Underwater knife fighting - no seriously!

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by EX_STAB, May 27, 2007.

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  1. Whilst amusing myself with an old James Bond novel over the weekend I couldn't help but raise a smile when it came to a scene of "underwater knife fighting".

    Now this is something that is generally derided and ridiculed but it occurred to me: "Are there any recorded instances of this ever happening?"

    Any thoughts?
  2. Ah yes, the Buster Crabb incident. From what I'd read in the past it was thought more likely that, diving alone, he had had equipment problems that overcame him. Wasn't the keel of the Russian vessel deep enough that he would have needed more decompression stops than his equipment allowed for? I'm no diver so I am, dare I say it, out of my depth on this!

  3. The Keel of the cruiser was at 22 feet, (7m) so that's probably not it. He had been drinking before setting out which would be significant.
  4. Alchohol and diving are a lethal combination... aside from the physical effects, such as increased incidence of nitrogen narcosis, the impairment could easily turn a minor equipment problem into a major crisis.

    There have been engagements under the water between military divers but you will be hard pressed to uncover an account of the events as their participants aren't the type to give interviews. Suffice to say that the potential situation was considered serious enough that underwater firearms have come into service.
  5. I have done an underwater knitting course. As well as sub aqua yak strangling training.

    Never had the need for a underwater knife fighting course though. The nearest I have come to needing that kind of training was stabbing a crab one day with my dive knife as it had hold of my fingers - does this count?

  6. Crabbe's underwater knife fighting was during the Second World War - seeing off Italian frogmen. Unless they big-timed it in his book and film The Silent Enemy?
  7. This thing might be handy if some-one comes at you with a nasty, pointy knife. There is also an underwater pistol that THEY use but I can't remember who makes it

  8. A realistic account of current Underwater Knife Fighting techniques (as practised by the SBS) is described in the book Deep Boat by noted ex-special forces author Cyril Clunge. Gripping stuff.

    Attached Files:

  9. I think I've seen the film - isn't Jenna Jameson in it?
  10. Cyril Clunge is a noted personality in this field so such an account is worth investigating. Wasn't Clunge on ops in the Red Sea at some stage? I think this was recorded in his classic " Whisky Alpha Hotel"...

    So other than Clunge, any proper contenders?
  11. We're wandering off-topic here. (You did use the adverb "seriously" in the topic name. Invoking Cyril's humungous expertise, takes the discussion into another realm altogether.) But seriously: my totally lay understanding of underwater knife play, is that the environment defeats conventional knife thrusts (no leverage + water resistance = no thrusting power.) All you can hope to achieve, is severing an oxygen tank line. I might be talking total bollox, but that's what I guess would happen. Anyone had any practical experience of this? I'd hate to have to approach Cyril on my own - he might drag me UW for a practical demo.
  12. You're right, I did intend this to be serious but it was inevitable that something comic would come up and I think the Cyril sideline was fair enough - made me laugh!

    Like you say, working underwater is going to make grappling difficult and I think mortal knife combat is probably hard enough on dry land. (I've fortunately never had to try it.) Certainly, the experience of wrestling someone whilst trying to land a punch etc. (on land) suggests that a very rapid, decisive move would be called for underwater. I think that slicing through an air line would be at least as difficult as sticking someone with a stilletto if not moreso.
  13. Heckler & Koch do one...(so basically Big And Expensive Systems again..)