Product Description: This is a very appealing example of an extremely desirable Puma Fighting Knife as used by German ground troops in WWII. It’s in very good condition overall, showing some signs of use and age. The Bakelite grip is intact, and without any damage. This red colored Bakelite grip is associated with examples produced from 1942 through the end of WWII, and is secured to the handle with 3 original rivets. The blade on this Puma fighting knife is nice, with some scattered marks throughout. The “Puma Solingen” manufacturer marking remains clearly visible on the blade ricasso. The scabbard features a single clip on the rear, for fastening the knife to the boot, or elsewhere on the uniform and equipment. The scabbard of this Puma fighting knife shows heavy wear and has some surface rust, which may clean up if the buyer chooses to do so; we have elected to keep this piece as found. Overall, this is a great, field-used example of a desirable WWII German fighting knife.
Historical Description: The fighting knife was a weapon with generations of tradition in the German military. They were sometimes called “trench knives” or “trench daggers,” which hearkened back to the days of the Great War, where these simple knives were widely used. After WWI, many German edged weapon manufacturers in Solingen and elsewhere continued to make fighting knives, and various types were available as private purchase items to soldiers in WWII. The private purchase type fighting knives often had commercial type maker marks and were usually equipped with metal scabbards that had either a metal clip or, less commonly, leather fittings for wear on a belt. It was not long before fighting knives in the traditional style were manufactured for military issue by the various branches of the Wehrmacht. Luftwaffe issue fighting knives can sometimes be identified by the use of branch-specific inspection stamps, while in the German Army, the knife got the designation “Infanteriemesser 42” (Infantry Knife 1942). Between the private purchase and issue types, there were many variations, with grips made of wood or Bakelite found among various handle styles. All of them were made and intended for hand to hand combat, and are eagerly sought after by collectors today.
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