Three views of a Degen: top, the SS sign on the pommel; middle, the oak leaves and the runic design of the handle and upper scabbard; bottom, the art deco tip of the scabbard
|Place of origin||Peter Dan. Krebs firm of Solingen, Germany|
|Wars||World War II|
|Produced||c. 1936 - 1945|
|Blade type||Single-edged, straight bladed.|
First introduced in 1935, it was designed by Professor Karl Diebitsch, an SS-Oberführer, who was also Heinrich Himmler's personal referent on all art and design within the SS. The degen was originally manufactured by the Peter Dan. Krebs firm of Solingen, Germany. Later degens were manufactured by Paul Müller at Dachau and by Puma of Solingen.
It had a long thin straight blade produced at different lengths to accommodate for the height of the wearer. The degen featured a "D" shaped knuckle-bow (crossguard) as the handle which also featured a black ribbed wooden grip. The grip was bound with silver wire and featured an inset disk featuring the SS double lightning-bolt runes.
The scabbard was painted in a black enamel and had a decorative silvered top (locket) and bottom (chape) mounts. It was worn with an aluminium braid sword knot which was embellished with the SS runes in black on the stem.
The officer Degen was officially awarded with a hand signed certificate from Heinrich Himmler to selected officers of the SS-Verfügungstruppe and SS-Totenkopfverbände in recognition of special merit. It was also awarded to officers who graduated from the SS-Junkerschulen (Junker schools) at Bad Tolz and Brunswick.
The NCO version was similar to the officer version but the scabbard had a plain unadorned chape. The NCO version's handle also lacked the silver wire wrapping and the SS runes were moved from the handle to the pommel cap.
SS NCOs, especially senior NCOs, used the degen as a full dress weapon.
- Dienstaltersliste der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP, Berlin, 1943, p. 106
- Williamson, Gordon, Waffen SS Handbook 1933–1945.
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