The Milspec "Trench Defender" Black Assisted Opening Trench Knife is a modern design of the original trench knife. A trench knife is a combat knife designed to kill or gravely incapacitate an enemy soldier at close quarters, as might be encountered in a trenchline or other confined area. It was developed in response to a need for a close combat weapon for soldiers conducting assaults and raids on enemy trenchlines during the First World War. An example of a World War I trench knife is the German Army's Nahkampfmesser (close combat knife). With the outbreak of the Second World War, the trench knife, by this time usually referred to as a combat knife, proved so useful that armies continued to develop and issue new designs. On the Axis side, the Nahkampfmesser and designs developed from it were again widely issued to the ordinary soldier as general-purpose fighting and utility knives, while Allied armies generally restricted issue of trench knives to elite infantry units and infantry not otherwise equipped with the bayonet.