Original French WWII Era Senegalese Tirailleurs Type Entrenching Machete with Leather Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice WWII Era French Coupe short entrenching machete, as used by the Tirailleurs Sénégalais (Senegalese Colonial Troops) for the first half of the 20th century. These were first introduced in 1898, and continued to be produced and used up through WWII. They were even reissued as late as the 1960s, and examples saw service during the Indochina Wars. Early versions were maker marked on the blade, but by the 1930s they were produced unmarked, as with this example.
The machete has a romantic "One thousand and one Nights" style blade 14 1/4", with an overall length 20 1/2". Condition is excellent, with just a bit of storage wear on the scabbard, and a bit of oxidation on the body of the machete blade. This example does not look to have seen much service at all, and may have spent most of WWII and later in a storage depot after the fall of France.
The leather scabbard is in great shape, with a lovely patina. The inside of the scabbard does have some issue markings stamped on it, which we unfortunately cannot quite make out. The leather has shrunk a bit, so it is now quite tight on the blade. The belt loop on the back is fully intact and marked FRANCE.
Ready to display!
Blade Length: 14 1/4"
Blade Style: Heavy Machete
Overall length: 20 1/2“
Scabbard Length: 15"
A tirailleur, in the Napoleonic era, was a type of light infantry trained to skirmish ahead of the main columns. Subsequently tirailleurs was used by the French Army as a designation for indigenous infantry recruited in the French colonial territories during the 19th and 20th centuries, or for metropolitan units serving in a light infantry role.
The first colonial tiralleurs will raised from Algeria, but later Tunisia and Morroco would follow. In 1914, during World War I, the 1st Regiment of Moroccan Tirailleurs was created. At the end of the period of French rule in 1956 six regiments of Moroccan tirailleurs were still in existence.
The recruitment of Muslim tirailleurs was mainly voluntary, although a selective form of conscription was introduced in Algeria in 1913 and continued until the end of French rule in North Africa. Prior to 1939 up to 90% of the rank and file of each battalion had been indigenous. The proportion of French European (both metropolitan and pied-noir settlers) to Maghrébin (North African) personnel had however increased to about 30% by the end of World War II, as the tirailleur units became increasingly mechanized.
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