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  1. #1

    Evolution of the Hitler Youth / Deutsches Jungvolk knife (HJ/DJ Fahrtenmesser)

    We have touched on this in other threads but we haven't had one specifically dedicated to how the knife changed over time. I've just seen a knife on another forum with no motto, a high ricasso and RZM symbol from the maker M7/13 Arthur Schüttelhofer. The owner describes it as 'early RZM'. However, the manufacturing instructions for the HJ knife dated 14.9.1935 state:

    knives should have the 'Blut und Ehre' motto
    knives should be marked on the reverse side of the blade with the RZM symbol, M7 maker number and year of manufacture.

    Certainly as far as the regulations are concerned then, this particular knife can't be 'early RZM'.

    Anyway, I would look forward to your contributions regarding the evolution of the knife beginning with the early 1933 'Blut und Ehre' knives introduced in July 1933.


  2. #2

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    Here is a quick referance on HJ knifes changes through the years from a well known website.

    Early Period 1933-1936:

    •Thinner blades when compared to late knives
    •Magnetic hilt
    •A very low or no ricasso
    •Maker marked with the name on the blade itself
    •Motto
    Transitional Period 1936-1938

    •Thicker blades
    •High ricasso
    •Display's both the maker name and logo as well as a RZM designation & date
    •Motto
    Late Period 1938-1945

    •High ricasso
    •RZM marked on the ricasso or blade
    •Usually no maker name or logo
    •No Motto



    Regards Mac 66.

  3. #3
    Hi Scott,

    Yes, useful to have a representative list on the thread so let's hit it straight away. For example, the early period is always stated as being 1933-36. That's okay as a rough estimate but I would classify the early period as July 1933 (introduction of a standardised knife) - August 1935 (introduction of RZM markings as stated in post 1 above). However, the question of what the manufacturers did with stocks of blades that did not meet this new requirement must be asked. There must have been a period of grace to give manufacturers time to get rid of stock and then produce the newer knives with RZM markings meaning that knives without RZM marks were possibly being sold into the 'transitional' period.

    When considering this transitional period 1936-38, it is worth noting that yes, 1938 was the year in which the motto was discontinued (19.8.1938) but the order notes that existing stocks of knives with the motto were to be sold as normal until depleted. The question of what the manufacturers did with blades that were still in production (with motto) raises its head again because knives assembled using those blades would have satisfied the RZM order and could have been pushed out to retail - perhaps even into the period usually described as 'late'.

    Clearing up things like this is what I'm hoping to explore with the thread.

  4. #4
    Yes the old stock, i remember this from a debate a year or so back pertaining to the year markings, which although were introduced as "law" in the autumn of 1935, there are no 1935 stamped knives :-) meaning that old stock was used up until into 1936. And when you consider "old stock" that actually means what a maker had already made in advance, or accumulated up until that date. So how long would it take to use up old stock? The Iron Cross is also a good indicator here, with a new and easier method being devised in 1942, (the Gablonzer method) or making the whole cross in one piece, saving time and money, yet was never adopted because makers had simply tens of thousands of parts pre made the old way.

    So in a way, the RZM (as well as LDO) did consider the makers, and not just say "Throw your old stuff way chaps, there are new markings) And how long were these periods of leniency to use up old stock? we will never know.

  5. #5

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    A harder type of HJ knife to find is RZM stamped with motto & has no maker logo: "Mottoed RZMs"

    You also have RZM stamped blades with makers logo & no motto, "Dual Marked"


    Regards Mac 66.
    Last edited by Mac 66; 23rd January 2013 at 09:45 PM.

  6. #6

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    Hi guys
    So is no way that exist transitional 1939 knife with motto?

    Regards

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by stingray View Post
    Hi guys
    So is no way that exist transitional 1939 knife with motto?

    Regards
    Hi,

    Yes, if we assume that manufacturers adhered strictly to the 1938 regulation, a knife dated 1939 should not have a motto. The question remains though: what did manufacturers do with blades that were already etched when the regulation was published (post #3)? The regulation is saying that such knives were permitted for sale until stocks were exhausted.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Garry View Post
    Hi,

    Yes, if we assume that manufacturers adhered strictly to the 1938 regulation, a knife dated 1939 should not have a motto. The question remains though: what did manufacturers do with blades that were already etched when the regulation was published? The regulation is saying that such knives were permitted for sale until stocks were exhausted.
    You would have to be dead certain about the manufacturing ablauf. The motto may well have been the very last procedure done, so would be easy to omit, or if a maker did have "some" surplus(1) and if the blade was stamped 1938 & already had the motto, then surely what was already made was allowed to be sold well into 1939.

    (1)Knifes were not membership badges, and costly to make, so i very much doubt if any maker made thousands in advance, or kept a reserve of 10,000 like makers of the EK and other trinkets did. This would have been working capital tied up until an order came though, which surely no maker at that time could afford to just have thousands of RM tied up in this any that, with box loads of "stuff" half made just hanging about doing nothing. Just my 5 cents, but i see it this way.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Metallwarenfabrik View Post
    ...You would have to be dead certain about the manufacturing ablauf. ...
    Indeed and I'm hoping that we can explore this and other things that would lead to a more accurate (and more useful) timeline for knives that takes account of the practical difficulties for manufacturers who were trying to keep up with regulation changes and at the same time make some money.

  10. #10
    ideally we need someone on here who makes knives, and knows the normal way in which a knife would be made - is made - are still made. I remember about 8 years ago, a guy who makes rings came onto GDC, long before that forum went tits-up, and the info he provided, with pics etc.. was worth it`s weight in gold!

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