Fink: why did the Soviet spies fell in love with the puukko knife

Weapons 16/01/20 Finca: why did the Soviet spies fell in love with the puukko knife

These knives had a much wider application than just military weapons. Finnish historians, weapons tend to believe that the birthplace of the puukko, maybe not Finland, and Sweden or Norway.


the author of the book “the Story knife” (Puukon Historia) Annecy Ruusuvuori writes that there are more than a dozen versions of traditional Finnish puukko (translated from Finnish knife). They were used for opening the envelopes with letters, carving, cleaning nails and cutting the tips of cigars. There was even a puukko-machete designed by Sami Lapland and is intended for felling small trees. Separate kind of puukko-knife made for hunters who shot them with the skins of dead animals.

the Finnish military historian, Lieutenant-Colonel Marko Palokangas believes that puukko is not to be considered typical Finnish invention: even in our days in Sweden and Norway have knives, very similar to the puukko, and it is not the result of the influence of the Finns in there arms: swords, similar to the shape of puukko was used by the Vikings.

Finns it is more commonly used in everyday life

Colonel Marko Palokangas has not undertaken to determine the type of puukko, usually used by the Finns during the Second world war, since the knives have been set. However, according to Finnish historian, the soldiers preferred puukko with a longer blade: these blades were the best weapons in close combat. Such knives are also found wide application in a period of prolonged trench warfare, they were good for fights in confined spaces trenches and dugouts.

Finnish puukko Blade made of carbon steel (stainless steel in the production began to be used later). The handle was made of wood, often birch, was puukko with handles made of bone, and the first primitive plastics (bakelite and galalita). During the war the arms were aluminium and Plexiglas, which were extracted from parts of the downed aircraft.

according to the ANSI Ruusuvuori legendary reputation as a unique puukko knife Finnish scouts – no more than artificially generated hoax: doesn’t pretend to melee Finns preferred in such battles is not the knives, and machine guns. From a purely technical point of view classic puukko knife, says Finnish expert on weapons, is a bad melee weapon: has no defence and the typical length of its blade is too small for such purposes. But in life he was a versatile tool, suitable to solve many daily tasks that confront a soldier.

the Soviet scout knife

As stated in the monograph of candidate of technical Sciences, Professor of the Academy of military Sciences Oleg Tikhonichev, the history of the spread of the Finnish knives (shivs) in the Russian Empire dates back to the beginning of the last century. The most popular Finn got in criminal circles. In the mid 1930-ies Finnish knife received as non-lethal weapons to the troops of the NKVD of the USSR. The Soviet-Finnish war revealed other shortcomings in the red army and the shortcomings in the staffing of fighters with melee weapons. So in 1940, the Soviet army was adopted by the NR-40 (- 40) – scout knife, the knife army.

In the first place and in full they were armed with that intelligence. Blades NR-40 the same way as Finnish samples from which they were copied, were made of carbon steel, had a wooden handle, was a length of 152 mm and a width of 22 mm. feature of the curve of the cross guard made the knife uncomfortable in battle – prevented the upper stop crosses. Veteran scout Paul jump told Oleg Tikhonichev that the scouts were on a mission with a homemade shivs, customized for themselves. Jump confirms the words of the Finnish historians on the household use of shivs: these knives are really well established as “trench”, economic.

“cherry” and others

IstorIR weapons Viktor Shunkov, informing about new versions of scout knife – HP-43 “cherry”, adopted by the Soviet army in 1943, said that during the creation of this martial weapons (modifications in the armies of the world, including the Russian, used today) was to remedy the shortcomings of NR-40, complained of by the scouts. In “the Cherry” made a straight guard and a symmetrical handle, new knife became less weigh. The wooden scabbard also gone, they were replaced with leather. “Cherry” knife called a factory stamp on the blade, reminiscent of the berry.

“Cherry” is more a long story than the predecessor, HP-40. The weapons used in the Soviet army until the 1960s, then it was armed soldiers of the contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan, he preferred the special forces “alpha” and “Vympel”.

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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