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That WWI German & occasional Austrian Trench Knife Thread

Article about: Hi guys, My latest trench knife :-) ERN mm and imperial stamped . The complete knife is in fair to good condition, with some rust pitting on the blade :-/ Unfortunately the tip is broken ! I

  1. #11

    Default

    Greetings all,

    Offered for your perusal are three examples of the same styled knife, though each was manufactured by a different company. The top knife is from the firm of Union Messer-und Metallwaren Fabrik Zella. The middle one is from the firm of Hugo Koller and the bottom knife is unmarked and its maker remains unknown. This style of knife is most commonly associated with the firm of Union Messer commonly and erroneously referred to as “Union Zella” because of the blade’s markings. Of the three knives pictured, the Union Messer’s variant seems to be the most commonly encountered.

    Only the Hugo Koller variant has a “fraktur” acceptance stamp of the letter “C” marked upon the (opposite from the manufacture’s logo side) ricasso. This indicates a government sanctioned inspector had deemed the knife satisfied a minimal level of quality to be utilized by a Soldier/Sailor of the Imperial German armed forces. The implication being, a knife with a “”fraktur” mark was something that was cleared to be purchased by the government for issue hence the inspection. If there’s no “fraktur” mark present, it’s generally assumed the weapon was a privately purchased item offered for sale to the Soldier/Sailor and purchased with their personal funds. Trench Knives and various knife bayonets were offered for sale at the Soldiers’/Sailors’ canteens, from traveling salesmen/outfitters, at various specialty stores, and through direct mail order.



    These three knives may be viewed in Halasz, H. v. (1996). Deutsche Kampfmesser: Band I. Norderstedt: Militar-Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. The Hugo Koller variant is shown on p. 67, the Union Messer on p. 68 and the unmarked variant on p. 69. The Union Messer variant is also shown in Méry, Christian. German combat knives: 1914-1945. Paris: Histoire & Collections, 2011, on p. 42. The two pictured German Soldiers wearing similar styled knives are also from p. 42 of Méry’s outstanding book. Fellow forum member, “Reibert” has posted a very nice postcard of a WWI German Soldier with one of these styled knives found in the very first post of his thread here Postcard of a German Soldier with trench knife

    Regards,

    Lance

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  2. #12

    Default

    Greetings all,

    This week’s specimen is a private purchase model. The blade’s length measures 125mm. Though scaled down, it comes with a quality metal scabbard and frog more reminiscent of a contemporary issue bayonet.

    Regards,

    Lance

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  3. #13

    Default

    Greetings all,

    Here's an image of a Soldat with a similar knife as in my last post carried in his boot.

    Regards,

    Lance

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  4. #14

    Default AW Wadsworth & Son

    With Lance's permission,
    I will add this one to the thread. It has an overall length of 270 cm. (10 5/8") and a blade length of 145 cm. (5 3/4")
    I truly love the stag handles on these.
    Ralph.
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    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  5. #15

    Default Reworked Resicka made Austrian Sturmmesser M1917

    Greetings all,

    This week, a “reworked” Resicka made Austrian Sturmmesser M1917. This example has custom brass plates on either side of its flattened handle and a brass covering around the underside of crosspiece. I assume the brass plates on the handles were for use for decorative or personal (name) engraving purposes (they remain unmarked), but either case they really do add “eye appeal.” This one has been additionally tricked out with a set of saw back teeth cut into the back of the blade along with a false edge at the top of the blade’s tip. This same knife is featured on page 90 of At Arm's Length Trench Clubs and Knives. The blade’s length is 203mm and the scabbard now rests in a standard M. 1895 Mannlicher Bayonet’s Frog.

    The original belt loops provided on the M1917 Sturmmesser’s scabbards did not fare well in service use, so seeing an M. 1895 Bayonet’s Frog used in this manner for carry is common. As two examples, notice how the M1917s pictured below are carried.

    Regards,

    Lance

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  6. #16
    ?

    Default

    Super nice.
    Good pics as well.
    Blade looks as efficient as a modern EK dagger or Gerber MKII.

  7. #17

    Default Backhaus variant.

    Greetings all,

    This week another private purchase German made knife. The blade is 151 mm long and has 31 saw teeth set up for cutting wood (others with smaller and more numerous “hacksaw like” teeth were for cutting metal). While it is unmarked it is probably made by the Backhaus firm.

    Please, check out post #19 where fellow forum member Reibert has posted several other wonderful Backhaus examples here Imperial German WW1 Fighting Knife - Officer Model? He has shared his variants with & without saw backed blades and the rare variant with the gap in the crosspiece to snap barbed wire.

    Regards,

    Lance

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  8. #18

    Default Ernst Busch Trench Knife Pair

    Greetings all,

    Here are two knives I have posted before on an earlier single post as viewed @ http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/bayone...knives-237298/ This time, I have included a nice period group shot of these style of “Ernst Busch” made trench knives being worn by a German Sturm-Gruppe. All of the knives visible except for one appear to be this style of knife. They came in both wooden and metal handled variants. The one on the left (in my color picture) is the wooden handled variant which has a blade 151mm (measured exactly this time) in length and 153mm for the metal handled variant’s blade on the right.

    Regards

    Lance

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  9. #19

    Default Another peronalized Sturmmesser M1917

    Greetings all,

    Here’s another example of a personalized/modified Austrian Sturmmesser M1917 with a blade’s length of 210mm. It has been personalized with a letter “H” monogram and some fancy metal work on its handle. Previous owner said that the knife had been owned by a Soldier serving in the 53rd Croatian, (Zagreb based) Infantry Regiment. Unfortunately, it did not come with the Soldier’s name. Lower picture shows this knife on the left and another “S” marked M1917 on the right. Though both knives possess the same “S” marking, notice the differing fonts’ sizes. Additionally, the knife on the left’s cross-guard measures 54mm in length, whilst the one on the right is 58mm.

    No one has determined what the “S” trademark definitively stands for. There have been plenty of guesses (Solingen, Stainless Steel, etc.), but nothing that has been verified/backed by citable evidence.

    Regards,

    Lance

    P.S. Yes, I've buffed off the finger prints as seen on the blade on the right.

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    P.S. I've just received some additional information from the seller "WWI trench knife-carrying is; Joseph Penev - member 53 Zagreb Regiment.
    His son Stephen Penev wore it in WWII. The army NDH 1942 -1945, as a member of the elite home guard units, "Mountain Brigade and hunting."
    (Mountain and Hunting units). With the Austrian trenches were armed with knives and parachute units of the army NDH."
    Last edited by militariaone; 01-19-2014 at 04:08 PM.

  10. #20
    ?

    Default

    Good looking personalized knife with a bit of story to it.

    Great pic as well with the raised dagger and another soldier with what looks like a HEBEL (?) flare gun stuck in his belt (cant see the opening mechanism for the belt).

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