Jump to content

Trench periscope?


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I bought a couple of pieces at a garage sale 30 years ago and would appreciate any help identifying them.

The first one I think is a trench periscope, absolutely no makings on it, well made with 2 sliding viewer covers and the optics are nice an clear.

11" long x 1.25" square, the housing is aluminum tubing as are the caps on the prisms and the slide covers.

The only steel is the bayonet mount, can't weight more than a few grams, looks like it might have been green at one time but now is dirty grey-black.

The second is a Ross Rifle bayonet that I can make out from the stampings that it was made November of 1908, however it is not the original long butter knife type but has been modified to a shorter hunting or combat knife.

I can't find much info about this shorter bayonet, if it came from the factory like this or it was modified by a solider

Thanks for any help.












  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I do not own a Ross.  This is what a normal blade looks like : see Gildwiller 1918 this is a M1905  Ross version. 

Also  found in Bayonets by Janzen on page  25 and 26, the  author refers to the modified Ross cut down bayonet  on the top of page 26. He refers to these as cut down trench fighting knifes done by soldiers and also military modifications. The blade shape of your specimen is very identical to the drawing of a modified Ross trench knife Number 1 at the top left corner of page 26. It appears to be a military modification due to the exact shape of the blades.  Also the guard has been ground sort of curved and this attribute is shown in the Jensen example just like yours. Not some farm boy cut. Some military bayonets with the nornal shape of the guard and bayonet ring still present were cut down by soldiers, but the guard was not modified.  A easy to find source is Bayonets of the First World War by Schiffer publications. The authors are Bera & Aubry. Its value is the fantastic photos.   No photos of the fighting knife are shown on page 44, but some nice photos of different normal Ross bayonets are shown.  On the Ross, the bayonet tip was not the best shape so soldiers commonly sharpened them to have a better pointed tip. The Schiffer book shows the M 1905 and 1910 form  of the Ross bayonet. Also reference Kiesling, Bayonets of the World,  Vol III pg 50.  Both references( Janzen and Kiesling  are rather expensive books, get or see them at the University  library. 

There is a new book out on Ross bayonets: it is hard cover and 68 pages.  Mine has not arrived.  So my guess, it is not an example of a farm boy chop job, rather a military/factory cut down modified fighting knife. The blade shape is somewhat similar to the Marine Ka Bar.  Both the guard and blade shape have been modified on your specimen to factory specs as shown in Janzen:26. It is a Ross fighting knife.

The Ross Bayonet: A Canadian bayonet for a Canadian rifle by Derek Complain
April 8, 2022




  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...