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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 6:49 pm    Post subject: WWI Trench Knives         Reply with quote

I've been looking at photos of World War I knives. Most of them have a utilitarian design, except for some of the knuckledusters.

First, 2 American knuckedusters

M1917 with a 9 inch triangular stiletto blade.
Replaced by the M1918 trench knife, 11.5 inches overall with a 6.125 two-edged blade.



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M1917

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M1918
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are 2 English knuckledusters

A very mean looking aluminum push knife.

I'm pretty sure the other is also English. It seems similar to some of the American civil war D-guard bowies. Lke many of those knives, the blade migtht have been made from a worn out file.



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Push Knife

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Allan Senefelder
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Location: Upstate NY
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Theres a staggering array of these knives out there. Everything from military issue, to private contract or purchase as well as home made/trench art. I've owned a number of these over the years but my father has/had one of the best i've ever seen. It started off life as an sword bayonette for I believe an Enfield Rifled musket. It was cut down during WWI to be used as a trench knife and went into action again in WWII for the same purpose. It had been in the same family since the ACW and whoever in the familly cut it down to be a trench knife in WWI had put the family names and history into the sheath that they made for the cut down bayonette and then whatever family member carried it in WWII added his name and service date to the sheath.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is an Austrian trench knife, followed by a couple of German ones. There are some private designs on the German side, plus a whole bunch of general issues that of course, look exactly alike


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Austrian

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German

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Another German trench knife
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 1:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In 1916, the English baron de Walden, an aristocratic antiquarian had a knife designed for the Royal Welch Fusiliers machine gunners based on a Welsh short sword called a Cledd. It has a leaf shaped blade with a folding guard,an overall length of 23.5 inches, blade length 17.5 inches, widest point - 3 inches. Those that have picked them up say they are too heavy for easy use. Maybe they worked better as camp knives.


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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2009 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a couple of bolo knives, generally used as a tool by the engineering corps. or the machine gunners to help create their gun emplacements. Teh first has a 15.5 inch blade, the second M1917 Bolo has a 10.375 inch blade.


And let's not forget that weapon of convenience favored by Erich Maria Remarque, the sharpened entrenching tool.



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M1917 Bolo

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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Those that have picked them up say they are too heavy for easy use. .


They're wrong. I've got one in my workshop at the moment (I've been asked to reconstruct a sheath for it) and, whilst it is a brutal looking weapon, it sits very nicely in the hand. It's more of a gladius than a knife really but I would have thought that it did it's job (as a close quarters trench weapon) very well.

Thanks for posting the pictures Roger, the drawing of the scabbard is going to be very useful.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Atlanta Cutlery (Windlass Steelcrafts) offers a few trench knife designs:


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've often wondered about the connection between these two German WWII-era designs. Folks who like the look of the German trench knives but don't want to wear a fixed-blade knife should consider this Mercator k55 ( http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...hlight=k55 ). I still love mine and carry it every day. Great design.


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew - I'm pleased that I was able to put up a photo that will be helpful to you.

Many of these knives must show up in this book by Frederick J. Stephens, shown below. Unfortunately, it is out of print and used copies start at $80.00.



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Ian Hutchison




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If anyone is interested, you can get custom replica trench and fighting knives here:

http://homepage.mac.com/dbrock76/Menu8.html

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 11:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a French trench knife, Model 1916, overall length 11". blade length, 6.5"


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Omar Sander




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec, 2011 3:29 am    Post subject: Trench Knives         Reply with quote

I am a knife collector i don't have Trench knife Model 1916 some idea where i can buy this? thanks.
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Roger Hooper wrote:
Those that have picked them up say they are too heavy for easy use. .


They're wrong. I've got one in my workshop at the moment (I've been asked to reconstruct a sheath for it) and, whilst it is a brutal looking weapon, it sits very nicely in the hand. It's more of a gladius than a knife really but I would have thought that it did it's job (as a close quarters trench weapon) very well.

Thanks for posting the pictures Roger, the drawing of the scabbard is going to be very useful.


It IS a sword, not a knife, a true fighting weapon. As it is one of the most sought-after and rare military blade tools there are probably more fakes than originals out there, with the fakes being heavy & cumbersome.
Those who wish to learn more about fighitng knives should look after the publications of H. Brett, M.H.Cole, M.W. Silvey, Ron Flook, G. Hughes & B. Jenkins.
This site http://www.militaryfightingknives.com/ is commercial but a vast source of knowledge.
This site is an excellent source as well: http://www.usmilitaryknives.com/

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Robert Rytel




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec, 2011 4:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://snyderstreasures.com/pages/knuckle_knives.htm
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar Nudel wrote:

It IS a sword, not a knife, a true fighting weapon. As it is one of the most sought-after and rare military blade tools there are probably more fakes than originals out there, with the fakes being heavy & cumbersome.


The one that I made this new scabbard for was definately an original, as it had been bought home from the trenches by the owner's grandfather.
Not an easy job, as it was quite difficult to get hold of a material similar to the compressed paper board that the core of the original was made from.



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"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 05 Dec, 2011 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew,
Splendid job on the scabbard! You are quite lucky to own one of these rare short swords/knives.

Jonathan
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