Third Party Press

S98/02 ERFURT 02


Senior Member
Since there have been a number of Imperial German bayonet threads in recent weeks, thought I would post this example. During my years collecting German bayonets, the pictured S98/02 takes top honors in two categories... scarcest German bayonet I ever found and best deal as well! Sometime in the 1980s I attended a collector show in Yuma, Az. There was a main hall and a smaller side room, so after scanning all the aisles in the former, headed into the latter. I then spotted a table with a pile of about 20+ miscellaneous bayonets and started to look them over. As I glanced down, at the very bottom I spied the "crown" | ERFURT marking and for a second or two, figured it must be a S98/05. However, when I focused on large size of the ricasso, it was apparent this was not the case and could only be the '02. So, extracted the piece from the pile, removed bayonet from scabbard and after a short inspection asked seller what he wanted for it. With the speed of a gunfighter, snatched the wallet from my rear pocket, handed him fifty dollars, and made away with my prize. Since then, have had three or four others pass thru my hands, but they were either missing the scabbard or in lesser condition than this first one...


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That is a beautiful matching '02 to say the least and at a fantastic price! I too had a similar experience at a show years ago. A guy was walking around with a '02 without a scabbard and referred to it as a '05 butcher knife. He wanted a $125.00 for it and naturally I bought it. Not too many deals like that happening these days................ Thanks for sharing!
Its a Baden Corps nr.14, which is certainly interesting, looks like Reserve Pionier 1.Company of II.Feld Batallion, it would be interesting to see how is the previous unit which is outdoted on scabbard mouth piece, most probably a 14.Pionier Bat.
Thanks Andy and ersatz. The only character I can make out on the scabbard's stippled-out unit marking is "P". The armorer did a pretty thorough job of obliterating it! There were two Imperial German bayonet issue patterns I thought I would never likely find. This was the S71/84 sawback and S98/02. I did actually find a S71/84 sawback, but the muzzle ring had been removed and it was in a S84/98 Imperial scabbard. Another collector wanted it badly. When he offered me a excellent/unsharpened S98naS (C.G. Haenel Suhl 13), we did a swap. Also, forgot among the other S98/02s I found since the first, was a minty extraseitengewehr at the SOS around 2001, which went to my longtime friend and fellow collector Jack Schrader.
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In case You made a new picture i would believe it would be readable, this picture has low resolution. I believe it should be only 14.Pionier Batallion as part of Badisches XIV Korps.,most real the previous stamp was 14.P.4 company and weapon 112? or other last digit, it was changed to Reserve 1.Company. both units of 2.Feld Batallion.

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Thanks Andy... Excellent detective work! This morning I saw another S98/02 posted for sale on Gunboards' FS/FT Forum, so thought to post it here as well. I see the "stippling-out" of the previous issue marking on the scabbard was just as effective as on my example, but the new issue marking was put above the old one rather than underneath it. It seems this re-marking of scabbards to match bayonets is not uncommon with S98/02s, so wonder what the root cause was to begin with...


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Nice one too, i assume there could be 4.P unit anyway there was stamped the stippling muster twice over it, so hard to read, even because a low resolution picture.
By the units they are reserve units mobilised by the war, so question remains it was already stamped as mobilisation reserve in pre 1914 as the bayonets were already obsolete, because S98/05 was used or it was stamped even in august 1914. I assume here is second type of marking where the Reserve Company nr.2 is on front of Pionier Batallion.

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