GERMANY – BAYONET – PRIVATE-PURCHASE – SAWTOOTH -LUFTSCHIFFER BATAILLON OFFICER.
It is a privately-purchased, Luftschiffer Bataillon Officer’s, sawtooth bayonet. The sawtooth bayonets were one of the Imperial German Army’s most fearsome weapons. They caused grievous wounds both when they were plunged in and then when they were removed from a body. It was a horrible way to die. Allied soldiers were so incensed by the discovery of sawtooth bayonets that German soldiers captured with them were themselves carved up with them. Often, German soldiers who sensed they were about to be captured simply disposed of their bayonets, then denied owning them.
This particular example was meant purely for display purposes, or for use on parade. To begin with, the bayonet lacks a scabbard. One might consider this a huge flaw, but in reality its new owner would want to display it to reveal the blade in all its glory. This is particularly important because the bayonet is identified to a “Leutnant Herbert Schreiterer,” which allows one to research its original owner. The opposite side of the blade is inscribed “D. Offz.-Korps d. Feld Luftschiffer-Abt. L2 z. Erg. a.d. Feldzug 1914-15.” The inscription informs us that it was a gift from his fellow Luftschiffer Abteilung officers sometime during 1914 to 1915. Gifts like these were common in the Imperial German Army when an officer had completed his stint with one unit and was making his move to a new one. Clearly, this man had served in a Luftschiffer command for approximately two years. What did he do past 1915? Some further research may answer that question.
The bayonet is what is known as an “Eagle Head” bayonet. The button that releases the blade from its Mauser Rifle looks like the raptor’s eye. The grip is made of black Bakelite and boasts three rivets. The blade measures 14.5” in length from the top of the eagle’s head to its tip, and measures 9.5” in width. The blade shows a heavy patina, but I see no suggestion of rust. [PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT a big fan of polishing items such as medals. I have an open mind, however, when it comes to swords and bayonets. If the new owner wishes to polish this bayonet, I suggest a non abrasive polish like Simichrome®. I have used Simichrome since the 1960’s for polishing car wheels, as Ferrari recommended it for the Borrani wheels on their fine cars].
This would be a wonderful addition to any collection.
This is a consignment item.