Pugnale per Avanguardisti Moschettieri Modello 1936

Dagger for Avanguardisti Moschettieri Model 1936

The introduction of the new class of Avanguardisti Moschettieri for boys between 16 and 18 years within the Opera Nazionale Balilla in 1936, resulted in some minor changes to the uniform regulation of 1935 for the Avanguardisti.
One of the changes is the introduction of the Pugnale per Avanguardisti Moschettieri Modello 1936 (Dagger for Avanguardisti Moschettieri Model 1936).
The Dagger for Avanguardisti Moschettieri Model 1936 is a copy of the Pugnale da Ardito del Primo Modello (Dagger of the Ardito of the First Model) as used in the First World War which is derived from the Sciabola-baionetta Modello 70 (Sword-bayonet Model 1870).

The grips are made out of wood and are attached by two pins. Many grips are decorated with inscriptions or emblems. The blade has a length of 16.5 cm. Some blades are marked with “Opera Balilla” and / or a maker mark.

Its leather scabbard (during the war also made from cardboard and cloth due to shortages) has a simple fastening system which consists of a leather strip secured by four rivets. The leather scabbard of the Dagger for Avanguardisti Moschettieri Model 1936 is black and completely blank. The total length of the dagger, including its scabbard, is 29 cm.

Also after the creation of the Gioventù Italiana del Littorio on 29th of October 1937 no alterations on the Dagger for Avanguardisti Moschettieri Model 1936 are made. Only the marking “Opera Balilla” is obviously replaced by “GIL”.
From 1941 the Giovani Fascisti also use the Dagger for Avanguardisti Moschettieri Model 1936.

Sources:
Italia in Camicia Nera. Storia del fascismo attraverso simboli e uniformi; Alberto Brisone ea
Le divise del Duce. Tutte le divisie e i distintivi del Fascismo, dalla origini alla caduta; Ugo Pericoli

Pugnale per Avanguardisti Moschettieri Modello 1936
This example of a Pugnale per Avanguardisti Moschettieri Modello 1936 (Dagger for Avanguardisti Moschettieri Model 1936) is used by the Opera Nazionale Balilla and is marked “OPERA BALILLA”. It has no maker mark.