The Gerber Mark II Fighting Knife, was designed in 1965 by a US Army Officer. He based his design in the Ancient Roman Battle Sword called The Gladius. Gerber like just design and attempted to Contract with The US Army, but they declined. They did however, allow The Mark II to be sold commercially to Soldiers, through it’s Base/Post Exchange Store System. The Gerber Mark II became very popular among Soldiers in Vietnam. The blade was 7.5-inches long and double-edged. The flared body tampered rearward and had a very strong tinsel strength. The hand grip was reminiscent of The Fairbairn-Sykes “Commando” Knife of World War II fame.
Popular as a waist and Boot knife, The Gerber Mark II was discontinued for sale, due to the overall “fierceness” in appearance. To counter this, Gerber re-manufactured the blade to include serrated sides on the blade , and remarketed it as a “Survival Knife”. It was put back into Exchange Stores. The redesigned Gerber, was capable of cutting through up to .05-inches of Aluminum, a handy tactic for “downed” Pilots. Discontinued in the 1970s, it was released again in limited qualities in the 1990s.