(click to enlarge)
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.
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 Simpson in Suhl. Gebruder Simpson became Simpson & 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 (reigned 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.
|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
Scabbard: "4.R.4.167" and Fraktur proofmarks
|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 regiment to which it belonged was the Königliches Sächisches (Leib) Grenadier Regiment Nr. 100 [Royal Saxon (Life Guard) Grenadier Regiment No 100]. This historic regiment was one of the most prestigious units in the Kingdom of Saxony. It was formed in 1670 in Dresden. At the beginning of the First World War, it was the third 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"
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 Wilhelm II of Prussia (reigned 1888–1918). Wilhelm II was the "Kaiser Wilhelm" of World War I fame.
Like the M1871 and M1898 a/A bayonets above, this piece is regimentally marked. I corresponded with Jeff Noll, author of The Imperial German Regimental Marking, and he wrote that, “your quillback was issued by the 3rd Oberschlesisches Infantry Regiment Nr. 63, 12th Kompangie, Waffe Nr. 132. [63rd Upper Silesia Infantry Regiment, 12th Company, Weapon Number 132].
|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. 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 belonged to the Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment (1. Großherzoglich Hessisches) Nr. 115 [Life Guard Infantry Regiment (1st Hessian Grand Duke) No. 115]. The 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 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
|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.
|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 is also marked to the 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 frog came on a the M1898/05 bayonet pictured above.
|n/a||n/a||n/a||Frog (Reverse): "B1JR" over "149" inside a rectangle and "BD III" over "1916"|
|© Ralph E. Cobb 2009 All Rights Reserved|
|Society of American Bayonet Collectors|