Original Austro-Hungarian WWI Spike Trench Raiding Club - Featured in Book At Arm's Length

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. A fantastic example of a World War One massive model Austrian trench club. The club's length is approximately 27 inches (687 mm) and has a weight of 2.8 pounds (1276 grams). Added to its cast iron head are 12 horseshoe nails symmetrically arranged around the circumference of the club's head creating a pattern of four alternating rows (with three nails per row). The apex of the club's head bears a 2.5 inch (66 mm) terminal spike. The wooden handle is varnished and tapers gradually away from the head only to expand again shortly above the grip creating a 7.0 mm thick ornamental ring design. The doable-convex grip retains its smooth finish and terminates in a disk-shaped pommel. A 7.0 mm Lanyard bole has been drilled 2.7 inches (70 mm) above the top of the grip. The hemp lanyard may not be original to this club.

Purchased from a collection used in At Arm's Length Trench Clubs and Maces Vol. 2 by David F. Machnicki where this very club is featured on page 6! Please note that the attached page image from the book is copyrighted material and the use of the page is done by permission of the author.

Trench raiding clubs were homemade melee weapons used by both the Allies and the Central Powers during World War I. Clubs were used during nighttime trench raiding expeditions as a quiet and effective way of killing or wounding enemy soldiers. The clubs were usually made out of wood. It was common practice to fix a metal object at the striking end (e.g. an empty Mills bomb) in order to maximize the injury inflicted. Another common design comprised a simple stave with the end drilled out and a lead weight inserted, with rows of large hobnails hammered in around its circumference. Most designs had some form of cord or leather strap at the end to wrap around the user's wrist. Bosnian soldiers serving in the Austro-Hungarian army were fond of using maces. They were also used by officers to finish enemy soldiers wounded by poison gas attacks.

Trench clubs were manufactured in bulk by units based behind the lines. Typically, regimental carpenters and metal workers would make large numbers of the same design of club. They were generally used along with other "quiet" weapons such as trench knives, entrenching tools, bayonets, hatchets and pickaxe handles – backed up with revolvers and hand grenades.

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