Wittmann Alder Wittmann Militaria RAD Dagger Section
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Founded officially in 1934, the RAD (Reichsarbeitsdienst) or Reich Labor Service was instituted as a "make-work program" to help alleviate the depression of Germany in 1934. It was similar to the WPA and other programs initiated by President Roosevelt in this country. German men (and women, to a lesser degree) were taught the merits of drilling, digging, bridge and road building, not to mention National Socialism. From 1939 onward service in the RAD was absolutely compulsory.

RAD Officers and men initially wore the same edged weapon, a large Hewer with stag gripped plates. In 1938, RAD Officers wore a scaled-down hewer. It has silvered fittings with eaglehead pommel top. The crossguard features a shovel over wheat shafts, with a superimposed swastika. The weapon is fitted with white celluloid grip plates. The silvered scabbard has curled design decoration at the upper and wheat stalks at the lower. The center area features a pebbled panel. The matte-finished, Bowie-shape blade is etched with the RAD motto, Arbeit Adelt.

RADALL #46351 RAD Early EM Hewer by Carl Eickhorn

This example is equipped with fine nickel plated fittings. The hilt fittings are still quite fresh throughout. The beak at the top is beautifully formed with no wear signs. The same is true of the angles of the ferrule.

The crossguard is also in nice condition throughout with its curled up quillon at the left end. The reverse ferrule is stamped with the marking "Bn274". We used to think that this marking would pertain to a battalion but I have recently learned from my friend in England Dave Goldsmith that this Bn mark comes from a equipment distribution point for the RAD in Berlin and is abbreviated "Bn". There were other distribution points one being Marburg which equates to RAD daggers stamped with the Ma marking and also Furth which equates to the Fu marking. This is really good information because for years these markings have obviously been misunderstood.

The scabbard of this example is nice and straight on the obverse and on the reverse has a couple of very small minor ping type dings but they are really nothing. The paint is in excellent condition being about 95 percent. The scabbard mounts are matching nickel plated. They have the RAD curls on the upper mounts and the spade with swastika positioned between two wheat shafts on the lower mount. Both mounts feature the circles which make the of each piece. There is no denting on the bottom of this mount. The scabbard retains all four of the original RAD flat head screws.

The grip of this example is of fine stag the obverse being of a lighter color with nice rising grains and golden edges. The reverse grip is a little darker more of a coffee color type.

The blade is the typical matte finish with Bowie style end. It is in very fine condition throughout showing only modest wear and the obverse is complete with e RAD motto. The motto has about 95 percent of the original shading in the letter backgrounds. The reverse is marked with the RAD triangle, Gescg Gesch, and below is the 1935 through 41 Eickhorn squirrel.

The throat of this example is also marked to match the ferrule "Bn274".

A nice early example here.

Excellent Plus Plus. $1,295.00

RADALL #46268 RAD Early Hewer Carl Jul Krebs

This hewer is of very early construction having solid nickel mounts with good silvering across them. The mounts have all nicely patinated. This piece does not look to have ever been cleaned.

The beak shows only minor wear and the ferrule is still very crisp throughout. The crossguard is also crisp with its twin accent lines and quillon which curls upward.

The grip plates are fine early stag which nicely match. They have fine lighter brown tones at the upper grains and deep coffee tones in the recesses. A nice hilt here.

The scabbard shell has a small ding on the obverse just below the upper fitting. It is something that a good craftsman could probably remove. The original paint is worn substantially on the scabbard and is only probably about 40 percent. The scabbard mounts are in fine condition and are also deeply patinated matching the hilt. The upper mount features the RAD curls on both sides and the lower mount has the lined spade with swastika resting between two wheat shafts. Both mounts have the circles which make up the boundary lines. The original screws are all in place.

The blade is the typical RAD matte finish variety. This blade still remains in nice condition showing only modest age. It has the typical Bowie shape and probably this blade rates at least at excellent plus. The RAD motto is nicely etched and has about 98 percent of the darkening in the depth of the letters. On the reverse it has the RAD triangle over Gesch Gesch and below this is the maker mark of double ovals which enclose the firm's name "Carl Jul Krebs Solingen" and inside is a crown over the letter K.

Overall not a tremendous condition piece but it is very early and has highest quality mounts. It is a good starter piece or perfect for someone who is on a budget. I recently purchased this example from a veteran family.

Excellent. $795.00

RADALL #45815C Early Monogrammed RAD Hewer with Long Bullet Hanger by Carl Eickhorn

This RAD is a very fine dagger appearing to have never been cleaned. The silvered fittings are all nicely dark toned. The pommel beak is in good condition and the ferrule still has crisp edges. Beautiful engraved on to the obverse of the ferrule original owner’s initials “AP”. Both letters are double scribe and the P letter which must represent the man’s surname is also lined inside.

The grip plates are a very fine stag having golden tones throughout with good brown shades in the depths of the grains.

The scabbard shell still remains straight. The original paint has a few signs of wear but overall it is at least 98 percent. The scabbard mounts are in good condition also having the deep tone matching the hilt. The upper scabbard has the usual RAD lined curls with the round circle patterns forming the border. The same circle border is at the lower mount with an RAD spade with swastika positioned between two wheat shafts. Three screws are present but one screw is missing on the lower fitting.

Attached to the scabbard is an interesting bullet hanger. This bullet hanger is extremely long having a full length of over 13 inches. The top portion which also contains the belt loop is of a variety that I have not seen before. Attached to this top portion is a separate leather loop which contains the snap clip. The snap clip is marked with the usual RAD triangle and A &S being the hardware producer. The bullet end at the bottom is finished in patent leather on the obverse and plain brown leather on the reverse. All in all a nice hanger showing some mild age but would be very good display with this choice hewer.

The blade is a fine example having the usual matte finish. It is in near mint condition having a good motto. The motto has about 90 percent of the original darkening in the letter backgrounds. The reverse blade has the RAD triangle and Gesch Gesch below. At the bottom is an early 1933 through 1935 double oval circle. The ovals contain the firm’s name and location Carl Eickhorn Solingen. Inside is a serrated tail squirrel.

This is a very early almost initial production here. It has definitely seen a lot of usage but still remains in highly collectible condition.

Excellent Plus Plus. $1,495.00

RADALL #45567 RAD Officer by Alcoso

This RAD still has all of the silver plating throughout the hilt. It features the noble bird head that looks to the viewer's left having good detail to the eye the brow and the beak. The backstrap has the four decorative lines that run down the reverse of the bird head.

The ferrule has the grooves which are set on 45 degree angles. The crossguard has quillons which end in curls and in the center is a lined spade with raised out mobile swastika resting over tow wheat shafts.

The obverse grip plate is in nice condition and attractively toned. The reverse grip plate has a crack through the center area and also another crack which rises up from the bottom area. However the dagger would look good displayed from the front.

The scabbard is a steel base being silver plated. There is a ding at the bottom area the scabbard. There is also some age in the pebbled panels of both sides and a little bit in the area which features the stamped RAD curls over wheat shafts. The throat is retained by two flat head side screws.

The blade is still in nice condition being bright and showing only the most modest of age. The motto is etched into the blade surfaces and rises up in to the fuller being typical of the Alcoso firm. Most of the darkening in the letter backgrounds is gone to time. The reverse ricasso is etched with the 1937 through 39 trademark. It features scales with the firm’s initials interspersed. Above the scales “Alcoso” is written in an arch and below is Solingen.

This dagger has some flaws but it is priced accordingly and is a good starter piece or a good piece for someone one a budget.

Good Plus. $1,195.00

RADALL #37105 RAD Officer's Dagger – Alcoso

This RAD Officer's Dagger has good, toned silver hilt; almost all of the silvering is still intact, and what wear there is confined only to the high spots. The bird head is an excellent depiction, with a stern brow over the eyes and a good looking beak. The bird has the four engraved feather striations on the back, and the ferrule area has the 45 degree angle decorative grooves.

The crossguard is a fine example, featuring quillon arms that extend outward into downward curls. The center area depicts the RAD logo; a lined spade with a plain swastika superimposed in the center. The spade rests between two detailed wheat stalks.

The grip plates are real beauties, having toned to a desirable off-white color. They are in excellent condition and retained by a screw in the reverse that is still silvered.

The scabbard is about as nice as you will ever find. This scabbard has 100% of the silvering and most of the original lacquer. There are some patinated areas where air has gotten under the silvering giving it an interesting look that collectors in the know will recognize. The pebbled panels have the original factory darkening in the backgrounds. The scabbard has the RAD curls at the top, being nice and crisp, and beneath these curls are two wheat stalks being the style that do not touch. The same wheat stalks are depicted on the lower scabbard beneath the panel. The scabbard is equipped with two nicely made carrying bands, and the throat is retained by two flat head style screws.

The blade of this dagger is in choice condition, being forged in the matte finish. This blade shows only some in-and-out marks, and overall is still in mint condition. The RAD motto, “Arbeit Adelt”, is etched into the surface of the blade. On the reverse is the trademark used used from 1937 through 1939, consisting of a set of scales with the firm's initials, “ACS”, interspersed within them. Above the scales in arched block letters is the name of the firm, “Alcoso”, and below is the location city of “Solingen”.

This is an extremely nice RAD Officer's Dagger that will go well in the collection of those that are seeking highest quality weapons.

Excellent Plus, Plus. $3,395.00

#34498C Czech RAD Officer's Hewer (?) - WKC

This RAD Hewer is a real anomaly, and for those that like to use their brain, it is a most interesting original Third Reich artifact. The Officer's Hewer has an enlisted man's style hilt, and has an officer's blade with RAD Offficer's scabbard. Studying the edged weapon, it appears to have been definitely worn during the period. It also balances perfectly on a 45 degree angle, when held by the upper hanging ring. It is my belief that this hewer was made especially for an RAD leader that may have been assigned to Prague or one of the districts in Bohemia, and Moravia.

The hilt of the hewer has been lightly trimmed on the crossguard area around the lower quillon. This trimming or thinning of the area makes the hilt flow much nicer with the scabbard, and is a good touch. The ferrule and beak area at the pommel appear to be the same as a standard RAD hewer. The crossguard area does not appear to have ever had the darkening in the grooves. The plating throughout the hilt is maybe 60-70%, showing wear in the areas where one would expect it to be, enduring usage from the original wearer's hand. Instead of the normal stag plates, the officer's option has been accomplished through the installation of ivorine or celluloid grip plates. These grip plates have been masterfully cut and fitted and are an exact mount to the countersunk area, precisely matching the edges of the beak pommel and upper ferrule. The grip plates have age toned to an ivory color, and remain in perfect condition. Both plates are retained by screw and spanner hardware, in the normal RAD EM manner. Inserted into the obverse grip plate, is an enameled Hitler Youth insignia, the type of which was used in Czechloslovakia. The insignia has perfect enamel, except for the 3 o'clock diamond point, where there is a small chip. The insignia consists of the black enamel swastika within a silver diamond which is inlaid in a shield shaped device, having red enamel edges with white center. This enamel shield is slightly loose, an indication that it is pinned through the obverse grip.

The scabbard is a standard RAD officer example, with the exception that it does not have any screws that retain the throat. The silvering is still nearly 100% throughout the scabbard, having just a couple of tiny lifts toward the lower chape area. The scabbard features the standard RAD curls at the top with a pair of wheat shafts below, which are the type that touch eachother. There are matching wheat shafts on the lower portion of the scabbard. The pebbled panels appear on both sides, and they are the type that have a slight blue color to their background. This scabbard is in nice condition throughout. The right edge has the two carrying brackets which are in the shape of an ear.

The blade is the officer's type, and it is in choice condition, still being mint. The blade is equipped with the two fullers, one which runs on either side of the blade. The RAD motto "Arbeit adelt" is precisely etched and retains 100% of its original background darkening. The reverse of this beautiful blade is etched with the knighthead trademark, beneath which are the initials of the firm and its location, "WKC Solingen". There is the slightest of sharpening that appears on the lower side of the obverse blade, and just a little bit on the reverse side towards the end. Otherwise, this blade is in mint condition. A most interesting edged weapon here, and a great example for those of you out there that want something that is non-standard. It is amazing as we travel through the decades of this hobby, that we still seem to turn up never before seen items.

Excellent Plus. $1,995.00