fascine knife


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A Swedish model 1848 fascine knife


From the common use of such knives to cut wood for fascines and gabions.


fascine knife (plural fascine knives)

  1. (historical, military) A large, heavy knife or short sword used as a sidearm and tool by 17th to 19th century infantry and artillery.
    • 1876, Captain W. S. Cooke, The Ottoman Empire and its Tributary States (excepting Egypt), with a Sketch of Greece, London: W. Clowes and Son, page 162:
      The men have a short rifle and bayonet, and carry also a fascine knife; 10 rounds of ammunition in the pouch.
    • 1888 September 29, “The Hospital Corps”, in Army and Navy Journal, volume 26, New York:
      The private should have a side arm of the following description: A short sword, about 20 inches long and 2½ inches wide at the grip; the blade to be ground sharp on one side and provided with saw teeth on the other; have a brass guard and buckhorn grip, and to be carried in a leather scabbard on a frog and common black belt. This is called in Europe a fascine knife, and a very useful implement it is in camp and on the field.
    • 1889, Cornelia McFadden, transl., The Seamstress of Stettin, New York: Cranston & Stowe, pages 141–142:
      Verily the man must feel as though he were in a dream; only a short time before, at a shoemaker's ordinary work, the knocking of his hammer mingling with the sighs of a sick wife, and now, fascine knife on hip, helmet on closely cropped head, officers’ commands in ear, crowds of people, drums, music, and the shrill whistle of the locomotive!—to march far away to Bohemia […]