In stock

Original Rare German WWII Luftwaffe Sawback Survival Machete by ALCOSO - circa 1940-1943

Regular price $1,395.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. These are exceedingly rare on the market, especially in a sawback configuration! These WWII German Luftwaffe Survival Machetes were issued to bomber crews on the Eastern front, as well as to pilots. Surviving in the cold climates made construction of shelter a major priority, and the sawback machete was adapt at both chopping and sawing wood.

This is a lovely service used German WWII Luftwaffe Sawback Survival machete, made by the well-known firm of Alcoso Werke in Solingen, Germany. We have consulted numerous previous auctions, and it seems that almost all of the examples we can find were made by this company, so the contract may have been granted to them exclusively. Some were issued with bright steel blades, such as this example, while others were blued. Most also had smooth backs, but this example has a rare "saw back". We have also seen them with brass crossguards, but those used a different Alcoso trademark logo. The only other sawback we could find bore the same trademark as this example.

The construction of this machete matches the others we have seen, with a leave heavy "falchion" shaped machete blade, an "S" shaped crossguard, and a comfortable wooden ribbed handle. Overall the condition is very good, with the handle having had the steel portions painted over with black enamel at some point. The grip wood is still very nice, showing only light wear, with no cracks, chips, or stains.

The blade shows definite signs of long service. The factory finish and grind marks have been worn away through use and cleaning, and there is also some wear to the sawback. The edge has definitely been sharpened several times, and we can see some areas that sustained dents / damage in the past. The blade is also about 1/8" shorter than we usually see, so it has had the tip sharpened as well, which would be expected after heavy use. The blade tang is loose in the handle, probably due to the large amount of use it saw while in service.

The trademark on the blade is one of the trademarks that Alcoso used from 1940-1943. It depicts the scales with the firm's initials, AWS interspersed. Next to this is the firm's name in cursive script, Alcoso, and below the town of business, SOLINGEN, the legendary "City of Blades" in Western Germany.

According to J Anthony Carter's Work GERMAN KNIFE AND SWORD MAKERS, Alcoso is a trade name of Alexander Coppel & Co. KG, Stahlwarenfabrik, located in Solingen, the legendary German "City of Blades." The company was a major manufacturer of edged weapons and tools from the end of the 19th century up until the WWII period. Unfortunately, as NSDAP-control increased, brothers Carl Gustav and Dr. Alexander Coppel, the Jewish owners of the firm, were forced out. In 1936 the firm had been "Aryanized", and started using the name ALCOSO to hide the Jewish family name. By the end of 1936 the brothers were ejected from their Solingen offices, and by 1940 the brand trademark initials ACS were changed to AWS to reflect the change in ownership and name: Alexander Coppel Solingen to Alcoso-Werk Solingen. Carl Gustav Coppel committed suicide in Solingen in 1941, and Dr. Alexander Coppel was arrested in 1942 and sent to Theresienstadt Prison camp, where he died August 5th 1942. The factory itself was destroyed by Allied bombers in November 1944.

Overall an extremely rare example of a German Luftwaffe Survival machete, from a maker with a somber back story.

Blade Length: 16"
Blade Style: Sawback Machete
Overall length: 20 3/4”
Crossguard: 4”

  • This product is available for international shipping. Shipping not available to: Australia, France, or Germany
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles