A tactical knife is a knife that is intended for use in military purposes only. It was usually used in ancient times where one on one hand to hand fight in battle fields was common. The modern tactical knife may contain several features in single ammunition. Some are even available as convertible knives as well as pistols.
HISTORY OF TACTICAL KNIVES
Since the beginning of time, man has taken a keen interest in the development of new tools. Where these tools help to reduce the effort of a man on one hand, they’re also used as a means of self defense, hunting and to fight in times of warfare.
The earliest man used sharp, pointed stones that were shaped so, for hunting and fight. Archeologists have discovered fossils of very sharp knives like stones with animal blood.
Very soon, these were followed by bow and arrow in the Stone Age. However, use of metal equipment for making hunting and fighting tools was not common. The first knife with a metal blade was a dagger. The daggers that first appeared were usually made out of bronze. One such dagger was found in 1984, known to be a dagger of the beaker period (2000-2500BC) from Northern Ireland. It had a flat head and was triangular shaped with many close similarities to today’s modern knife.
Among the first knives that were made of iron, a few were:
• Seax: It was an iron knife with a large, single blade. Usually larger than the size of a dagger and smaller than a sword, it was used for both fighting and domestic purposes in the 5th and 6th century. It was considered the standard weapon for the Anglo-Saxon warriors.
• Seax was followed by swords as steel came into development in the 12th century. Some daggers with steel blades also came into existence and were used by the knights as standard equipment. These had double edged blades and were just like miniature swords.
• Rondel dagger: This was the first fighting dagger that gained popularity in Europe. It was worn on the waist and uses as both, a utility tool or a weapon in the battlefield. Its use became popular in the 14th and 15th century. Rondel means circular or round. This dagger gets its name due to the shape of its hand guard and pommel. The blades would be triangular or diamond shaped, and had pointed end, ideal for stabbing and piercing through amours.
• Bullock daggers: The bullock daggers were popularly used by the English and Norwegians. It had a distinctive shape with two oval structures at the guard and a blade following it.
EARLY MODERN ERA:
In the 1th century, knives called pesh kabz were introduced in the East. These knives were Persian in origin. They were intended to pierce through metal armors. They become popular in Subcontinent as it is believed that the Mughals bought it along as they came to conquer the south East Asia. It was usually around 16-18 inches in length. Initially the blades were recurved but later examples reveal both straight and recurved edges.
Over the time, the importance of daggers started declining in the military, owing to the development of new and sophisticated weapons. As a result, daggers became common for domestic uses and were carried by men in everyday lives.
Spanish evolved a better form of the knife known as Navaja which could be folded. This was initially used by the underworld gangsters, but later on became popular with all Spanish men.
Facon was a large fighting and utility knife which had a large, heavy blade with a decorated metal hilt. It was widely used in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
By the 1900s, countless varieties and shapes of fighting knives had come into existence. But the trend was changing. The knives were now multipurpose unlike the conventional knives earlier designed solely for the purpose of fighting.
Different tribes and armies favored different tools, with Indians carrying the Gurkha, Chillieans used the Corvo and the British used Kukri, which was basically Indian in origin.
WORLD WAR I:
Trench knives were introduced in the World War I as a military weapon. These knives were more sharp compared to the previous ones and were barbed with sharp spikes.
Nahkampfmesser: The German forces introduced a knife in the World War I named as the Nahkampfmesser. It was a multipurpose knife for both military and general purpose use. This was widely used by the Germans throughout World War 1
WORLD WAR II:
Many frequently used utility knives were employed by the US forces in the World War II. These included machetes, bolos and bush knives
Later on, the KA-BAR was adopted by the US Marine Corps in November 1942. It usually has a metal steel handle and a double edged blade with length up to 7 inches. For marine use, it was often coated with a black spray to reduce the reflective surface of the blade. It was usually created separately for Army and Navy militants
Kampfmesser: this was an evolved form of Nahkampfmesser that the Germans used in WWI. It was used as a fighting knife as well as a bayonet.