The great combat knife has had a long tradition in Europe. Beginning in the Seax and single-edged Germanic swords of the Iron Age, a weapon with a big cutting blade mounted as a knife was celebrating a popularity as a functional and no-nonsense sidearm of warriors and civilians alike through the ages.
In German speaking areas, the Falchion did not reach the same popularity as elsewhere in Europe. Instead the big war-knife saw a development of its own.
These come in many forms and sizes, some more intended for stabbing, others for cutting and yet other types that combined cutting and thrusting capability. We know them today by different names: Rugger (a long, stiff and pointy variant, primarily meant for stabbing), Hauswher (peasant knife; an intimidating weapon of defense), Grossemesser /Messer (literally: big knife/knife, a single handed weapon with a wide cutting blade with the dimensions of a short sword, popular among commoners, nobles, civilians and soldiers alike) and Kriegsmesser (war-knife of hand-and-a-half or even two-hand size. A weapon for the professional soldier that also saw use among civilians).