Original German WWII Service Used RAD Labor Corps Enlisted Mans Hewer by Gottlieb Hammesfahr & Co. with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available: This German Enlisted Man's RAD Hewer is in very nice condition, with its silver plated alloy-based mounts showing a lovely tarnished patina. There is some wear and plating loss around the "beak" of the grip, but it still present very nicely. The crossguard has a fine, curled quillon, and much of the original darkening is still present in the grooves of the quillon.
The grip plates on this example are genuine stag, and look to be the larger earlier type. The stag shows a lovely yellowed stained color from use, which gives the antler a great, attractive appearance. Both plates are fully intact and have a great color and texture. The stag plates are retained by non-magnetic solid nickel alloy screws and spanner nuts, which are in very good shape, showing only a bit of oxidation. They do not appear to have been turned in decades.
The blade is the heavy bolo style, originally being produced in a matte finish, with single fuller on both sides. This example has been sharpened, and shows some real use, unlike many that we see. Sharpening and cleaning have unfortunately removed a lot of the matte finish, and it now is glossy with areas of scuffing, but no major damage or oxidation. The Arbeit adelt (Work Ennobles) motto on the obverse is quite deeply etched, and still crisp, with the factory darkening still strong. 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 is a trademarked design.
Below this the blade is marked with the makers "double oval" trademark logo:
(CROSS ON PYRAMID LOGO)
This example was produced by a rare maker: Gottlieb Hammesfahr & Co. AG, Nirosta-Werk, Stahlwarenfabrik und Gesenkschmiederei (Stainless Steel Factory, Steel goods factory and drop forge), in the Foche area of Solingen. Founded in 1804 and registered with the Solingen chamber of commerce in 1875, this company is one of the largest and longest-established edged weapon producers in Solingen. While this company was known primarily as a drop forge, it also made knives and tools during the WWII period. They had several brand names, including PYRAMIDE, which had a logo of a Pyramid with a cross on it. The "oval" style trademark was specifically used on the blades of the earliest SS and SA daggers made during the Third Reich, per J. Anthony Carter's work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS.
The scabbard shell is straight throughout, with no dents we can see. it does however show wear, and the central steel body, originally blued steel, was painted over at some point. We suspect this was done post war to improve appearance, however when it was reassembled the four screws for the fittings were not reinstalled. These fittings look to be silver plated brass, with the plating relatively well retained, though the bottom fitting has been dented in quite a bit. This fitting depicts an RAD shovel, with lined surfaces, having a contrasting, smooth mobile swas 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.
A very nice example of a RAD EM/NCO Hewer by a rare maker, complete with scabbard. Very attractive and ready to display!
Blade Length: 9 3/4"
Blade Style: Single Edged Hewer
Overall length: 14 3/4“
Scabbard Length: 10 1/4"
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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