Hitler Youth Knife: Description, Origin and Purpose

The Second World War left behind many historical monuments that settle in museums and private collections. Along with letters, photos, stamps, collectors also strive to get authentic models of weapons and uniforms. Things from the field of operations are very much appreciated among the gray market of archaeologists, and sometimes firearms of those times can be worth a fortune. Melee weapons also found their place among private collections. Bayonet-knives, daggers, premium counterparts - all of them are in demand and remain an extremely popular lot. The latter includes the Hitler Youth knife, a kind of insignia of the owner, ranked among the military elite. Despite the rather distinctive functions, this edged weapon was an integral part of the uniform, and the young Germans practically did not part with the bayonet.

Description and Origin

Hitler Youth knife
After the party of Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, at that time still chancellor, military or standard uniforms came into vogue both for organizations created in the likeness of combat units of the SS and SA, and for civil associations. Among the paraphernalia accompanying the reform, the knife occupied a prominent place. In 1933, he became part of the uniform of the Hitler Youth and Young Folk, pursuing goals similar to those of the premium weapons in the SS and SA. However, if in the mentioned organizations it was possible to earn such a distinction only through outstanding achievements, then the Hitler Youth knife turned into an ordinary object over time. In the military uniform store it could be purchased for 4 Reichsmarks.

Cold Steel Form

According to the description of the Hitler Youth knife, in shape it resembles a traditional bayonet, common in the German army from 1884 to 1898. Later, the appearance of the handle and the blade itself changed somewhat. So, for example, since 1937, the sign of organization has been etched on the enamel surface of the guard. The first samples are simpler in appearance and more likely to have a functional purpose, whereas later, when the knife took on the shape of a command dagger, it became more of a ceremonial attribute. Mass production of knives began in 1915, since 1923 such a bayonet became the main cold steel of the Wehrmacht armies.

what is written on the knife of the Hitler Youth
The Hitler Youth knife is best suited to be worn on the belt, the sheath provides the ability to quickly grab the blade. The weapon consists of a direct single-blade blade, a handle and a cross acting as a guard. Ephesus is massive. The material for the blade is carbon steel; softer metals were used for the handle. The cheeks for the hilt were made of wood, and later of plastic. On the right was the emblem of the Hitler Youth. The blade length is 140 millimeters, with a hilt - 245 mm. An impressive weight of 286 grams made this bayonet one of the most massive among analogs common among paramilitary organizations.

Purpose and attributes

Initially, the Hitler Youth knife was conceived as a mark of distinction for those neophytes who successfully passed the Pimp Exam, which was associated with checking the physical fitness of the members of the Jungfolk. Later it became the traditional emblem of the organization, which is why it quickly dispersed into the ranks of the Hitler Youth. Some owners stitched the blade of a knife, giving it a narrower shape. Thus, the blade could well serve as a combat knife. According to the charter, the weapon belt must be black. The blade was fastened on the left thigh in a strictly vertical position. On the knife was not allowed to display their own inscriptions or other signs.

Different variations

Hitler Youth knife original
In 1939, a limited batch of Hitler Youth knives with the inscription Adolf Hitler - March came out. Such weapons were awarded to those members of the organization who took part in the commemorative march on Landsberg in honor of the Führer, who was serving a sentence for holding the Munich putsch of 1923. There are other variations - for example, from a march to Nuremberg, with appropriate dating. In addition, a special batch of knives with a saw was released. The original of the Hitler Youth knife is quite valuable today in itself, if the collector comes across an analogue with the initial etching, then such a blade can be called a unique historical monument and a witness to an entire era of Germany during the fascism period.

Blade inscriptions

The question of what is written on the knife of the Hitler Youth is perhaps the most popular among those that relate to Wehrmacht weapons. Initially, the inscription “Blut und Ehre” was etched on the blade, which translates as “Blood and Honor”. This slogan has become the organization's motto, but is now considered prohibited in Germany. Later, facsimiles of the head of the organization, Baldur von Schirach, and a mention of the march in honor of Hitler began to be placed on the blades. By the period of liquidation of the organization, there were no inscriptions on the knife. All that was placed there was the brand of the manufacturer, the series and the year of delivery.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A11180/

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