French Mle. 1866 Yataghan Bayonet, German Captured


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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 with 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 maker’s 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.