The author of this book first showed me his photo album of troops carrying knives in Iraq and Afghanistan several years ago at a trade show in Germany. Basically, he had given instructions to his friends deploying into combat to take a snapshot of any soldier they encountered carrying an edged weapon. What he ended up with was a virtual encyclopedia of modern tactical knives and bayonets. Pohl told me at the time he was going to publish the collection in book form but, unfortunately for most of us, the first edition was in German.
The good news is he recently found an English language publisher for the book and a revised edition has been released in the U.S. The chapters are divided into folding knives, fixed knives, bayonets, and tools (including tomahawks). This amounts to roughly 168 different weapons and cutting tools from practically every company in the cutlery business. It also covers a number of different countries that have had a role in the current war on terror. One of the points I quickly learned from the photos is that front and center on your body armor is the new standard carry position for both folders and fixed blades, which is also ideal for taking photos of the knives!
While the photos are great, there are a few historical errors made in the text concerning various American knives, something I find common in almost all European references. For instance, Ontario did not produce the USMC Fighting Utility (kabar) during WW-II and Case Cutlery has never had a military contract for the model. However, I’m very willing to overlook those little problems for the chance to see combat photos of this quality.
Hardcover, 192 pages, $39.99
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Rd., Dept. TK
Afglen, PA 19310; 610-593-1777