The Ersatz Bayonets

Bayonets on this page by the Carter Ersatz Bayonet book Nomenclature

EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, EB6, EB7, EB9, EB10, EB17, EB19, EB22, EB23, EB24, EB25a, EB26a, EB28, EB33, EB34, EB35, EB36, EB40b, EB42, EB42a, EB43, EB44, EB45, EB47, EB49, EB53, EB55, EB56, EB57, EB67, EB103, EB106, EB123, EB147,

For many years these bayonets were said to be last ditch bayonets made by the Germans at the end of WWI in order to reduce production costs and time. It is now however accepted that the opposite was the case and the bayonets were actually made at the beginning of the war as production of the 98/05 was ramped up to meet the requirements of the rapidly expanding army. There are a large number of designations placed on these blades, 1916 Ersatz, Bavarian Ersatz etc. It is common now however for collectors to use the designations used by Carter in his Ersatz bayonet books, as it gives a consistency to the designations as all have the same German designation - S88/98 based on the rifles the bayonets fit and I shall use Carters identifications on this page.

Designs for the bayonets fall into two main styles one similar to the 98/05 in blade shape and the other a parallel bladed long knife, with some other styles made in small numbers. Hilts varied considerably in style and in method of manufacture - from formed to cast - and materials - brass, cast metal, steel sheet. Blades also vary in position and style of fullers - and if they have one.

No manufacturers are attributed to most of the bayonets and it is thought that many were assembled from parts from a large number of factories making parts. The only markings found on the bayonets are a small inspection stamp on the blade. Occasionally the bayonets can be found with unit markings on the cross guard. Any blades found with a serial number on the cross guard are Turkish issue.

Huge numbers of the ersatz types were supplied to Turkey at the end of the war - there is also a blade made specifically for Turkey - these can be found in 3 conditions

a)    Unmodified blades - with a serial number on the cross guard

b)    Shortened blades - the blade is shortened to 10" / 250mm with appropriate shortening of the scabbards and replacement of the frog stud by an oval stud one

c)   Modified cross guards - initially to fit the bayonets on the export pattern Mauser rifle, subsequently some were further modified to fit the US M1 Garand, these modifications can be quite extensive

I am using bayonets from my collection to illustrate as many variations as possible, this should cover most of the more common ones, and a few of the less common ones. However the Germans used a large number of blades from other countries as a basis for ersatz bayonets, either modified to fit German rifles or re-hilted, these are a not common bayonets and as yet I have none in my collection for illustration purposes. Hopefully with time I can illustrate more types. Where necessary I will use a Turkish (Turked) model to show blade and hilt styles

Note the dimensions shown are nominal only and large variations can be found

EB1 - The famous Crank Handle bayonet, one of the few ersatz bayonets for which a maker can be attributed as the makers mark is clearly marked on every blade. Designed to fit the G98 rifle the bayonet has a very distinctive handle shape. The hole in the cross guard is there to allow a clearance for the rifles cleaning rod. Hilts were field grey painted with  black painted scabbard.

Care must be taken in buying this type as there are large numbers of fakes of this type available, one give away on these is that they are unpainted or blued. There are 4 variations of the markings dependent on the period of production.

There is a Turked version reported with a modified cross guard to fit the 35 pattern rifle but these are not common

 

Overall Length -

Blade length - 150mm

blade width -

Demag Crank Handle Ersatz

 

Makers mark

 

DEMAG marking

Germany Demag.jpg (62969 bytes) Duisberg Demag (fake)

 

EB2 -

With thanks to a private collector

 

Overall Length - 441mm

Blade length - 318mm

blade width - 25.8mm

 

 

EB3 - The two piece crossguard version of the most manufactured style of ersatz bayonets

 

Overall Length - 442mm

Blade length - 317mm

blade width - 26mm

Germany Ersatz1.jpg (53189 bytes)

two piece cross guard and fullered blade 

 

]

EB4 - The two piece crossguard version of the most manufactured style of ersatz bayonets this is without the raised rim around the locking stud seen on other variations of this

 

Overall Length - 442mm

Blade length - 317mm

blade width - 26mm

EB4 bayonet with Turkish serials in both Arabic and Western script on each side of the crossguard, it is thought that the original Arabic script numeral was probably applied during WWI, but may have been at any time up till around 1928 when western script was used (although "western" numerals are actually Arabic!!). Note the rather original frog stud welded onto this item, I have seen a couple more of these for sale.

 

EB6 - A conversion using a Belgian 1899 blade fitted with a new hilt and cross guard

 

Overall Length - 421mm

Blade length - 298mm

blade width - 26mm

Germany Ersatz2.jpg (57041 bytes)

Distinctive square fullers of this type are clearly visible

 

EB7 - Another of the rarer types this has not got a "oil hole" drilled across the hilt but has its cleaning hole on the top of the hilt with a hole close to the cross guard

 

Overall Length - 444mm

Blade length - 320mm

blade width - 26mm

 

Ersatz, rarer version with the cleaning oil in the top of the hilt

 

One of the few ersatz with ricasso inspection stamp

 

 

Cleaning hole in the top of the hilt, this one has the hole next to cross guard, rather than mid handle

 

EB9 - This is the most commonly found of all of the ersatz types

 

Overall Length - 421mm

Blade length - 298mm

blade width - 26mm

GERMANY ERSATZ WITH FAG SCABBARD.jpg (96262 bytes)

Ersatz with FAG scabbard 

Turkish conversion, this one has the original German unit marking on the top of the hilt

turkish ersatz 1.jpg (82434 bytes)turkish ersatz 1 grip numbers.jpg (97270 bytes)

Turkish shortened version

 

EB10 - Almost identical to the most common of all ersatz types (EB9) this version is without the fullers seen on 9 and is rarer

 

Overall Length - 421mm

Blade length - 298mm

blade width - 26mm

german ersatz museum.jpg (50570 bytes)

Un fullered blade with small false edge

 

EB17 - A conversion of the most common of all of the ersatz types. This has had its muzzle ring removed

  

Overall Length - 441mm

Blade length - 318mm

blade width - 25.8mm

German Ersatz EB17.jpg (81505 bytes)

 

 

EB19 - A very rare conversion of one the most common of all of the ersatz types. The two piece crossguard has been removed and only one section replaced. Carter gave this an R10 rating

  

Overall Length - 441mm

Blade length - 318mm

blade width - 25.8mm

Rare EB19, the twin piece cross guard normally seen on the EB4 ersatz has been removed and replaced with a single piece

 

EB22 - One of the less common ersatz bayonets, this one has a hollow brass hilt with the blade held by two steel rivets through the tang. Original bayonets would have had the hilt painted field grey most are found with the paint removed and often polished. The difference between this and EB 21 is that there is a raised lip around the press stud. The muzzle ring is the double radius one although it has been reported that single radius rings have been seen. It is also possible to get the blade with the muzzle ring removed, either due to damage or as manufactured.

 

Overall Length - 445mm

Blade length - 315mm

blade width - 26mm

german brass hilt ersatz.jpg (281079 bytes)german brass hilt ersatz hilt.jpg (330729 bytes)german brass hilt ersatz hilt 2.jpg (156453 bytes)

Ersatz bayonet with brass grips, blade in poor (relic) condition 

Turkish 1935 made by converting a WWI German brass hilted ersatz by adding a new cross guard approximately 20mm back from its original position. Very crude brazing holds on the steel cross guard to the brass hilt. For comparison the bottom picture shows an unmodified original German bayonet with original cast on muzzle ring

 

EB23 - The hilt is similar to the brass hilted ersatz bayonets this version has a cast steel hilt. A small number of these were modified by countersinking the muzzle ring to allow a better fit on the GEW 88 rifles

 

Overall Length - 444.5mm

Blade length - 317.5mm

blade width - 26mm

Ersatz bayonet with a modified (countersunk) muzzle ring to allow it to mount more fully onto a GEW88 rifle, this is one of the less common ersatz variations

 
Total length = 382 mm                 Blade length = 249 mm             Blade width = 24.7 mm             MRD =  mm                           
EB23 ersatz, scabbard is modified Mauser 98/05 with a new throat, scabbard is probably a Turkish rework
None counters sunk version with D stamp on cross guard

 

EB24 - The unfullered blade is one of the less common of the variations as few were made. Like EB23 these can be found with the countersunk muzzle ring

 

Overall Length - 444.5mm

Blade length - 317.5mm

blade width - 26mm

Ersatz bayonet (EB24) shortened to 10" blade but otherwise unmodified this is one of the counter sunk muzzle ring versions

 

Left hilt, blade is unfullered

Germany Ersatz EB24.jpg (69129 bytes)

A non counter sunk version

 

EB25a - The unfullered blade is one not recorded by Carter so could be a 25b. Muzzle ring has been removed leaving a residual pair of ears allowing it to locate against the K98 rifle.

 

Overall Length - 444.5mm

Blade length - 317.5mm

blade width - 26mm

Ersatz bayonet (EB25a) shortened to 10" blade but otherwise unmodified. It is not known if the removal of the muzzle ring was carried out by the Germans or the Turks or if it was originally made this way, I would suspect a German rather than Turkish conversion

 

Left hilt of above, blade is unfullered

 

EB26a - This is one not in carters book, the hilt is similar to the EB25 but the blade is from EB26, so I suppose it should be the EB26a

 
Total length = 437 mm                 Blade length = 310 mm             Blade width = 25.7 mm             MRD =  mm                           
 I bought this as a 25 variant and then noted the blade grind is unlike any of the e25's but identical to the 26, shows how closely you need to look at any blades you buy. 


  EB28 - A cast steel hilt with heavy double radius muzzle ring, distinguished by lack of reinforcing ring around press catch and slightly different ring profile.

 

Overall Length - 440mm

Blade length - 311mm

blade width - 26.2mm

turkey German Ersatz EB28.jpg (90498 bytes)

German Ersatz Carter EB28 

 

Hilt markings on above blade

 

 

EB33 - distinctive hilt and crossguard, this model was made solely for the K98 and is stamped on the pommel to reflect this. A fullered version which is rarer is EB32

 

Overall Length -

Blade length -

blade width -

EB33 one of the less common ersatz types, this one has a distinctive cross guard shape not shared by any other of the ersatz types, also found with fullers (even rarer) the EB32. These were made solely for the K98 rifle and are marked 98 on the end of the hilt to indicate this

 

EB34 - Different than any other ersatz due to its distinctive cross guard shape, this bayonet may also be found without fullers (EB35). Hilt is sheet steel.

 

Overall Length - 444.5mm

Blade length - 317.5mm

blade width - 26mm

Ersatz bayonet (EB34) shortened to 10" blade but otherwise unmodified

 

"Bent" muzzle ring is original to this model of ersatz bayonet

 

Left hilt,  blade is fullered

 

EB35 - Un fullered version of EB 34

 
Total length = 382 mm                 Blade length = 249 mm             Blade width = 24.7 mm             MRD =  mm                           
EB 35, the unfullered version of EB 34 with the distinctive step back m

 

EB36 - Parallel hilted bayonet with only a small beak at the pommel. Has single piece cross guard, can be found without fullers (EB37) .

 

Overall Length - 433mm

Blade length - 313mm

blade width - 25.5mm

german ersatz in green.jpg (85693 bytes)

Probably repainted but to represent the original finish on these bayonets. 

EB40b - Parallel hilted bayonet with only a small beak at the pommel. Has a two piece cross guard,

 

Overall Length - 433mm

Blade length - 313mm

blade width - 25.5mm

This example has no markings other then 12 on the crossguard, the beak is very small and rounded. The muzzle ring has been partially removed leaving a pair of "high ears"

 

Overall Length - 433mm

Blade length - 313mm

blade width - 25.5mm

Only recorded example of this variation

 

EB42 - Ersatz copy of the 98/05 sawback, has the fullers farther down the blade. This one has 51 saw teeth

 

Overall Length - 480mm

Blade length - 361mm

blade width - 26mm to 32.5mm

german Ersatx 98-05 sawback.jpg (51766 bytes)german Ersatx 98-05 sawback scabbard marks.jpg (134395 bytes)

In original 98/05 sawback leather scabbard 

 

Unit markings on leather scabbard for Ersatz 98/05 sawback

 

EB42a - Ersatz copy of the 98/05 sawback, has the fullers closer to the cross guard than EB42 but the saw teeth start further down the blade and there are 49, 51, 52 and 53 teeth reported on this type

 

Overall Length - 480mm

Blade length - 361mm

blade width - 26mm to 32.5mm

Teeth start further from the cross guard than the true 98/05 bayonet

 

Ersatz scabbard has separate locket similar to the one on the leather and steel scabbard

 

 

Back of scabbard shows the weld seem.

 

EB43 - Another of the variations on this style, this one is more crudely made than many parallel blade edges and narrow fuller

 

Overall Length - 479mm

Blade length - 360mm

blade width - 26mm to 30mm

Turkish 190-3.jpg (95062 bytes)

Converted by shortening and grinding original shape would have been like EB44. This has also had its cross guard modified removing the quillion and fitting a taller muzzle ring 

 

EB44 - Another of the variations on this style, this one has short narrow fullers

 

Overall Length - 477mm

Blade length - 358mm

blade width - 27mm to 30mm

German Ersatz 98 05 non ersatz scabbard.jpg (71140 bytes)german 98 05 ersatz hilt narrow fullers.jpg (88137 bytes)

original 98/05 steel scabbard

 

EB45 - The blade is similar to the Belgian 1909 or the Bayard but is different to each in detail, another of the less common ersatzes. Hilt is the same as that found on the 98/05 look alikes

 

Overall Length - 423mm

Blade length - 306m

blade width - 25mm

german Ersatx 98-05 parrallel.jpg (89261 bytes)german Ersatx 98-05 parrallel leather look alike grips.jpg (116256 bytes)

 leather look steel scabbard

 

Steel scabbard has "tool" lines similar to those seen on the original leather 98/05

 

EB47 - possibly made by Koeller and cie. The hilt is pressed steel riveted together with domed rivets (mounted right to left normally). This is one of the commonest of all of the ersatz bayonets.

 

Overall Length - 430mm

Blade length - 315m

blade width - 26mm

germany Ersatz EB47.jpg (90637 bytes)

Ersatz Carter EB47

Germany ERsatz Unit marks.jpg (112558 bytes)Germany ERsatz Unit marked.jpg (127057 bytes)

Unit marks are unusual Ersatz bayonets, as the practice was normally not carried out after he start of WWI

Turkish 194-1 hilt close up.jpg (67248 bytes)

Turkish Converted

 

Close up of above blade showing crude welding of new cross guard onto bayonet, and the small muzzle ring diameter, the 13mm diameter is to fit the US M1 Garand

EB49 - with its muzzle ring removed (a rare variation of a rare ersatz model)

 

Overall Length -mm

Blade length - m

blade width - mm

 

EB53 -

With thanks to to a private collector

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - mm

blade width - mm

 

EB55 -

With thanks to a private collector

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - mm

blade width - mm

 

EB56 Distinctive crude hilt with 5 diagonal grooves. One of the rarest of the ersatz bayonets according to Carter

 

Overall Length - 437mm

Blade length - 313mm

blade width - 56mm

 

EB57 not a bayonet, the original ersatz book had this one in it, but is now thought to be an attempt to re create 56 without access to a bayonet

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - mm

blade width - mm

 

 

EB67  "Ersoc" bayonet made using a UK 1853 pattern socket blade.

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - m

blade width - mm

Blade has normal double German inspection marks on ricasso, there are signs of the original markings still left on the blade, but not fully distinguishable. Only other marking is a small CTS marking behind the cross guard, most of the ERSOC blades only have the inspection marks and any remaining marks from the original blade, so this is unusual.

Grooved handle variation
with thanks to a private collector


 EB103 - Captured French 1866 Chassepot. Many were issued with only a change to the frog stud to use a German style stud rather than the French horizontal stud. Many of these carry German unit marks from rear echelon units. Other versions exist with modified hilts and cross guards to fit on the 98 and 88 rifles

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - m

blade width - mm

german issue 1866 chassepot.jpg (79920 bytes)german issue 1866 chassepot scabbard mod.jpg (117079 bytes)

Re issued French 1866 Chassepot 

 

Chassepot modified scabbard 

EB106- French 1866 modified by reducing the hilt over its full length with a single step running over approximately 1/3 of its length. The Muzzle ring has been narrowed and dished to mount on the GEW88

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - m

blade width - mm

French 1866 converted by Germans to fit the GEW 88 rifle by stepping the hilt (EB106)

 

unfortunately the locking stud and spring is missing

 

 

 

 

and modifying the muzzle ring by counter sinking

 

 

and slightly narrowing the ring

EB123 Captured French 1874 Gras. This has been extensively modified by adding a 71/84 style hilt to the original blade so as to fit the 98 Mauser, it makes you wonder if the work involved really made these ersatz types viable.

 

Overall Length - 649mm

Blade length - 516mm

blade width - 21mm

WWI ersatz conversion of a French Gras bayonet, fitted with a 71-84 style hilt and with cross guard modifications. There are no German markings on this item that I can find, and the original French markings show it to be one of the rarer makers of the original French Bayonet.

EB147 - Captured Russian 1891 Mosin Nagant. Bayonet is unchanged although some will be found with German acceptance marks. The Russians did not issue scabbards for German use a sheet metal scabbard was made (in several versions)

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - m

blade width - mm

Russian 1891 Nagant bayonet with WWI  ersatz scabbard made for captured bayonets

 

 

Brass stud and separate throat

EB - Greek 1904 converted to fit the 98 Mauser, this was not a limited conversion with 3000 of them being made

 

Overall Length - mm

Blade length - m

blade width - mm

Greek 1904, one of 3000 converted by Germans in WWI, the hilt is modified to fit the 1898 Mauser, the unmodified scabbard is correctly marked with German inspection stamp

In order to allow German bayonets to be used on allied rifles or vice versa various adaptors were made along with adaption's to the rifles or bayonets them selves.

   This adaptor allows standard German Ersatz bayonets to be mounted on a French Lebel rifle
Pictures courtesy of Dat Nguyen

This adaptor allowed GEW bayonets to be used on captured Lebel rifles

Many thanks to Jim Maddox for the pictures