S002479 FEUERSCHUTZPOLIZEI NCO’S "SAW-BACKED" DRESS BAYONETS WITH FROG & PORTEPEE. (Faschinenmesser für Offizier mit Seitengewehrtasche und Portepee)

BACKGROUND: On June 17TH 1936, Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader of the SS), Heinrich Himmler was appointed to the newly created position of Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), effectively giving him full control of all police agencies within Germany including the independent Berufsfeuerwehren and Feuerwehr, (Professional Fire Departments/ Volunteer Fire Services). In late 1938 the Berufsfeuerwehren and Feuerwehr were re-designated, Feuerlöschpolizei, (Fire Fighting Police), bringing them in to the realm of police services and regulations of May 3RD 1939 detached the individual Feuerlöschpolizei to establish the cadre of the newly forming, FschP. Feuerschutzpolizei, (Fire Protection Police), under the auspices of the Ordnungspolizei, (Order Police), under Himmler’s command. Some of the earlier fire services had utilized a dress bayonet, designated, Faschinenmesser, (literally machete, but figuratively bayonet), but as a result of Himmler’s appointment and the restructuring of all the separate, fire fighting services, into a single, national fire fighting/protection service, new regulations were instituted to bring about uniformity in dress for all fire fighters and included the introduction of standardized dress bayonets for Feuerschutzpolizei personnel. The Feuerschutzpolizei dress bayonets were manufactured with an assortment of minor, optional, variations with a long model, roughly, 9 7/8", (25cm), long blade for NCO personnel and a shorter, roughly, 7 7/8", (20cm), long blade for Officer’s ranks. The longer model dress bayonet was intended for wear by NCO ranks of FschP-Feuerwehrmann through to FschP-Meister, while the shorter model was intended for wear by Officer’s ranks of FschP-Obermeister, up to and including FschP-General-Oberst. The bayonets came in a standard straight edged version and a more expensive, private purchase, optional, saw-back version. When utilized the dress bayonets were outfitted with a leather frog and a decorative portepee to be suspended from the left hand side of the load carrying waist belt. The portepees, (sword/bayonet knots), were originally introduced in the Prussian army in 1808, and continued to be worn with the Dress uniform, as a tradition and identifying item through WWI, the Weimar Republic, (Circa 1919-1933), and on into the Third Reich, with minor modifications. Originally designed as a functional item to secure the blade sidearm to the holders wrist the troddels and portepees evolved into a purely decorative accessory. Of Note: Feuerschutzpolizei, personnel holding the ranks of, FschP-Feuerwehrmann (Candidate), through to FschP-Meister, (NCO Inspector), were issued their uniform items including blade side arms while Feuerschutzpolizei, personnel holding the ranks FschP-Obermeister, (Lieutenant), up to and including FschP-General-Oberst, (General) were responsible for purchasing their own uniform items and as a result were given a clothing reimbursement allowance. Although the lower ranks were issued uniform items they could choose to privately purchase their items although the cost may have been restrictive.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, FschP-NCO’s dress bayonet, features a roughly, 20cm long, nickel/silver plated, drop forged steel construction blade with long fullers to each side, an unsharpened, bottom edge, a deeply cut, staggered, saw-back toothed, top edge and a full length, including the hilt, of roughly, 32cm. Unmarked blade. The original brown leather washer is intact. The hilt consists of a nickel/silver plated, cast alloy cross guard, a stylized eagle head pommel and molded, black bakelite grips with a repeating, grooved, diamond pattern. The cross guard features one up-swept and one down-swept arm. The diamond grooved bakelite grips are held in place by two, dome headed, steel rivets. The bayonet comes housed in its original, black painted, magnetic sheet metal scabbard. The scabbard retains about 99% of its original black. Comes with its original, private purchase, two piece brown leather frog and portepee. Seldom encountered, private purchase saw-backed bayonet in overall very good condition.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $595.00

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