Friday, April 8, 2011

Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife, William Rodgers, Sheffield England

Today's exhibition is a British, Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife and sheath.  I've had this knife for a number of years and have carried it off and on during that time. 

 The knife is a Third-Pattern knife and is marked with "WILLIAM RODGERS SHEFFIELD ENGLAND" on the hand guard.  The third pattern knives have either the WILLIAM RODGERS SHEFFIELD ENGLAND marking or have: "BROAD ARROW", or "ENGLAND" stamped on the hand guard.  

On 8/24/11, the following bit of additional information was posted in the comments section of this posting....... 

"WWII 3rd patt. production knives
have a mold number (from 1 to 4)
on the pommel. These molds were
destroyed at the end of the war,
so any knife without a mold number
is post-war."

The original knife was designed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes before WW2, but gained it's notoriety during the war after it was adopted by the British Commandos and SAS (Special Air Service).  This knife was designed specifically for surprises attacks and fighting and is perfectly balanced in the hand............ as William Fairbairn described in his book, Get Tough! (1942):  

In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. In choosing a knife there are two important factors to bear in mind: balance and keenness. The hilt should fit easily in your hand, and the blade should not be so heavy that it tends to drag the hilt from your fingers in a loose grip. It is essential that the blade have a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges, because an artery torn through (as against a clean cut) tends to contract and stop the bleeding. If a main artery is cleanly severed, the wounded man will quickly lose consciousness and die

With that said, here are the detailed pictures of the knife and sheath:

Here are a few historical pictures of the Brittish commandos who carried these fighting knives in WW2:

British Commandos return from Dieppe (1942)
British commandos in training
British commandos receive 2nd pattern knives


M55q said...

I love the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife! It is a pity it is so hard to get one in Denmark, and when you finally find one it is either a replica or a extremely pricey original.
It really looks like what it is designed for. It has a very vicious look to it.

fluffy said...

I have a William Rodgers FS, unfortunately the very tip has been snapped off :-(
I was wondering how to tell what year it is?
It is a 3rd pattern with " William Rodgers , Sheffield , England " on the cross guard.
Are these daggers worth anything?

Sharky said...

I am not an expert on buying and selling these knives, but I would say that for an original 3rd pattern knife, the value would be no less than $50 and maybe up to somewhere over $200..... depending on condition. I would start watching eBay to see what a knife like yours would go for. Ultimately, it is only worth the amount someone is willing to pay for it. The F-S fighting knives are some of the most collectable and their value holds. With regards to dates made, I can't help you with that. I would post to one of the knife collector forums and see if there is someone there who can help you out. I do know that the F-S 3rd pattern knives were produced after WW2 as well as during the war years. Let me know if you find out anything.

Professor said...

WWII 3rd patt. production knives
have a mold number (from 1 to 4)
on the pommel. These molds were
destroyed at the end of the war,
so any knife without a mold number
is post-war.

Sharky said...

Thanks for that missing detail on identifying these late period knives! I found it very difficult to track down the little details like this.......... Thanks!

Anthony Clark said...

No way to tell if it's not a number 123or4 on the handle if there's not a number then it's post war no way of telling what year it's made