Product Description: This Robbins of Dudley Fighting Knife is a very nice example. This is of one of the several patterns of fighting knives manufactured by the English firm Robbins of Dudley during the First World War. The double-edged blade on this dagger-style weapon has a distinctive, serpentine shape. It shows slight wear, and some traces of age, with some light spotting. The gently contoured handle is made of aluminum, cast on to the blade. The handle has an integral knuckle guard, and features the “Robbins Dudley” maker mark on the grip. The handle shows only slight, even wear. This rare Robbins of Dudley Fighting Knife is complete with its original scabbard, which is extremely hard to find. The scabbard is made of smooth, brown leather, and shows only minimal wear, with typical age darkening. It has a loop for a belt, and a single retaining strap with stud. All of the original stitching is intact. This desirable knife has great eye appeal, and remains in excellent condition overall.
Historical Description: During the first World War, “trench knives” became a fixture for combatants on both sides. These weapons were developed for the reality of hand to hand, close quarters combat that was a grisly part of trench fighting. The first knives were field expedient products using improvised designs, fabricated by unit workshops or by the soldiers themselves. The French began mass production of trench knives early on, and these designs proved influential; the US military would later introduce various models based on the French designs. Germans created their own sturdy cut-and-thrust knives, in designs which remained in use through the end of WWII. Commonwealth troops used a number of different types, including several different standardized varieties. The designs of WWI trench knives were extremely numerous and varied and ranged from commercial type Bowie knives to simple weapons made from the stakes used to hang barbed wire. Push daggers and stilleto-type knives also saw use. Fighting knives were used alongside other types of “quiet” and melee weapons including clubs and hatchets. WWI trench knives are avidly collected today for their historical value.
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