Original German WWII Early Luftwaffe Gravity Knife with Polished Blade & Waffen Proof
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an example of a early-war produced Type I version of the legendary Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger-Messer, or German air force paratrooper knife (FJM or FKm). Unfortunately the blade and crossguard of this example look to have been polished post war, which took the original maker marking off the blade. It looks to have been professionally done.
These knives utilize a four-inch (100 mm) telescoping (OTF), gravity-propelled locking blade. First produced in 1937, the FJM was issued to German flight crews and paratroops, primarily for the purpose of cutting a trapped parachutist from his rigging in case he landed with a tangled parachute, or became entangled in trees with the shroud lines. Though not intended for use as a fighting knife, the FJM's blade could be and was used as a close combat weapon when necessary.
The Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger-Messer uses a sliding blade inside a metal grip frame, which was originally fitted with smooth wood scales, usually of beech or walnut. The blade itself is a relatively blunt spear-point, and the profile is flat ground, tapering to a utility edge. To open the blade, the user points the FJM downwards while flipping up the fulcrum-style operating lever, allowing gravity to draw out the blade to its fullest extent. Releasing the lever locks the blade into position. The FJM may also be opened by flipping the blade release lever while flicking the wrist holding the knife, causing the blade to extend. The FJM was also equipped with a folding marlinspike or awl. Primarily intended for untangling rope knots, it can also be used as a prying tool. The FJM's spike does not lock when opened and was never intended to be used as a combat weapon, though individual German paratroopers may have employed it as such.
There are three principal types of wartime-era Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger-Messers. The Type I FKm has wood scales (handle), was made from 1937-1941, and unlike successive models, has no 'takedown' capability. The Type II FKm is the same knife, but with takedown features, and was produced from 1941 to the end of World War II.
This example of a Type I FJM has fine, stainless steel components. There is a number 5 inside a Waffen Eagle on the base of the marlin spike. This is the standard Luftwaffe inspection stamp style used throughout the war. It also is marked with assembly number 911 on both parts of the blade release. The knife is fully functional, with all parts intact and no springs broken. The blade release functions properly, and the marlin spike locks into place.
The blade of this knife is in great shape, but unmarked, and has polishing lines that are not the type seen on original blades, so it was resurfaced at some point, probably to remove scuffs and scratches. The blade is still quite sharp at present. The grip plates are of walnut with the standard four retaining rivets. These plates are in good condition throughout, with denting and other marks on the grips from use and storage.
A great condition Luftwaffe Gravity Knife from WWII! Ready to display!
Blade Length: 4"
Blade Style: Single Edge Knife
Overall length: 10 1/8”
Crossguard: 1 7/16”
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