The French M1840 was the first bayonet to sport a yataghan blade. The yataghan is a Turkish sword design whose blade has a graceful double-bend that adds strength and rigidity, while keeping the grip and point in direct alignment for maximum thrusting efficiency. This was a hugely influential innovation that would become the dominant sword bayonet blade style used for the remainder of the 19th Century. The following picture is a French M1842 bayonet, used with the .71 caliber M1829/46 Mousqueton de Artillerie (Artillery Carbine), M1840 Carbine de Munition (M1840 Rifle Ammunition), M1846 and M1853 Carbine de Tige (M1846 & M1853 Pillar Breech Rifle), and M1859 Minié Carbine (Minié Rifle). These were all short, carbine-length arms. This example was made in September 1856 at the French State Arsenal, Manufacture Imperiale de Châtellerault.
Image of French M1842 Sword Bayonet
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© Ralph E. Cobb 2009 All Rights Reserved

1840—The Yataghan Sword Bayonet

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