Product Description: This US M1 1918 Trench Knife is an incredible piece, with outstanding original finish. Most of these knives were stripped of their original blackened finish, either by the soldiers or by later users or collectors. This one has nearly all of the blackening intact. The blade of this extremely desirable knife has incredible original finish, with some marks, as well as a very small portion of the tip being broken off from going in and out of the scabbard, and a very small amount of paint loose on the tip area. The blade is slightly loose in the handle. The handle is outstanding, with original finish and just a slight amount of old wear to edges. The handle is marked “U.S. 1918” and is maker marked L.F.&C. indicating manufacture by Landers, Frary & Clark. This US M1 1918 Trench Knife is complete with its matching original scabbard. The scabbard has great finish, with some age patina and some light corrosion. The scabbard is marked L.F.&C. 1918, matching the knife. The original prongs on the scabbard are intact. This knife is a choice example that has a wonderful overall look. The condition is excellent plus.
Historical Description: The brutal conditions of the First World War necessitated new weapons that were well suited for the realities of trench warfare, including hand to hand combat. The first dedicated close combat weapon created for American soldiers was the M1917 trench knife. This knife was designed by the firm of Henry Disston and Sons, and was based on weapons developed by the French military over the previous years of war. The knife featured a metal knuckle guard that was adorned with spikes, and had a triangular blade that was useful as a stabbing weapon only. A nearly identical, slightly improved version of this knife, designated the M1918, was introduced within months. The blade of these weapons was regarded as flimsy, and proved unsatisfactory in combat; testing for a new knife began in June 1918, and this led to the development of the Mark I trench knife. This knife had a cast brass handle with integral knuckleduster, and a double edged blade that could be used for slashing or stabbing. The grips were all marked “U.S. 1918” along with a manufacture marking. Makers of these knives in the USA were Henry Disston & Sons (H.D. & S.), Landers, Frary & Clark (L.F. & C.) and Oneida Community Ltd (O.C.L.). There was also a French made version of this knife, which was marked “Au Lion” on the blade. The Mark I trench knife was replaced in 1942 with the M3 knife, and was officially declared obsolete in 1945.
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