Germany WW2 SMF Fallschirmjäger-Messer paratrooper knife – rare original late war takedown 2nd model. Used, but with all springs intact; fare condition, considering the age.
Scarce WW2 era German airborne units “Fallschirmjäger Messer” paratrooper knife; this is the late-war production “all-carbon-steel” Fallschirmjäger-Messer specimen. The knife is well-used and it’s been cleaned but it’s in very good overall condition – all original springs are intact; the blade is nice and tight; the knife is still in working order. According to the maker’s production code (R.B. No.) stamped on the base of the spike, this take-down Model 2 type was made by SMF (Solinger Metalwaffen Fabrik). This exact type, as well as earlier non-takedown Model 1 types are illustrated on pages 239-242 the excellent French reference book Knives and Daggers-Bayonets Used by the German Army During 1914-1945 by Christian Mary (see the book’s scans attached). These large Fallschirmjäger-Messer knives are pretty hard to find nowadays; see the dedicated German gravity knives page, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Developed in 1937, this type was originally issued to the German paratroopers as an emergency-assist knife which could be operated one-handed to cut entangled parachute cords, cut lines, untie paracords with the “marlin spike”, etc. Later in the war this type was issued to all Luftwaffe aircrews (WW2 German Airforce). In 1944 a number of FS knives were also issued to a Skijäger infantry regiment – “ski troops” operating in the northern Ukraine / central Belorussia forests. See a couple of rare WW2 era reference photos of German Skijägers on a winter patrol in the Ukrainian Pripyat region in 1944. One of the Skijägers clearly has a take-down Model 2 FS dangling off his belt (photos are for reference only and will not be included with the knife). A relatively small number of 350,000 Fallschirmjäger-Messer knives were produced in total by six different manufacturers; very few survived the war in decent condition. The knife was large enough, practical and reliable in the field; it was well-received by the airborne troops and it became a subject of envy to all the rest of the men in uniform.
This is a scarce late-war SMF Model 2 specimen with all high-carbon steel (non-stainless) metal parts, including the blade. Early-war Model 1 non-takedown Fallschirmjäger-Messers were made from high-quality stainless steel. But by mid-war stainless steel was becoming scarce in Germany and most of the “non-essential” wartime production had to switch to “regular” high-carbon steel. Still, it wasn’t until late in the war when SMF had finally ran out of various stainless steel parts and had switched to all-carbon steel production. Soon thereafter the Allies had bombed the Solingen factories to smithereens, effectively ending all manufacturing until the war’s end. Late-war “all-carbon steel” production Fallschirmjäger-Messers are hard to find because there weren’t many of them manufactured in the first place. This knife is about 6-1/8″ / 15.5 cm closed; the blade is about 4″ / 10.2 cm long. This specimen was cleaned to near-white; most of the original bluing on metal parts is gone; some minor pitting on the bolster and scratched on the blade are noted for accuracy. The blade is very sharp still; the tip is intact. Late-war carbon steel blade is unmarked, as intended. The blade comes out of the handle well but it needs to be pushed in a bit to close. Heavy-duty marlin spike is about 3-3/4” / 9.5 cm; The base of the spike is sharply stamped with the late-war manufacturer’s identification number R.B. NR. 0/0561/0019 on one side and the standard “eagle 5” Luftwaffe proof mark on the other. The blade lock, the two-part steel bolster, and the interior of the frame are correctly stamped with various production series numbers. The knife could easily be taken apart for maintenance or a blade replacement; all internal parts are correctly marked with production numbers – see photos. Overall, in spite of the advanced age and obvious signs of filed use this original Germany WW2 SMF Fallschirmjäger-Messer paratrooper knife is in very good shape, considering the age.
Original hardwood handle with 4 steel pins and the D-ring shackle on the pommel; wood handle scales have been cleaned; wood has a few dark spots around iron pins but overall it’s good condition, considering the age. The internal blade spring is nice and tight; the spike holds well – these late-war Fallschirmjäger-Messers are scarce in any shape or form nowadays. After 80 plus years this original Germany WW2 SMF Model 2 paratrooper knife is still in very good shape, considering the age.
Today most of the surviving German WW2 era Fallschirmjäger-Messer paratrooper knives are in private collections & rarely come up for sale; don’t miss your chance to add this rare late-war specimen to your collection! I’m selling this item on a consignment; a reserve price has been set by the seller. Please check out our Collectable Blades and Militaria sections for a variety of custom-made and various WW1 and WW2 combat knives.
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