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Arisaka bayonets used in the field?

Article about: Greetings from Denmark out there. Iīm a new member to the forum and hope to get some feedback from someone knowing more than I do as for the practical use of Japanese training gear in the fi

  1. #1

    Default Arisaka bayonets used in the field?

    Greetings from Denmark out there. Iīm a new member to the forum and hope to get some feedback from someone knowing more than I do as for the practical use of Japanese training gear in the field(WW II). Iīm the lucky owner of a TARAWA - yes - TARAWA "TRAINING"(!) Arisaka bayonet. The story is as goes:

    Firstly: for your record, this came from a friend of mine in the States. Obviously I cannot reveal identities, but this is what happened before I got the bayonet.

    My American friend(and veteran) used to be an employee in the US Congress. At the same time he was commander of a disabled veteransī Chapter for many years in the US, and spent a lot of time with these gentleman vets, some of them he knew very personally for more than 20 years, untill they passed. The person in question, who brought home this Arisaka "..alwys kept this piece by his side". The vets and my friend often went to schools to educate children, telling about their war time stories. The vet always brought the Arisaka bayonet that was a very important "memory" to him. He was a "mobbing up/"cleaner" GI at Tarawa HIMSELF in person, and of course fighting at Tarawa had a huge impact on his life later on. When old and ill, he personally gave the Arisaka to my congress friend and many times told - though a very humble and silent person - about some of his experiences on Tarawa, and what he retrieved there. That Arisaka bayonet is the one in question. The handle is signed(carved) and according to two interpreters it probably states the name "Tanaka".

    However, a couple of well meaning people told me, that it couldnīt have come from Tarawa, since a "training bayonet". As far as I know on history it could have been brought there as a training or substitute bayonet, or having been used for other purposes or as a "last ditch" weapon for all I know. I cannot tell, of course. I have absolutely no reson to doubt my friendīs word, and the story of the long passed vet.

    Question: does anyone know other other cases during WW II in the Pacific where all at hand was used in battle and a training bayonet would be brought at some time, please? What do you make of it?

    Thank you for taking time and effort to answer my question.

    Kind regards,

    - Flemming, Denmark
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum Flemming.

    You have a lovely bayonet in a great display with a nice background story. I have no reason to doubt it but one always need to take any story with a grain of salt (or in some cases a whole shaker of salt).

    From the pictures it is difficult for me to determine if it is a training bayonet but I will assume that it is.

    That said, anything is possible and I wouldn't worry so much about it. We have all seen weird stuff and hopefully others here can provide some more color. Who knows, maybe there was a training area for the troops to practice their bayonet skiils! Tarawa was the first step for the US to reclaim the central pacific and am not sure if the Japanese were resorting to "last ditch" measures at this point.


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