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French Mle. 1866 Yataghan Bayonet, German Captured
The French Mle. 1866 bayonet was designed for use with the 11mm 1866 French Chassepot rifle and featured a recurved yataghan-style blade originally introduced in their Mle. 1840 bayonet. The solid brass grip featured a steel spring catch and the steel crossguard with forward-sweeping quillon featured an adjustment screw on the muzzle ring to allow for variances in rifle production. These bayonets were made in large quantities by numerous contractors, both in France and foreign countries, including Germany. With their defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, the French turned over many of these bayonets and other arms to the Germans as war booty. The original Mle. 1866 bayonet featured a 22.5" yataghan bayonet, the length of which was popular with most armies through the end of WWI. However, in the 1930's the trend was for shorter bayonets and many of these were shortened. This example had the blade shortened to 13.75" at some point during its working life and was fitted with a leather scabbard with brass mounts and German-style frog button. The blade is stamped with the rare makerís mark "BLECKMANN" in an arch over a wing bearing the letters "BM". The serial numbers on the quillon were stamped over with new numbers when re-issued. Condition is very good, as modified and re-issued, with some rust marking on steel parts and an old coating of cosmoline on the blade. Overall length 18.5", not including scabbard.
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