THE HISTORY OF THE BOLO FIGHTING KNIFE
Knives have been a key fighting weapon in every war. No matter how advanced the technology, a good knife always has a place in battle.
A special breed of knives saw extensive development during WWII. Known as the "fighting knife". While it could be employed for the uses of a regular knife, its primary goal was for hand-to-hand combat. The design, balance and materials employed varied from the run of the mill knife.
This page provides a sample of the bolo knives that were used during WWI and WWII. The samples displayed here cover various branches of the US service that participated in the war. Information provided includes the identification of fighting knives and pricing of fighting knives.
WWII BOLO KNIFE ANATOMY
The following photos illustrate the basic anatomy of a bolo knife.
WWII US BOLO KNIFE BLADE MARKINGS
The blade of the bolo knife was usually marked with the name of the manufacturer. In most instances it was also
marked USMC to indicate the knife was issued to the US Marine Corps. The following photos illustrate some of the
The following are examples of additional markings found in WWII bolo knives. The back of the scabbard has a
separate section of leather secured via four round rivets. The markings are often placed in this section.
The back of the leather scabbard is often stamped with markings. The markings on the picture on the left reads
"USMC, BOYT, US".
The photo on the right displays the following markings: "USMC, Boyt, 45". Where Boyt is the manufacturer and 45 stands
for the year 1945.
PRE-WWII BOLO KNIVES
Bolos are also used as military weapons and as such they were a particular favorite of the Filipino resistance during the 1898 Philippine Revolution against Spain, the Philippine-American War, and the Commonwealth period. Since the bolo was first used as a farming implement, it was used in combat because during colonial times the ubiquitous bolo was readily available to the common person. For this reason the study of the bolo is common in Filipino martial arts, such as Balintawak Eskrima, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and Modern Arnis.
1909 BOLO KNIFE
This is the US Army Model 1909 Bolo knife. Very stout construction.
The handle is made of hard wood and has a series of ridges designed to accommodate the fingers. Three Brass rivets
secure the handle to the tang. the crossguard is also made of brass and in the shape of the letter "S".
The blade is heavy at the top. Very thick and has markings applied to both sides of the base. The scabbard is brown
leather. Rounded tip with a hole for the leg tie. The throat has a large metal section with a rectangular metal
piece riveted to the back.
CORPS OF ENGINEERS BOLO KNIFE
This is a Bolo knife used by the United States
Corps of Engineers during WWI. This is a very interesting US
knife. The blade is oversized and heavire at the tip. The handle is made of a bone-like material and secured via
the use of two rivets. The blade has a serial number and the manufacturer's name "Collins".
The scabbard is made of leather with brass fittings at each end. There is a seam in the back. An extra piece of
material is sewn together to form a belt loop. The scabbard has a curvature to match that of the blade.
WWI MODEL 1917 BOLO KNIFE
This is a US Army Bolo knife used during World War One (WW1).
The handle is made of wood and has two rivets securing it. The pommel is in a dovehead shape. The crossguard is
straight and of equal length on each side.
The scabbard is made of heavu duty leather. A separate section is riveted to the back to hold the metal hanger.
The throat is enforced with a metal piece. The tip has a hole with a rivet that allows the passage of a
leg tie. The blade is heavy in the front. The base is marked on both sides. One marking reads "Plumb, PHI".
The other side reads "US Mod 1917". Plumb was the name of the company that manufactured this knife.
If you have an interest is seeing other fighting knives, you can do so by going to our
Military Fighting Knives Price Guide
identification page. Where we cover Army, Navy, Army Air Force, USMC and other military groups.
While the knives shown on this page are not for sale, you can visit our website,
to see other military and non-military knives available for sale.
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