The machete has been around, in some form, since the Bronze Age. In modern times, machetes have seen action in various wars, including World War II, the Vietnam War and Desert Storm. The machete continues to be a valuable tool for the U.S. military to this day.
Military machetes help soldiers to travel through jungle environments. Troops use the blade to slash through heavy vegetation. However, a machete can also be used for close-quarter combat purposes. During the Vietnam War, the LC-14-B machete ("the Woodman's Pal") was given to aircraft pilots as part of their survival kits.
Until World War II, troops in the U.S. Army were accustomed to using a 22-inch machete. During World War II, the M-1942 machete was introduced; it sported a shorter, 18-inch blade, making it easier to use in jungle operations.
Get a Grip
During World War II, handles of military machetes were typically made of black plastic, though some were made of olive green plastic. A cord was tied through a hole in the handle, forming a wrist loop to prevent the machete from being dropped or lost during combat.