Germany WW2 SMF Model 2 paratrooper knife; late war takedown Fallschirmjäger-Messer in excellent overall condition, considering the age – all springs are intact; hard to find this nice and complete.
Scarce WW2 era German airborne units “Fallschirmjäger Messer” paratrooper knife in great overall condition – all original springs are intact, wood grips are excellent; the blade is nice and tight. This late-war production “all-carbon-steel” Fallschirmjäger-Messer specimen is still in excellent 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 in original condition nowadays, especially the late-war Model 2. 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 Solinger Metalwaffen Fabrik 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. All metal parts are blued with about 80 to 95% of the original bluing remaining. The blade has been lightly sharpened; it is razor-sharp still; the tip is intact. Late-war carbon steel blade is unmarked, as intended. The blade comes out of the handle with a nice thud; opens and closes with no issues. Overall, this Germany WW2 Model 2 paratrooper knife is in excellent shape, considering the age. The only issue is that I could not take it apart due to some light rust around the bolster – it is sitting thigh on the frame. It probably could be taken apart with some WD-40, but I did not want to mess around with it. 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 and the part it is sitting on are correctly stamped with various production numbers – see photos.
Original hardwood handle with 4 steel pins and the D-ring shackle on the pommel. The handle is in excellent overall condition, considering the age. A few minor scuff marks on wood handle scales are noted for accuracy; all handle parts are tight with no play. The internal blade spring is nice and tight; the spike holds well, original steel shackle is intact – this type is rare this nice. 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! 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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