Original Italian WWII USGI Captured and Upgraded Fascist Youth GIL Fighting Knife with Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This began life as an Italian WWII Era GIL (Italian Youth) fighting knife, much along the lines of the Fascist "Pugio" Fighting Knife, but smaller in size, as it was intended for smaller hands. It has the standard wooden handle, with a crossguard and single edged knife blade. Near the ricasso it is correctly marked G I L.
During the war it was captured by a USGI, and had the blade profile changed into more of a double edged "spear point" for better use as a fighting knife. It was mounted into a cut down German style bayonet scabbard, with a modified German leather frog to attach it to the belt.
A very nice example of a rare fighting knife, captured and upgraded by a USGI during WWII. Ready to display!
Blade Length: 6 3/4"
Blade Style: Double Edged Spear Point
Overall length: 10 3/4“
Crossguard: 2 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 7 1/2"
The Gioventù Italiana del Littorio (GIL) (English: Italian Youth of the Lictor) was the consolidated youth movement of the National Fascist Party of Italy that was established in 1937 to replace the Opera NSDAPonale Balilla (ONB). It was created to supervise and influence the minds of all youths, that was effectively directed against the influence of the Catholic Church on youths.
The organization surpassed its purpose as a cultural institution that was intended to serve as the ideological counterpart of school, and served as a paramilitary group (training for future assignments in the Italian Army), as well as education in the career of choice, technology (including postschool courses for legal adults), or education related to home and family (solely for the girls). It carried out indoctrination with a message of Italian-ness and Fascism, training youths as "the fascists of tomorrow".
Moreover, the GIL took charge of all activities initiated by schools, and pressured teachers to enlist all students. Aside from the usual "Fascist Saturdays", children would spend their summers in camps (which included the national-level Campi Dux, reunions of Balilla and Avanguardisti).
Male children enrolled wore a uniform adapted from that of the Blackshirts: the eponymous black shirt, the fez of Arditi tradition, grey-green trousers, black fasces emblems, and azure handkerchiefs (i.e.: in the national color of Italy). During military exercises, they were armed with scaled-down version of Royal Italian Army service rifle, Moschetto Balilla (the rifles were replaced with replica versions for the Figli della Lupa).
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