Product Description: This is a great example of a USN MK2 fighting knife. It shows some evidence of use, but remains in really nice condition. The steel blade has been lightly sharpened, likely during the period. The blade retains most of the original dark bluing, with an old, uncleaned patina in areas. The name of the manufacturer, Camillus, is stamped on the ricasso. The stacked leather grip is all original, with typical darkening from age and use. The pommel and crossguard show a deep patina. This USN MK2 fighting knife is complete with its original composite scabbard. The scabbard retains good color, and virtually all of the original surface, with only small marks. The web belt hanger has a nice, “salty” look, and no damage, and the retaining strap remains functional. This is a “been there” knife with great character. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: During the first World War, “trench knives” became a fixture for combatants on both sides. These weapons were developed for the reality of hand to hand, close quarters combat that was a grisly part of trench fighting. The first knives were field expedient products using improvised designs, fabricated by unit workshops or by the soldiers themselves. The French began mass production of trench knives early on, and these designs proved influential; the US military would later introduce various models based on the French designs. Germans created their own sturdy cut-and-thrust knives, in designs which remained in use through the end of WWII. Commonwealth troops used a number of different types, including several different standardized varieties. The designs of WWI trench knives were extremely numerous and varied and ranged from commercial type Bowie knives to simple weapons made from the stakes used to hang barbed wire. Push daggers and stilleto-type knives also saw use. Fighting knives were used alongside other types of “quiet” and melee weapons including clubs and hatchets. WWI trench knives are avidly collected today for their historical value.
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