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Remembered Today:

Austro- Hungarian M1917 Fighting Knife, Trophy of Asiago 1918?


NorthStaffsPOW

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Hi all,

I picked up this Austro- Hungarian M1917 fighting knife in a gun/ country sports shop in Worcester (UK) that also has a few military items. Apparently it was purchased from a member of the public who brought it in. It is in pretty good condition but what intrigues me are the initials and date on the handle which spell out HJF XIX XVIII June (1918 June). It just so happens that this was the month of the Battle of Asiago in 1918, could be a link with the battle? The Worcesters were very much involved and they have a side arm and several other trophies taken during the battle in their museum. A tentative link but a possibility?

Kind regards,

James

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Evening James,

What a lucky chap, great piece, on the odd occasion I do that trawl and I’m in there they usually have the odd clasp knife but never anything like that,…I’m jealous. I would dearly like to think your assumption that there was a local connection was correct….it’s a shame the seller never passed on details and/or a basic provenance.

Hardly any places to hunt for this stuff locally now….even Geoff has given up.

Dave.

 

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Intersting format of date,never seen anything similar,i assume his initials were HJF.maker is Winternitz,Steyr,on crossguard should be austrian eagle.

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14 hours ago, Dave66 said:

Evening James,

What a lucky chap, great piece, on the odd occasion I do that trawl and I’m in there they usually have the odd clasp knife but never anything like that,…I’m jealous. I would dearly like to think your assumption that there was a local connection was correct….it’s a shame the seller never passed on details and/or a basic provenance.

Hardly any places to hunt for this stuff locally now….even Geoff has given up.

Dave.

 

Thanks Dave. I haven't done the trawl myself for a while and usually come up empty handed.

I always buy the item and not the story, and in this case the condition of the knife was better than ones I have seen personally. I just find it coincidental that it is dated from a time where British and KUK troops would have met on the battlefield, but again, its only assumption on my part.

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13 hours ago, AndyBsk said:

Intersting format of date,never seen anything similar,i assume his initials were HJF.maker is Winternitz,Steyr,on crossguard should be austrian eagle.

Thanks for the info. I have not seen a format like it either, but I have seen other items taken as trophies marked up, but who knows. I see no reason for faking it really, as it would spoil a perfectly good knife. Also I would expect it to be more explicit, e.g. "Asiago June 1918".

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About Asiago this is only date coincidence,but could be different,the die stamper had only alphabet evidently as no arabic digits avialable,so the roman format would be ok,even not correct as separate,MCMXVIII would be for 1918.

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  • 9 months later...

@NorthStaffsPOWI'm honest, to date, and I assure you that here in Italy among the finds in the field and from the attic of Austrian assault daggers I see many, the one you found in the shop is the most beautiful ever

In my opinion it is very plausible that it is truly a souvenir of some English soldier recovered on the field after the battles of June 15, 1918, considering the high number of losses suffered by the Austro-Hungarians.

Congratulations again

By the way, reading in the various comments of this discussion about the memorabilia present at the Worcestershire regiments museum, does anyone have any photos of the memorabilia of this museum relating to the period of stay in the Asiago plateau?

Among other things, I wanted to contact the same museum for another reason, does anyone have a contact I can forward?

A thousand thanks

 

Edited by Flavio
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