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Butcher Bayonets

Article about: Hi, I have attached a photo of three bayonets in my collection. One is a sawback, only recently picked up Maker Solingen with scabard that has some rust but original paint. Came from the ori

  1. #1

    Default Butcher Bayonets

    Hi,

    I have attached a photo of three bayonets in my collection.
    One is a sawback, only recently picked up Maker Solingen with scabard that has some rust but original paint. Came from the original owners family.
    The one on the other end is a Rossman of Berlin and has had its handle changed. No scabard for this one unfortunately.
    The middle one is maker marked "REMSCHEID", and both the blade and scabard have a nickel plating to them.

    Questions:
    1) the butcher with handle changed. I recently read that in order to get round the rules during the war governing souvenir collecting of enemy weapons, that by changing the weapon ie the length of blade to make it a trench knife, or just the handle, the owner was allowed to keep it as it was no longer as issued by the enemy. Could this be an exaple of this? The handles wood looks to be period. Or is this another urban myth of the trenches!
    2) The nickel plated knife and scabard. Would this have been done post WW1, or were these offered as types of dress sword for officers or awards etc?
    Sorry about the photo, I will need to investigate a better camera for posting.

    Thanks
    Siegfried.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    Siegfried

    1) Sounds like an urban myth to me - never heard it before.

    2) Private purchase "dress" bayonets were made. Does the plated bayonet have military markings on the blade. If there are any, that would definitely suggest post war plating.

    Makers

    Solingen is a place - so there should be another name there.

    Rossman - Frister & Rossman - also makers of sewing machines !

    Remscheid - again a place. The only maker based there was J Corts Sohn & Companie.

    Hope that helps

    Richie

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    Sounds like an urban myth to me - never heard it before.
    a dillers' myth, that is how they are trying to sell Polish revoke or butchers with replaced handles . Can't even recall how many times I read the story how a solder had to change the handles on a butcher to be allowed by commander to keep it.

    Butchers newer were shortened to be used as a trench knifes as well, that's Turkish post-war modification. s98 were.

    About the nickel on a butcher, it's hard to tell anything for sure.


    Anyway nice pack of blades you have there!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    Richie,

    Thanks for this.
    Remscheid does have J Corts Sohn & co. so that makes sense. The back spine of the blade has the usual crown, "W" and 15. Under which is what looks like a makers mark of gothic "C" and a small crown over it. Other than that is what looks like a usual issue blade just nickel plated. Nothing that would indicate a commemorative or special issue. The leather frog is marked with a Berlin maker mark and dated 1916 and looks to be Chaefer & Reiche.
    The Sawback Solingen has maker of ALEX COPPEL.

    Cheers for the info and pointers.
    Ben

  5. #5

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    Thank you for the myth busting. I thought that it sounded a little too poetic to be real.
    I will keep on researching the nickel plated one to see what I can find out. I haven't seen one like it before, and I have trawled the web for the past year looking at butcher bayonets especially sawbacks.
    I am assuming that the other myth regarding the order to kill any enemy taken with a sawback is also to be stored in the total rubbish cabinet?
    Thanks for the information, much appreciated.
    Ben

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    It wasn't an order, just a good old war propaganda. Torturing and killing captured solders with sawbacks was an initiative of British and French solders that believed in the idea of deliberate use of saw to cause more pain and damage.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    A good site on the S98/05

    GERMAN 98/05 VARIATIONS

    Sawback removal

    German saw backed bayonets were cited in Allied propaganda as examples of German frightfulness (even though the British had used them in earlier years)

    There were indeed rumours amongst German soldiers that they would be executed if found with saw backed bayonets.

    Even gets a mention in "All Quiet on the Western Front" published in 1920.

    As early as 1915 there was concern about them - a letter was written expressing concern about their issue. This letter went all the way from a Bavarian Infantry Regiment to the Bavarian War Ministry but nothing was done.

    In August 1917 an order was issued withdrawing saw backs from front line service and replacing them with plain blades. They were however, still to be issued to rear area troops.

    Front line troops were issued with folding saws as a replacement.

    In January 1918 the Prussian War Ministry issued an order concerning the removal of saws from S98-05 and S84-98 bayonets as they were still serviceable with this modification.

    Regards

    Richie

  8. #8

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    Richie,

    Many thanks for the link that will be invaluable in identifying and I have printed off and placed a copy in my wallet (you never know when opportunity will knock).

    Information on the history of the saw back is also very much appreciated. I have only posted two questions on this site in the three days I have been a member and everyone is so helpful.
    Hope that I may stumble over a string that I may know something about.

    I have a couple of bayonets that I wanted to try to identify. I cannot get good enough photos to post, but I suspect that they are WW2 and not what they seem to be. I will save them for the weekend.

    Thank you again, really appreciate the information.

    Ben

  9. #9

    Default Re: Butcher Bayonets

    Quote by siegfried View Post
    Richie,

    Many thanks for the link that will be invaluable in identifying and I have printed off and placed a copy in my wallet (you never know when opportunity will knock).

    Information on the history of the saw back is also very much appreciated. I have only posted two questions on this site in the three days I have been a member and everyone is so helpful.
    Hope that I may stumble over a string that I may know something about.

    I have a couple of bayonets that I wanted to try to identify. I cannot get good enough photos to post, but I suspect that they are WW2 and not what they seem to be. I will save them for the weekend.

    Thank you again, really appreciate the information.

    Ben
    Ben

    My pleasure

    Regards

    Richie

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