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The Earliest SS Chain Daggers

Article about: This SS Chain Dagger is quite unique, for a couple of different reasons. As you can see, it's a rather early one, i.e., painted scabbard, nickel silver fittings, and heavy chain links. But t

  1. #1

    Default The Earliest SS Chain Daggers

    This SS Chain Dagger is quite unique, for a couple of different reasons. As you can see, it's a rather early one, i.e., painted scabbard, nickel silver fittings, and heavy chain links. But to take it a little bit further and put it into prospective as far as a time line, one has to look at not only what type of chain that this is, but also the very unique etch that the motto is comprised of.

    With the more wide connectors to the Wotan's knot, and the nose septum in the skull links, collectors have come to identify this chain configuration as a Type III, or Type A. When Witty penned his SS edge weapon reference, this style of chain was not identified nor differentiated from the Type II's, any where in the book. As a matter of fact, there is only one example of these rather scarce Type A's shown in the reference. When Ralf wrote his SS edged weapon reference in 2010, he categorized the M36 dagger, into 4 different and distinct chain styles. In doing so, he listed the Type A as being the 1st style of SS chain, being manufactured shortly after Himmler approved this new hanger. And that is what you see below in the photos. Although there are some different characteristics with the Type A chains, the most recognizable is the septum in the nose of the skull, and the less beveled connectors to the Wotan's knot.

    But this dagger is more than just an early Type A. If you look at the entire motto on the blade, you may notice that the style of the letters are more "Gothic" in appearance. Ralf's reference shows over 60 different Meine Ehre heist Treue blade etches. Not a single one, is even close to what is seen on this dagger. Each and every letter in the motto is very unique, and has a style of it's own. An M36 SS Chain seen with this etch is extremely rare, and most likely would be coupled with a Type A chain configuration. In essence, an SS Chain Dagger with this very "Gothic" style of motto, and a Type A chain, was probably one of the very first M36's, ever produced. These most likely went to high ranking officers within the SS ranks. The reason is obvious, as the "brass" most likely had the 1st opportunity to purchase their daggers, with this new bad ass chain on it. Additionally to follow up on this fact, the SS Brigadefuhrer M36 that I show on this site, has this same exact unique blade etch, while being a Type A chain as well. Certainly an SS General had a little more pull than a lowly 2nd Lt, on the pecking order, when it came to the new M36 chains. JR
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture The Earliest SS Chain Daggers   The Earliest SS Chain Daggers  

    The Earliest SS Chain Daggers   The Earliest SS Chain Daggers  

    The Earliest SS Chain Daggers   The Earliest SS Chain Daggers  

    The Earliest SS Chain Daggers   The Earliest SS Chain Daggers  

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  3. #2


    Cracker JR

  4. #3


    JR, Very nice, and thank you for a welcome addition to the overall discussion on SS daggers. Unfortunately lost in “cyberspace” years ago, when the first to my knowledge public article on the “Type X”, “Type A”, “Type III”, (or whatever the nasal septum type is called) was posted on GDC it was not an acknowledged manufacturing distinction/type with my hope being that it would be included in Tom Wittmann’s SS book as such - with the chain sets themselves the primary focus of that discussion.

    That did not happen, still having most of the original images including from a dagger belonging to noted collector Vic Diehl who joined the discussion at some point with his own example. Vic’s dagger is pictured in TW’s book, stating that it belonged to SS-Untersturmführer (2nd Lt.) Dr. Emil Metz (with no reference to the nasal septum, the focus was on the personalized connection to Dr. Metz). With my point here being that while certainly those who were General Officers could have been among those who first who purchased the new M 1936 daggers. Himmmler’s directive stipulated that it was an “SS Man” as per SS order Nr. A/3494 to include not just Officers that met the criteria, but also other ranks who had that status as of a specified date in 1936. Which is the best information to date that I have - but I’m always interested in new period information which now and then is made available from various sources to expand the database. Best Regards, Fred

  5. #4


    Stunning Early of the Earlies JR The forum and myself are grateful for this rare contribution. The pebbling still seems to hold onto the burnishing...but im sure much of it was rubbed off by the SS officer..during his daily wear. This one seems to have held on to more of it than most other Type As. Thankyou JR Best Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  6. #5


    Hi JR, an outstanding rare beauty. Love the chain but the condition of the blade does it for me .
    Defiantly like to own something like this.
    Thank you for taking the time to post this high calibre dagger.

  7. #6


    Thank you for the kind words, gentlemen. This dagger initially came in for inventory on our website. When it arrived, I then saw that it had the "Gothic" lettered etch to the motto. And I then had some reservations about listing it, knowing the rarity of the piece. That came quickly to and end when my Son, who is my website business partner, saw it on my desk. You can guess what happened then.......................... he had to have it, took it home.

  8. #7


    That is not good for business JR .......but i can see why your son took it home , it just screams "keep me" !! The blade condition and special etch speak for themselves , but i also love the patina on the fittings and that cracking chain and it does not look like that pommel nut has been turned either !! Thanks for showing this wonderful dagger and for the education aswell !


    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  9. #8


    What is your website? I remember your name from my days on GDC and WAF.

  10. #9


    Thanks. Did he have this around 2005/2006? I seem to remember just seeing items posted in classifieds. Just testing my memory.

  11. #10


    Dear JR, over the Christmas time I have way more free time and make some photos of my example.
    The dagger is shown in Ralfs book, but no photo from the blade. p364/365.

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