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Sosakonline Archive

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If Soldiers Could Speak

We have all seen Def’s growing collection of military knives. He gave me the military bug and it is highly contagious. These Swiss Army knives gave both Wenger and Victorinox their start in the early days. Today, Victorinox can complete the Swiss Military contract in less than two hours of production.


I have in my possession a Victorinox 1973 Soldier. This Victorinox started out as a Swiss Military contract knife. The “WK” can be seen stamped inside the embossed cross (Waffen Kontrolle).


The knife came with some engraving on the blade. The engraving was done in a process called electro-scribing. Metal workers today still use this process to mark their own personal tools. The soldier in the Swiss military could not mark his issued knives, so SAK’s with personal information are a rare breed. The knife belonged to a Waffenmeister (repairer of arms).


The (wafm) is the shortened version of his profession. He would have repaired rifles and other military small arms. He has added his name to his knife. H. Kessler is from the Swiss-German part of . He did military work in Nafels, a little city by .  The village has its own website with pictures.  http://www.naefels.ch/index.php  .  st.ko 19 is Stations Komando 19 in English (19th Headquarters Company).


The photo of his military unit patch shows the motto. (Mer Hend Zame), this loosely translates into “We hold together”.


What would you do next? Would you want to look further into this knife history?  Find out if the original owner still alive? Find out why the edge of the blade burnt is and why was the tip broken and reshaped?  How did the awl get broken? More questions than answers.


Swiss Humor

"Shoot twice" - the caption on a Swiss postcard of 1914, depicting a Swiss militia man being asked by the Kaiser what the Swiss would do if he sent an army of half a million Germans against the quarter million Swiss Army.