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Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1949-Present From West Germany through to the modern reunified German Republic.

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Knives issued in the Bundeswehr
Old 07-10-2010, 02:31 PM   #1
Gordon Craig
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Default Knives issued in the Bundeswehr

Gentlemen,

This is an area we have never discussed. I decided to do some research in this area when I received a copy of "Militarische Blankwaffen in der DDR" as it has a few pictures of BW knives in it. I don't own any BW knives so I thought I could only benefit by starting a thread on knives issued to BW soldiers before I bought any to make sure I understood them at least a little. Please feel free to add your comments if my research warrants it.

The first knife I want to post is the first issue of Kappmesser. This knife was first approved for adoption by the BW in 1956 but not issued to the troops until 1959. In the book referenced above there is a photo of four of these knives each with a slight ly different blade length that get progressively longer. It is a gravity knife which meants the blade opens with a flick of the wrist.
There was some discussion on the DDR Forum where Nico says this was not the first issue knife but one used by the Marine. While I have no doubt it may have been used my the Marine, there is enough evidence on line to corroberate the fact that this was the first Kappmesser issued to the BW.
I should mention that you can not legally buy gravity knives in Germany. Nico says he can sell the handle and the blades separately. I guess what you do with it after that is up to you. They are also illegale to own in Canada but I have seen them at Militaria Shows from time-to-time.

Regards,

Gordon
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Last edited by Gordon Craig; 07-10-2010 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:34 PM   #2
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In the first photo in this sequence you can just barely make out the BW eagle on the knife grip. I have read that the very early issues of this knife did not have the BW eagle on the grip.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:46 PM   #3
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In 1963 a new Kappmesser was issued. It was also a gravity knife and probably the one you are most familiar with. It is a very close copy of the WWII parachutists gravity knife except that it has green plastic grips instead of the wooden grips of the WWII knives. There is enough evidence around to indicate that these knives were issued to other troops as well. On one plastic grip can be found the word "BUND". These knives may also be found marked with "LL80" on one grip but these are not BW issue but were sold to civilians. It is however possible that BW soldiers bought them privately and used them while serving in the BW. The early issue Kappmesser continued in use for many years after the issued of the second style.
The first picture shows the knife with the blade retracted into the handle. The second picture shows it with the blade extended and for size comparison with the BW Kampfmesser and an earlier WWII trench knife.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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Next on to the Kampfmesser. I have not been able to determine when this knife was adopted by the BW so perhaps someone else can post that information. It was certainly in use for a lot of years. Recently, these knives have turned up with a shield on the side of the scabbard depicting the German national colours and eagle. Kampfmessers were not issued in the bundeswaehr with this shield on the scabbard. I was unable to determine if these knives are repros or ex BW knives that have shield added.
The beat picture of the first BW Kampfmesser is posted above so I will not repost it.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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The next Kampfmesser to be issued with the KM2000. There is not a lot of information available abot this knife but I assume it was adopted in the year 2000 or shortly there after. I hve seen it reported that there is a version of the KM2000 which is issued to the SEK and this model does not have the saw section on the blade. It is supposed to be purely a fighting knife.
There are civilian copies of the KM2000 as well as a fantasy knife marked "SEK 2000". Apparently, a slightly modified version of the KM2000, called the "KM3000" is now on issued to the BW.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:05 PM   #6
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There were also two distinctly different pocket knives issued to the BW. The first on is of a fairly common deisgn as found in many civilian pocket knives and appears in first picture. The second issue knife is of a more ergonomic and reportedly can be opened with one hand.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:09 PM   #7
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Another photo showing the two pocket knives side-by-side.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Craig View Post
There were also two distinctly different pocket knives issued to the BW. The first on is of a fairly common deisgn as found in many civilian pocket knives and appears in first picture. The second issue knife is of a more ergonomic and reportedly can be opened with one hand.
The left one is also know as BW Stumpf - BW Stump.
Its issued to non Infantry units (SKB units and so on)
The right one is a quite decent "knife"
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:29 PM   #9
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Interesting topic!! I have often wondered what edged weapons were issued to BW soldiers and when. I was aware of the "jack" and "gravity" knives, but don't have a clue about the fighting knives of bayonets. All I know is I don't have any! I do have a Danish G-3 bayonet, but I've been told it's unique to the Danish forces.

Steve
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towarish View Post
The left one is also know as BW Stumpf - BW Stump.
Its issued to non Infantry units (SKB units and so on)
The right one is a quite decent "knife"
Towarish,

Thanks for your comments on who was issued with the "jack knives".

Regards,

Gordon
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Craig View Post
Towarish,

Thanks for your comments on who was issued with the "jack knives".

Regards,

Gordon
You are welcome, buddy.

Cheers,
Phil
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towarish View Post
The left one is also know as BW Stumpf - BW Stump.
Its issued to non Infantry units (SKB units and so on)
The right one is a quite decent "knife"
Sorry, rubbish !

You can call the left one "old modell" and the right one "new modell".

Has nothing to do with combat or non-combat units.

I was Light-Infantry and issued the left or old modell in the 80's.

Regards

jaeger7-de
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeger7-de View Post
Sorry, rubbish !

You can call the left one "old modell" and the right one "new modell".

Has nothing to do with combat or non-combat units.

I was Light-Infantry and issued the left or old modell in the 80's.

Regards

jaeger7-de
No rubbish,Kamerad
I was light Infantry as well (now mech. Infantry).

We had guys transferred from the SKB to our unit and they were equipped with the BW-Stumpf...that was around 2006 / 2007.
Maybe my first post was misleading.

Point taken?
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:52 AM   #14
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Phil, maybe both opinions are correct .... depending on the timeline you are speaking of ! All my school mates entering their service in 1987 where equipped with the old knife as this was the standard type at this time. Later on, maybe from the mid 90ies on the new type was purchased. And maybe this was given to KRK units first in the same way as these where equipped with the new flecktarn items while HVK troops in the second line still wore the old moleskin - combined even with NVA surplus - and the old blunt knives...

Jens

P.S. : For all those willing to purchase the old stile pocket knife ... watch out as this item (also the old Kampfmesser) is already reproduced/copied/faked by Miltec ! According to someone dealing with this stuff these special items are of a low quality - less sharp even then the original blunt ....
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #15
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Just wanted to show this knife i got with a different frog (I think that's what it's called) than the one showed earlier
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