Friday, November 22, 2019

Original Swedish Fältspade KLAS, Short Light Attack Shovel, Three Crown Marked, M58, Swedish Army Folding Shovel

Back in August of 2017, I picked up a Mil-Tec replica, Swedish Fältspade KLAS, Short Light Attack Shovel.  I had been looking for an original for years, and had basically figured that I would be lucky to find an original one these days, and a replica would have to do.  Well, I finally spotted one, and picked it up at a very fair and attractive price.  So, now the Swedish shovel collection is "complete", and I have a "replica" that I can use in the field.


You can read about the Mil-Tec replica KLAS shovel in my previous blog page, here:

https://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2017/08/swedish-faltspade-klas-short-light.html

These Swedish folding shovels are the best folders I have ever encountered, and I do mean ever.  These shovels are all steel, and built to the highest Swedish standards.  


From what I understand, these shovels were surplussed in the late 1990's and early 2000's.  A small batch of them showed up here in the USA, and were basically sold out in "hours".  The supply in Europe has been pretty dried up for years as well.  If you spot an original, grab it (if the price is right), and you won't be disappointed!


They are not lightweight though!  I tossed this shovel on my scale and it weighed in at 1 kg, 33g, (2lb, 15.1 oz.).  These shovels were meant to do real work, not just be an accessory on the belt.   These folding KLAS,  light attack shovels, were designed to replace the old, straight handle spades that saw service from the early 1900's all the way through WW2.  I believe these new folders were introduced around 1958, or so.  You can read about the old style, straight handle shovels here:

https://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2015/11/swedish-trench-shovel-model-1906-12-i18.html

This shovel has the Swedish 3-Crowns stamp, on the back of the blade, in between the rivets.  You won't find this stamp on the replicas, so keep an eye out for that.


The paint is the later, post-war, flat OD green, and this shovel shows evidence of at least one repainting during its life.

The rivets holding the blade to the pivot mount are well rounded on both sides, and are two sizes. 


As with nearly all Swedish gear, the shovel is undated.  I guess the 3-Crowns speak for themselves.......

There are two holes in either corner, or the top of the blade.  These for attaching the optional, aluminum, snow shovel blade.  




You can read about the snow shovel here:

https://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2018/04/swedish-faltspade-klas-short-light.html

Take a look at the links I provided for my previous blog entries, for the "full story" on these shovels.  After this blog posting, I'll follow-up with a side-by-side comparison between the Mil-Tec Replica and the Original Fältspade KLAS.

Let's take a closer look and this "battle axe" of a shovel.














Tuesday, October 15, 2019

1943 dated, US M-43 Entrenching Tool - Shovel with First Model Cover, Wood manufactured M43, M-43 Folding Shovel, WW2, Wade Brown Company marked cover, dated 1943

For those of you who follow the blog, you know that I have had my eye out for a Wood company manufactured, 1943 dated, US M-43 Entrenching Tool, otherwise known as a US WW2 folding shovel.


Well, I finally spotted one, and to make it an even better discovery, it also included the First Model cover, with the single, non-adjustable hanger!  Now I have all three of the original manufacturer's branded shovels from 1943:  Wood, American Fork & Hoe, and Ames.


You can read about the other other two at my blog postings here:

https://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2019/02/us-model-1943-intrenching-tool.html

https://sharky-fourbees.blogspot.com/2019/02/model-1943-us-intrenching-tool-folding.html

At some point along the way, this Wood branded shovel received a coat of black paint.  Luckily that coat of paint has mostly worn off, but is still visible here and there on the surface.


The shovel is in beautiful condition, with very clear date and maker marks.  It's a real gem!


These 1943 dated folders were the very first of the Model 1943 folding shovels that were produced for the US Military in WW2.  They were only made for a couple of months before the 1944 production year started, so they can be a bit tough to track down.

Equally tough to find, are the First Model, Model 1943 covers.  These first models had a single, fixed hanger on the back.  I believe that these were also, only produced in 1943.  In 1944, the military phased them out and introduced the adjustable hanger covers.




The covers also included additional leather inside to protect the canvas from the shovel blade.  In the later covers, the backside leather was omitted, and an adjustable attachment hook was added (you can see this Second Model cover in my other US M-43 shovel postings).


This cover is marked nicely, WADE BROWN CO. 1943


Since we've covered most of the background on these Model 1943 shovels in previous posts, lets move right along to the photos.  (be sure to check out the previous links to learn more).