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GERMAN SHORT SAWBACK BAYONET


Mervyn Mitton
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I have recently acquired this very sought after short sawback bayonet for South West Africa - the condition is splendid.

This pattern was first issued for the Herero Rebellion of 1904-7 and was for the new G98 Mauser rifle. Like the British, the Germans have used sawbacks for many years. Their main purpose was to cut down small trees and brush to allow a clear field of fire. They also helped clear the bivouac area. Overall it is 17" (41cm) The leather - cross hatched grip - is 6" (12.5cm) and the blade 11' (25cm). The actual length of the serrated area is 7" (15cm).

KS stood for Kaiserliche Schutzentruppe - and the service number for this bayonet is KS 2232. Both blade and scabbard have matching numbers. The weapon was made in ERFURT and has date markings on the spine for 1912. We used to see quite a few of these bayonets - mainly because Sth. African troops brought them back as souvenirs. However, they are one of the most popular edged weapons for collectors and most of them are now overseas. They can fetch very high prices in good condition. This one has just a little 'bruising' on the blade from being handled - perspiration eats into blades - so, always wipe after handling.

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I love these and will be buried with my two :-)

It makes me cry to think of how 30 years ago I had 3 and we used to throw them in the garden... then traded them for junk at a dealer.

I saw 4 last time in SA, 2 at a "dealer" who was simply mad (pricewise) and 2 at a collector who did not want to trade.

Every South African should have one of these and not be allowed to die until he was owned one... somehow, although from the enemy it the bayonet closest tied to SA heritage and history (were the most popular souveniers after the campaign in GSWA)

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I agree with you, Chris. A beautifully designed and balanced piece. I have just been going through looking at prices - the average, for quite mediocre examples is about US $ 750-800. In Rands that's 5500 - they used to be R1500 a short time ago. (US750 = approx.500 pounds !)

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  • 5 months later...

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