Hi Guys, I thought that it would be good to show the nicest British bayonet (in my opinion) of WW2. Here is one from my collection, but first here is some background info about the design.
The No7 MkI Land service bayonet was designed in 1944. A grand total of 176,000 were produced. The design was perfected by the Wilkinson Sword Co., who produced 1,000 bayonets in 1944. Mass production was carried out by four others makers from 1945 until 1948. These four makers and their production figures were:
Birmingham Small Arms Ltd. - 25,000;
Elkington & Co. Ltd. Birmingham - 20,000;
Royal Ordinance Factory, Poole – 30,000;
Royal Ordinance Factory, Newport – 100,000.
The design was intended to be a universal one for use with the rifle or the Sten MKV sub machine gun. The spike bayonet for the No4 Lee Enfield rifle was only good for killing or opening cans of condensed milk! The troops desired a bayonet which looked better and could also be used for a variety of other purposes. A new bayonet, the No5 MKI which had been designed for the No5 Jungle Carbine had proved popular and formed the basis for the design work for the No7 bayonet. The design was a clever combination of the fittings from the two. By pressing a catch the knife could also convert from a bayonet to a fighting knife. However after an accident with a .303 round hitting the muzzle ring the bayonet was only issued to troops armed with the Sten V. However, it did continue to see cerommonial service fitted to the No4 rifle.
As can be seen the blade was a "Bowie" style in bright steel. The grips were generaly a red bakelite but could also be found in black.
The throat to the scabbard had a brass insert and again made this look a quality item.