Pugnale d’assaltatore Modello 1939

Assault Dagger Model 1939

In 1939 the second type of Italian fighting knife was introduced, the Modello 1939 (Model 1939). The design of this dagger is inspired by the Österreichisch-Ungarisches Kampfmesser Modell 1917 (Austria-Hungarian Combat Dagger Model 1917) which was used by Italian troops after WW1 as well.
The Model 1939 was used by the:

Paracadutisti (Paratroopers)
Guastatori (Storm Troopers of the Combat Engineers)
M.V.S.N. (Volunteer Militia for the National Security)
Giovani Fascisti (Fascist Youth units within the Royal Italian Army)
M.V.S.N. Albanese (Albanian M.V.S.N.)
Truppe Libiche (Libyan units)

The grips are made out of wood for soldiers and officers, with the wood of the officers' version being of higher quality. The grips of daggers used by generals are made out of ivory. The grips are attached by three pins. Many grips are decorated with inscriptions representing names, units, campaigns, dates, mottos, cities and Fascist symbols.
The blade has a length of 20.5 cm.

Its metal scabbard has a fastening system which can slide to one side and clamped, which allows the dagger to be mounted without the need to remove the belt. This fastening system is long for officers and short for the lower grades.
The scabbard of the Model 1939 is black and completely blank. It did however occur that members of the M.V.S.N. wore the dagger in the scabbard of the Modello 1935 (Model 1935), adorned with a Fasces and text. The total length of the dagger, including its scabbard, is 34 cm.
Approximately two million copies have been manufactured during World War II.

Variants
An experimental variant of the Model 1939 for paratroopers is developed during the R.S.I. period. This variant was equipped with a special closure between the blade and the scabbard. This closure prevented the dagger, when worn on a belt over the jump-smock as prescribed in the regulations, from getting out of the scabbard during a jump.
This experimental version was never used during operations.

Sources:
Le uniformi metropolitane del Regio Esercito dalla riforma Baistrocchi all’inizio della Guerra Mondiale 1933-1940; S. Coccia; 2005
Uniformi e distintivi dell’Esercito Italiano 1933-1945 ; P. Marzetti; 1981
Mussolini’s Soldiers; R. Trye; 1995

Pugnale d’assaltatore Modello 1939
This Pugnale d’assaltatore Modello 1939 (Assault Dagger Model 1939) is a standard type with no markings.