- Category: February 2010
- Published: Tuesday, 02 February 2010 01:00
- Written by PTHYCRPG
I was pleasantly surprised to find the dagger you are looking at was made in 1954. Or at least, that is when the number was issued to ELSENER SCHWYZ VICTORIA.
For sure the dagger was made by 1955. James was informing me that the serial number (156033) that was engraved on an Offizierdolch, model 1943 was made about that time.
James Wallace is a very wise collector with lots of good knowledge. Another source is (A Guide To Military Dress Daggers Volume IV) by Kurt Glemser (Author)
My Dolch or Swiss dagger was made in 1955. Not a WW II model, but a 1955. That was a good enough for me. This Offizierdolch also came with the officers Portepee. Portepee?
The word portepee derives from French port(e)-épée. . This name derives from early traditions in which officers would carry a sword into battle. A knot that they could tie onto their swords. The Dolch is not a sword. Correct So why a dagger?
Leading your men in a charge on horse back required a big and shiny sword. The sword can be seen by all your men when you raise your sword and pointed towards the enemy. When horses gave way to tanks and trucks, raising a sword did not work. So they took away the swords. BUT the sword is also a symbol of authority. If someone in the Armed Forces is carrying a sword, then you know he is in charge. The Swiss officers were not with their precious tradition. In 1941 the Swiss government reintroduced the idea of a short handled weapon for officers and non-commissioned officers. From the spring of 1941 there were many different types of experimental evaluations. Thus, the Dolch was reintroduced in 1943. Now known as the M1943 Dagger.
The other dagger (Unteroffizier Dolch) has the NCO Portepee on it. These are for the senior non-commissioned officers. It has a red and white rope, not the flat cord you see on the officer’s model. This picture shows the normal ratio of Officer’s to NCO’s daggers.
The humorous Military postcard shows the Offiziersdolch M1943 in a cartoon by "Naef". The Swiss soldier is seen saying "That would be my dream!" A symbolic substitution of a sword.
Could you call them the ultimate Swiss Army Knife? Maybe, but I am proud to own one.
Bravo Zulu Elsener