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Military Survival Knives

The Origins of Military Survival Knives

Military Survival KnivesWhen you think of combat gear for the military, you probably don't immediately think of Military Survival Knives. What first comes to mind is probably the weapons, bullet proof armor, camouflage clothes, helmets and boots. But just as important, and in life and death situations the most important, are the survival knives also known as fighting or combat knives issued to each soldier and pilot. They have saved many a soldier in a tight situation.

Prior to the late 19th century, the military used knives not very different from butcher knives. Now cutting meat is fine, but when you need to cut out of a parachute fast a butcher knife is not going to work. These military knives had thin blades with handles that were really nothing more than two blocks of wood connected to the tang. Near the turn of the century Marbles Knives introduced a hunting knife. These knives had heavier blades, crossguards and pommels. They looked very much like small bowie knives. Soon Case, Cattaraugus, and other knife manufacturers created similar hunting knives. It is from these early hunting knives that the Military Survival Knives were developed.

During WW2 Military Survival Knives were issued to pilots and air crews to help in survival in case they were shot down over enemy territory, or in dense wilderness. Lifeboats on navy ships began to be stocked with combat knives as well. These survival and combat knives varied from one branch of the military to another, and from country to country. The majority of these survival knives were purchased in bulk by the country's military.

During the era of Vietnam and to the present, survival knives were made for specific purposes. The serrated edges on these military survival knives allow pilots and air crews to cut themselves out of helicopters, airplanes and parachutes. Knife features such as hollow handles for storing matches began to be popular in the 1980s. These type of survival knives are not as strong and prone to breaking. Jimmy Lile and Bo Randall, custom knife makers, are often credit with inventing these features. Military survival knives with hollow handles are sometimes referred as Rambo knives due to the movie First Blood. There was a noticeable increase in demand for this type of survival knife that is large, having a hollow handle and serrated edge after that movie was released.

You do not have to be in the military to buy a military survival knife. You can buy new survival knives on the internet or even used combat knives from different wars. Many like to collect them from the different countries and branches of service.

Survival knives are required when swimming in shark infested waters, due to the possibility of ">shark attacks.