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THE "UDT" KNIFE...fact or fantasy?

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  • 1 year later...
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That doesn't quite fit the Weske knives sold as UDT knives. The Ka-bar is not peened, the guard is still bent, and the blade is not in the white or chromed. There is a Weske UDT knife on ebay right now, asking price is $879 or there about. They come up regularly for prices from $175 to $900. I have one I paid $30 for at an estate sale; probably purchased after WW2 as a knife to use and to save the Veteran's WW2 carried knife (USN Mk2).

Not really unusual at this point, thanks to Frank Trzaska's work.


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Here is a pic of the Mark 2 style knife mentioned by Kris Ford above which is currently listed on Ebay. The smooth handle seems to be the only feature that gives the seller the chance to claim this one to be a so-called "UDT knife".


Weske UDT Knife on Ebay.JPG


This auction is a good example of the phenomenon wherein bad information never seems to die. As pointed out years ago in this thread, and elsewhere on our Forum, the misinformation that these blades were somehow associated with Navy UDT divers came from legendary knife whiz M.H. Cole. He repeated in his famous US Knives book a story he had heard which was later disproven by our member Frank Trzaska in a great piece of detective work. It was a simple mistake but it took on a life of its own and came to be repeated by other respected authors and collectors.


In this auction, the seller references one of collector/author Mike Silvey's books as providing evidence that these blades were UDT knives. The seller said: "This particular "MK2 conversion" UDT type is illustrated on page 27 of KNIVES OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY OF WWII book by Michael W. Silvey - a well established expert and the author of a number of books on the subject of the US military edged weapons." Thus, the mistake gets repeated again and some unknowing collector gets burned. (I attribute no ill motives to the seller here but a little homework would have established the true facts on these blades.)


This is a mighty old thread, but given that the UDT myth seems so hard to kill it seems worthwhile to bring the subject back up now and again.






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  • 1 month later...

The late, great M.H. Cole paved the way with collector research and provided a lot of information but made many honest mistakes that people are still repeating to this day. I see references to errors in his books in ads and the sellers may not even be aware they are citing inaccurate info.


Examples include:

the aforementioned UDT KA-BAR myth (which Homer M Brett, and Kevin Dockery also repeat in their books),


the SWI USMC machetes,


Utica marked 1219c2s being erroneously refereed to as Korean war contract.


Frank Trzaska has done phenomenal scholarly work setting some of this straight as well as uncovering variations of the 1219c2 pattern knife not previously cataloged by Cole, Silvey or Brett.

Its just another case of the longer something gets repeated the more believable it becomes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few years ago I was outbid in an auction for a so called plated UDT KA-BAR that may have actually had a UDT connection. It was one the aforementioned chromed post war put togethers (unfullered, smooth handle, offset guard in a Mk2 plastic sheath) that was engraved as a presentation piece to a Sailor assigned to the UDT to commemorate his tour in Vietnam. Could have been a fantasy piece, but it was a handsome knife, looked right and could have been researched further as his name, rank, unit, and tour dates were on the blade. I often think that knife could have been the only one of these ka-bar variants you could correctly call a UDT one!

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