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Thread: K98k Bayonet Codes & Years

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    Default K98k Bayonet Codes & Years

    I've heard collectors say that bayonet codes aren't tied to rifle manufacturer codes. But are there certain manufacturers associated with, say, the western or eastern fronts? I know there's no definitive answer (yet) to the same question posed about k98k rifle manufacturers, so I'm wondering if there's data about bayonets.

    On another note I found what appears to be a nice cof44 online and I ordered it, I'll post pics in a new thread when it gets here. I'm also looking for an ab44 but those seem rarer. Are the manufacture dates even likely to line up? I'm looking for 44 bayos because most of my rifles are 44 models but I suppose it's possible soldiers received a bayonet from 1943 and a rifle from 1944.

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    Already mentioned here in various threads.
    Soldier could have mixed pieces, rifle from 1944 and bayonet from 1938(any year 1927-44) when correct in combat, when equiped a new units so mostly new items were brought from depots, so a 1944 could be paired with 1943/44 dated bayonets. b.r.Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb44kar View Post
    I've heard collectors say that bayonet codes aren't tied to rifle manufacturer codes. But are there certain manufacturers associated with, say, the western or eastern fronts? I know there's no definitive answer (yet) to the same question posed about k98k rifle manufacturers, so I'm wondering if there's data about bayonets.

    On another note I found what appears to be a nice cof44 online and I ordered it, I'll post pics in a new thread when it gets here. I'm also looking for an ab44 but those seem rarer. Are the manufacture dates even likely to line up? I'm looking for 44 bayos because most of my rifles are 44 models but I suppose it's possible soldiers received a bayonet from 1943 and a rifle from 1944.


    Two interesting questions. Regarding the first, production totals for rifles & bayonets I have seen were on a monthly report to the OKH. There was no distinction as to which firms made the material. Since rifles were not made outside Germany (although satellite plants like F.B. Radom (Poland) and Fabrique National (Belgium) did supply components to plants in Germany for final assembly), they were accepted and stored in several depots until distributed. Same likely applied to bayonets as well. In addition, other than the Ferlach/"bym" firm located in Austria and Chatellerault /"jwh" in France, all other bayonet manufacturers were located in the "Solingen Triangle" in Germany proper.

    Concerning your second question, as Andy B. said, bayonets were issued out as was any other piece of field equipment. Sometimes when an entire unit was being organized from scratch, they would have been issued gear from their associated depot. It is entirely possible cases of K98k rifles and/or bayonets...either one from a specific manufacturer, were issued out to the troops. We have often seen bayonets with very close (but mismatched) serial numbers from the same manufacturer and date, showing field use which indicates the two components were mated together for some time. It has been suggested this was due to the components being mixed up or exchanged in the field during training or cleaning. It also supports numbers of troops in the same unit having received equipment from the same source upon issuance.

    Lastly, if you like war material, concentrating on the year 1944 for your bayonets will offer you both diversity and the opportunity to acquire examples in nice condition...primarily since (with some exceptions) most firms made more bayonets in that year than those previously. However, one would have to go back to 1940/41 if you want at least one bayonet from each manufacturer, as Durkopp. J.Sch. & Elite-Diamant/"i" terminated production by 1941.
    Last edited by pwcosol; 03-27-2019 at 10:54 AM.

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    Good info Andy, thank you. Apologies for the duplicate question, I added it as an afterthought and thus forgot to do some forum research on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pwcosol View Post

    Two interesting questions. Regarding the first, production totals for rifles & bayonets I have seen were on a monthly report to the OKH. There was no distinction as to which firms made the material. Since rifles were not made outside Germany (although satellite plants like F.B. Radom (Poland) and Fabrique National (Belgium) did supply components to plants in Germany for final assembly), they were accepted and stored in several depots until distributed. Same likely applied to bayonets as well. In addition, other than the Ferlach/"bym" firm located in Austria and Chatellerault /"jwh" in France, all other bayonet manufacturers were located in the "Solingen Triangle" in Germany proper.

    Concerning your second question, as Andy B. said, bayonets were issued out as was any other piece of field equipment. Sometimes when an entire unit was being organized from scratch, they would have been issued gear from their associated depot. It is entirely possible cases of K98k rifles and/or bayonets...either from one a specific manufacturer, were issued out to the troops. We have often seen bayonets with very close (but mismatched) serial numbers from the same manufacturer and date, showing field use which indicates the two components were mated together for some time. It has been suggested this was due to the components being mixed up or exchanged in the field during training or cleaning. It also supports numbers of troops in the same unit having received equipment from the same source upon issuance.

    Lastly, if you like war material, concentrating on the year 1944 for your bayonets will offer you both diversity and the opportunity to acquire examples in nice condition...primarily since (with some exceptions) most firms made more bayonets in that year than those previously. However, one would have to go back to 1940/41 if you want at least one bayonet from each manufacturer, as Durkopp. J.Sch. & Elite-Diamant/"i" terminated production by 1941.
    I suppose my original question could be rephrased as "which depots were associated to which units" in light of your answer.
    I like the aesthetics of a 3 letter code next to a 2 number date code, which I suppose is why I've gravitated away from earlier bayonets, and it would just be nice to have a bayonet and rifle of matching date for OCD reasons. But I'm glad to know it was also at least historically possible for this to happen. I'm not intending to fill my closet with bayonets as I've seen some do...just the ab44 then I'm done.
    Thanks for the informative answers, all.

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