Zakharov D., Terekhov E., Ustyanov A. (2015). Neopisannyj russkij tesak Shuvalovskogo Observacionnogo korpusa [Undocumented Russian Fascine Knife of the Shuvalov Observation Corps]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 1, pp. 112 — 117.

Zakharov D.

Terekhov E.

Ustyanov A.


Russian arms of the Empire Period despite of many published pieces have been studied insufficiently. Hence the appearance of yet unknown models is quite understandable.  The article deals with a Russian fascine knife which hasn’t been listed in any catalogue of Russian edged weapons. The samples of the weapon are kept in the collections of the Artillery museum in Saint-Petersburg and in the Tula Museum of arms and armor. The authors attribute it not as a modification of a well-known engineer fascine knife of the 1797 version but as its previous model of the 1756 which is an infantry fascine knife of the Shuvalov observation corps.

Shuvalov Observation Corps was organized in 1756 and disbanded in the beginning of 1760. It numbered 29 thousand and participated in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763). The authors presume it to be the model that started the whole branch of Russian arms that continued with the engineer fascine knives of 1797 and 1827 versions and turned from the combat arm to the minor weapon. The blade thickness and hence the weapon weight which is only 1000 gram to compare with the cutlass of 1797’s 1300 gram are presented as the main features that differentiate the “Shuvalov fascine knife” from the following models used by the Russian Empire Army. The attribution was based on the archive sources which contain the description of the Observation Corps fascine knife. After the Corps was disbanded in 1760 the fascine knives continued to be used in Russian army and navy till the reign of Nikolas I .Thus the fascine knives of 1756 version were in use about a hundred years which can be considered as record high for an edged weapon. The article is thought to be interesting not only because it equitably presents a yet unknown sample of Russian Imperial Army edged weapon but also because it introduces a number of little known papers.

Keywords: engineer fascine knife, Shuvalov Observation Corps, edged weapons, Russian, modification.