WI: A Macuahuitl type-weapon in WWI

WWI, famous for a return of clubs, and blunt melee weapons used in melee conflict in trench raids

What if, someone in WWI, designed a weapon, based of the Aztec Macuahuitl, but instead of sharp obsidian blades, it's thin razor blades, imbedded a specialized wooden club, similar to a cricket bat.

How effective would this modern macuahuitl in trench raiding?
 
I would guess that the need to replace the razor blades at least as often if not more often than the Aztecs replaced the obsidian blades on their weapons. Given all the other problems facing troops on the Western front I'd wager that this would be quite tiresome. Whatever hypothetical benefit from such a weapon (which is debatable) it probably wasn't enough to justify it compared to other melee weapons like Entrenching tools, axes, and the various clubs with embedded nails that were used in OTL and were easier to obtain and maintain.
 
WWI, famous for a return of clubs, and blunt melee weapons used in melee conflict in trench raids

What if, someone in WWI, designed a weapon, based of the Aztec Macuahuitl, but instead of sharp obsidian blades, it's thin razor blades, imbedded a specialized wooden club, similar to a cricket bat.

How effective would this modern macuahuitl in trench raiding?

About as useful as any other club with sharp things sticking out of it, which is to say not nice to be hit with but not a game changer in anyway

Since they were already hitting each other with stuff like this:

11523118_1_x.jpg


Swapping those spikes for razor blades isn't going to do much (in fact since it's going to be hard to maintain contact with a cutting edge against your target in order to cut it, I'd prefer to be swinging the spikes).


As an aside the Macuahuitl was used by people how didn't have access to a lot of metal, so yes obsidian can hold a very sharp edge but it has other aspects that make it less than great for a weapon material. See also shark tooth clubs etc.

Like a lot of "Exotic*" weapons, there's a lot of myth about their ability aka the horse decapitated with one blow.



*Exotic to the people whose written accounts we refer to today
 
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CalBear

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Well, since the Entente front line troops would generally execute prisoners out of hand who were carrying one of these

tumblr_ma9elggHwH1r9khx4o1_500.jpg


(it was a specialized bayonet issued to German "pioneer" i.e combat engineer units), it would likely be seen in a fairly negative manner.
 
Well, since the Entente front line troops would generally execute prisoners out of hand who were carrying one of these

tumblr_ma9elggHwH1r9khx4o1_500.jpg


(it was a specialized bayonet issued to German "pioneer" i.e combat engineer units), it would likely be seen in a fairly negative manner.
From the research I've done, I get the feeling that there's as much myth surrounding sawback bayonets are there is about the US use of trench shotguns.
 
When dealing with enemies armed with modern rifles and handguns, you need to quickly incapacitate not lacerate the man. Aztec armor against macuahutl was just a padded cotton tunic. In the trenches the enemy could be wearing a great coat which would be difficult to penetrate.
 
It would be just one more add to the basic load-out, and redundant since a good old-fashioned sharpened entrenching tool did the job just dandy.
 

marathag

Banned
Why add a newly manufactured, single use piece of kit when most nations already had issued
this
s-l1000.jpg

to their Soldiers?

Digs holes, and splits skulls: multipurpose
 
It would be just one more add to the basic load-out, and redundant since a good old-fashioned sharpened entrenching tool did the job just dandy.
Yet historically many soldiers did improvise melee weapons other than the entrenching tool, so apparently they didn't find it "just dandy". So I can certainly see soldiers improvising a macuahuitl as something to use in trench raids and trench fighting. But the problems mentioned previous means that it probably doesn't see much use beyond a few clever souls who then realize it isn't really practical as a weapon and drop it, and maybe it becomes something brought up from time to time in histories of the war years or decades later.
 
For this kind of tight melee combat, the best kind of weapon would be a one-hander that doesn't need edge alignment to be effective. I don't know if trench raiders wore gloves, but a mace or rounded club works well even if your hand gets slippery in the mud and the club starts spinning around. Axes or hatchets are good if you want a tool that can be used as a weapon, but it might be good to put a machete or messer grip on to facilitate good edge alignment.

If you want to get real creative, a one-handed weapon could be paired with a targe. Unlike bucklers, targes are strapped to the forearm and only stabilized by the hand, so you should be able to hold a pistol or grenade in the hand with the leather strap.
 
Yet historically many soldiers did improvise melee weapons other than the entrenching tool, so apparently they didn't find it "just dandy". So I can certainly see soldiers improvising a macuahuitl as something to use in trench raids and trench fighting. But the problems mentioned previous means that it probably doesn't see much use beyond a few clever souls who then realize it isn't really practical as a weapon and drop it, and maybe it becomes something brought up from time to time in histories of the war years or decades later.
I agree about improvised weapons, but adding something like an issue macuahuitl or mace to a soldier's sixty pound load-out (plus whatever mud he's picked up along the way) will be a nuisance and will be "expended in combat (dumped)" in ton lots.
 
Ok semi-on-topic but for some reason there was a school of thought that figured the Third World War would devolve to “trench” warfare similar to the First. Why this was varies but in effect it was noted by many on the NATO side that we tended to have an ‘advantage’ should that come about…

We had vastly more “non-high-tech” trained and equipped people than the Warsaw Pact did. You literally couldn’t walk around any NATO military base without running into some of these guys with appropriate kit:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_Creative_Anachronism

(As an aside-ish point the idea that WWIII would be less than ‘conventional’ also came from the idea that once both sides turned on their electronics/electronic-counter-measures/electronic-counter-counter-measures/etc, everyone’s equipment would be dead anyway so… I have somewhere a cartoon where a Warsaw Pact infantry unit is surrounding a disabled NATO M1A1 when the crew pops out as Vikings with axes and swords… Note we’d fully expect the crew to be sieved by AK fire but it’s still funny to see the expressions)

Having said all that the main reason you had ANY melee weapon in WWI was the time and effort it took to reload a projectile weapon of the period. Rifles and long weapons were tough to wield in close quarters both to hit and to get enough energy to do damage. A bladed weapon, club or such take less distance and less accuracy to inflict damage. While obsidian IS very sharp it shatters easily and razor blades are just about as fragile in general use. They dull quickly and frankly simple shards of metal would be as effective.

Randy
 
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