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Lebel Fighting knife ?

Article about: I was shown a knife recently by a dealer aquaintence, he let me take a couple of photos but the light was poor so my apologies for the bad quality of the images, he was unsure of its origins

  1. #1

    Default Lebel Fighting knife ?

    I was shown a knife recently by a dealer aquaintence, he let me take a couple of photos but the light was poor so my apologies for the bad quality of the images, he was unsure of its origins (bladed items are'nt his speciality) but to me it looks like the type of emergency/contingency type knife issued in the run up to the Normandy landings, I can find one printed reference to this type of knife in Ron Flooks excellent book "British & Commonwealth Military Knives' which shows a version made from nickel plated brass, he states (as do other sources) that the blade was that of the No4 Mk1 cruciform type mated to a knurled handle and using a modified No4 scabbard..........I have a No4 Mk1 in my collection and comparing the two the blade is certainly not the same as that on my pictured example......my question is this......is this a modern repro perhaps using a Lebel bayonet blade, or is it a genuine period piece perhaps using the same Lebel blade.................the only markings on this example are on the bolster end which are......C + x 1944........the handle has a hole at the pommel end for a lanyard or wrist strap and the scabbard looks vaguely like a modified No4.......any opinions please....??
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  2. #2
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    It is a modified bayonet for the MAS Modèle 36 French service rifle. It has a handle similar to that of the bayonet but modified to allow a better grip and then the blade has been shortened to fit a scabbard similar to that of the British No. 4 bayonet seen above. 20 years ago, IMA sold these for about $5 each and they had a bunch. They were supposedly in French service during their war in Indochina and for a number of years after. Below is the bayonet version of your "trench nail" "knife".

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  3. #3
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    I believe this is supposed to be the "so called" D-Day knife. The story I heard is that they were issued to free French forces for the invasion, However the ones like this one based on the 1886 lebel blade are believed to be postwar fantasy.

    Here is a little reading on the subject:
    Knife_Knotes_13

    and one for sale at IMA:
    D-Day Invasion Combat Knife without Scabbard: Allied Forces ima-usa.com

    hope this helps,
    Jim

  4. #4

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    Thanks Guys.........I had doubts about it and the info you supplied seems to confirm that it is of suspect origins.....I cannot find any printed info relating to this particular knife in any of my reference books by Skennerton, Flook or Wilkinson et al so the only conclusion is that it is a bit of a fantasy piece.................your opinions are appreciated.

    Phil

  5. #5
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    Thank you Jim.

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