Second World War Commando Knife

One Sept. 26, 1942, Doc Alexander wrote that he had packed up four commando knives to send home to Calgary with a member of the Calgary Tanks. This knife, which belongs to my dad, has sat on my parents bookcase for my entire life. It’s been a fixture in their home and my life. But all I know about this knife is that it was made from tank parts and bone. My grandfather told my dad it was German made, but I find that troubling as I can’t help but wonder, if that is true, where could he have gotten four German made commando knives? Dieppe was the closest he had gotten to mainland Europe and the German armies. I’m wondering if it is more likely Canadian or British made. My grandfather didn’t say where he got the knives in his journal so I’m left with more questions than answers. What I do know is that it is remarkably light and fits well within the hand. And as a friend of my uncle’s just pointed out, my uncle took one of these knives with him to show-and-tell. Can you imagine arriving at school today with a knife of this sort – of any sort for that matter – for show-and-tell. Goes to show that times have changed but also the importance and interest objects, such as this knife, sent home from overseas would have generated. Please let me know if you can tell me anything about this knife.

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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