Saturday, December 22, 2018

Norwegian Army Folding Shovel, Entrenching Tool, 1950's US Style Shovel, Norsk Forsvaret

As promised, here is the Norwegian Army Entrenching Tool, aka folding shovel.

This is another very unique shovel.  On first examination, it is easy to mistake this for a M1943, US shovel.  It is in fact, based on the US M1943, but has the blade style of a WW2 German folding shovel!

After WW2, the US Military poured equipment, uniforms, vehicles and other military items into Norway to equip the new, post-war Norwegian Army.  Initially the Norwegian Army utilized German small arms, equipment, shovels, helmets, etc., that were left behind by the occupying German Army, at the end of WW2.  In the 1950's and through the 1960's, The Norwegian Army grew to its largest numbers.  Norway was suddenly very important as a firewall to the Soviet Union in the Arctic.

After WW2, the US sent piles and piles of surplus M1943 shovels and shovel covers to Norway.  The US M1943 shovels and German folding shovels were the "standard issue" entrenching tools in the immediate post-war period.  In the 1950's, with the rapidly growing size of the army, more equipment was needed.  The Norwegians then sourced out shovels from foreign producers.  The bulk of these new shovels were produced in Belgium and the Netherlands.  The Belgian shovels were an almost exact knock-off copy of the US M1943.  The Dutch shovels were a unique hybrid, like the one I am showing today.

These "hybrid shovels" as I like to call them, combined the handles and hinging mechanism of the US M1943 and the flat blade of the WW2 German shovels (minus the back edge reinforcement strip).  These shovels remained in Norwegian service well past the 1980's and 1990's.  
The standard carrier for these shovels was the US M1943 canvas carrier, and other newer copies.

Here are a couple links to my previous posts on the US and Dutch shovels:

These post-war Belgian and Dutch shovels are all unmarked.  At least I have never seen one that has any markings.  They are well made and just as stout as the original US M1943's.

Here are a couple of links to two very good sites that have photos and the history of the Norwegian Army.

There is not much more to say about this unique shovel, so let's take a closer look at one.


Inupiat1 said...

Is the handle as robust, long or longer than the swiss handle on the entrenching tool?

I have a chance to buy one, but don't really need one as I have the USMC entrenching as well as the Swedish KLAS and the Swiss folding entrenching tool.

Sharky said...

The handles on these Norse folders are the same as the US M43 folding shovels from WW2. I believe they are a bit longer than the Swiss folders, but not as thick or heavy (wood-wise).