Original German WWI Trench Raiding Club - From Personal Collection David F. Machnicki Author of At Arm's Length Series
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Purchased directly from David F. Machnicki, the author of At Arm's Length Trench Club Book Series. We were told that this club will be featured in the upcoming Volume three of the series.
This is an exceptional example of a World War One German trench club. Its length approximates 18 inches and has a mass of 1.7 lbs. The center for the top of the club was hollowed out and filled with lead. In addition, eighteen large nails (of unknown origin) have been hammered into the surface of the club's head using an alternating pattern of two's and three's. A 3/8" wide forged iron ring and rivet were attached to the top of the club to prevent the club's head from splintering upon impact. Small flat-headed nails have been added to the outer perimeter of the club's head to retain this iron ring. The roughed-out surface for this club's oak handle is cylindrical and gradually tapers from the head toward its smooth-surface grip. An hole was drilled above its roughed-out pommel for a lanyard.
Total length: 18"
Total Weight: 1.7 Lbs
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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