The Montana Military Museum is pleased to be able to offer the Boker V-42 Devil’s Brigade Knife. The Museum is located at Fort Harrison near Helena where the First Special Service Force (FSSF) was organized and trained from 1942 to 1943. While there are many so called “replica” V-42 knives for on the market, the Boker V–42 is the best quality we have seen.
The original V-42 knife was designed by Colonel Robert T. Frederick who organized and led the First Special Service Force (FSSF) from 1942 to 1944, The FSSF, also known as “The Devil’s Brigade” or “The Black Devils”, operated as a joint World War II American-Canadian commando unit. The Force was formed at Fort William Henry Harrison west of Helena, Montana in the spring of 1942 and trained there for a year. General Eisenhower assigned Lt. Colonel Robert T. Frederick, a member of his staff, to form, train, and lead the unit, which he did through most of its existence. The Force consisted of roughly 1,800 to 2,000 infantrymen who were trained in stealth tactics, hand-to-hand combat, skiing, mountain climbing, night operations, and cross-trained in a variety of American and German standard and non-standard or limited-issue weapons, as well as demolition techniques using a variety of explosives.
The Boker replica knife scabbard is also an excellent facsimile of the original and is made from good quality, heavy leather. The long scabbard was designed to hang below the bottom edge of the olive drab/white reversible winter parka the Forcemen wore to make the knife easily accessible.
Boker has included with their V-42, the red arrow USA-Canada FSSF shoulder patch which was designed by Force’s commander, Colonel Frederick, for the unit. Boker also includes the “death sticker” used by the Force at Anzio; the German phrase on the sticker “Das dicke ende kommt noch!” means “The worst is yet to come.” The sticker was created by Colonel Frederick when the FSSF was defending part of the U.S. line at the Anzio beachhead in Italy as part of the psychological warfare against the Germans. The Forcemen would stick them on the helmets or foreheads of German soldiers they killed during their night raids behind German lines. They blackened their faces, necks, and hands with black shoe polish or burnt cork, which earned them the nickname “Black Devils” by the Germans. The FSSF was assigned an eight mile front to defend at the Anzio beachhead, the same as was held by full divisions. The almost nightly raids and terror techniques were intended to convince the German forces that the FSSF was far larger than it was. In fact, the German forces, including the Herman Goering Division and two units of SS, did believe they were facing a full division and pulled their forces back miles from the lines held by the FSSF.
Purchasers of the Boker V-42 Devil’s Brigade Knife will also receive a history of the knife.
The Boker V-42 Devil’s Brigade Knife features:
- SK-5 carbon steel blade, black coated
- Handle made of compressed leather discs, ending in a pointed pommel
- Classic replica leather sheath included
- Double-edged 7 inch blade with incised, grooved thumb rest
- Overall length: 12 inches
- Weight: 7 ounces
- Replica First Special Service Force embroidered red cloth spearhead shoulder patch
- Anzio “Death Sticker” with the words in German “The worst is yet to come!”