Swedish Military knives.

Text by O.Janson

This webside is dedicated to my son Olof.

My special regards to Per Holmback and Ingemar Karlmark
who has supported this article with facts and some pictures about the rare Swedish Field knives.

In memory of my son Olof

MORA
First test knife French M1916
FM/52J
US Influence
fm/54
fm/56
fm64
Bayonet m1965
Survival knives
Fallkniven Survival knives
Multipurpose knives

 

Swedish Fighting knives - Field knives

picture by O. Janson

 

This webside is dedicated to my son.

My special regards to Per Holmback,
who has supported this article with facts and some pictures about the rare Swedish Field knives.

 

Swedish fighting knives - Field knives

picture by O. Janson

 

 

Knives from MORA

Sweden has a long tradition of making knives. The most commonly used knives used in the Swedish forces are the ordinary Mora knives.

The story behind the Swedish well known knives of Mora.

The life was very poor for the farmers in the area of Mora during the 18th century. You will find the town Mora in the centre of Sweden in the middle of vast forests. The farmers during the 18th century had to find themselves complementary ways of living. It was during those circumstances that Erik Frost Eriksson started to produce knives. Later on he started in his factory 1891 to produce what we today know as the knife from Mora or Mora knife. The factory is still remaining in a small village called Ostnor. His company made a lot of different utilities from steel in the beginning, like tools for the forest like an ordinary blacksmith.

 Around 1900 the knife had been so popular that the production of it became the main article. The steel in the old “original” knives came from Vikmanshyttan and some other Swedish steel producers. The grip was made out of birch which came from Småland some 400 km south by Mora. The scabbard was made of millboard which was decorated in different patterns. The scabbard were made in Tidaholm, which you will find some 360 km south by Mora.

 Once upon a time there were lots of producers who copied the knife of Erik Frost. Some of these where companies were Krang Johan Eriksson (KJ Eriksson), the brothers Jonsson, F.M. Matsson (FMM) and Bud Carl Andersson. (CA Mora). These companies, although they were making competition to each others, also supported and helped each others. They were all situated within a small area close to the town Mora. They disappeared one by one and now Mora of Sweden is the only remaining company.

 Today Mora of Sweden produces some 250 different models in Ostnor. Today the steel is stamped out of the steel from Sandvik 12C27, which is the same steel like KaBar used in their “Next Generation Fighting Knife”. The grip is normally made from plastic like the scabbard, but still you can buy from them the old style carbon steel knives with red wooden handles.

You will find them here: http://www.moraofsweden.com/index.php?id=18

 

The Mora knife is a traditional knife normally made from laminated carbon steel with a single edge.
It is still used by the armed forces and it is used as Utility knife for all types of purposes.

 

These are some ordinary knives from Mora used by the Military. Note the acceptance mark - three crowns.
 

  • Long Military Mora

  • Two Medium Mora for Medics

  • The three knives to the right are the same length 215 mm with different colours and scabbards.

  • In the bottom you can see the old military Pilot rescue knife from Mora (read more below)

 Private collection

Above:

  1. Long Military Mora knife with 3 crowns both on the knife & scabbard length over all with scabbard 245 mm Made by Mora knivfabrik

  2. Medium Mora for Medics length over all 215 mm Producer Unknown.

 

Same medium as above but new in plastic wrapping with military marked:
M6310-001000-2 / slidkniv 215 mm  and a And a separate label with 84 which was the year of checking made in the depot by the military personal.

 

 

Carl Andersson (CA) which was sold 1961 to KJ Eriksson

MORA KNIVFABRIK

KJ Eriksson, founded 1912

Frosts AB, founded 1891

Nowadays MORA OF SWEDEN.

Since 2005 KJ Eriksson bought the shares of Frosts AB and became one single company called Mora of Sweden AB although the logotype “Frosts” will still appear in the future on some knives.

 

 

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Trials for a Swedish Fighting knife

Military knives can be devided into diffrent categories. Any knife can be used for knife fighting to kill an enemy, but to be suitable for fighting the knife should have double edges at least for the part called false edge.

According to the well known collector former military Hutte Benckert, who passed away some years ago, there was even thoughts about using the knife from Mora (above) as a fighting knife.  Different trials were made.

The first test with a Fighting knife in Sweden

One of the fighting knives tested was the French knife M1916 from the Great war “Le Vengeur de 1870” (The Avenger of 1870).
The M1916 knife was taken in large numbers by the Germans to Norway and so at the end of the war it found its way to Sweden. This knife had the same blade as the French produced US 1918 knuckle duster fighting knife.

It became one of the very first real fighting knives used by the Swedish forces for evaluation. The original scabbard of steel was replaced by one made by leather to make a smooth silent draw.

“Le vengeur de 1870”

One of the knifes from Norway which came to Sweden.    Private collection

 

1952 there was a demand for a fighting knife from the airborne forces. The very first knife was called FMJ/52. It was produced by Pontus Holmberg in Eskilstuna and was a very simple construction with a wooden grip from birch covered by a red rubber sleeve like for a handle for a bicycle.

 

The first fighting knife for the Swedish Forces

FM/52J

1952 there was a demand for a fighting knife for the airborne forces.

The first Swedish fighting knife was called FM/52J.

It was produced by Pontus Holmberg in Eskilstuna.

FM/52J has the typical type of blade similar to M3 fighting knife. This type of blade is used in the Swedish forces from FM/52J up to present with the bayonet M1965 for the Assault rifles AK4 and AK5

Pictures Ingemar Karlmark

 

It was a very simple construction:

Grip - A wooden grip from birch covered by a red rubber sleeve like for a handle for a bicycle.

The scabbard was made of leather like for a hunting knife

The crossguard was made from thin brass and marked with 1952 and P.H. (for Pontus Holmberg in Eskilstuna).

The crossguard was marked with FM/52J
and 3 Crowns.

 

 

Swedish Army manual about knife fighting

Here below is a page from one of the rare instruction manuals from 1956.
Note that the knife is a wooden knife and how it is hold. T
he "enemy soldier" uses a Swedish automatic rifle "Ljungman" Ag/42B

 

Compare the hold of the knife with the Fairbairn-Sykes technique.

Please notice the difference between the Swedish Army manual above

and Fairbairn-Sykes system.

Here illustrated in "Kill or get killed"

by Col. Rex Applegate.

 

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The Swedish army was influenced by the development in US.

The influence on the Swedish military from USA was very obvious at this time. The Swedish military looked for something similar to the US fighting knife M3 or US bayonet M4.
 

The mother of the the Swedish Field knives - US M3 Fighting knife

The demand for a fighting knife in USA became apparent with the use of the submachine guns.  There were many soldiers missed the bayonets of the rifles and for this reason they needed a knife.

 

Typical for the M3 is the rather thin blade. A wide blade will consume a lot of iron and be expensive to produce at large numbers. The M3 is a simple construction very much like the MARINE Corps knife. The M3 had a carbon steel blade, leather stacked washer handle, full steel cross guard. The guard was made of thick steel and angled at the top as a thumb rest. The blade was parkerized and 6 ¾ inches long and the overall length was 11 ½ inches. It had a single sharp edge with about one third of the false edge sharpened.

 

Here is the famous US M3 fighting knife.   Private collection
Note the soldier close to the camera. He has a M3 strapped to his right leg.

The M3 trench knife was officially standardized on January 14, 1943. It was only made for 17 months and the amazing production was 2 590 247 knives!

 

 

Specifications  M3

Length over all

295  mm

Length of the blade

170  mm
Wideness of the blade 22 mm

Thickness of the blade

4,6 mm

Wheight

240 gram

 

The bayonet M4 replaced the M3.

US bayonet M4 of an early production.
 Private collection

 

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The Field knife fm/54

 

Now the main development of fighting knives was overtaken by a factory in Eskilstuna by the name of Erik Anton Berg AB (EAB). 1954 some test models were by this factory. There are reports with different types of handles. Some were welded to the tong while some were fixed with rivets.

Sweden called this type of fighting knife "Field knife" (faeltkniv).

Above and
to the left is
the fm/54

Pictures from Per Holmback

 

 

 The Field knife FM56.

 1956 there was another model brought out for testing called fm/56. It was also produced by E. A. Berg.

 

Swedish fighting knife - Field knife FM56
Picture Private collection

 

Here you can note two marks:
The shark for E.A.B.
and
56 for the model.
on the crossguard.

 Pictures Private collection  

 

FM56

Here is the flat recessed pommel nut,
which holds the handle and the tang together.

Picture O. Janson

 

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The Field knife FM64.

The last knife in these series of test was called fm/64
In some respects they reminds about the early Colt M7 bayonets.

It looks exactly the same from the side as fm/56.
 

Above Top - FM/56
Above Bottom - FM/64

The only differences between fm/56 (left) and fm/64 (right) are the markings and the pommel nut, which locks on to the tang.

The integral pommel of the fm/64 is a better design. 

Note the three crowns for Sweden.

Picture Private collection

 

The end result was the Swedish fighting knife test model 1964 which you can see here.

Above Swedish model 1964 with a scabbard made of wood imitation. It was delivered in a cover made of paper marked with 3 crowns

Picture Private collection

Here is the crossguard.

The Shark - the logotype of the Swedish company -  E A Berg AB in Eskilstuna. E.A.B. was bought by Bacho in 1959.

64 for the model and the three crowns for Sweden.

Picture Private collection

According to Per Holmback there might have been made some 300 of these knives FM64.

 

Specifications  Fieldknife FM56 and 64

Length over all

285  mm

Length of the blade

165  mm
Wideness of the blade 23 mm

Thickness of the blade

5 mm

Wheight

220  gram

Scabbards

I

Top Swedish FM 64 scabbard wood imitation, Middle Swedish FM65 scabbard, Bottom U.S. M8 scabbard

 

First Sweden bought the M8 scabbard from USA for the Field knives. The marking M8 was normally just covered by heavy green paint! When the FM64 was introduced it appeared with the same type of scabbard but now it was brown made of wood imitation.

This significant type of scabbard still remains in the army with the bayonet 1965 scabbard.

 

 

In some respects the Swedish Field knives reminds about the early Colt M7 bayonets.

You can see one of these below.   (Picture from Per Holmback)

 

 

The fighting knife of today for the Swedish forces.
The development in Sweden followed the development in USA. First a pure fighting knife and later back to a bayonet.

Picture Private collection

From left to right:

  1. Swedish bayonet model1965
  2. US M4 bayonet
  3. Swedish fighting knife model1964
  4. US M3 fighting knife.

It is clear that the influence came for the Swedish knives came from USA.

The M3 and the Swedish field knives are very much looking alike.

These fighting knives and bayonets are all using the same type of blade.

 

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Bayonet model 1965

1965 Sweden started to produce a new assault rifle H&K G3 called Ak4. It was equipped with a bayonet made by the Swedish company Bacho. Even this bayonet has a blade and scabbard which resembles the M3 and all other US modern bayonets up to US M7.

The specifications for the blade are identical with the field knife 64

The bayonet for Ak4 is nowadays used by all special forces in Sweden as fighting knife. It can be seen here used by KFOR military in Kosovo. The soldiers on the picture were trained as commandos in Sweden.

 
Note the soldier to the left, with bayonet used as a fieldknife,  which is easy to reach to. (Picture O. Janson)

Bayonet 1965 for the assault rifles
Ak4 and Ak5

Note the obvious similarity of this scabbard compared to the U.S. M8 scabbard shown before  in this article..

 

(Private collection)

Crossguard of the 1965 bayonet.

Please note
The Swedish acceptance mark - three crowns.

Specifications  Bayonet model 65

Length over all

310  mm

Length of the blade

166  mm
Wideness of the blade 23 mm

Thickness of the blade

5 mm

 

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Other Utility knives used by the military forces of Sweden.

The Swedish troops are often equipped with ordinary knives like the “Mora” or at the beginning of this article. Some models are preferred and have acceptance marks. Since 1970s this is a Model-number like M6310-xxxxxx. M6310 tells us that it is a knife.

BACHO made another knife around 1970 which was accepted and used by the military. It became popular with artillery and some other units during this period because it was more versatile because of its wide blade, which made it suitable for using it for cutting and chopping.

 

The Bacho survival / hunting knife

The Bacho survival / hunting knife is made from stainless steel and a grip made from welded plastic. The scabbard is made from the same material. On the backside of the scabbard there is a honing stone. The scabbard has a steel wire clip for attachment to i.e. a boot. The scabbard is open in both ends to let all snow and humidity pass through.

 

Notice
the wire clip
and the honing stone.

(Private collection)

Here is the Bacho knife which I used myself during my military service in the artillary.

 

Army Survival knives.

1995 some army units accepted the model A1 as Swedish survival knife made by Fallkniven AB. (Link to  Fällkniven )

Above A1

 

It is free for the Swedish soldier to use any type of knife as long as it is not "to offensive".

 

Specifications  A1  

Length over all

280 mm

Length of the blade

160 mm

Thickness of the blade

6 mm

Wheight

305 gram

 

Pilot survival knives.

Pilots in the Swedish Air force used this type of knives.
It is a traditional "Mora" knife
(from Frosts AB) with a half cross guard.

This is a late issue of this type. Later on the air force changed for the F1 type which you can see below to the left.

Note ID-No starting with M6310-

(Private collection)

 

Fällkniven also produces a survival knife, which was accepted 1995, for all the pilots in the Swedish air force,  and it is called F1.

The first were imported from Solingen, Germany and they had serial numbers on the back but without M-number.

Above is the pilot survival knife F1 knife M6310-006010 with separate sheath No M6310-006019
(Private collection)

 

Specifications  F1  

Length over all

210 mm

Length of the blade

97 mm

Thickness of the blade

4,5 mm

Wheight

150 gram

 

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EKA folding knife

 

Some of the mechanical army brigades has this folding knife from EKA in Eskilstuna.
 

The folded EKA knife

(Private collection)

The folding EKA knife

 

 

Small and big. The big green knife with blade lock and the smaller blue folding knife without blade lock.
Note ID-No starting with M6310-

 

Multipurpose Leatherman Crunch

This multipurpose Leatherman Crunch has been used by the Swedish KFOR in Kosovo.

Length: 4 in. / 10 cm closed
              5.5 in. / 14 cm open

Weight: 6 ounces / 170 grams
Materials: 100% stainless steel

 

 

 

 

(Engraved with name)

(Private collection)

Multipurpose isn't it?

Locking Pliers
Wire Cutters
Hard-Wire Cutters
Serrated Knife
Metal/Wood File
Ruler (Inch/Metric)
Bottle Opener
Small Screwdriver
Medium Screwdriver
Large Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver (#1/#2)
Hex Bit Driver
Wire Stripper
Lanyard Attachment

 

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References:
Military knives - Knife World Magazine ISBN 0-940362-18-X
Frederik J Stephens - Fighting knives ISBN 0-668-04955-3
Per Holmback
Hutte Benckert, SVEVAP, Stockholm, Sweden
Cpt Arne Larsson, Gothenburg.
Fallkniven AB
Mora of Sweden AB
Military officers from Karlsborg, Sweden
Handgemäng 1956 - The Swedish army 1956.

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