WW1 France Coutrot fighting dagger trench knife made from sword-bayonet blade; original leather scabbard; excellent condition. Rare type in great overall condition, considering the age.
Rare and very cool-looking WW1 era French military fighting dagger/stiletto trench knife made circa 1915-1916 from re-purposed blades7 of obsolete pre-WW1 French bayonets. Early in the war the French military faced the urgent need for a great number of fighting knives suitable for trench warfare. The standard rifle bayonets officers’ sabers were just too cumbersome and impractical in the trench warfare. So in the first few years of the war many “long” bayonets were cut into pieces to make simple but practical fighting knives and daggers. One of such designs is known as “Coutrot Knife“, this type is attributed to Lieutenant Colonel Coutrot of the French Army, who came up with the basic design of this cheap and easy to manufacture weapon. Other simple-design “trench daggers” were made from sections of M1886/91 Lebel “spike” bayonet. These simple and reliable trench daggers were popular with the French infantrymen as they provided to be much handier in the close-quarters fighting than the standard issue long rifle bayonets or sabers. This exact type is illustrated on pages 160-183 of the excellent French reference book French Knives During World War One by Christian Mary (see a couple of page scans attached).
This dagger is about 11-1/8″ / 28 cm overall; the blade is about 6-3/8″ / 18 cm. Excellent overall condition, considering the age; all handle parts are tight; original oval hand guard is stamped CV inside a large letter C; wood grip is not damaged, needle-like spike tip is slightly bent but intact. Original scabbard stamped with a letters RJ on the back side is included. These WW1 era scabbards are actually harder to find than the daggers themselves since very few survived the war. This specimen is in great shape overall but the belt hanger is a bit frail; the keeper has fallen apart due to the moisture damage. Still, these original WW1 era French close quarters fighting dagger are VERY hard to find in better grades, especially with the original leather scabbard included. Today most of the surviving WW1 era French “Coutrot” daggers are in private collections & rarely come up for sale. Don’t miss your chance to add this original WW1 France Coutrot fighting dagger to your collection!
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