The Michael Baldwin Collection of WW1 German Militaria (offered at C&T Auctions on January 31) features several lethal close quarter weapons that are rarely seen on the private market.
A wooden club studded with iron bolts wouldn’t have looked out of place on a dark ages battlefield. Ditto a suit of armour (known as “elephant plate”) that was worn by snipers.
This club was used in clearing trenches
These lots are valued at £500 ($670) and £2,500 ($3,351), respectively.
A saw back bayonet, also estimated at £500 ($670), is another intriguing and gruesome prospect.
The serrated blade was designed to inflict maximum pain, tearing through the vital organs on the way out.
German snipers used to wear this armour as a precaution
The Germans eventually stopped producing them in 1917, as auctioneer Matthew Tredwin explained to the Daily Mail: "A lot of this stuff looks like it was used in medieval times and is completely out of context for modern warfare.
“Some of the body armour and masks would have been very heavy and very hard for infantry troops to have worn but were used by men in fixed positions.”
“Some of the weapons that were in use look very barbaric. The saw back bayonet was so dangerous it was outlawed by both sides.
“The Germans did make them and use them but if any soldier was caught with one by the British they were shot.”
Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about unique collectible auctions.