WW2 US MARINE RAIDER STILETTO, CANADIAN ISSUE
The U.S. Marine Raider Stiletto was a Stiletto and Combat Knife issued to the Marine Raiders and 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion during World war II.
The history of the U.S. Marine Raider Stiletto began at the Commando Training Center in Achnacarry, Scotland. The stiletto was patterned after the Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife which was in use at the centre before the arrival of the Marine Raiders.
The new knife was manufactured by the Cammillus Cutlery Company with 14,370 knives produced; a relatively small number compared to the 2.5 million M-3 trench Knives issued. The stiletto hilt was die cast using Zinc alluminium alloy, which exhibited the desirable characteristics of sharp casting, low shrinkage, low cost and above all, minimal use of strategic war-priority metals. However, over time it was discovered that the Zinc Ions in this alloy have a tendency to leach out, leaving the casting extremely brittle. As a result, more than half of the few Raider stilettos still in existence today have very fine hilt cracks or entire portions of the hilt missing with pieces having simply flaked off; many more have replacement handles. This decay can be delayed to some extent by coating the hilt with Petroleum Jelly.
Within the same basic model, four different variants of the Marine Raider Sheath have been noted and identified. These variants include the four combinations of with and without steel staples at the throat portion of the sheath and with and without steel tip plates (1.75 in by 2 in), front and back of the sheath to prevent the sharp tip from piercing the scabbard and injuring the wearer.The purpose of the row of staples at the throat was to prevent the sharp knife from slashing through the sheath. Unfortunately, these staples could severely scar the stiletto blade. It is believed that these sheath variants evolved by trial, as the late issues had both staples and plates.
The U.S. Marine Raider stiletto was designed for one purpose: killing the enemy, and its design was not compromised. The stiletto was a finely designed, almost delicate, single-purpose weapon, which did not include a variety of other tasks normally associated with a Machette or Utility Knife. Due to the thin tip, even thinner than the tip of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife, the stiletto was not designed to be used for opening ration cans or as a pry bar to open cases.
1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Canadian issued stiletto
The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was issued the U.S. Marine Raider stiletto. Their U.S. made stiletto was identical to the Raiders except it had a hilt without the U.S.M.C. scroll and without the maker's name etched on the blade. It is believed that as part of the original production run; perhaps about 500 parkerized units were also manufactured.
The U.S. Marine Raider stiletto is a collectible knife for a number of reasons. It was one of the first Marine-designed and Marine-issued knives. It was issued to a special unit. Because of the decomposing Zinc-alloy handle, the stiletto is one of the rarest knives in the world of military knife collecting with existing specimens expensive.
The knife offered here is the rarer Canadian issue stiletto with no makers name or USMC scroll etched to the blade. The handle has no cracks or chips out of it which is very common. The sheath which is in good condition has the standard metal plate to the tip and the row of teeth to the scabbard throat, also confirming the fact of it being Canadian issue is the point that US issued scabbards always carried the makers name stamped to the leather body and Canadian issued ones did not, this scabbard has no makers stampings.