We have covered the history of Ka-Bar, both the company and the eponymous knife, in many ways and formats. However, it is always nice to be able to share a well written piece about this iconic knife. This one comes from the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated, and was written by a once and always Marine.
No, this will not be another keening and wailing session over yet another firearm that the old guy just can’t give up. We’re talking about a blade—one that the Marine Corps has seen fit to issue for three-quarters of a century. The year 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the Ka-Bar knife. I checked with an impeccable source and happily discovered that this simple and reliable piece of gear is still issued to Marines.
The Ka-Bar story began in the immediate pre-World War II era when the armies of the free world were arming for war. The obvious need for a close-quarters-fighting knife came out of the trench warfare of the Great War. American doughboys were equipped with wicked stabbing devices that incorporated brass knuckles and were nearly useless for any ordinary cutting function. Several knives were considered for World War II Marines, including a sexy variant of the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting stiletto with a USMC-marked blade. Eventually, cooler and wiser heads prevailed and the knife now known as the Ka-Bar became our issue knife—fighting and utility.