Original WWI British Army Star Shaped Trench Raiding Club
Original Item: Only One Available. This totally original incredible example has a 13 inch wood shaft with a 1 inch tall iron head. Overall it measures 13 inches in length and is a very impressive example of a Great War British trench club! The head of the club is encircled with a six point star which measures 4 inches across and would shatter a soldier's skull with ease. Purchased from a collection used in a new publication on weapons of the Great War titled At Arm's Length Trench Clubs and Maces Vol. 2 by David F. Machnicki. We were told this example is in the book but do not know which page (a copy is on the way to us!).
With the adoption of Trench Warfare in 1914 the stalemate became intolerable so the practice of "trench raids" was introduced. Taking place at night this involved a raining party crossing NO-MANS-LAND and entering into the enemy's trench system to take a few prisoners for interrogation. Clearly these were covert operations and the use of firearms was impossible so the Army reverted to almost medieval tactics of using clubs and edged weapons.
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.
At first they used spades and bayonets but then more effective weapons were distributed just as we offer here. The trench war went on, for the British, for four long years so most of these hand to hand weapons saw action. This example has a 15 wood shaft with a heavy cast iron head bearing six protruding knobs that could shatter a man's skull with ease. Apart from the historical connection, ideal for home defense or to keep the kids in order.
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