The standard SS daggers of members of security detachments-Schutzstaffel (SS) were introduced in 1933 by a separate order, according to which they were required to be worn by all members of the unit. The order was signed by the SA's interim chief of staff, Obergruppenfuhrer von Krausser. SS accepted only persons who had reached the age of 21, who had to pass tests for a period of more than a year and a half, testing beliefs, loyalty, and unquestioning. Representatives of this powerful body were distinguished by black military uniforms and represented the elite of the Nazi regime.
First samples of SS daggers
The first SS daggers completely copy the standard SA daggers of the 1933 model, but differ only in the color of the grip and scabbards to maintain the style of the uniform. SS daggers of the 1933 model were decorated with the organization's emblem. The emblem looked like two stylized lightning letters "S"in the upper part of the black handle, and the blade was engraved with the SS motto ("Meine Ehre heist Treue" — "my honor is called loyalty").
At first, the first SS daggers had details with a metal Melchior finish, and the scabbard was finished with oxidized iron. However, in the future, the lining to the scabbard began to be made of Nickel-plated iron, and the pommel of the dagger handle with guard elements were made of Nickel-plated zinc or aluminum. The Nazi eagles on the handles that held the swastika in their talons were also Nickel-plated or entirely zinc or aluminum. The standard silver 42-cm cord for SS daggers was only allowed to be worn by special officers
Daggers were given to SS men in a festive atmosphere when SS-Anwaerter (SS candidates) became SS-Mann's. The loss of SS service daggers resulted in severe disciplinary action, and as a result, these models are not often found as collectible weapons. Daggers cost 8.40 Reichsmarks, while all future owners paid for their "relics" personally.In addition, when daggers were state property, they were branded - on the back of the hilts of senior officers and on the sides of the guard of daggers belonging to Junior SS officers. After being dismissed or exiled, these alphanumeric symbols were destroyed in the process of surrendering weapons. When they retired, the SS had the right to keep their daggers, which was confirmed by separate documents. SS daggers were produced until 1942.
SS daggers of the 1936 model almost one hundred percent repeat the standard daggers of 1933. Their only difference is a slightly modified system of suspensions of the scabbard. The daggers were intended for all SS officers who joined the elite organization of the Third Reich after November 9, 1935, as well as for anyone who had already served until the end of January 1936 for at least three years.
The design of the suspensions of the scabbards of the new SS daggers was handled by Karl Diebitsch. Such suspensions were flat metal chains consisting of alternating skulls with the emblems of this structure — Sigrun SS ("lightning", meaning the victory of good forces over evil). In addition, there were a pair of plates in the upper parts of the chains, and four in the lower parts. In the middle of the scabbard appeared metal inserts, which were present stylized relief swastikas, which were attached to the lower edges of the chains of suspensions. Carbines for carrying were decorated with ancient German armor ornaments-clover leaves.
Initially, it was assumed that the new model of SS daggers would be worn exclusively with the black uniform of the SS. However, since 1943, Waffen SS officers have been granted permission to wear them, and this despite the fact that they were only worn with a grey uniform. Because of this, the SD (security service)was the only SS structure that had dagger belts. Moreover, it was possible to purchase SS daggers in specialized retail outlets, with the prior approval of RZM.
SS award daggers with Himmler's personal signature
When in June 1934 , during the "night of the long knives", one of the SS commanders Ernst Rehm, who was disloyal to Adolf Hitler, was eliminated, then 200 stormtroopers were counted as particularly distinguished. They were engaged in active liquidation of Remus along with his associates. The entire group was awarded an extremely rare cold weapon today – SS daggers with the personal signature of Heinrich Himmler. On the daggers was written: "In herzlicher Freundschaft. H. Himmler", which translates as " as a sign of heartfelt friendship. Himmler»).This inscription was a repeat of the inscription on the SS commemorative award daggers, which were armed with the first members of the organization. It was only necessary to replace Rohm's signature with that of Heinrich Himmler. All such daggers were numbered in the lower parts of the second hilts(200 numbers in total). In all other respects, the award-winning SS daggers of the 1934 model with Himmler's personal signature repeat the standard SS daggers of the 1933 model. This also applies to the inscriptions on the front side of the blades, to the color design, to suspension systems, and to decorative elements.