Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bulgarian Military Pick-Axe, Pick-Mattock, WW1, WW2, or Cold War era Entrenching Tool Pickaxe

Today we'll be taking a look at a very seldom seen entrenching tool from Bulgaria.

I picked this short pick-axe up this last week to add to my collection of military entrenching tools.  I purchased the pick based on "description only", and I had expected a pick that was quite a bit newer and in much better condition, but this is what I received.  Not all bad though!  A pick in this condition screams "old" and "history"!

These short, belt carried picks, were standard issue to Bulgarian soldiers during WW1, WW2 and even during the post-war era.  The style, shape and size remained the same during this entire time.  

Bugarian WW2 soldiers in the field.
Additional photos and helmet details can be seen in my previous blog posts:

I have seen examples that were date stamped, and manufacturer stamped, and examples that have lacked any markings.  These picks were normally issued with a leather pick cover that had belt loops on the back, for carrying in the field.  Unfortunately, I do not have a cover, yet.

This pick is approximately 22 inches long, and 12 inches wide.  

As you can see from the condition, it is quite old!  The pick head is deeply pitted from rust, and the wood has some dry-rot and powder post beetle holes.  None of the rusting, or wood damage, is recent, which tends to show that this pick dates back to the WW1 or WW2 eras.  There are no date or manufacturer's stamps, so there is no way to know for sure.  Based on the "patina" and damage, it is definitely not post-war though.
I will be restoring and stabilizing this old pick in the coming weeks.  Yu can hear the story about how I do this and some shots of the "finished product".  Here is a link to the posting where I show this:

The initials of a previous owner are carved into the handle, which is quite typical for entrenching tools from these old "Eastern Block" countries.  I love it when these old tools have that "personal touch"!

I have a second Bulgarian pickaxe that I have posted on the blog.  You can see that posting here:

There is not much more I can say about this pick for now, so let's take a look at the album.  The research continues!

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