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First model Railroads, Luftwaffe funeral daggers the maker always Klass the grip matrial always trilon. The only maker to produce these elusive some what mystrious dagger is Klass also the only maker to use black trilon for there grips durn the era and paint them, wood was used by other makers and painted but it stuck better then on trilon so the paint chipped away or IMO was removed and made amazingly enough a new dagger that served a new purpose in the third reich. The First Model Railway Dagger, I have never thought it to be quite right being so similar to the Army daggers why would a separate entity like the Reichsbahn not commission a different design, well that is explainable they did. In my opinion the so called second model railroad is in all reality the first model railroad. As far aa Luft funeral daggers go again Klass 2nd model Lufts are found with painted grips and underneath amazingly enough black trilon, and again to make a buck the paint was remove and a jazzy new name given to the dagger. The only maker that made 1st model Railroads was Klass and only maker that made the so called funeral lufts also Klass the only company known to have used black trilon in there dagger grips also Klass, that is about all I need to know to make my decision on these daggers how about you. I know this may cause debate but debate is good, as a community of collectors way is such a thing so passively accepted. I for one and I don't think I am alone. Just because they are being sold as a different dagger on many sites these daggers IMHO are normal but damaged Heers daggers & 2nd model luftwaffe daggers. Maybe Manfred can repaint your grips then they will be restored to their original state Big Grin . I have no positive proof of my statement only educated assumptions I guess, you make your own decision. I really would love to learn others opinions on these.

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This question is very often being debated and the vast majority of collectors, and dealers alike, have somewhat changed their mind about it in the last 2 years.
There ain't too many dealers out there beleiving that these were ever made for the Bahnschutspolizei. Here are the fact ; there is no period reference literature on the subject, no period pics of the dagger in wear, the whole so called "Railway 1st model" story started with ONE dealer and last but not least, ample proof that many so called Railway daggers have period paints on their grips.
Now, for those still beleiving in the so called 1st Railway leader dagger, please, try to answer these 2 following questions :
Wink1- If indeed this were Railway daggers, then why would there be evidence of white paints on top of many of these period black grips ?
2- here's the most difficult question to answer though. The Bahnshutzpolizei was the smallest para-military force in the Third Reich organization with less than 4500 men. Why in the world, would they get their own distinctive dagger many years before the other more important para-military group, such as the Teno, RAD, Postschutz, Hitlerjungen Leader, RLB.
Sorry, but it does not make any sense to me that such an obscure organization would get their dagger first.
Just my opinion. Big Grin
Nonetheless, it is still a very desirable dagger that I would love to own and would pay the premium price for its black grip.

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Why the premium price for a damage dagger with little if any paint remaining on the grip, IMO the daggers lost much of there intented past as a real looking Heers dagger, I would not pay a premium for a wood or plaster grip that had no paint left would you. The only time I could see paying a premium would be for a dagger like the one Craig has for sale, it is black underneath but much of the original paint remains present, therefore a premium price should be at tow for a rare varition grip with much of the original paint remaining, and history. The daggers like the one I see on Craigs site should be the only type that a premium is held why give a premium to something that is so postwar modified like the grips with no paint that are black trilon. I think the same should hold true for black trilon as wood or plaster. Premium for damage, no Red Face Same should hold true for black handled Luftwaffe daggers.

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Adam and Pat, naturally I also have thought over the black grips for several times for myself.
I do not think it beeing totally impossible that there was a variant of the army officers dagger for this branch. Simply an officers dagger for officers (but now officers from bahnschutz - and therefore a different colored grip for any distiction). It is -prooved- not uncommon for 3.R. period daggers that a small difference represented another branch (e.g.: Diplos/Govs; redcross/sozialwellfare - yes I do believe in the different daggers for these two different "brother"-branches due to what I have seen on period pics and what I have seen on (hangers)/of daggers which came directly from the former wearer or the hosehold of the late former wearer and finally LC/WC and navy/WPP).
The lack of any period pic does not wonder me. As it is mentioned it has been a very small branch. Up to some years ago there did not exist (in collector´s hands) a single photograph of waring a TN-leader dagger and these daggers were not thought beeing phantasy pieces Wink up to this time. And the differenc of color due to b&w period pics might be anothr problem of finding them easily.
Why for heavens sake these army grips ever have been produced in black color if they were needed only in white and pale yellow????
There are not only KLAAS ones (please write it the right way -KLAAS- and not "KLASS" how shall our younger collectors learn to recognize minute details) but other manufacturers from time to time. Where these grips on them postwar changed?? Did they use grips from KLAAS? I do not know. But I think it would be extremely interesting for our collectors comunity to sov the mistry of those black grips, if there ever did exist a Bahnschutz leader dagger in the form of an army officers dagger but with original period black grip.


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Of course there is also the Luftwaffe black grip question and there are also a couple of Red Cross Officer black grips around. I agree with Wotan that it would be great to solve this question. I also have wondered about this. IMO though -the purple flecked knots that are supposed to be for the earlier dagger and the hangers with straps that look like SS knot straps are 100% fake. There also is the question of the two types of Railway hangers-those with square buckles and those with the oval ones. The difference between these has also never been explained--and this could be a point in favor of the earlier model dagger.


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From a historical standpoint the German railroad had considerably more significance than one might think. It represented the only viable form of transportation in Germany. In the 1920s a struggle ensued between the Nationalists and the Internationalists (Communists) who were trying to control the dtransportation system in Germany. The RR was part of Nationalistic factions. In the actual battles and firefight with the Communists they used the trains as mobile fortifications. Hitler awarded the RR leadership with special recognition and status for the service. Thus, the status of the RR should not be underestimated. And since the army dagger was the first non-traditional military daggers to be introduced in 1933, I would not discount the possibility that a moldified version of this dagger would be introduced to RR.

In one of the earlier discussions involving the blackhandled army dagger (roughly 4 years ago) someone referenced a link to website that discussed the historical significance of the German RR in the 20s and 30s in detail. I have not been able to find this link. Perhaps someone out thee can remember it.

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Manfred,

Very good observation !
Are you talking about this 37 pages article on the Bahnschutz ?

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I am not total disputing the fact that they exist but the evidents lean alot heavier in my opinion that the 2nd model Bahnschutz would be much more probable for the introduction of a dagger for this organization thou's one may make the assumtion that it was in fact introduced along with many other daggers in 1938 why the existence of so many other varitions of the Klaas daggers, yes other makers pop up on occasions but not in the frequency that the Klaas versions. Almost every Black handled dagger was made by Klaas, and many are found with paint remaining under or around the wire or under the pommel area. I find this as treading dangerous waters in the collection realm and if these so called 1st model R.R. or Funeral Lufts did exist it would be very hard to prove through providents that it was always black since painted versions of these black grips did exist. So how do you know it is original and not post war modified? Anyone aquire any comletely black handled 2nd luftwaffe's or Heer's daggers directly from vets with NO trace of paint on the grips including under an eye loupe around the wire and such areas? I am still not convinced and maybe we all will never be but to collect something with less then proven history is that really collection for history or collecting for the sake of having more product?

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And I think if this Org. the Bahnschutz was so important they would commission their own design from the beginning not copy off a already used design. I think as a community we need to reseach and find the proof one way or the other and not blindly collect just to have more things.

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HA! Adam-Do you think that we have not been looking for this answer and many others more than twice as long as you have been alive? In fact we have found MANY answers-but not this one---Yet.


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The many "unanswered" questions makes this relatively unknown organization, so much more interesting. Big Grin

Banschutspolizei Officer Visor Cap.

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Did I say you were not? I guess its because I see more being content with it being like it is right now and it really don't seem that people are actively tring to find an answers. And still the items are being sold by many as 1st Model Railroad and Funeral Luftwaffe's with what proof of their existence durn the period 1933-1945. I don't understand the how so many could be content without any proof, is seems most parts in life we require proof on something before we accept things as real but here (collection TR in general) it seems that we don't always require any proof what so ever, all of the current evidents in there favor is pure speculation and heresy. I don't want to **** anyone off I know I have only collected for 9 year and only studied the Third Reich for maybe 15 years but that is more then half my life and I think I can put forward educated theories and ideas about the items, I believe I am the new generation of collectors and I have a right to question what may have been debated for years. I actively research many areas of WWII and German Third Reich area in general and I want truths thats all, I don't want to anger people that have been in it for years but only seek answers and knowledge which most current books do not tread into. Maybe most of you guys don't just accept them I do not know but just accepting something does not seem the answer. Buying something as a certain item with no certainty that it was really used as that item, giving it a name that know one knows is certain. I don't believe in that. But it happens and I don't understand why.

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MANY old experienced collectors don't accept MANY things- Razz but they get tired of pointing out things that they think are bad Mad that the majority (it seems) just LOVE Smile ('Ol Pat says he would LOVE to pay a premium for one of those painted/unpainted revamped questionable thingies )Confused-most won't listen -and keep on buying. As long as they keep on buying the sellers will keep on selling. Sellers just LOVE to sell. That's the way it is. Razz Eek


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Oh-Very nice hat!-Pat Big Grin


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Oh--and if you read the books you will find that in one of the TJ volumes there is testimony from at least one German family that both type daggers were worn. It's all there in the book-at least thats something--is it enough? For some -Yes. For me? Nope!


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Houston,

Am I correct in thinking that the Klass daggers considered to be Bahnschutz have grips and tangs that are longer than the usual Heer daggers ?

Dave

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I suppose people will buy and sellers will sell like you say. I guess only the spectical few will pass until evidents arises, I collect for history not product or to showoff. I don't see a point in owning something without positive history. But people will continue to buy without reservations just to own. Houston I will not be that one, and I think one should not tire of answering questions until they get an answer have we ever got one on this, Houston. I don't think so, I respect you and your opinions. But don't answer or be involved in a area you are tired of talking about I'm pretty sure others are not tired of it, and won't get anger talking about it. IMHO Smile Smile Smile

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Yes Dave-some do and some don't and some even have longer blades-BUT-some regular armies also have longer grips.Also-many consider the WKC type with black grip as being correct also-and they don't have the long grip-usually. It's quite confusing. I don't care for them-I don't want them-but many do in spite of all the questions that we have been unable to answer. I'm not mad-just kiddin'-just trying to point that out. Big Grin


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Houston,

The two that I have handled both had longer grips ... by about 5mm or so. One was a Klass in pretty poor shape at a local show. The other one is a Tiger in the collection of the 82nd Airborne at Ft. Bragg.

I would also point out that there is a good piece in Tom Johnson's Volume VIII somewhere around page 110. It shows both a first and second model owned by the same man that Tom got from the man's daughter.

Dave

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Yes-Tiger is another that some believe in. I know about the article in Tom's book but just that one thing is not enough for me--and many others. I would have to see a period regulation or a clear photo of one in wear to believe. After all this time-I doubt we will see one-but -you never know.


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I've always found this question intesresting...

heres an interesting link on craigs site..

First Model Railway Dagger


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Obviously, neither Craig and many others believe in the so-called Railway Leader dagger "theory".
With that kind of evidence, who would doubt that a Railway dagger ever existed ????
If it was indeed a Railway dagger, why in the world was it ever painted in white.
TERRA INCOGNITA ! That's what I say ! Wink

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Manfred,

A subject that greatly interests me and I wholeheartedly agree with you from a historical perspective. The significance of German trains and their operations cannot be underscored. It was a big organization. Why not and it certainly makes sense. But, I would still need hard evidence.

Also, It's amazing how the germans utilized trains, particularly throughout WWII. From passenger trains to freight/munition trains, troop trains, hospital trains and guard trains just to name a few. You name it they had it and where very clever in their usage. Most interesting to me are what I call "Special Trains". A few of the top leadership had their own to include Hitler. I was fortunate to have used Goering's "Special Train" and others.

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Many people get often mistaken between the "Reichbahn" and "Banschutz".
The Banschutz were a very small para-military unit under the supervision of the Reichban.
The Reichban was indeed one of the largest organization in the Third Reich but not the Bahnschutz.
The Bahnschutz were eventually taken over by the SS in 1942.
The Reichbahn personel were not permitted to wear the any of the Railway leader dagger ( 1st or 2nd ). Only the Banschutz were entitled to wear the dagger.
The Bahnschutz were believed to be no more than 4500 men, which makes it the smallest para-military unit in the Third Reich era.
In any case, the Bahnschutzpolizei is not readily understood since there is no english reference book on the subject.
It just makes it more "appealing" to research. Wink

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Mikee: Hard evidence would be nice but in its absence the only thing anyone can do is to adopt a pro or con rationalization that we prefer for whatever reason.

Since documentation in terms of handbooks, textbooks and catalogs seem to be in agreement on the existence of the 1st model RR it would take pretty hard evidence to overturn that 'apple cart'. In general, the blackhandled army dagger has been universally accepted as the 1st model RR dagger. My own take is that collecting is a hobby, and as such should not be taken too seriously. And after everything is said and done, and proved or disproved, it doesn't really make a heck of a lot of difference one way or another. In the final analysis, whenever a blackhandled army shows up every collector would call it the 1st model RR dagger.

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MVOGEL -I have NEVER heard of ANY official mention of any so called 1st model railway dagger in any period publication. Perhaps you would care to tell us just exactly where you found this information. It is not accepted by the collecting community as well as you indicate as it has always been highly questionable.


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Houston Coates: I have never referred to PERIOD publications. I only referred to available textbooks or handbooks which have identified the blackhandled army dagger as 1st model Railway dagger. As a result this dagger has been generally accepted by most collectors as the 1st model RW dagger. Those who question this account have no hard evidence for their stand either. Matter of fact there are several different opinions in the hopper. Some say that the handles were supposed to be white but the paint peeled off, others say they were intended for a special service but aren't sure exactly what service. Ultimately, the critics have no 'earth shaking' and cohesive evidence that would once and for all settle the argument. In the meantime the blackhandled army dagger will always be referred to as the 1st model Railway dagger. It is identified as such in Tom Johnson's publication, in Wittmann's catalog or his website now, or any militaria website that sells or auctions them. The term '1st model railway dagger' is too much entrenched in the collecting community to be suddenly overturned by unsubstantiated rationalisations and gutlevel opinions.

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I also want to add that I don't really care one way or another what they want to call it. I'm not a dealer so I'm not any richer or poorer by what someone wants to put on the label. Its just another dagger, so whats the big deal?

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Manfred-I know you don't care about authenticity but most do. Sorry-I don't agree that it will always be called that-some contrary evidence may surface."Funeral" daggers will not always be called that either--its just BS-we all know that.


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Alas I'm not alone Wink. I will always view these as a black heers dagger and a black luft until the evident show positive proof to the contrary. Not all of us will believe everything in the books, of sales catalogs. Why sould people have to believe something that is not proven, and I think its an issue Manfred these are highly questionable and I would be a hypocrite if I owned one, just because the big dogs say so. I collect for the history and to this point these can't even prove their history so in my opinion are not worthy to collect in my field of collecting. Smile The collector that collects to have more or to just spend money, they may love one.(there is nothing wrong with that Wink )

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The photo is a "black gripped Army", vet purchased with thin black striped hangers and the vet's statement that the dagger and hangers were found in the back of a deck drawer in a bombed out rail yard. The portapee is a Johnson Wink

I have examined the grip under a 10 power loupe and that are no traces of paint. I have examined quite a few "black gripped Army" daggers in the past 35 years. Grips with traces of paint have the later Klaas fittings like Craig's example. The few I have seen with no paint traces are the earlier Klaas fittings. I think the dagger and the hangers are an interesting variation regardless of what it's called Wink

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Adam, you are definitively NOT alone Wink and I must admit that Vern's dagger provenance is also very interesting.
I guess we will never see the end of it.

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That is very interesting Vern. I am at a lose for the origins of these, maybe they existed maybe not. Did you get a written statement by the veteran, that would be awesome. All we need is some document from the archives there has to be records(period) of them somewhere, but if they ever surface very slim chances. Maybe some day something will surface, the only guy I know that was deep into research on this org. was RBBrad, that was a member here at on time. I know he had lots of information on the Reichbahn and Bahnschulz but I think he joined in the Groupee Exodus, To bad. But if Verns proof is written and documented that is a step in there favor of its existance, I would think. But it still does not verify that it was used for a R.R. Dagger we can only guess why it was at a railway yard. Wow this topic could get deep if you really wanted to spend the time to reserch all of it.

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Just as a side note, I've read somewhere but can't remember exactly where ( perhaps someone could tell me ) that boxes full of SA blades where found in a Reichbahn warehouse.
That doesn't make the SA dagger a Bahnschutzpolizei edged weapon. Roll Eyes

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I have the written statement from the vet, a sargent in the 3rd Armor Division. Since just about everything in Germany was shipped by rail, a box of blades in a warehouse really has little bearing on the discussion. Now if an SA dagger with a blue grip/scabbard and hanger were found in a railyard office, that would be interesting Wink


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In reply to Houstons statement that a few black griped Red Cross Officers exist, I became very curious. I have only seen one such dagger which was for sale on this site about a year ago. I contacted Whittmann and Shea as to the existance of a black griped red cross officers and both said that they had never seen one (although theoretically possible since Klaas may have used the same materials/ process that they used on lufts (and as we are currently discussing army/rails)being also a well known maker of red cross daggers.). When I re-contacted the seller of the black gripped red cross with my concerns he reluctantly disassembled the dagger and found that it was infact painted black, he then retracted the item from sale. I guess my question is, do these daggers exist? Can anyone provide a pic???


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Thats great Vern! But I will always remain skeptical of anything without period proof, these are one of the few daggers no one can find anything on(pictures, regulation, ect.) but providents such as your would be a step in the right direction for the community without a doubt.

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Another possiblity is that these painted black gripped armys were in fact 1st. Model bahnschulz and when the later 2nd model bahnschulz were introduced they used up the inventory of these grips on the later type klaas daggers by painting the grips and making them Army daggers, again this really doesn't get us anywere but when I investigate anything I play both sides to see what the results could be, but still this does not get us period proof Mad It goes on and on. Big Grin

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Yes, it goes round and round. Without documentation, you can make a case for whichever point of view you support. But regardless of who carried them, they are a rare version Wink


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There was a black gripped RC leader at the Max 2 years ago. It was not painted. I went back to get it and it had been sold...
I have a theory here and it's just my theory:
Klass had a load of black trylon to make 1st model Rails, when the contract for the new 2nd model was let to Eickhorn, they, being frugal Germans, cast 2nd luft, armys and a few RC leader grips and decided to paint them to sell as std daggers. Over the years guys removed the paint and so today we have an assortment of Klaas black grips on these daggers. I know this to be fact on 2nd Lufts, and Armies cause I own examples. The RC? Have yet to find one with paint remaining...
Lastly- I am not saying that the Funeral 2nd luft did not exist in the period, what I will say is that most of these started life as yellow gripped 2nd lufts.

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