Original U.S. WWII M1943 Entrenching Tool Shovel with Canvas Carrier
Original Item: One Only. One of scores of items that made life a little easier and safer for the World War II soldier was an improved entrenching tool. Unlike World War I where soldiers spent most of their time at the front in, in World War II the emphasis was on individual shelter and the need to construct hasty foxholes. For that reason, the entrenching tool became an indispensable piece of equipment, as necessary as a weapon in many settings. One Quartermaster observer in Tunisia in 1943 noted:
"This is one of the few items that the fighting soldier will not discard, but will actually carry right into battle with him. It is probably the most useful utensil that he has in his possession. In every new position he takes, either advancing or retreating, it is absolutely necessary that a foxhole be dug. When foxholes are needed, they are usually need IN A HURRY -- and DEEP!"
This is an original WW2 issue M-1943 Folding Entrenching tool, complete with its correct OD Green canvas carrier/cover. Shovel is in good condition, with much of the original paint on the handle and blade present, though there is definitely past rusting on the blade. The shovel is fully functional, and locks correctly into the three basic configurations. Blade is marked:
The Ames company is a pre-revolutionary manufacturer founded in Massachusetts by Captain John Ames in 1774. They manufactured 11 million entrenching tools for the U.S. during WW2, making it by far the largest manufacturer of these tools.
The Canvas cover for this tool is marked GEN. S. CORP. 1943, and is in excellent condition. It has minimal staining, and only two small holes in the canvas from wear on the end of the entrenching tool itself.
The M-1943 entrenching Tool was a combination shovel and hoe with a wooden handle and folding blade. It could be easily carried, assembled, and required almost no instructions for use. These were issued starting in 1943, but the M-1910 continued in use through the end of the war.
The M-1943 had a one piece handle that was permanently attached to the blade via an adjustable hinge. Using a large nut to loosen or tighten the connection, the hinge could be freed so the shovel and handle could be set up in a line (use as a shovel), at a right angle (use as a hoe), or folded over (to store in its cover). The khaki or later olive drab canvas M-1943 cover had a foldover flap with snap closure and a hook on the back for attachment to a utility belt or pack.
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