Original Austro-Hungarian WWI Trench Raiding Club - Featured in Book At Arm's Length on Page 34

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Purchased from a collection used in At Arm's Length Trench Clubs and Maces Vol. 1 by David F. Machnicki where this very club is featured on page 34! Please note that the attached page image and copy from the book is copyrighted material and the use of the page is done solely by permission of the author.

This trench club has a very attractive shape to its design. The club's length is approximately 19.5 inches and weighs approximately 2 lbs. While we call it Austro-Hungarian, teh exact country of origin is unknown and since the publication of the book its has been suggested that the head may have been a tool used as a "hog roller". However, the other theory is that it is an unidentified piece of ordnance which was then filled with lead and used to create the club's barrel-shaped head. The entire handle is made from a straight piece of iron, which was tightly wrapped in smooth dark brown leather. The grip has 21 regularly spaced leather ribs that appear decorative and provide "grip assurance" for its user. A pommel nut was used to attach the grip to its 19mm diameter metal handle. A brass pommel loop (24 x 30 mm) is affixed through the pommel nut. Finally, the end of the metal handle was peened below its pommel nut. Notes Current literature on the topic of medieval weaponry has classified this style of club. which is constructed with a solid metal handle and a heavy metal head bearing small knobs, flanges or ridges as a mace (Streitkolben).

Total length: 492 mm
Head dimensions: 73 x 44 x 44 mm
Grip diameter: 30 mm
Pommel diameter. 35 mm
Lanyard: 24 x mm brace loop
Mass. 831 grams
Other: unidentified ordnance or tool for hog wheel used as a club head.

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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