All of our knives have a compelling story behind them and the Berlin Strike Knife is no different. For many years, after the end of World War II the United States and her Allies engaged in a ”Cold War“ with the Former Soviet Union (Russia).
The occupied city of Berlin was the focal point, the symbol for the defense of freedom during the prolonged Cold War with the former Soviet Union. In that city, where the major western powers met each other on a daily basis, the rigorous defense of the west was guaranteed. We can think of no better representation to symbolize our remembrance for those brave men and women who served during the very active Cold War.
For those of us who served in the U.S. military this time in our history was anything but “COLD”. Throughout many distant locations around the entire world the U.S. and her Allies military personnel honorably served, defending the Wests’ way of life and unique freedoms. For the United States, the two major conflicts of the cold war were The Korean and Vietnam wars. Not including these two major military events many sailors, airmen, marines and soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice in their defense of our way of life.
I was a young Second Lieutenant rifle platoon leader assigned to Bravo Company, 5th Battalion, 502nd Infantry, Berlin Brigade, arriving in November 1988 just in time for the Battalions’ annual ARTEP ( Army Training and Evaluation Program). For our platoon, the culmination of the ARTEP, was a Company defense, in the Berlin MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) Site - Doughboy. Doughboy was divided by an elevated train station into two parts – new and old. In its entirety, it was larger than a city block with many multiple story buildings to fight in.
Our platoon was ordered into a conventional defense in front of the city to slow/attrite the enemy’s attack before they reached the city defenses. A deliberate defense with fighting positions is not an easy task. Crew served weapons and individual fighting positions with overhead cover take a lot of digging and preparation, not to mention alternate and supplementary fighting positions. Late that night or early in the morning, (don’t remember which), I was checking each guy and their fighting positions to see how they were doing. While “trooping the line” I noticed the view into East Germany through the well-lit fencing. Doughboy sat right on the boundary of the south side of the American sector and East Germany. Most of the “Wall” in the American Sector of Berlin, was actually a multi layered reinforced fence. The East Germans kept large dogs chained to cable runs, so the dogs could cover longer lengths of the fence. Just then as the cold November winds started to blow the guard dogs started to howl like wolves. An eerie evil sound in the distance which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I remember thinking “The exact place I’m supposed to be”, an infantryman on duty keeping evil at bay. This in a nut shell was what the Cold War, was all about, free men and women from all over the world keeping evil from attacking their way of life.
Later during my tour in Berlin I was assigned as our Battalions’ Scout Platoon Leader, one of our responsibilities was patrolling the Berlin Wall in the American Sector. I was actually on wall patrol the morning the Berlin Wall fell on November 9th.
The Berlin Wall and its subsequent fall encapsulated the Cold War and its’ challenges. The Berlin Strike Knife is dedicated to the brave men and women who served their countries during the cold war with our deepest thoughts going to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice never returning home to enjoy the benefits of their service.