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Thread: German bayonet identification

  1. #1

    German bayonet identification

    Hi,

    I am interested in identifying a German WWII bayonet which I inherited from my grandfather; I don't know if this is the proper forum for a bayonet- however, I thought some of the experts here might have an idea exactly what this item is.

    The bayonet itself (picture below) is marked with the number "709" at the base of the blade, and the back of the accompanying Koppelshuh or frog is marked "Wittkop & Co., Bielefeld 1939". I don't know if it is relevant, but in addition, I also noted that the button, when pressed, reveals what appears to be a small "1927" underneath. The length of the bayonet without the sheath is 17 1/8 inches. I am unsure how my grandfather came across this item; he did not fight in the war, my guess is he purchased for practical use as it was in his toolchest.

    Would you know who might be able to help in this arena?

    Thanks,

    Craig Hauck
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    Last edited by Craig Hauck; 03-13-2007 at 01:06 PM. Reason: clarifying the origin of the piece

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    980
    My father knows some stuff about German bayonets, I asked him for comments:

    He says that the extra piece of leather on the frog shows that it was used by the German cavalry. The number at the back of the leather frog only identifies the producer of the frog itself and the year in which it was made, it says nothing about the producer of the bayonet.

    The bayonet belongs to a Mauser K98 carabine. Most of these bayonets have bakelite hilt plates, but this one has wooden ones.

    The scabbard should contain the same number as the bayonet, and on the other side the producer's name. If not, it's still an original scabbard but not belonging to that specific bayonet.

    Is there a letter below the "709" on the bayonet? On the other side at the base of the blade there could be another number, letters, a combination of these, or a name that identifies the company that produced it. If you know the name of the company my father could give you more detailed information.

    On the back of the blade, near the handle should be two numbers that show the year of production.

    My father says that you should never sharpen the blade because it will reduce the value for collectors. Also, the scabbard is very rusty. You should rub it with steel wool and oil to prevent the damage from getting worse. But not with sand paper, this will damage it. The leather should be treated with leather fat.

    He also wants to know what you're asking for it.

  3. #3
    Frank,

    Wow, thank you to you and your father for the fascinating information.

    In answer to the questions you posed, I can find no other markings of any kind on the bayonet or the sheath, although I have not removed the frog on the sheath to look underneath.

    I have however carefully removed the wooden handlegrip, and underneath on the metal of the left side of the hilt I found stamped "161", stamped twice, and the year 1927. On the right-hand side of the metal is stamped the number three in what appears to be some kind tiny insignia or stamp of an eagle with some difficult to read letters underneath. (See pictures attached for an idea-it may be somewhat hard to see the marks).

    The two wood pieces themselves are stamped; each has the number 161, followed what appears to be the number 200, followed by the same literature Eagle stamp, and finally a slanted number three.



    By the way, I needed to design a special tool to carefully loosed the screws...filed a notch in the end of a paint-can lid opener, worked well.

    Thanks again to you guys for the information, any other comments or expertise you may have would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to sell this piece, as it's a family heirloom and doesn't really belong to me only.
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    Last edited by Craig Hauck; 03-14-2007 at 02:40 PM. Reason: add pictures

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    980
    My father says he needs more info and that he can't see any Waffenamt-stamps either, the tiny stamps and numbers are important to find out more about the bayonet.

    The little iron plate you see on the tang of the bayonet (in the second picture) can be removed too. Behind that line the "metal stave" that's used to clean the barrel slides in when the bayonet is clicked onto the carabine. Be careful with the wood though, it spliters easily.

    I'll send you a PM with my father's email address so you can discuss this directly with him.

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