLINGEN, used specifically on later war RAD Enlisted and Officer's daggers. Earlier war produced examples of the RAD edged weapons had the oval "losenge" style logo, per J Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS. This maker was founded in 1866, and continued trading long after WWII.

The scabbard shell is straight throughout showing much of the original plating on the ends intact. Both sides feature a fine pebbled panel in the middle. The pebbled central portion was originally blackened and then polished to give a great effect. The front upper area features the line-decorated RAD curls. Below are 45 degree angle-positioned wheat shafts, a motif that is repeated on the drag. The reverse upper and lower panels are plain, and the entire scabbard retains much of the silver plate. The throat still retains one of the two securing screws, and the simple hanging clips are still intact.

A very hard to find dagger with a great blade, which unfortunately suffered damage over time due to material choice. A worthy addition to any WWII Edged weapon collection!

Blade Length: 10 3/4"
Blade Style: Single Edged Clip Point Hewer
Overall length: 15 1/4“
Crossguard: 2 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 10 3/4"

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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