Original WWII German 2nd Model Naval Dagger with Lightning Bolt Scabbard named to Feldwebel K. Wess
Original Item: Only One Available. We received this as part of a private collection, and it's definitely one of the more interesting German Navy daggers that we have had. It is a standard 2nd Model Navy dagger, with the usual "lightning bolt" scabbard. It is not maker marked, common for officer's daggers, and has a nice nickel plated double-fullered blade. While it does not have the etching that makes more upmarket versions of these appealing, instead it is personalized on the blade ricasso, with rank, name, location, and even a year:
The rank of Feldwebel was the lowest of the Generic Warrant / Chief Petty Officer grades in the WWII Kriegsmarine. K. Wess. could possibly be an abbreviation or his full name. Vlissingen is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands on the former island of Walcheren. With its strategic location between the Scheldt river and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries.
During WWII, Vlissingen was captured by German forces during their assault on France and the Low Countries, as part of the Battle of Zeeland. It remained occupied until it was liberated by British Commandos of 4th Special Service Brigade on 3 November 1944 as part of Operation Infatuate.
We would guess Feldwebel Wess was stationed in Vlissingen during 1942, as part of the occupation force responsible for the operation of the harbor. We have not been able to locate any further information, however this is definitely a great research opportunity.
The dagger itself was probably purchased by this NCO, and it is a typical example, with the Nickel-plated plain blade. The pommel cap has very deeply inset wings and an impressive vault wreath. The details to this bird are also choice, with a striking eye, beak and breast. The crossguard is a standard naval type, with a nice patina of age. Scabbard locking button is fully functional, and also in great shape.
The grip is in very good condition, with just a small chip and a crack near where the wire wrap inserts near the pommel. It still has the original ivory color in the celluloid The wire wrap is excellent, and there's just a bit of staining on the grip. The cross guard is wrapped with a nice portepee, which is tied in the typical complicated navy knot. The loop end of the portepee that would wrap around the pommel unfortunately has torn off, but overall it makes for a great look.
The lightning bolt scabbard is completely straight, and does not really have any dents we can see. The scabbard is stamped with well-defined palmettes around the bands and lightning bolts, ermine feet and acanthus leaves down to the chape. The bands feature overlapping oak leaves and acorns. The ring ferrules are the triple serrated type, and the rings are still present.. The throat is retained by two flat headed screws, which do not appear to have been removed. The finish overall is mostly faded aged brass, as the gold plating was the type that "evaporates" easily with cleaning and contact to air. There is still a bit left around the fittings but most is a lovely aged brass patina.
The blade is an very nice example, with nice nickel plating and a great shape. It was not sharpened at all, as these are ceremonial, and sharpening would ruin the nickel plating. There are no dents or nicks on the edges, and the needle-like tip is still intact. There are just a few spots of missing plate and oxidation on the blade, aside from the inscription on the ricasso.
Overall a nice example of a German Naval Dagger, named to a Kriegsmarine NCO and ready to research!
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