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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: WWI Trench Knife ID and Information         Reply with quote

I don't remember where I found this photograph. I think that this is a British WWI trench knife, but I'm not sure. I guess it could be a Confederate D-guard, but the hilt style seems wrong for that type.

The blade looks like it might have been made from a file.

Does anyone have any familiarity with this knife?

Thanks for any information that you can give me.



 Attachment: 24.17 KB
TRENCHWW1DGUARD.jpg

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Soldier made WWI trench knife does seem credible to me and a Civil War D guard bowie or dagger seems less likely to me as it just doesn't have that Victorian mid 19th century look to me: And factory knife of that period would have been more fancy I think and most where English Sheffield made I think: Even cheesy cheap ones would tend more to the ornate/gaudy rather than crude. ( Just a hunch/gut feeling I could be wrong as it's not a period I have studied attentively ).
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Nov, 2009 5:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Soldier made WWI trench knife does seem credible to me and a Civil War D guard bowie or dagger seems less likely to me as it just doesn't have that Victorian mid 19th century look to me: And factory knife of that period would have been more fancy I think and most where English Sheffield made I think: Even cheesy cheap ones would tend more to the ornate/gaudy rather than crude. ( Just a hunch/gut feeling I could be wrong as it's not a period I have studied attentively ).


I agree. The blade is not from the Civil War era. The knife has no features that give away the location or era but I suspect that it is WWI or even WWII and made by a soldier with time on his hands. The blade may have originally been on a different knife, possibly a model 1918 trench knife that somehow became separated from its knuckle guard.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Nov, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:

I suspect that it is WWI or even WWII and made by a soldier with time on his hands. The blade may have originally been on a different knife, possibly a model 1918 trench knife that somehow became separated from its knuckle guard.


I was over at the historical knife maker, Dan Brock's website - http://plowshareforgeknives.blogspot.com/2009/07/blog-post.html - Among other types, he makes a number of trench knives. He writes:

Unbelievable as it seems now, at least to me, the British army went through the entirety of the first world war with no standard-issue, fighting knife. This fact, coupled with the realities of trench warfare, left the lads needing something to fill the gap, a situation exploited by many manufacturers.

I think this piece may have been one of a private manufacturer's run of knives. It has a production look about it that makes it unlikely to me that it was a soldier's spare time project.



There are a lot of very interesting knives on Dan Brock's website. - bowies, other 19th century replicass, WWI, WWII -
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jan, 2010 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Brock says it is a one-off WWII theater made knife (probably Pacific), with a copper tubing knucklebow. Theater made, of course means that it might have been created in a machine shop on board a ship anchored off Tarawa, or maybe one in Tobruk. Whover made it needed to be near a refrigeration unit to get the copper. Below is an example of such a knife.


 Attachment: 62.82 KB
ww2 dagger1s.jpg
From "Theater Made Military Knives of World War Two" by Bill Wright


Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sun 24 Jan, 2010 12:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jan, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I asked Dan Brock to recreate the dagger in the first picture, and I just received it. He figured that copper tubing for the knucklebow wasn't going to be strong enough where it was flattened at the grip. He decided to use 3/8 inch diameter solid steel instead. He also made the knucklebow a littler larger. It is very solid and won't buckle. The rivets are poured lead, The grip wood slabs are bubinga

The blade is 6.5 inches long, 1.25 wide. The hilt is 3.75 long. I wish he'd made the hilt 1/4 to 1/2 inch longer - for my hand it works with a hammer grip - handshake grip is not as comfortable.

Still, a very cool little knife



 Attachment: 90.9 KB
Trench db3a.jpg
Dan Brock, Plowshare Forge

 Attachment: 96.3 KB
trench db5.jpg
Dan Brock, Plowshare Forge
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