Original British WWII OSS Smatchet Heavy Fighting Knife with Scabbard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. This is a great example of a scarce WWII Issue OSS Smatchet, or Heavy fighting knife. These measure 16.5 inches (42 cm) in overall length, with a heavy 11 inch blade. It was designed by William E. Fairbairn during World War II, who also helped design the Sykes-Fairbairn commando dagger.

According to Fairbairn, the Smatchet was an ideal close-combat weapon for those not armed with a rifle and bayonet:

The psychological reaction of any man, when he first takes the smatchet in his hand is full justification for its recommendation as a fighting weapon. He will immediately register all the essential qualities of a good soldier - confidence, determination, and aggressiveness. Its balance, weight and killing power, with the point, edge or pommel, combined with the extremely simple training necessary to become efficient in its use, make it the ideal personal weapon for all those not armed with a rifle and bayonet.

The smatchet was used by British and American special forces (Special Air Service and Office of Strategic Services, respectively) during World War II. Though described in the Office of Strategic Services catalog as a cross between a machete and a bolo, it was actually based on the Royal Welch Fusiliers Trench Knife of World War I, and was designed as a pure combat knife. It has a broad, leaf-shaped blade sharpened the full length on one side, and from the tip to half of the other side. The entire blade is coated with a dull matte finish to prevent detection at night from stray reflections.

This example is in very good condition, and does not appear to have been used much, if at all. The blade still has most of the original finish, and has not been sharpened aside from the factory grinding. The handle is in good shape, with no major issues with the wood, and most of the paint on the pommel is present.

The leather covered wooden scabbard is in very good condition as well, with the only issue being that the retaining strap for the knife has torn off at the snap end and ad the attachment end. The belt strap at the back is still intact. There is some wear on the leather, particularly on the inside, probably from rubbing against a uniform.

This is the first smatchet that we have offered for sale, and this is a great opportunity to own one of these scarce fighting knives.

Blade Length: 11"
Blade Style: Single Edged with Fuller
Overall length: 16 1/2“
Crossguard: 3 1/2”
Scabbard Length: 12"

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