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French Trench Knife

Article about: I recently received this French trench knife. The brass handle is from an M1886 Lebel bayonet, but I have no idea where the blade came from. It didn't have a scabbard and unfortunately some

  1. #1

    Default French Trench Knife

    I recently received this French trench knife. The brass handle is from an M1886 Lebel bayonet, but I have no idea where the blade came from. It didn't have a scabbard and unfortunately some idiot tried to sharpen it with a grinder, but other than that it is pretty nice knife and most likely dates from just after WW2, and could have been used in both Indo-China and Algeria. I'm currently constructing a scabbard from a P37 Basic Pouch I had laying around and I might try to sand the grinder marks away. The ruler is in cm.

    French Trench Knife

    French Trench Knife

  2. #2

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    Rather nice looking. The blade is likely to be from a S 98/05 "butcher" bayonet, but when it was made is anyone's guess. Without provenance these fall into the "maybe" basket.

  3. #3
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    Great call on the blade Anderson. I was looking at it thinking I've seen that type, but couldn't come up with a match.
    I have both of those bayonets and have to say ,It is an interesting combo. One could speculate it was put together for use in the muddy trenches, Or one could think somebody found 2 relic bayo's and made a knife!!!.


    Tough call on when it was made, But maybe how it was made could give a clue.
    How is the blade attached to the handle?

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  4. #4

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    That's a good question. The blade is very firmly attached to the handle with what looks it could be a flame solder weld at the back of the handle, although it's almost invisible. It does look like the blade was blued at one time, with traces remaining near the handle, in the blood groove and on top. I assumed this knife was constructed post-1945 but since it seems to have been made from two WW1 bayonets I guess it could have been made around that time too.

    French Trench Knife

    French Trench Knife

  5. #5

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    The S 98/05 bayonets used by the post WW1 Reichwehr were blued, so that would fit with your theory it was made later. I think it possibly was made by a farmer or a hunter. Would look good with a leather sheath.

  6. #6
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    I was wondering about the handle , So researched that these were the second handle type for Lebel. First type were made of German nickel silver and the second being made of brass and that it screwed on to the blade.
    Well I learned something today!!!
    The pommel looks untouched so still has me wondering about how the blade is fitted/secured to the handle. I can see the torch marks on the blade by the ricasso, So that was heated,

    Oh well. Still a cool looking combo.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  7. #7
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    S98/05 blade is real, the handle looks like unfinished Lebel, not visible turned part on end. so probably only soldered together, which is not extra strong holding. the blue tone could be realised by heating of complet. b.r.Andy

  8. #8

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    Thanks for your replies. I have the impression the blade was once chemically blued. The handle has a number stamped in the groove on top (xx1040, the first 2 being unreadable).

  9. #9
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    In fuller there is discoloration typical by heating of material.by chemical blueing would be all parts blued.b.r.Andy

  10. #10

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    I think the blade once was all blued. Other than in the blood gutter there also are traces left at the top of the blade and on the blade itself here and there. There seems to be a grey-ish discoloration near the handle though, and this may very well have been caused by heat. I hope it is visible in the pic:

    French Trench Knife

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