A folding entrenching shovel is a tool that militaries have used for centuries. Though its design has changed, the basic principle remains the same: it is a small, lightweight shovel that can be easily carried and stored. So let’s find out were folding entrenching shovels used in world war 2.
Yes, folding entrenching shovels, like the US M-1943 shovel, were widely used by soldiers in World War II for digging trenches and various field tasks.
When Were Folding Shovels Invented?
During the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, a man named Charles A. Luneau created a folding shovel that could easily collapse into a manageable size and be usable for medical emergencies and rescue operations.
Intended to be small enough to fit inside military kits, these versatile folding shovels also proved invaluable in trench warfare during World War I. They quickly became popular for camping, gardening, and other outdoor activities.
Although their original design featured hinged wooden handles, modern folding shovels can feature durable plastic or metal handles attached to telescopic tubes and curved blades for more efficient digging.
Also Read: How To Make A Folding Shovel?
Were Folding Entrenching Shovels Used IN World War 2
The first recorded use of a folding entrenching shovel was by the Roman Army during the Punic Wars. Since then, it has been used by militaries worldwide, including the British Army, during World War II.
The folding entrenching shovel proved to be an invaluable tool for soldiers during trench warfare. It could be used for digging trenches, building bunkers, and even as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat.
Design Changes Through the Years
One of the most notable changes to the design of the folding entrenching shovel was made by the British Army in World War II. During that conflict, soldiers found that the traditional wooden handle of the shovel was too easily broken when used as a weapon. In response, the British Army replaced the wooden handle with a metal one. This change made the shovel much more durable and effective as a weapon.
The Soviet Union made another change to the shovel’s design during the Cold War. The Soviets replaced the metal handle with a plastic one that could be easily molded into different shapes.
This allowed soldiers to use the shovel as a pickax, hoe, or spade. The Soviets also added a serrated edge to the blade of the shovel, which made it even more effective as a weapon.
Today, many different designs of folding entrenching shovels are available. Some are designed for specific tasks, such as gardening or camping, while others are designed to be multi-purpose tools that can be used for anything from digging trenches to chopping wood. No matter their purpose, all modern designs share one common trait: they can be easily carried and stored when not used.
What Folding Shovel Does The Military Use?
The type of folding shovel the military uses varies depending on the branch and its specific needs. Generally speaking, in the U.S., many military members use an Entrenching Tool (E-Tool) model.
This lightweight folding shovel with a round or triangular blade is designed to dig and cut roots or hard soil. It’s popular because it’s relatively cheap, easy to carry and store, robust, and versatile enough for many different purposes.
In some military branches where space is at an absolute premium (such as air force or navy personnel), packs come with special “emergency” tools like hatchets that double as entrenching tools—which are often based on designs from World War II. But these specialty items have limited practical use outside of their niche market, so most opt for more standard designs such as E-Tools instead.
Members of certain elite groups may also get access to even more specialized equipment when necessary. For example, chopper operations might call for something like a “Spetsnaz Folding Shovel” (based on Russian army gear).
These unique pieces are made specifically for digging through harder surfaces like clay and rock with greater efficiency than conventional E-Tools can provide — but they’re expensive compared to regular models, so they’re typically reserved only for high-priority missions where weight isn’t much of an issue.
All in all, though, most everyday uses require basic E-Tools, which are compact enough to be workable yet reliable enough to get the job done.
Also Read: What Are Shovels Used For In Camping?
Were folding entrenching shovels used in world war 2? A folding entrenching shovel is a tool with a long and storied history. It has been used by militaries worldwide for centuries and has proven to be an invaluable asset during times of war.
Though its design has changed, its basic principle remains the same: it is a small, lightweight shovel that can be easily carried and stored.
Whether you need it for digging trenches or want it on hand in an emergency, a folding entrenching shovel is an essential piece of equipment for any home or business.