Maker: Stocker & Co. (SMF-Solinger Metallwaffenfabrik)
Place: Solingen, Germany
WWII German Luftwaffe Gravity Knife #115 by SMF Solingen
This WW2 German Luftwaffe Paratroop Gravity Knife has very fine nickeled mounts throughout which are all in excellent+ condition with good strong springs. The marlin spike has its original tip and it has a Waffenamt in the corner featuring a stickbird mark and the knife is numbered #115. The grip plates are a fine grained walnut both of which are in good condition. A very fine example here with good strong springs and rare maker mark: SMF Solingen. This knife is a direct estate purchase from the son of a WWII Army combat soldier from Eastern NC who served in Europe 1943-1945.
This is a Wehrmacht issued gravity knife that actually saw service with a German pilot, aircrew member or paratrooper during World War II. It is NOT a New-Old-Stock unissued piece. The knife is a standard Wehrmacht issue Fallschirmjäger / Flieger (paratrooper / pilot / aircrew member) (Flyer’s Jackknife) single-hand SMF brand Kappmesser (chopping knife) showing evidence that it was used. For some reason many collectors refer to this type of knife as a “paratrooper gravity knife” but as the documentation from the 21 June 1944 issue of Die Wehrmacht magazine shows, these Kappmesser were carried in the left hip zipper pocket of every pilot’s Kanalhose or “Channel pants” as well as aircraft crew members as an emergency tool. The knives were introduced in 1937 and a modified pattern in 1943. This example is the first pattern, 1937-1942.
These knives were issued to and carried by pilots, aircrews, and paratroopers in the German Armed Forces so that they could cut or chop themselves out of perilous circumstances in combat, such as becoming entangled in parachute shroud lines, etc. As carried in the uniform pocket the 10-1/2 ounce knife was 6 inches long, 1-1/2 inches wide and about 1 inch thick with the blade retracted. With the blade and spike fully extended it was 13-3/4 inches long. The spike on this SMF knife has a Luftwaffe acceptance stamp on it and the blade is well-marked with the SMF SOLINGEN ROSTFREI logo (stainless steel). Typical retail today is around $1,400-1,800.