Original WWI Ax Handle Trench Raiding Club With Nails

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. 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, much like this example. 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 melee weapons such as trench knives, entrenching tools, bayonets, hatchets, hammers, and pickaxe handles – backed up with handguns, shotguns, submachine guns, and hand grenades.

This club has the appearance of a mace type melee weapon with what appears to be early machine cut iron nails. We are unsure of the country of manufacture for this weapon, but it has what looks like a German Pioneer Ax handle.

The club/mace measures 17” in length and has a total of 20 nails with none appearing to be missing. The club shows signs of heavy use, whether it be from combat use or children's play, we are uncertain. There is no significant damage or rot present on the wood and it is still quite solid in construction with no loose nails.

This is truly an interesting example that comes more than ready for further research and display!

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