José Solchaga Zala, at the age of 15, entered the Spanish Military Academy, where after three years he reached the rank of Lieutenant. In 1909, already a Captain, he requested a position in Morocco and fought in many operations in Melilla and later in Larache and Tetuán. Like many officers, he rose to Commander thanks to his achievements in the African combat.
In October 1934, when the Asturian workers rose up against the government, it was together with other soldiers like Franco himself that united to create the Nationalists, or rebels, to fight against the Republic. Zala was quickly noticed for his great military skills and was promoted to General. He boldly led the Navarrese troops through many battles, capturing the northern Basque provinces and Asturias. In 1938, he led his troops in the Catalonia Offensive, capturing the key city of Barcelona.
While the Spanish Civil War was one of the deadliest wars and the loss of life is not something we celebrate, we can appreciate the cunning and skill of Zala’s tactical leadership. This is why we have named our assisted opening Damascus steel knife after Zala. The ruggedness, spring action, and knife shape make it the ideal choice for a daily carry pocket knife. Something a soldier would carry. A 4” Damascus steel blade and 5” micarta-clad handle make up this great looking knife. A brass bolster and brass release button finish off the Zala Damascus steel assisted opening knife. The brass release button folds down to release the blade with a tight spring. The assisted opening on this knife is very fast and will surprise you the first time you open the blade. With the tension of the spring and weight of the blade, it opens with a pleasant/solid thud. To put the blade away, simply hold the brass button down while you fold the blade in.
Zala Assisted Opening Damascus Steel Knife Specifications:
- Overall Length: 9”
- Handle Length: 5”
- Blade Length: 4”
- Blade Material: Damascus Steel 1095 and 15n20
- Blade Hardness: 55-58 HRC
- Damascus pattern: Twist
- Number of layers: 256
- Blade thickness: 2mm
- Handle Material: Green/Black Micarta
- Includes a hand stitched custom full-grain leather sheath with a belt loop and a wood presentation box.
Please note: Each knife is handmade from natural materials. There will be some variation in color, Damascus pattern and overall look. The knife you receive will have the same attention to quality and detail as the one pictured, but may differ slightly in appearance.
1095 steel is a high-carbon steel and will rust if not dried and oiled after use. Hand wash only with soap and hot water. Dry completely before oiling.
About Forseti Steel:
The secret to forging authentic Damascus steel knives has long been lost, but Forseti Steel stays as true to the tradition as they can by commissioning smiths with Damascus ancestry to hand-make all of their blades. The artists behind the enamoring water-like patterns of folded and pounded steel have all learned their skills and techniques from the generations that worked the metals before them.
In addition to paying tribute to the Damascus practice in technique and appearance, Forseti Steel shows its respect for history's heroes, legends, and characters with their knives' names. The 9", walnut-handled Sentinel, for example, honors the Sentinels who stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington.