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WW1 or older bayonet found at WW2 site

Article about: I have my favourite hunting site, a WW2 German/Italian seaside bunker that was destroyed by Greek and Allied forces. I still find small items of equipment and other relics. This is the most

  1. #1
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    Default WW1 or older bayonet found at WW2 site

    I have my favourite hunting site, a WW2 German/Italian seaside bunker that was destroyed by Greek and Allied forces.
    I still find small items of equipment and other relics.
    This is the most interesting find yet. About a week ago I went on a walk along the coast in miserable weather conditions. But the hunt paid of as some time after I had started checking out my usual spots finding a 3-holed German button and some small pieces of scrap metal and brass shrapnel, I saw this green and rusty thing sticking out of the ground (we have had some pretty heavy rains in the last days), looking like a piece of electrical tubing or something like that.
    So I took out my pocket knife and dug it out and I knew this was a brass bayonet handle right away. I dug a little more to find all the pieces of the heavily corroded and broken blade (I now think I may have missed a big portion of it, that must be still buried in situ...).

    This is how it looked as it came out of the ground.

    WW1 or older bayonet found at WW2 site

    The complete find has a length a little longer then 40cm.
    After washing the pieces, only with some water and brushes, it looked a little better, I concentrated on the handle and it's characteristics are now more visible.

    WW1 or older bayonet found at WW2 site

    My problem now is that this looks (a friend suggested this first) like a WW1 bayonet handle, but after googleing a little and having seen a lot of pre-WW1 brass-handle bayonets I think it could be even older...
    Anyone have any idea what type of bayonet this might be?

  2. #2

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    Greetings,

    Appears to my eyes to be the remnants of a French Model 1866 Chassepot Bayonet. Recommend you Google that and compare the handle's details for yourself.

    Best,

    V/r Lance

  3. #3
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    It does look like a chassepot handle,
    Interesting to find it in the German/Italian region.

    Where there any French troops there?
    It could also be one of the Chassepot 's modified for german reserve /Landwehr units.

    Neat find!

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  4. #4

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    Well called Lance. I think you are right, but it raises the questions what's it doing in Italy or is it Greece? The OP is vague on location. The mention of Greek forces was interesting to me as the Greek M1872 Mylonas rifle was issued with M1866 Chassepot bayonets manufactured by Alex.Coppel of Solingen in the 1870's. That bayonet may have been in the ground a long time.

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for the replies.
    Well the bunker I mentioned is the one I write about in all of my posts. It's located in Greece on the coast of the Aegean sea in Attica.
    I googled the Chassepot bayonet as suggested by Lance and it looks very much like mine, sad that the cross guard and blade are missing (I went back today and dug some more but I didn't find any blade pieces I might had missed the first time...), especially the cross guards are tell-tale features for identification as I saw.

    I have read that the Greek army had to use some of the old equipment in their depots, like some regiments used the so called "Gras" riffles but I don't think they used 1870's riffles...

    I found in that same rubble mound where I found this bayonet, Mauser ammo clips, Italian and German shells and such things all dating from WW2 nothing older.
    No French troops around here, only Brits and Americans came. No WW1 battles near this region whatsoever... So this is a mystery to me how this bayonet landed here...

  6. #6

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    Possibly converted to a fighting knife?

  7. #7
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    Could be possible, a big portion of the blade is missing...
    Maybe it broke in combat and was tossed aside?
    I will try to restore it as good as I can and maybe I'll post some more pics if the result was worth the effort.

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