WW2 M1913 Patton Sword fighting knife by San Antonio Iron Works, original leather scabbard. Unusual “theater-made” horse head handle fighter made from the WW1 era 1918 SA Cavalry Saber. Rare type in great overall condition, considering the age.
Very rare WW2 era fighting knife made during the war by San Antonio Iron Works in Texas, USA from the hilt part of WW1 era M1913 Cavalry Saber, typically referred to as the “Patton Sword”. The original M1913 Calvary saber was developed by the now-famous General Patton prior to WW1. The sword was an excellent weapon but it was rendered useless by the advances in modern warfare by the time the United States has actually entered WW1. After the Great War ended most of the M1913 sabers ended up collecting dust in the government arsenals (see the attached scan of the 11th Cavalry troopers photo for the M1913 scale comparison).
During the first couple of years of WW2 the US servicemen had no standard-issue fighting knife and the military was desperately looking for a quick way to satisfy the demand for the much-needed fighting knives early in the War. So someone came up with the idea of re-purposing these old (and by than obsolete weapons anyway) info fighting knives and daggers. A large quantity of Patton Swords and even older Civil War sabers were converted into somewhat crude, but very practical fighting knives and trench daggers. The “San Antonio” daggers and knives are some of the best known examples of such side arms. Each M1913 saber was made into 3 fighting knives. Obviously, the “hilt part” fighters are scarcer than the rest. These intimidating “Patton Sword” fighters were made by a number of American makers during the war, including San Antonio Iron Works of San Antonio, TX. This exact type is illustrated on page 222 of the KNIVES OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY WORLD WAR II book by Michael W Silvey – a well-established expert and the author of a number of books on the subject of the US military edged weapons (see book’s scans attached).
This huge fighting knife is about 13-5/8” / 34.7 cm overall; the blade is about 9” / 23 cm; the edge is very sharp still; the tip is intact, which is something you you don’t see very often with this type. The original M1913 Saber that this knife was converted from was manufactured by the famous Springfield Arsenal (SA) in 1918. The ricasso is stamped SA / 1918 / US “flaming bomb” ordinance mark on one side, arsenal serial number 37547 / US on the other. Stacked black Bakelite washers and very unusual cast bronze “horse head” pommel handle is in excellent condition, considering the age – no cracks, chips, or repairs; all handle parts are tight with no play. Cast bronze “horse head” is of excellent quality; it has not been cleaned; still has the original patina throughout. Steel guard is actually brazed to the blade – not an easy thing to do in the rudimentary field conditions.
Brown “long type” leather scabbard with the tooled floral pattern on the front is original to this fighter. The back is faintly signed with what looks like BOB E.M. 55050; attached is leg tie tied in a fancy sailor’s knot (the tie is pretty frail). These original super-embossed leather San Antonio scabbards are actually scarcer than the knives themselves as they did not last as long as the knives in the field. Finding a complete set is not so easy nowadays. This scabbard is well-used but it’s in great shape, considering the age – all original stitching is intact; the leather is fairly supple still.
This WW2 M1913 Patton Sword fighting knife / WW1 era M1913 Cavalry Saber conversion is a great find – today most of the surviving San Antonio Iron Works fighting knives are in private collections and are off the market. This is one of the best WW2 era “non-regulation” US fighting knives with a lot of character and in excellent overall condition, you will not be disappointed!
This original WW2 M1913 Patton Sword fighting knife made by San Antonio Iron Works has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way, it is in 100% original “as is” condition. These are the actual photos; scanned photos and spent brass is not included with the lot 😉 I have several WW2 era fighting knives made from converted WW1 and Civil War era sabers, as well as some scarce WW1 and WW2 fighting daggers and trench knives available for sale. Please take a look in the Militaria section.
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