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Australian & British Made WWII Machetes For U.S.

Started by GeneralLucas , Sep 04 2012 02:12 PM

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#1 GeneralLucas

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:12 PM

The word machete is really Spanish in origin and when the Spanish came to the new world, they imported tree distint types of machetes. One model was the "cutacha" which was a sword type blade or fighting machete. But since then the machete has been considered as a tool or implement, it has never come into its owns as a fighting weapon even thought during WW II at Camp Haan, California a booklet was published showing fighting techniques for self defense using machetes. It appears Australia and England produced many machetes for U.S. Military use during WW II. Australian manufacturers produced a lot of M1942 US pattern machetes for the US and many are marked DC-44 as shown here and many bolo machetes were also made in England for U.S. troops. These are known as Sheffield bolos with wood handles and most blade lenghts are 18 inches long. As we like fighting knives, swords, bayonets and etc., it is hard to warm up to a machete but they deserve some discussion.

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#2 GeneralLucas

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:13 PM

The word machete is really Spanish in origin and when the Spanish came to the new world, they imported tree distint types of machetes. One model was the "cutacha" which was a sword type blade or fighting machete. But since then the machete has been considered as a tool or implement, it has never come into its owns as a fighting weapon even thought during WW II at Camp Haan, California a booklet was published showing fighting techniques for self defense using machetes. It appears Australia and England produced many machetes for U.S. Military use during WW II. Australian manufacturers produced a lot of M1942 US pattern machetes for the US and many are marked DC-44 as shown here and many bolo machetes were also made in England for U.S. troops. These are known as Sheffield bolos with wood handles and most blade lenghts are 18 inches long. As we like fighting knives, swords, bayonets and etc., it is hard to warm up to a machete but they deserve some discussion.

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#3 GeneralLucas

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:13 PM

Aussie Markings

Aussie

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#4 GeneralLucas

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:14 PM

Aussie

British Wood Grips

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#5 Still-A-Marine

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:34 PM

Very nice. I especially like the Aussie machete. Been looking for one for a long time.

Thanks for posting.

Bill

#6 gunbarrel

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:43 PM

Here are a couple of write-ups on the Cuban Cutacha and on the development of the machete by Carter Rila:

http://www.vikingswo...rila/index.html

http://therionarms.c...toy356_nfs.html

http://therionarms.c...ticles/cutacha/

#7 gunbarrel

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:52 PM

I agree that the Australians made government issue machetes for the U.S. military during WWII. Here is another Australian machete from my collection made by Marsden:

Copy_of_IMG_0785.JPG

#8 gunbarrel

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:53 PM

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#9 gunbarrel

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:14 PM

However, I don't know about the British producing machetes for U.S.G.I. I just have never seen a British machete marked marked "U.S." so, General, can you please, give us more details? I would love to have that substantiated so that I can expand my collection.

Now, with all that being said, in 1945 the British did came out with the Pattern AF 0100, which was virtually a copy of the American WWII G.I. 18" machetes. This machete was introduced with a sheath very much like the U.S. GI sheaths, which had U.S. style hooks, but in addition to the British belt loop. The hooks were used to attach the sheath to P-44 belt eyelets. This machete has a nominal 18" blade, and they were normally made by Martindale and marked with the pheon /|\ and the machete pattern number.

#10 gunbarrel

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:30 PM

Machetes_in_Panama_1942.jpg

#11 gunbarrel

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:43 PM

Marine training with machete.

Marine_with_machete_by_shoreline.jpg

#12 gunbarrel

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:51 PM

BTW, if anyone thinks that machetes are obsolete as fighting devices, check out this current photo of Cuban troops training with machetes.

Bayonetman, please, remove photo if it's too far out of topic with my apologies.

Cuban_Communist_Troops_Machete_Training_Exercise.jpg

#13 robinb

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:48 PM

I found this at a flea market long ago. There are no Broad Arrows on the machete, but the GI's laundry mark is on both the scabbard and the machete.
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#14 robinb

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 07:49 PM

mac_3.JPG

#15 gunbarrel

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:06 AM

Robin,

Thank you for joining the discussion. I know you know this, but for the sake of less experienced members, in the 1940's the standard U.S. Army personal items identification system would consist of GI's putting their full name and Army serial number on their footlockers and an abbreviated ID number consisting of the last initial and the last four digits of the number (e.g. F 2840) on their personal equipment.

IMHO, I believe you have a commercial machete (a similar one being discussed by Bernie Levine here:

http://www.bladeforu...chete-Sheffield )

in a U.S. G.I. sheath both marked with the GI's ID. The machete is not marked "U.S." like U.S. military machetes and it is also not British military, which would be marked like this one:

http://www.usmilitar...howtopic=124823

What I would like to see is documentation that either British military, or British commercial machetes such as this one were issued to U.S. troops.

Edited by gunbarrel, 05 September 2012 - 02:12 AM.


#16 J_Andrews

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:31 PM

The late Forum member Carter Rila (WEBCAT) was Mr. Machete.

I recall him carrying on about how machetes (and bolos) varied in grip, length, shape of blade and weight according to geographic and ethnic factors. That is, what a Cuban considered a good machete design (based his experience in his local conditions) might be found unsatisfactory to a Filipino, Burmese, Senegalese or Kenyan. A good tool for hacking elephant grass was not necessarily any good for sugar cane, or bamboo, or Guadalcanal or Malaya foliage.

That said, he went on to aver that the "American pattern", 18-inch blade blade became the international "standard" for military (vice agricultural) uses during WWII. It was a good compromise and acceptable on a wide basis. I do not recall the Collins pattern number for the "classic" US military machete, but another Forumer knows it!

#17 DSchlagan

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:25 PM

BTW, if anyone thinks that machetes are obsolete as fighting devices, check out this current photo of Cuban troops training with machetes.


Many years ago, I had a buddy that was a native Puerto Rican.
I recall that he, many times, mentioned stories of the Cuban sugar cane harvesters... They were most assuredly extremely adept at using their razor-sharp machetes in the cutting of the sugar cane, over the course of a 14 to 16 hour work-day.

More towards their use as a weapon:
He described rum-soaked fights, in booze-joints, where opponents limbs were slashed and severed; ...apparently this was a rather 'common solution' to disagreements.

While "we" may consider a machete as perhaps a simple 'brush-clearing-tool' [etc.]'; the weapon-capability of such is extreme.

#18 GeneralLucas

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:42 AM

Gunbarrel asked an excellent question about British machetes being used by U. S. troops in WW II. Even though we find so many British machetes in WW II U.S. military scabbards, that is not giving us the answers we need because they because they could have been paired at any time. I have been in contact with John Kroezen of the Australian Military Knives website on this issue concerning the British AF 0100. He is also confident that British machetes were supplied to Australian troops during the war while stationed in England but he is lacking proof of same. He has been discussing this issue with his colleagues lately. He suggests that it is unlikely that our GIs obtained them by a private purchase but possibly a US Govt purchase that aquired already stockpiled machetes or a unit purchase while in England. He further states a unit purchase could explain why it has no US acceptance markings. The British machetes I have seen over the years coming out of U.S. military scabbards do not have the broad arrow markings to denote issue to the British military. From another source which is also not documented is that there was shortage of American machetes at the time our troops were stationed in England which if correct would need to be taken into account. I hope we can get the whole story on this situation at some point but documentation will be hard to obtain it appears as these British machetes keep turning up.

Edited by GeneralLucas, 07 September 2012 - 10:49 AM.


#19 artu44

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:06 PM

I bought this sheath from a dutch seller and after some time we realized it was made in dutch Indien for US troops. It's identical to the M1942 except for the belt loop.

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#20 gunbarrel

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:45 AM

General Lucas and Dutchy,

Point well taken about a unit purchase. That would certainly explain it; now, if if we can get documented evidence!

We know that, in general, there was a lack of need for machetes in the ETO as compared to the PTO or the CBI theater, for example. The scarcity of photographs of soldiers in Europe wearing/using machetes supports the thought that because of the terrain, they were not used in Europe to any great extent.

U.S. supply units may not have anticipated a need for any or many machetes; yet, there may have been a unit going somewhere in the Old World where machetes were going to be needed. A way to deal with that need would have been a unit purchase in England of British machetes. Below I'm going to post a couple of photos of machetes being used by Allied soldiers in the ETO. This is probably the most famous one:

American_Paratroopers_Captured_Nazi_Flag___1944.jpg

#21 gunbarrel

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:53 AM

This guy was obviously showing off :D but the machete is clearly a Collins:

ETO_Machete_Photo_No._1.jpg
ETO_Machete_Photo_No._2.jpg

Edited by gunbarrel, 08 September 2012 - 03:14 AM.


#22 gunbarrel

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:54 AM

ETO_Machete_Photo_No._3.jpg

#23 gunbarrel

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:21 AM

British Commando training with machete in Scotland in 1942.

Commando_Machete_Training_Scotland__28_Feb_1942_H_017453.jpg

#24 gunbarrel

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 10:14 AM

A Newfoundlander *with excellent teeth* :D training.

Newfoundlanders_Training_D_008896.jpg

#25 Screamingeagles101

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 04:55 PM

I know this is a late post. But I would be more than happy if someone Dan answer me. I just bought a ww2 machete the machete is made by Martindale. The casing is US made 1945.
Was it common for British machetes to be issued to US soldiers ?


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