Original German WWII Luftwaffe Take Down Fallschirmjäger Gravity Knife Paul Weyersberg with Waffen Proof
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a mid war produced Type II "Take down" version of the legendary Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger-Messer, or German air force paratrooper knife (FJM or FKm), It was produced by PAUL WEYERSBERG & Co. of SOLINGEN, who were one of the major producers of this knife during WWII. The company's "Sword-and-Wreath" trademark logo is etched into the blade. Solingen is known as the "City of Blades" and has a centuries-old history of edged weapon production.
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 gripframe, 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 the Type II FKm (FJM) is in very good condition, and is has a fine carbon steel blade, with anodized and plated steel components making up the rest of the knife. The blade does have some staining now, and the black anodized coating is worn in many places on the knife. There is a number 5 and also a Waffen Eagle on the base of the marlin spike. This is the standard Luftwaffe inspection stamp style used throughout the war.
The number 278 is stamped on the bottom of the cross guard, the blade base, and on the end of the blade channel. The catch and spring are both marked with number 00. These are assembly numbers so that the various components can be matched, and the catches always have a different matching number. There is also arrow on cross guard and interior to indicate the correct orientation when reassembling the knife.
The "take-down" ability allows the cross guard to be removed, and the body/sheath opens with the end ring as a hinge. The blade can then be removed for servicing, and the interior can be cleaned to ensure the blade moves freely. On this example, the take-down ability functions perfectly, and the release and marlinspike springs are intact with no cracks. This is a fully functional example, and the blade of this knife is in very good condition. It has however been sharpened and used, which has made the blade quite thin, and removed part of the maker mark. These were not really intended for long term use as an edged weapon, and were mainly used to help deal with cutting parachute lines.
The grip plates are of walnut with the standard four retaining rivets on each side. These plates are in very good condition, with a lovely color and only light wear.
The take-down version of the gravity knives are becoming extremely difficult to locate. This is the first example that we have had in decades of business. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 4"
Blade Style: Single Edged Knife
Overall length: 10 5/8“
Crossguard: 1 1/2"
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