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WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

Article about: Looking through a number in "Illustriete Weltkriegschronik " 1916 magazine series came across a illustration of a Austro- Hungarian infantry soldier ready for close combat in a gas

  1. #1
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    Default WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Looking through a number in "Illustriete Weltkriegschronik " 1916 magazine series came across a illustration of a Austro- Hungarian infantry soldier ready for close combat in a gas mask, equipped with a breast shield - body armour of the day and armed with a spiked mace and a balled-club in each hand, really looks to have come straight out of the middle ages, must have been a hell of a shock seeing someone so dressed in a gas attack I got to wondering, what the British soldiers used for close combat fighting apart from bayonets, daggers did they also use breast plates, coshes, maces ? I've looked through a number of threads in the hope of finding a picture of some of this equipment, without any luck. If any member has any pieces could they please post a picture.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Here you go... Some close combat weapons of the Great War! Most of them are Allied...
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    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    A couple of mine---
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    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  4. #4

    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Don't forget the good old sharpened short handled shovel.
    Nasty.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Gentlemen - Lizardking, Chopperman,
    Thanks for the pictures - some particularly grizzly looking hand weapons there, sent a shudder down my spine. The knuckledusters with a small blade / spike appear especially gruesome. Some of the club variations seem to be do-it-yourself made, whilst others (knuckledusters, spikes) were factory made. Would anyone happen to know, if all soldiers were issued with them as standard issue or were only front soldiers given them? perhaps before going over the top ? Any further info. welcome.

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Quote by AlecH View Post
    Would anyone happen to know, if all soldiers were issued with them as standard issue or were only front soldiers given them? perhaps before going over the top ?
    Although not a specialist i think these were field made for hand to hand combat in the trenches! The ones factory made i think they were issued to some front troops but when things went bad every single soldier would like to have a leathal weapon like the clubs or daggers!

    Here is a very nice scene from a movie that depicts very vivdly the face of the war in the trenches...

    Passchendaele Ending Battle Scene - YouTube

  7. #7

    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Quote by AlecH View Post
    Gentlemen - Lizardking, Chopperman,
    Thanks for the pictures - some particularly grizzly looking hand weapons there, sent a shudder down my spine. The knuckledusters with a small blade / spike appear especially gruesome. Some of the club variations seem to be do-it-yourself made, whilst others (knuckledusters, spikes) were factory made. Would anyone happen to know, if all soldiers were issued with them as standard issue or were only front soldiers given them? perhaps before going over the top ? Any further info. welcome.
    Hi Alec,

    The trench clubs in particular were mostly made to a pattern decided at regimental or battallion level. These would then be produced by the carpenters, farriers and engineers at that level. Hence the different types found, some just entrenching tool helves with a few hobnails hammered in to more specialised clubs with turned handles and specially forged heads. They would not have been standard issue to all troops, but handed out to soldiers prior to going on a nightime 'Trench Raid' or other such situation where close combat was likely or inevitable.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Thanks for the you-tube link Lizardking - I'd not seen it before - your right - parts of it do give a vivid depiction. It was a particularly poignant clip for me, more than you could know - my paternal grandfather was gassed at Passchendaele not with the Canadian troops but with the Worcestershire Regiment, he did however survive the war, lived until 1943. Thanks for posting. Cheers

    Hi Ned,
    I've just read your post, makes sense what you say. I got to wondering, if a soldier was taken prisoner and found to be carrying these close combat pieces how the Germans reacted ? were they despatched (killed) straight away or accepted as legitimate POW. I ask, as I believe any German soldiers who were taken prisoner and found to be carrying a saw-backed bayonet, were routinely killed off by the allied soldiers?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Hello

    Here are my close combat things. All Austrohungarian dug found. 3 boxer,2 trench clubs, an hungarian fokos and an shield for dragoner helmet.
    best regards.........S
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: WW1 Close Combat Hand Weapons / Body Armour

    Lokvar,
    Thanks for showing, nice little collection, the helmet shield you show is something new to me - never seen one with a strengthening rib in it, that runs and forms a pointed tip on the top, assume it has followed the form of the dragoner helmet. A rare thing to find and have, could be worth something. You only need a wooden shaft for the the piece on the left in your first photo and it wouldn't be far away from the weapon the soldier is holding in his right hand in my first post. One surprise is how big the four finger holes are, in the boxers (Knuckledusters). If you get a chance could you post extra photos of the helmet shield, perhaps taken in daylight. Great things to see, again thanks for posting.

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