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Thread: Model 1916 Belgian Gendarmerie bayonet, unit marked

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    Senior Member Pat's Avatar
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    Default Model 1916 Belgian Gendarmerie bayonet, unit marked

    Just found this one. I believe this is a Model 1916 Gendarmerie bayonet, but could be wrong. It has a 'T-back' instead of the typical Belgian raised central rib running the length of the blade. The blade profile looks alot more like a Dutch Model 1895 bayonet for that reason. It's possible that the blade was recycled from a French Gras bayonet, as many of these were. The opposite buckle strap on the frog was unfortunately lost, but it still retains the handle loop attached to the belt loop.

    The bayonet matches the scabbard, and shows use by the 3rd Chasseurs Ardennais, an elite Belgian light infantry unit that suffered significant losses holding ground against Rommel's units in May, 1940. I recommend reading up on them, they fought very bravely and helped to buy time for French and British forces to retreat to the Dunkirk evacuation beaches.
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    That is about as nice a Belgian M16 as I have seen. It has condition, is matching, unit issue marked, and even has the frog! One thing I always wondered about was why the Belgians, having originally used the M1889 knife bayonet, subsequently went with the M16 pattern? Even after the FN Model 24 rifle and bayonet were developed, these weapons were designated for export. One might have expected them to have at least adopted the superior M24 bayonet... albeit they would have had to modify the M24 pattern muzzle ring, length of the T/O slot, and either replace or modify the rifle bayonet lug (like the Germans did). Maybe their French neighbors were influential, as they, too, retained their "toad-sticker" pattern bayonets as well.

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    Senior Member Pat's Avatar
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    Thanks, pwcosol.
    Regarding the design preference, I believe it might have something to do with the fact that the French had given the Belgians many 1874 Gras and 1882 Comblain bayonets. At that point, it might have been easier to exploit the French supply they then had and just produce the other components.

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    I believe the M89 were too many made so it remained in service to 1935, even with different caliber, M16 is mostly a war time model, produced too in large numbers.It was probably cheaper made a refurbishment M89/35 or M89/36 as adopt complete new weapon. b.r.Andy
    M1882 Comblain i assume was belgian design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyB View Post
    I believe the M89 were too many made so it remained in service to 1935, even with different caliber, M16 is mostly a war time model, produced too in large numbers.It was probably cheaper made a refurbishment M89/35 or M89/36 as adopt complete new weapon. b.r.Andy
    M1882 Comblain i assume was Belgian design.
    Good thoughts, Andy. It makes sense for a country that considered itself a Neutral not to spend lots of money for newer weapons when your hope was never to have to use them!

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    Senior Member AndyB's Avatar
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    Majority of them ended captured by germans in WW2, M89/35 and M89/36 were used by second line units, LW, etc, when i remember corectly M24/30 was adopted postwar II. by Belgian army in smaller numbers as actually were FN M1949 and FAL and other semiautomatics in focus.

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