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Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

Article about: Back in the 1960s we collected those 'bubblegum cards'. My lifelong fascination with the 'Battle of the Bulge' started with this card : - I'd never heard of the Battle before ( OK, I was onl

  1. #1

    Arrow Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    Back in the 1960s we collected those 'bubblegum cards'. My lifelong fascination with the 'Battle of the Bulge' started with this card : -

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    I'd never heard of the Battle before ( OK, I was only 9 ! ) but remember poring over the image of the tough-looking, heavily-armed German soldier - complete with his fighting knife.....

    Many years later, I'd read and studied a lot, visited Poteau, and bought my own rusty fighting knife from the Ardennes - and now another one from the Stoneleigh Fair - all because of that iconic photo.

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.


    Information about the German Close Combat Knife is surprisingly sketchy, but I've enjoyed searching the internet ( and especially older threads on this Forum - particularly from rbminis ). So I've been taking another look at that superb sequence of photos from Poteau.

    Alternative view of that Leibstandarte MG42 gunner, complete with Browning HP35 and that knife. Those grooves in the grips look as though they may have been applied with a file ?

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    Close-up ( apologies for the grain ) -

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    But there's something interesting about another SS-Rottenfuhrer ( 'raincoat man' ) in the same photo sequence. Pallud/Ramsey in 'Battle Of The Bulge - Then & Now' caption the photo as 'bayonet stuffed down the back of his boot...' and admittedly, it's a small part of the image. But Buffetaut in Militaria HS39 shows more detail. Looking closely, the rivets and shape of the grips seem to indicate another Nahkampfmesser....

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    Of course, Luftwaffe field division personnel are shown in the photos - I believe they would have been issued with these knives. I wonder if the Waffen-SS guys coveted those knives & 'acquired' them ? Well, that's pure speculation.

    Are there any other photos of the Nahkampfmesser in 'action' , I wonder ?

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  3. #2

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    Martin it's an interesting series of photos, where the MG guy features a lot,perhaps because of his film star good looks. There's a few other images taken that day, here's another one.

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

  4. #3

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    Slightly better resolution of your first image
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.  

  5. #4

    Default Close, but no cigar.

    Greetings Martin,

    Now, you need to get one of these: The same make/model of “Mr. Battle of the Bulge’s” private purchased German Trench Knife.

    Best,

    V/r Lance

  6. #5

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    Film footage at the same time as the photos:

    YouTube

    (Your man is shown at 1:32)

  7. #6

    Thumbs up

    Quote by MilitariaOne View Post
    Greetings Martin,

    Now, you need to get one of these: The same make/model of “Mr. Battle of the Bulge’s” private purchased German Trench Knife.

    Best,

    V/r Lance
    Haha !

    Many thanks, V/r lance - I confess that I totally missed your earlier post first time around. Most interesting !

    I'll just be happy with my example ; as your post shows, there is always something else to look out for. These knives are certainly an enigma of WWII militaria collecting......

  8. #7

    Default

    Thank you Martin!
    Although I always felt that he was carrying your typical Luftwaffe boot knife, I believe the knife he is actually carrying is this one made by Hugo Köller.
    IMO, the handle shape, diagonal cuts, and the guard shape matches this example.
    As this is a WW I fighting knife, it is possible he has exchanged the sheath with a Luftwaffe boot knife, difficult to tell from these photos.
    Ralph.

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.
    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.
    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.
    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.
    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.
    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.

    My example is stamped on the reverse of the sheath.

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  9. #8

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    After looking again, it appears he has switched the sheath with one similar to my Puma.
    Ralph.

    Pics : Nahkampfmesser in the Ardennes.
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  10. #9

    Thumbs up

    Your input is much appreciated, Ralph !

    Thanks to the images which you've posted, I think you may well be right. The shape of the crossguard in particular does seem to tally with that in the contemporary photos.

    ( As an aside, I find the endless speculation and discussion of this famous series of photos has an interest all its' own ; I never tire of studying them... )

  11. #10

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    That little stretch of road near the Poteau junction is a well trodden one, if the footage had not found its way into Allied hands I sometimes wonder if it would ever have seen the light of day.

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