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Interesting WW2 Paratrooper alloy hilted Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife. Info please!

Article about: Hello, I was wondering whether there was anybody out there who maybe able to give me some information on a WW2 fighting knife that I have in my collection. The only info that I have been abl

  1. #1

    Default Interesting WW2 Paratrooper alloy hilted Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife. Info please!

    Hello, I was wondering whether there was anybody out there who maybe able to give me some information on a WW2 fighting knife that I have in my collection.
    The only info that I have been able to find is on the link below:

    Commando knives with different hilts

    The knife that I have is identical to the one on the link.
    I bought the knife about 15-20 years ago from a collectors/curisoty shop (Somerset, England). The shop use to sell mainly models and toys but did sell a bit of militaria when people brought it in. I became a regular customer and the owner would put things behind the counter for me and offer me first refusal.
    The owner of the shop could not give me any info on the knife other than an elderly male came in and stated that he use to be a paratrooper and wanted to sell his fighting knife and escape map as they had been knocking around in his shed for years.
    The escape map that came with the knife is the 'Zones of France' map which was issued to paratroopers (and others) on D Day. Interestingly this map is made of what appears to be a very fine cotton or linen. I also have the silk version of the Zones of France map and they are identical other than in the bottom left hand corner the silk map has ' I.S.9 (WEA) MAR 44 ' and the map that came with the knife has ' 139 (WEA) MAR 44 '.
    The knife is about 30cm long (It is missing 1mm or two from the tip) and the blade would have been about 17.7cm long. The blade is very similar in shape to the 3rd pattern FS knife athough maybe very slightly thicker and the ridge that runs down the blade is less pronounced, although this may have been worn down due to use. The hilt is identical to the one on the link, with the same number of rings and has a bronze colour, although may have been painted black at one stage. There are no maker marks or similar on the blade or hilt.
    The scabbard is very interesting (It has obviously been with the knife most, if not all of its life). It is identical in construction to the 3rd pattern FS scabbard (brass rivet, eyelets, stitching,etc) however is about 25mm shorter. It is the actual scabbard (the bit you slide the blade into) that is shorter, however, it does not appear to have been field modified. When comparing it to a 3rd pattern FS scabbard all of the features, i.e. leather tabs, slits for belt, etc are pretty much identical so the only way I can see of shortening it would have been to remove the metal end of scabbard and cutting off 25mm before reattaching it in a professional manner. The scabbard has had the elastic at the top removed although shows evidence of it having been there. The scabbard has had a slit cut into the back of it at the top to make a button hole and had a (6 or 7 letter) name scrathed into it, although this has been scratched away leaving ???TER. The scarbard is of a black/dark brown colour, although this maybe down to age.
    So there you have it! Sorry for the long post but I find more info is better than none. Do you know who the maker was? Was it a paratroopers knife? Was it Canpara, US Airborne, SOE, Commando or Joe Bloggs who bought it privately? Why is the scabbard shorter? Why is the Zones of France map it came with different to the normal silk version? Is it something interesting and rare or a commercially made knife in an adapted FS scabbard with a standard map? Your thoughts Gentlemen (and ladies) please.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Interesting WW2 Paratrooper alloy hilted Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife. Info please!

    Possible private purchase? Just throwing it out there.

  3. #3
    rvr
    rvr is offline
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    Default Re: Interesting WW2 Paratrooper alloy hilted Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife. Info please!

    The Gotavapen website is your best bet, if there is no more info on it than thats all we know for now. They are WW2 and usually come in a different scabbard (hunting style) never seen one with a normal FS scabbard so maybe thats a replacement? Anyway a very rare and interesting knife with a so far mysterious history.

    Thanks for showing, regards Ruben

  4. #4
    rvr
    rvr is offline
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    Default Re: Interesting WW2 Paratrooper alloy hilted Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife. Info please!

    Little add on, one of these FS's i know of was owned by a US marine (possible Raider) during WW2 and after was given to his British friend.. most probably private purchase as they where a commercial variant of the FS.

    Enjoy your weekend gents!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Interesting WW2 Paratrooper alloy hilted Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife. Info please!

    Many thanks for the replies. Does anybody have any views on why a para would have this knife and not an issued FS as they are very similar in design and I can't see that one is better than the other (would you be issued another if you lost yours in battle!?) and in relation to the map, I am aware that they were issued to different units, but was it officers or selected men only?

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: Interesting WW2 Paratrooper alloy hilted Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife. Info please!

    Bit of an interesting read and supposed to be rare...Commando knives with different hilts

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