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Guadalcanal Marine's machete sword


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#1 Bob Hudson

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 02:12 PM

This came from the grandson of the Marine who brought this home. Exactly what "this" is still up in the air. The machete/short sword matches the design and measurements for a Spanish Model 1860 machete sword, used by Cuba's civil guard  into the Spanish American War. The scabbard has the British broad arrrow and was made in Sydney Australia in 1943. They fit nicely together.

 

The machete's blade and overall length and basic pistol grip style are within specs for the Model 1860, but this one does not have the large brass pieces applied to the pommel like the Cuban ones have. The blade is stamped "No 1" and there are no other marks. It looks like the blade has been varnished or otherwise coated to protect it. It all has a nice patina. 

 

The Marine wrote his name, rank and SN on the back of the scabbard, along with New Zealand, Guadalcanal and Bougainville.

 

1.jpg

 

b.jpg

 

3.jpg

 

4.jpg



#2 Bob Hudson

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 02:14 PM

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5.jpg

 

6.jpg

 

7.jpg



#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 02:28 PM

One of the Cuban models with the brass disks is in an old forum thread: http://www.usmilitar...05-short-sword/



#4 Bob Hudson

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 07:02 AM

Here's a Navy photo of his unit at work. The caption says:

 

"This 3d Defense Battalion 90mm antiaircraft gun, dug in at Guadalcanal, served in a dual role with its ability to engage targets on the ground as well as in the air."

 

gun.jpg



#5 suwanneetrader

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 07:57 AM

Since this sheath was made in Australia in 1943 and the Battles --  New Zealand, Guadalcanal and Bougainville - only Bougainville was after that date.  So possible Marine picked it up at a later date maybe Australia, and inscribed his places of service on it to commenrate his service?  As this looks like a Span Am. piece maybe the WWII era sheath was added?  Richard



#6 dave peifer

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 10:44 AM

Since this sheath was made in Australia in 1943 and the Battles --  New Zealand, Guadalcanal and Bougainville - only Bougainville was after that date.  So possible Marine picked it up at a later date maybe Australia, and inscribed his places of service on it to commenrate his service?  As this looks like a Span Am. piece maybe the WWII era sheath was added?  Richard

that makes sense since the weapon looks like a much earlier production......interesting piece............dave


Edited by dave peifer, 07 July 2016 - 10:46 AM.


#7 Spy vs Spy

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 11:58 PM

This is one cool piece Bob. Thanks for sharing.

Regards
Martin

#8 katieony

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 03:41 AM

An interesting piece with great history!  Thanks for posting!

Mike



#9 Bob Hudson

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:17 AM

This came back into my hands this week as a client wants me to sell off his whole collection of sharp, pointy things.

 

This piece still intrigues me because it is ALMOST a Cuban guard machete short sword, but they are not identical. Notably the Cuban version has brass disks on the grip: this doesn't even have signs of anything having been mounted. Also this has hidden rivets. And, the Cuban version has a slight curve to the blade whereas this one seems straight. Plus, there's that "No. 1" mark. 

 

Here's the two side-by-side: 

 

compare.jpg

 

 



#10 Bob Hudson

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:43 AM

I would expect to see a flat spot if a disk had been removed:

 

compare2.jpg

compare3.jpg



#11 reschenk

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 10:50 AM

Given your example came out of the Far East, perhaps it was originally used by Spanish colonial forces in the Philippines.  I really know nothing about these.  Were they centrally manufactured in Spain and then sent out to the colonies, or were they locally manufactured to specifications established by the central authorities?  If the later, the variation might be just a local manufacturing difference.



#12 Bob Hudson

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 12:44 PM



Given your example came out of the Far East, perhaps it was originally used by Spanish colonial forces in the Philippines. 

 

That's what I've thought: its seems probable that Spain would have also distributed something like this to colonies other than Cuba, and since a WWII Marine brought this home, this would seem to have Pacific roots. The Cuban guard version dates to the 1860's-70's and these are so close in style they might be the same general age.

 

The "NO 1" stamp on it has some distinctive traits so I keep hoping I'll find some sort of branded machete with the same traits in the number stamp. I just learned that the "No 1" abbreviation is called the "numero sign," and "the numero sign is not typically used in Iberian Spanish [Spain]," that way, but is used this way in Latin American Spanish, with the underlined superscript “o” character and a an uppercase "N." 

 

numeroi.jpg

 

It is not a Spanish Cuban guard sword/machete, so a numbered on the blade makes me think first of Collins Company - they were in business well before that period, but I can't find any info on what they might have made in the mid to late 19th century. They also seem to have sold to Latin America way back when. Would they have made a copy?

 

The Australian scabbard is a nice piece of work: the two go together really well  and the scabbard has hooks for attaching it to standard US equipment belts. I originally bought this (and several other great blades) from the Marine's grandson, but he had no background on it.



#13 gunbarrel

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 01:26 AM

Bob,

I checked with another Cuban American friend of mine in Miami, Dr. Hector Meruelo, who is an expert in Spanish arms and machetes. He probably knows about machetes as much as Carter Rila did, and he confirmed that it is identical to the ones Cuban Guardia Rurales used. He has one exactly alike, made in Germany, but with a longer blade, marked J.Bungersohn, Barmen, No.22. Hope this helps.

#14 Pegasus6

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 08:59 AM

Since this sheath was made in Australia in 1943 and the Battles --  New Zealand, Guadalcanal and Bougainville - only Bougainville was after that date.  So possible Marine picked it up at a later date maybe Australia, and inscribed his places of service on it to commenrate his service?  As this looks like a Span Am. piece maybe the WWII era sheath was added?  Richard

 

Note that the Battle for Guadalcanal did not end until February of 1943. Also it mentions New Zealand, obviously that was not a battle. Guadalcanal would be a major jungle training site as well as logistics hub for the Pacific Theater through the entire war following the battle. These were likely locations that this Marine was at versus faught. Although he certainly could have fought on Guadalcanal and Bougainville. Entirely impossible to know the story of when, where and how he picked it up. But it makes sense he visited at least all these places, they share that in common vs battles. Very cool piece!



#15 Bob Hudson

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 09:13 AM

Bob,

I checked with another Cuban American friend of mine in Miami, Dr. Hector Meruelo, who is an expert in Spanish arms and machetes. He probably knows about machetes as much as Carter Rila did, and he confirmed that it is identical to the ones Cuban Guardia Rurales used. He has one exactly alike, made in Germany, but with a longer blade, marked J.Bungersohn, Barmen, No.22. Hope this helps.

 

I wonder if he's seen one that apparently never had the brass disks on the grip?



#16 nbolinger

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:07 AM

 

I wonder if he's seen one that apparently never had the brass disks on the grip?

 

I have the same exact one will post pics , has the brass disk in the grip also.



#17 nbolinger

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:40 PM

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#18 nbolinger

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:40 PM

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#19 nbolinger

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:40 PM

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