The Trench Club
I rented the movie “Defendor” last night (which is an odd, quirky movie), and the star of the movie, Woody Harrelson, wields a trench club, just like his grandfather used in WWI. I had never heard of the trench club, and was curious, so I looked it up. (See here.)
Imagine it is WWI, at the height of trench warfare. The war of the trenches is pretty much a stalemate, so commanding officers fear that their soldiers will become soft and complacent. So they hatch the idea to slip into enemy lines at night (before night vision existed) and kill or capture enemy soldiers. What type of weapon would you use? Keep in mind that the trenches are narrow and are a confined space.
A firearm is not a good choice, because a shot fired will alert the enemy that their lines have been infiltrated. So the emphasis is on silent weapons. One weapon is the knife, particularly with brass knuckles built in. Another is the trench club. The weapon is short, with weight massed at one end.
For intimidation, spikes may be added or barbed wire wrapped around the end. The intent is to make an enemy give up without a fight rather than resist, which could alert others in the lines. And it’s best not to have to fight –ideally, overwhelming force causes the enemy to give up meekly rather than slug it out, which only gets people hurt.
The trench club has a thong attached at the handle. First, you don’t want to lose a club in the dark as you’re scrambling through barbed wire. Secondly, you don’t want an enemy soldier to strip the club out of your hands, or lose it in a melee.
The trench club was not an odd weapon,or a rarity, but was mass manufactured by men who specialized in its construction.
Consider the implications. Men are involved in a life-or-death struggle. If the weapon does not work, people die. In these circumstance, the weapon they choose to go with, and the logical choice is, a club. Why are there no “trench sticks”? If I encounter someone with a 28 inch stick, I’m going to go for it.
Furthermore, how much training would be necessary to make soldiers proficient with a stick, versus a trench club?
For me, the trench club is the basis for what I am calling “Double Barrel,” the application of the club to sinawali. By adding a second weapon, so that the proponent wields two short clubs, the system becomes even simpler, while adding firepower.