Blade material: Black Carbon Steel.
Length overall: 11 ½”.
Maker: John Nowill & Sons Ltd., Sheffield, United Kingdom.
The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife is a double-edged fighting knife resembling a dagger or poignard with a foil grip developed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes in Shanghai based on concepts which the two men initiated before World War II while serving on the Shanghai Municipal Police in China.
The F-S fighting knife was made famous during WWII when issued to British Commandos, including the SAS. With its acutely tapered, sharply-pointed blade, the F-S Fighting knife is frequently described as a stiletto, a weapon optimized for thrusting, although the F-S knife is capable of being used to inflict slash cuts upon an opponent when its cutting edges are sharpened according to specification.
The F-S knife is strongly associated with the British commandos and the US OSS and Marine Raiders (who based their issued knife on the Fairbairn-Sykes), among other special forces / clandestine / raiding units. It features in the insignia of the British Royal Marines, the Dutch Commando Corps, founded in the UK during World War II, the Australian 1st Commando Regiment and 2nd Commando Regiment, and the United States Army Rangers, both founded with the help of the British Commandos.
The Original British Commando knife was designed in 1940 by William Fairbairn and Eric Sykes, who taught the combative training methods for special force units (SOE, Commandos, U.S Rangers and OSS).
The first batch of fifty F-S Fighting Knives were produced in January 1941 by Wilkinson Sword Company Ltd after Fairbairn and Sykes had travelled down to their factory from the Special Training Centre at Lochailort in November 1940 to discuss their ideas for a fighting knife.
The F-S Fighting Knife was designed exclusively for surprise attack and fighting, with a slender blade that can easily penetrate a ribcage. Not specifically designed as knife fighting knife, but for stealth in silent killing techniques such as sentry eliminations. The vase handle grants precise grip, and the blade's design is especially suited to its use as a fighting knife. Techniques of effective use were taught to special forces at the Commando Basic Training Centre (CBTC) from 1942-1945. Fairbairn's rationale is in his book Get Tough! (1942).
In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. In choosing a knife there are two important factors to bear in mind: balance and keenness. The hilt should fit easily in your hand, and the blade should not be so heavy that it tends to drag the hilt from your fingers in a loose grip. It is essential that the blade have a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges, because an artery torn through (as against a clean cut) tends to contract and stop the bleeding. If a main artery is cleanly severed, the wounded man will quickly lose consciousness and die.
Currently, the F-S Fighting Knife (having little other practical application except for use in hand-to-hand combat) is of interest mainly to collectors, though it remains in production because of continued collector interest.
The British Commando Sykes-Fairbairn Knife is a weapon that has form and functional use with elegance and eye catching appeal and is one of the all time classics of WW2 highly effective killers in trained hands.
Perfect in balance with aesthetically pleasing features with rare beautiful form and grace but with a deadly purpose.
Today they are admired as one of the instruments that secured the victory and freedom of Allied forces and will be remembered for its great service and duty.
Last Updated @ 3/7/2015 10:01:47 AM
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