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Fritz

German bayonets, 1914-16

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Here is a selection of "standard" German bayonets at the beginning of WW1. The older types were the shorter SG 84/98 a.A., which had been converted from the old M.71/84, and had been adapted for the new G.98 rifle, whereas the older 71/84 model was only suited to the G.71/84 or G.88 rifle, which were still available in sufficient numbers to equip the reserve troops.

Shown are two examples of the SG 84/98 aA (old model) in varying lengths. These had the same blades as the SG 71/84 (middle).

The SG 71/84 shown has a stamp on the rear of the hilt: being 31.R.6.25 meaning Inf.-Regt.31, 6th Comp., weapon no.25.

There is a date on the spine of the blade of 1888, beneath a crowned "W". The blades of all three weapons are by Weyersberg, Kirchbaum & Cie., Solingen. All three weapons have walnut grips. The rear of the pommel shows two crowned inspection marks, which are almost always present. In most cases, the blades were only sharpened on mobilisation, never in peacetime. The misuse of blades was also absolutely prohibited.

The scabbard of the SG 71/84 shown here is missing, but would have been identical to the SG 84/98. When leather scabbards became unserviceable during WW1, they were replaced by the depot with steel scabbards. Each unit had it's own armourers workshops, which, constantly inspected the weaponry and carried out the necessary repairs and replacements.

 

Further examples shown are of the SG 98/05, which was issued in large numbers till about 1918, and was probably the most common bayonet of WW1. It was originally conceived for the foot artillery for use with the G.98 and Kar 98, but was found most practical as a general service bayonet. This was originally issued with a leather scabbard, but as from 1915 steel scabbards were produced, which proved more durable under the damp and harsh conditions at the front.

 

Shown is a 1914 produced bayonet by Haenel in Suhl with a leather scabbard. The other is a 1915 example by V.C.Schilling in Suhl and is with a steel scabbard, the hilt has lugs as a reduction of a muzzle ring, as well as no fireguard above the grips. These versions are now rarely encountered, as they were usually later fitted with a fireguard and the lugs filed down.

 

The next two examples shown are a SG 98/05 sawback in a steel scabbard and dated 1916. This example is made by E.& F. Hörster in Solingen. The shorter bayonet is a SG 84/98 n.A. (new type) with fireguard and sawback and was issued with a steel scabbard. The blade on this example was made by Gebrüder Heller in Marienthal. The other marking to the reverse of the blade is a crowned ERFURT mark, where the weapon was produced. This example has no date stamp to the spine of the blade. The grips are of fine walnut.

 

In the course of the war the Allies threatened to kill all prisoners who were found carrying sawback weapons, so the Germans began to withdraw these and file the sawback down.

Some photos unfortunately not very clear, the best I could do.

 

Recommended literature: Preussisch-Deutsche Seitengewehre 1807-1945 by Rudiger Franz, Journal-Verlag Schwend, 1994

(appearing in several volumes)

 

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1884/98 old type, 2 examples, blades of varying lenghts, original leather scabbards

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as before, and centre - M.1871/84, scabbard missing, I.R.31

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M.84/98 old type, two examples: first one mismatched - 18.R.7.x? and scabbard:  63.R. 9. 35
Second:  16 R.3.134 - Inf.-Regt.16 3. Kompagnie, weapon no.134
R = Regiment, French styled R = Reserve-Regiment+
The original numbering has been officially deleted (always still legible) for a change of weapon number!

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84/98 old type, one example with crown and Erfurt mark

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Both blades with W and (18)87, one with RC for Revisions-Commission

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2 examples M.1898/05, leather scabbard, dated 1914
and steel scabbard, 1915, first type with reduced ring lugs and without flashguard

 

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1898/05, older type with reduced ring lugs but with later steel scabbard, 1915 - without flashguard

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1898/05 with dates, 1914, 1915 and 1916

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M.98/05 with various makers

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M.98/05 with sawback, with flashguard and steel scabbard, 1916
M.84/98 new pattern with sawback and flashguard, undated, steel scabbard

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M.71/84 and 84/98 new pattern with flashguard and sawback with crowned Erfurt stamp

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1884/98 new pattern with flashguard and sawback with makers mark: Gebr.Heller, Marienthal, crossguard stamped with number
1871/84 with maker mark: Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Cie., Solingen - crossguard stamped: 31.R.6.25 -Infanterie-Regt.31, 6. Komp., weapon number 25

 

 

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New detailed pictures and text added.

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