Pictures
(click to enlarge)
Type Description Blade
Length
Overall
Length

Muzzle
Ring
Diameter

Markings
      in. mm. in. mm. in. mm.  
M1866 Chassepot (German-Capture)
Yataghan sword bayonet for use on the 11 mm. French M1866 Chassepot needle-fire rifle. I have been told that this also fits on the M1874 Gras, although this example will not mount to the Gras in my collection.

This example was made in 1867 by the French State Arsenal, Manufacture d'Armes Tulle, using a blade made by the firm of Gustave Felix in Germany. The bayonet was subsequently captured by the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. The Scabbard is modified by fitting a German frog stud, so that it may be carried using a M1871 belt frog. These modified bayonets were reissued to German rear-eschelon troops as sidearms and some were modified to fit German rifles during the First World War. Click here for the full story on this well-traveled bayonet.

"Yataghan" is derived from the Turkish word for "one who lays down" to describe the downard-sweeping double-curve blade profile. The double-curve added strength and rigidity, while keeping the hilt and point in alignment for thrusting efficiency.

22.75
578
27.50
699
.690
17.5
Crosspiece (Left): "R26090" and French proofmarks

Ricasso (Left):  "candle lamp" or "hot air balloon" makers mark

Ricasso (Right): "M" inside a circle

Blade (Spine): "Mre Impale de Tulle Xbre 1867"

Scabbard (Body): "50314"

Frog Stud: Fraktur proofmarks
M1871 Sword bayonet for use with the 11 mm. M1871 Mauser rifle.  This bayonet was also used extensively with the 8 mm. M1888 Commission Rifle.

The M1871 bayonet has an unusual brass grip with diagonal serrations on the right grip, while the left grip is smooth.

The blade was manufactured by Gebruder Simson in Suhl. Gebruder Simson became Simson & Co. in 1880. However, the bayonet was assembled by the Prussian Royal Arsenal at Erfurt. The blade is marked with the Royal Cypher of Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia, who reigned from 1861–1888.

A note regarding German Royalty: The German Empire was a confederation of semi-independent states. The King of Prussia served as the Imperial head of state and was given the title Kaiser (Emperor). The monarchs of the other German states held the title König (King).

Both the bayonet and scabbard have matching regimental markings. The unit marking, "4.R.4.167.”, signifies: Grenadier-Regiment König Friedrich der Grosse (3. Ostpreußisches) Nr.4, Kompagnie 4, Waffen Nr. 167. [In English, 4th Grenadier Regiment, King Frederick the Great (3rd East Prussian), 4th Company, Weapon No. 167.] This regiment was formed in 1626 at Rastenburg in East Prussia (known, today, as Kętrzyn in Poland, near its northern border with Russia). At the beginning of the First World War, it was the second oldest regiment in the German Army.

I corresponded with Anthony Carter on this piece, because of the regimental markings it carried. Anthony wrote the following, " . . . It's the first bayonet I've ever recorded marked to this regiment, so it was good to hear about it."

18.50 470 23.625 600 .690 17.5 Ricasso: "Gebr. Simson" over "Suhl" and Crown over "Erfurt"

Blade (spine): Crown over "W" over "78" over Fraktur proofmark

Pommel:  Fraktur proofmarks

Crosspiece:  "4.R.4.167"

Scabbard:  "4.R.4.167" and Fraktur proofmarks
Thumbnail image of German M1871/84 knife bayonetThumbnail image of German M1871/84 knife bayonetThumbnail image of German M1871/84 knife bayonetThumbnail image of German M1871/84 knife bayonetThumbnail image of German M1871/84 knife bayonetThumbnail image of German M1871/84 knife bayonetThumbnail image of German M1871/84 knife bayonet M1871/84 Knife bayonet for use with the 11 mm. Mauser M1871/84 repeating rifle. This bayonet will also mount on the earlier 11 mm. Mauser M1871 rifle and the 8 mm. M1888 Commission Rifle.

The M1871/84 was the first knife bayonet to become general issue in a major army, setting a trend that continues to the present day. This example was made for Prussia in 1887 by Alexander Coppel of Solingen. It carries the Royal Cypher of Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia, who reigned from 1861–1888.

There were two M1871/84 blade profiles that differ only in the length of the fuller, as shown in this comparison image.

The M1871/84 rifle was superseded by the M1888 Commission Rifle shortly after entering service, limiting the M1871/84 bayonet’s use by the German Army. Although the M1871/84 bayonet mounts to the M1888 Commission Rifle, this combination was felt to have insufficient reach. The M1888 was typically issued with the longer M1871 sword bayonet. The M1871/84 bayonet’s historical impact was that its design became the pattern for many subsequent bayonets, such as the Spanish M1983, Chilean M1895, and Venezuelan M1900.

Both the bayonet and scabbard have regimental markings.

The bayonet has an unusual unit marking, indicating it was issued to a machinegun company.  The unit marking "25.R.M.G.79." signifies: Infanterie-Regiment von Lützow (1. Rheinisches) Nr.25, Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffen Nr. 79 [25th Infantry Regiment von Lützow (1st Rhineland), Machinegun Company, Weapon No. 79]. This regiment was formed in 1813 at Aachen, at the westernmost point in Germany, where Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium meet.  The town's military history goes back to the Roman Empire, however, is most notable as the residence of Emperor Charlemagne, father of modern Europe.

The scabbard marking “38.R.11.21.” signifies:  Füsilier-Regiment Feldmarschall Graf Moltke (1. Schlesisches) Nr.38, Kompagnie 11, Waffen Nr. 21 [in English, 38th Fusilier Regiment, Field Marshal Count Moltke (1st Silesian) 15th Company, Weapon No. 93]. This regiment was formed in 1818 at Glatz, in Lower Silesia (known, today, as Kłodzko in Poland, near its border with the Czech Republic). During the First World War the regiment served on the Western Front notably at the Battles of the Somme and Cambrai. The regiment is named after 19th Century Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, whose leadership model is still taught in both military and business courses today.
9.625 244 14.50 368 .690 17.5 Ricasso: "Alex. Coppel" over "Solingen"

Blade (spine): Crown over "W" over "87" over Fraktur proofmark

Crosspiece:  "25.R.M.G.79."

Scabbard:  "38.R.11.21." and Fraktur proofmarks

Thumbnail image of m1871/84 dress bayonetThumbnail image of m1871/84 dress bayonetThumbnail image of m1871/84 dress bayonet M1871/84 Dress Bayonet Dress bayonet variant of the M1871/84.

This example was made by Carl Eickhorn of Solingen. The back-to-back squirrels over "C. E." was the first Eickhorn trademark, used from 1906 into the 1920s.

The bayonet has a functional press stud, however, the muzzle-ring diameter is too small to mount to a M1871/84 rifle. Although the muzzle-ring diameter is close to that required for mounting to the Gewehr 98, the height is not and the pommel has a T-mortise, instead of the T-O required to accommodate the Gewehr 98 cleaning rod. This is a good example of how private-purchase bayonets did not adhere to any set standard of manufacture.

10.00 254 14.875 378 .625 15.9 Ricasso: Back-to-Back Squirrels over "C. E."
M1898 a/A Sword bayonet for use with the 8 mm. Mauser Gewehr 98 made famous during the First World War.

First pattern example of the M1898, known as the a/A (alter Art = older model), with the scarce one-piece wood grip.  This was the first bayonet produced for use on the Gewehr 98, with its revolutionary bayonet bar mounting system. This bayonet will also mount to most other Mauser bolt-action rifles that are based on the M1898 action, although the M1898 bayonet did not see much use after the First World War.

These long, slender blades are often called “quillback” or "pipeback" blades, due to the round spine that runs through the blade like the quill of a feather.

This example was made in 1902 by Simson & Co., Suhl.  According to John Walter's book, The German Bayonet, Simson began making the M1898 in 1902 and the change to the two-piece grip was implemented by May 1902. This would have allowed only a few months during which Simson produced bayonets with the one-piece grip.

This example carries the Royal Cypher of König Georg of Saxony. King Georg reigned only two years, from 1902–04.

Both the bayonet and scabbard have matching regimental markings. The regimental marking "100.R.3.97" signifies:  Königliches Sächisches (Leib) Grenadier Regiment Nr. 100, Kompagnie 3, Waffen Nr. 97 [100th Royal Saxon (Life Guard) Grenadier Regiment, 3rd Company, Weapon No. 97]. This historic regiment was one of the most prestigious units in the Army of Saxony, tasked with protecting the King. It was formed in 1670 in Dresden. At the beginning of the First World War, it was the fourth oldest regiment in the German Army.

The slender leather scabbard was prone to damage due to its extreme length.  This example evidences a repair near the tip.

20.50 521 25.75 624 n/a Ricasso: "Simson & Co. Suhl"

Blade (spine): Crown over "GR" over, "02"

Crosspiece:  "100.R.3.97"

Pommel: Fraktur proofmark

Scabbard (Locket):   "100.R.3.97" and Fraktur proofmarks
M1898 n/A Second pattern example of the M1898, known as the n/A (neuer Art = newer model), The n/A had the more common two-piece wood grip.

This example was made in 1906 by Simson & Co. in Suhl. It carries the Royal Cypher of Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II of Prussia, who reigned 1888–1918. Wilhelm II was the "Kaiser Wilhelm" of First World War fame.

The bayonet caries the unit marking “63.R.12.132.”, which signifies:  Infanterie-Regiment Kaiser Karl von Österreich und König von Ungarn (4. Oberschlesisches) Nr.63, Kompagnie 12, Waffen Nr. 132. [In English, 63rd Infantry Regiment, Emperor Karl of Austria and King of Hungary (4th Upper Silesia), 12th Company, Weapon No. 132.] This regiment was formed in 1860 at Oppeln (known, today, as Opole in Poland, near its border with the Czech Republic).

20.50 521 25.75 654 n/a Ricasso: "Simson & Co. Suhl"

Blade (spine): Crown over "W" over "06"

Crosspiece:  "63 R 12 132"

Scabbard (Locket): Fraktur proofmarks
M1884/98 Knife bayonet for use with the 8 mm. Mauser Gewehr 98.

This was the first pattern example of the M1884/98 knife bayonet. The M1884/98 first pattern bayonet was an older M1871/84 bayonet altered, ca. 1905, for use on the Gewehr 98 Rifle, as shown in this comparison image.

Modifications included removal of the muzzle-ring and fitting of a longer pommel with the T–O mortise to accommodate the Gewehr 98's cleaning rod. The join between the original tang and new pommel is evident in the 6th picture at left.

The M1884/98 was discontinued in favor of the M1898/05 bayonet (below). However, the Germans would return to the M1884/98 design in 1915, as a way to use their limited steel supply more efficiently.

This example was made in 1888 by Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Co. of Solingen. It carries the Royal Cypher of Kaiser Wilhelm of Prussia. Both Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II reigned during 1888, so there is no way to attribute the cypher to a specific monarch (Friedrich III also reigned for 3 months during 1888, although no bayonets have been documented with his cypher).

Both the bayonet and scabbard have regimental markings. The bayonet's marking is partially gone, so the regiment number cannot be discerned. The scabbard marking "115.R.15.93" signifies: Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment (1. Großherzoglich Hessisches) Nr. 115, Kompagnie 15, Waffen Nr. 93 [115th Life Guard Infantry Regiment (1st Hessian Grand Duke), 15th Company, Weapon No. 93].

This regiment was formed in 1621 at Darmstadt. At the beginning of the First World War, it was the oldest regiment in the German Army. Life guard regiments were typically the most prestigious regiments in the army of a German State, tasked with protecting the monarch.

9.875 251 15.00 381 n/a Ricasso (left): "Weyersberg" over "Kirschbaum & Co." over "Solingen"

Blade (spine): Crown-W over "88" over inspection mark

Crosspiece (left): ". R.1.125"

Crosspiece (front): inspection mark

Pommel: two inspection marks

Tang (upper: "G"

Tang (lower): "F"

Grip Screwbolts: inspection mark on each

Scabbard (locket): "115.R.15.93"

Scabbard (ball finial): inspection mark and "5"

M1898/05 a/A Sword bayonet for use with the 8 mm. Mauser Gewehr 98. First pattern example of the M1898/05, known as the a/A (alter Art = older model). The first pattern lacked a flashguard and had a vestigial (partial) muzzle ring, often referred to as having "high ears." These were often ground away, as is the case with this example.

The M1898/05 superceded the M1898, whose long, slender blade was prone to breakage. The M1898/05 was the most common German bayonet of the First World War. These are often called “butcher blades,” due to their resemblance to a butcher’s knife of the period.

This example was made in 1910 by Simson & Co., of Suhl. It carries the Royal Cypher of Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II of Prussia, who reigned 1888–1918. Wilhelm II was the "Kaiser Wilhelm" of First World War fame.

It has the early leather scabbard with steel mounts. The chape is missing. Early Simson examples are fairly scarce.

14.50 368 19.75 502 n/a Ricasso: "Simson & Co." over "Suhl"

Blade (Spine): Crown over "W" over "10"

Pommel:  Fraktur proofmarks
M1898/05 n/A Sawback Second pattern example of the M1898/05 sword bayonet, known as the n/A (neuer Art = newer model). The second pattern lacked the first pattern's vestigial muzzle ring (or 'ears') and had a flashguard.

This example was made in 1916 by Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Co., of Solingen. It carries the Royal Cypher of Kaiser (Emperor) Wilhelm II of Prussia, who reigned 1888–1918. Wilhelm II was the "Kaiser Wilhelm" of First World War fame.

Sawback bayonets were used by pioneer and machine gun troops to clear vegetation and other obstructions (much as U.S. machine gun crews used the various bolo knives and machetes). Sawback blades were also carried by non-commissioned officers (NCOs) as a symbol of rank.

14.50 368 19.75 502 n/a Blade (spine): Crown over "W" over "16"

Ricasso: "Weyersberg Kirschbaum & Cie, Solingen"

Pommel:  Fraktur proofmarks

M1884/98 II Second pattern example of the M1884/98 knife bayonet. The second pattern represents the first new production M1884/98 bayonet.

This example was made in 1917 by Gebruder Heller of Marienthal. It carries the Royal Cypher of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia, who reigned 1888–1918. Wilhelm II was the "Kaiser Wilhelm" of First World War fame.

 

9.875 251 15.125 384 n/a Ricasso (left): "Gebr. Heller" over "Marienthal"

Blade (spine): Crown over "W" over "17"

Pommel:  Fraktur proofmark

Belt Frog Brown leather belt frog for carrying the M1898/05 sword bayonet.

Measures 9.25 in. (235 mm.) long by 2.625 in. (67 mm.) wide. Carter classified this frog as #267.

According to Carter, The "BD III" marking, dated 1916, is referred to as a Garnitur (Clothing Mark). This mark indicates that the frog was issued by the Bekleidungs-Depot des III, Bayerischen Armee-Korps (Clothing Depot of the III Bavarian Army Corps), based near Nuremburg. It is possible that frogs were supplied to the Depot before being issued, rather than being made there.

The frog caries the unit marking "B11R", which signifies: Königliches Bayerisches Infanterie-Regiment, von der Tann Nr. 11 [11th Royal Bavarian Infantry Regiment, Von der Tann], which formed part of the III Bavarian Army Corps. This regiment was formed in 1805 at Regensburg.

This frog came on a the M1898/05 a/A bayonet pictured above.

Go to the Bayonet Belt Frogs Page.

n/a n/a n/a Frog (Reverse):  "B11R" over "149" and "BD III" over "1916" inside a rectangle
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© Ralph E. Cobb 2009 All Rights Reserved        
Reference charts on Imperial German bayonet makers, markings, and royal cyphers.

Imperial German Bayonets 1871-1918

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