Volume IV of the "Exploring" series is the first hardback reference to deal specifically with the edged weapons worn by the SS. The book is printed in highest resolution 200 line screen, using the best quality gloss paper stock - the result is a very heavy, compelling book that is destined to enjoy a prominent position in all militaria libraries. To set the stage and properly introduce the reader to the era of the SS and the 3rd Reich period, the illustrated Preface penned by advanced collector David Hohaus, succinctly answers the mystery of how the Nazi’s first came to power - a frequent query of students interested in this period.
The immense 775 page volume comprehensively covers the SS subject matter in 23 Chapters. The edged weapons of Himmler’s notorious organization are explored in a riveting and in-depth manner. The book appeals to the beginning and the advanced collector, detailing all SS edged weapons types, details, and nuances. The spellbinding pages are lavishly illustrated with hundreds of photographs, most by acclaimed photographer Charles Jenkins, III. The majority of artifacts are shown for the first time in print with many appearing in full color. In-wear period photographs document the text and captions. As in the past, the editing is handled by fellow collector and word master William Warda, Jr. assuring easy comprehension. The study covers the SS Model 1933 and 1936 patterns; the Röhm and Himmler dedications; Personalized, Serial numbered and Dedicated pieces; Honor and other Damascus examples; RZM marked blades; Lionhead and other silver hilt swords, Degen types for SS and Police; the one-of-a-kind Himmler Birthday Degen patterns; SS Prototypes; and even SS attributed Bayonets, Miniatures and Fighting Knives. There is a chapter devoted to the Accouterments used by the SS with close-up front and rear shots of dozens of rare vertical hangers, short hangers, frogs, teardrops and portepees. An intriguing chapter compares the etch patterns used by SS blade producers.
And if all of this were not enough, there is a well-illustrated, fascinating chapter dedicated to the Nazi martyrs, shrines and propaganda events so successfully used by Hitler and Himmler to whitewash lies and false values on the German population. This effort is Wittmann’s largest to date, continuing in the unprecedented tradition of quality established in his previous three volumes. It is loaded with dynamic close-up photos, authenticity facts, and advice on collectibility. As an added feature, there is a center fold-out spotlighting eleven of the Himmler gold inlay damascus SS degen blades forged at Dachau and presented to some of the most notorious villains of Hitler’s 3rd Reich. This breathtakingly beautiful book, complete with elegant dust cover, should appeal to not only blade collectors, but to all who have an interest in 3rd Reich militaria.