Original British WWI Trench Raiding Club with Lead Core
Original Item: Only One Available. 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
This example has a 18 inch wood shaft with a partial lead core (the upper section has fallen out) to what was originally the upper 6 or 7 inches of the head. The head of the club is encircled with rows of iron hobnails or studs, which would shatter a soldier's skull with ease. The some studs are long absent but you can see where they were embedded into the shaft. Base has lanyard hole where a leather lanyard would have been secured. Clearly made up in field workshops, these proved highly effective and are extremely hard to find on today's collector market. Purchased from a collection used in a new publication on weapons of the Great War. Exceptionally rare.
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