Original U.S. WWI Era Sharpened Nails Trench Club with Lead Filled Head - Featured in Book At Arm's Length V2 on Page 69

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Purchased directly from David F. Machnicki, the author of At Arm's Length Trench Clubs and Knives (Vol. 11), where this very club is featured on page 69! Please note that the attached page image from the book is copyrighted material and the use of the page is done by permission of the author. A printed copy of the page will accompanWooden Club, Lead-filled head, Hand Sharpened Nails. As pictured Vol. II, pp. 69 #30y the purchase of this club.

This club serves as evidence to the resourcefulness of a person in creating a club out of readily available material. A solid piece of re-purposed wood was used to construct the club. The top 400 mm of its length was rough-filed into the shape of a heptagon. To increase its effective weight, the top of the club was hollowed out and then filled with lead. And to make his club a more effective “motivator" ”, 48 small nails (2.0 mm diameter shank) were hammered into its surface resulting in a spiral pattern of sharp projecting points about the  about the circumference of the club’s bead. These “pointy tips” were made by removing the nail's bead: and the filing the nails cut heads into sharp points. Marks form the filing remain scratched into the surface of the wood around the shanks of the nails. The remainder of its handle in cylindrical with the bottom 260 mm acting as a grip. The grip has been rough filed  to provide its user with a better grip. A 22 mm wide leather strap acts as the lanyard. Three rivets (one large and two small) were used to attach the lanyard around the handle. In addition, two large flat head nails were used to firmly anchor the step to the back side of the handle.

This is a long and formidable weapon.

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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