Reviewed by Knife World staff
Arriving just in time for the holidays, Knives of the U.S. Military - World War II, the latest book by military knife authority Mike Silvey, is sure to be a big hit with military knife collectors.
Silvey, author of two well-known books on U.S. military knives and co-author of two others, continues the theme begun with Knives of the U.S. Military in Vietnam in his new book on WWII knives. On the principle that a picture is worth a thousand words, Knives of the U.S. Military - World War II is a hardcover book filled with page after page of large, full-color photographs and short, informative descriptions, illustrating more than 425 knives in total. If our soldiers used it, it's probably in here - and can be readily located by using the handy index.
Silvey's new book covers the entire range of America's WWII knives by dividing them into two categories - "Standard Issue" and "Beyond Standard Issue". The first group is obvious - Mark 1s, Mark 2s, and M3s, the most basic knives of the war. In all, 41 pages are spent showing these important knives in great detail, from the more common specimens to some extremely rare variants.
The second category - almost 200 pages - consists of virtually everything else used by our forces during the war. From Aerial to Vince (a maker of deep sea divers' knives), Silvey covers the gamut, including a large number of unit issue knives such as the V-42 and "V-44", privately purchased knives such as the Case pigsticker, British-made knives such as smatchets and Fairbairn-Sykes knives, Australian-made knives, knives crafted from sword blades, GI-made knives, and knives by famous makers such as Bo Randall, John Ek, Frank Richtig, and Floyd Nichols.
When coupled with Silvey's Vietnam book, collectors will find that Knives of the U.S. Military - World War II largely replaces the out-of-print and highly sought after book U.S. Military Knives 1941-1991 with more knives, more information, and better photography. It's a worthy addition to any collector's library, and the next best thing to owning some of the rare and pricey models photographed within.
Note: Our own U.S. Military Knives, Bayonets and Machetes Price Guide, 5th Edition is designed to be used in conjunction with this and several other identification books.
Knives of the U.S. Military - World War II
by Michael W. Silvey
Hardcover, 250 pp.