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Who had the best entrenching tool ?

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by Owen, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Owen

    Owen O

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    There are always threads about ''the best tank'', ''the best fighter'' even seen a thread for ''best helmet''.
    Has anyone ever started a thread called , ''who had the best entrenching tool?''
    Quite an important bit of kit , it gets overlooked.
     
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  2. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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  3. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    The German '38

    And the US M43 (Copied from the German? ), with a handy spike for that all-important back-swing.

    Fusilier Tom Payne models the Shovel, General Service & Entrenching tool haft with head in carrier:

    [​IMG]
    THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORMANDY 1944. © IWM (B 9006)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Contents of Entrenching tool carrier:
    [​IMG]
    WAR OFFICE SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION. © IWM (B 9008)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    The British tool not unlike the Roman above, and there's possibly something to be said for a nice sharp separate spade that requires no assembly, despite it's lack of 'multi-purpose' use so elegantly achieved by the US & German patterns above. Maybe a lesson learnt in Trench-fighting 20 years before? I'd rather have a spade when things got really nasty than many more 'sophisticated' H2H weapons.
     
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  4. O.M.A.

    O.M.A. Active Member

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    Good topic.

    I have a modern US entrenching tool for "general use" around the yard.

    Very interesting to see the Roman version. From what I understand the Romans were the first to fully organize armies in a modern way, with each Legion consisting of infantry, artillery, combat engineers, medical staff and the like. Not entirely surprising they had entrenching tools. The Roman item could also be used to brain someone if your pilum was not immediately available.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Looking at the entrenching tool in post 3, it seems to have a large portion of it extending out of the backpack, such that it seems to me that it would catch on underbrush, railings and like. I have never served in the infantry, so I don't an infantryman's view of that, but I have served as a firefighter, where moving in difficult quarters was to be expected. I did not like extra appendages protruding from my person.

    But, adding to Adam's comment, it does appear to be a fine fighting weapon and its heft would go far in assisting the man in assembling his fighting hole. I live in south Alabama, where red clay takes on the qualities of finely poured concrete in the summer, so the heavier tool would certainly provide an advantage over the pressed-metal variety. I've seen post-hole diggers and shovels bend under the strain of trying to defeat our clay.

    So, wear your men carrying the implement or wear him out digging the hole?
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I don't know who had the the best, but here's a short video that shows the US Ames entrenching tool (1944) and cover.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDbVo_cjg98
     
  7. Owen

    Owen O

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    Attached Files:

  8. Owen

    Owen O

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    Going back to 1918 now, one thing the Aussie troops did with the 1908 Pattern entrenching tool was to wear it over the groin area & give themsleves some protection. Whether it worked or not I don't know.
    I knew there's be a photo on the internet somewhere.
    enlarge pic for a better view.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82596826@N03/8679746681/

    Not seen that repeated in WW2 though.
     
  9. sonofacameron

    sonofacameron Member

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    As my late Father said, ".......... did you know you can take a mans head clean off his shoulders with your trenching tool............" from when he ran out of ammo in the Reichswald forest fighting. Seems you can't beat a nice sharp spade.!!!
     
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  10. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I've got what I believe is an East German e-tool that I THINK was modeled after the WWII German one. It is stoutly made and has one sharped side--to cut roots with, of course :airquotes:.
     
  11. Black6

    Black6 Member

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  12. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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  13. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    Those who frequent the other place, may have noticed I've caught a terrible obsession with the ever-growing IWM archives - I'm afraid I can't stop myself...

    I found the first rather interesting - Japanese personal gear not the most widely covered subject on the parts of the Internerd I hang out on:

    German M1938:
    [​IMG]
    Entrenching Tool, M1938 (folding head) & harness: German. © IWM (EQU 4072)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    British 1908:
    [​IMG]
    Entrenching Tool & Helve, 1908 pattern: British Army. © IWM (EQU 2906)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    [​IMG]
    Entrenching Tool & Helve, 1908 pattern: British Army. © IWM (EQU 2906)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Presumably German, British WW1 capture:
    [​IMG]
    entrenching tool. © IWM (EQU 2552)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Entrenching Tool, M1887 (with ersatz cover): German
    http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30110779

    Intrenching Tool (sic), M1910 (with short shaft) and carrier: US Army
    [​IMG]
    Intrenching Tool, M1910 (with short shaft) and carrier: US Army. © IWM (EQU 4080)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Tool, entrenching (non standard)
    [​IMG]
    Tool, entrenching (non standard). © IWM (EQU 409)IWM Non Commercial Licence
     
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  14. Stg 44

    Stg 44 New Member

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    My personal opinion, I think International Harvester had the best;)
     

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