Author Topic: my collection  (Read 7075 times)

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Offline kxxr

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Re: my collection
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2011, 04:16:25 PM »
mrchuck, I know it's gotten to the point of being almost an empty catch phrase these days, and none of you guys heard it when you came home, but, I'll say it now, thank you for your service.
I am curious to know your theory as to how those vc came to own those knives? Here's a quote from one history source that might explain where they got about 12000 of them:
The Battle of Dien Bien Phu marked the end of French involvement in Indochina. The Viet Minh and their mercurial commander Vo Nguyen Giap handed the French a stunning military defeat, and on 7 May 1954, the French Union garrison surrendered. Of the 12,000 French prisoners taken by the Viet Minh only 3000 survived.

Offline Papaw

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Re: my collection
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2011, 09:07:34 PM »
Indo China was under French influence for years before that time, so it is possible that the knives were military issue or on the market there in numbers. The French, like the English and other colonial powers used the colonies as a ready market for trade goods in return for the resources they gained by being in power.
Of course the knives could certainly have come from defeated French soldiers as well.
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Offline Branson

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Re: my collection
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2011, 09:01:41 AM »
Indo China was under French influence for years before that time, so it is possible that the knives were military issue or on the market there in numbers. The French, like the English and other colonial powers used the colonies as a ready market for trade goods in return for the resources they gained by being in power.
Of course the knives could certainly have come from defeated French soldiers as well.

Good call, Pawpa.   French tools were the standard in Viet-Nam, North and South.  I worked with Viet-Namese carpenters and shipwrights back in the '80s, and they kept telling me their favorite edged tools were "leon-leon," whether they were from Saigon or Haiphong.   It didn't register until I saw a chisel -- Peugeot.  The logo was two lions.  Peugeot made hand tools as well as cars, even metric center bits.

Opinel knives are widely exported, and have been for some time.  I lost my first one, but another,  given me by a friend in Germany, is a constant companion.  I found another one at a second hand store that lives in my shop.  The one I carry is marked "acier lame" -- laminated steel, while the other is marked "acier fondu" -- cast steel.  Once you get used to the rotating lock, using it becomes almost instinctive.  The newer ones lock closed as well as locking open.

My bet would be that these were simply imported fresh and new, and were not relics from Dien Bien Phu.

Offline kxxr

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Re: my collection
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2011, 01:27:04 PM »
That would seem an obvious guess, but given the 'politics' of the time and place, I seriously doubt that they were acquired through such channels, hence the question. But I was just curious. Probably not a good topic for the tool board.

Offline Branson

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Re: my collection
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2011, 08:34:15 AM »
That would seem an obvious guess, but given the 'politics' of the time and place, I seriously doubt that they were acquired through such channels, hence the question. But I was just curious. Probably not a good topic for the tool board.

The economics didn't seem to have been much affected by the politics -- the French were still doing commerce with the North.   For every one of  mrchuck's "friends" to have the same knife pretty much eliminates Dien Bien Phu as a source.   Rereading mrchuck's post, I note that these fellows were Viet Cong, not NVA.  The Opinels were easily available in South and Central Viet-Nam.

It is a guess, of course,  but it fits the standard of Occam's Razor -- the simplest explanation is (probably) correct.

Offline kxxr

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Re: my collection
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2011, 01:48:41 PM »


It is a guess, of course,  but it fits the standard of Occam's Razor -- the simplest explanation is (probably) correct.

That they would 'all' have one of these same knives would suggest a common link, which would in turn support your guess. What I am wondering is what the link was. One suggestion is that they were simply purchased on the open market of the time. For me, that is just too simple, and as I said, imo, unlikely. The true answer to the question would, to me,  be every bit as interesting as any of the other 'tool history' we all seek every day, and will probably prove equally elusive. mrchuck apparently ain't sayin' what he thinks.

Offline mrchuck

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Re: my collection
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2011, 11:28:21 AM »
My reply, well we all were guessing over there where their ordinance supply came from.
The consensus, and I really hate that word, was that Ho Chi Min was buying supplies, new and used, from anyone who would sell or give to them in their support for the Communist agenda.
The majority of these folding knives were dis-colored, and had an "old patina" to them.
I personally thought these older ones came from the Indo-China wars such as Dien Bien Phu, where the French Army were surrounded and and surrendered.
Thanks, kxxr, for the surge of "memories that get misplaced in the library",, of your memories. 9 Bravo
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Offline kxxr

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Re: my collection
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2011, 12:44:33 PM »
Thanks for the reply mrchuck. Your thought pretty much matches mine. I hope the stirred up memories weren't all bad. I have read that Ho Chi Minh had a sister that worked for the French army. She stole weapons from them for her brother. When she got caught she was sentenced to life in prison by the French colonial government. Apologies to lerman for sidetracking his thread. I'll leave it at that, and thanks again mrchuck. kr.

Offline north

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Re: my collection
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2011, 10:52:17 AM »
Very nice collection lerman. I have some similar stuff from my father and grandfather that I will post up lather when I get it organized.
I noticed your saw set to the left in picture #5. What brand is it? I have a Garanto shown here.
Have a nice day.