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OSS Fairbairn Sykes pancake Flipper Knife
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Fairbairn and Sykes based their knife design on a classic dagger design, but focused on making it lighter and thinner than existing blades. They designed the knife to have both a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges. The sharp point and edges ensured a clean wound, which would bleed freely and quickly. Fairbairn and Sykes also designed the knife to be thin enough to slide between the ribs, and long and strong enough to penetrate through many layers of clothing and gear.

By the summer of 1942, housewares and hardware manufacturers Landers, Frary and Clark of New Britain, Conn., began producing the Fairbairn-Sykes OSS Stiletto. The knife was manufactured using lightweight steel. A finished knife measured 11.25 inches in length and weighed seven ounces.

The knives were issued with an unusual “pancake flapper” sheath with an O-ring to hold the knife in place. The slots in the “pancake flapper” made it easy for belts of different widths to be woven through the sheath. At the time, Landers, Frary and Clark were the largest producers of kitchen utensils in America. Apparently the same molds the company used to make its pancake flappers were also used to make the sheath for the Fairbairn-Sykes OSS Stiletto.

Since World War II, the Fairbairn-Sykes knife has been reproduced in many different variations. Today, there are more than 200 knives based on the Fairbairn-Sykes knife