The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife is a stiletto with an overall length of 11.5 inches and a double-edged blade of 7 inches. There are a number of variations which include such differences as minor changes in the length of the blade, the design and shape of the pommel, manufacturerâ€™s stamps, and handles that have different grip patterns and materials (metal, wood, and compressed leather washers).
The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife was designed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes, and was based on the Shanghai Fighting Knife they designed while serving as constables in the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP), the multinational police force of Shanghaiâ€™s international community. Prior to World War II, Shanghai had the reputation of being the most dangerous city in the world.
Christopher Lee evidently used one during WWII. The Week:
Long before he embarked on his illustrious acting career, Christopher Lee… was a member of the British Special Forces in World War II, a unit that engaged in acts of espionage and subterfuge against the Third Reich, including blowing up bridges, disrupting supply lines, and, yes, killing Nazis.
It turns out his experiences in warfare came in handy in the filming of The Lord of the Rings, when his character Saruman was stabbed in the back by Grima Wormtongue in a scene that was not included in the theatrical release. As director Peter Jackson explained in the movie’s DVD commentary, he tried to get Lee to scream as he was stabbed, only to be corrected. “Have you any idea what kind of noise happens when somebody’s stabbed in the back?” Lee said he asked Jackson. “Because I do. [I]t’s more of a gasp because the breath is driven out of your body.”
Trooper Stan W Scott, No. 3 Army Commando, demonstrates how to use the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife.