Rare WWII Belgium Army issued M1916 Bayonet & Scabbard. The initials "2Ch" on the cross guard indicates it was issued and use by the 2nd Division de Chasseurs Ardennais (translated, The Ardennes Hunters), one of the most capable Belgian Army units to fight in 1940. They were a small, highly mobile infantry force, equipped with light armored vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles. The Division took the brunt of the German onslaught on May 10, 1940, as German Panzers struck the low countries through the Ardennes Forest.
During WWII the Chasseur Ardennais mission was to delay the Germans and prevent them from encircling the Belgian Army, before French troops could come up to help stop the German advance at the Meuse River. At Bodange, vastly outnumbered and outgunned they held up Rommel's 7th Panzer Division for 9 hours, before giving ground. The Division fought its way across Belgium during the 18 days of combat, making its final four-day stand at Lille, France, buying the British precious time to evacuate Dunkirk.
With no chance of evacuation, many of the Chasseur Ardennais evaded capture and fought on with the resistance. More than 500 Chasseur Ardennais were killed in the 18 days of May 1940. Over 200 more were later killed fighting with the resistance.
A rarely seen Belgian bayonet & scabbard that was used by very brave Allied soldiers, and from an Army that is so often overlooked.
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