T Backed Blade

 Note:- click on image for larger version of image

 

 

In 1874 the French again produced a bayonet whose style was to affect bayonet design for European blade manufacturers, used by fewer than the earlier Yataghan design there are still a significant number of bayonets using this distinctive blade style

The T Back is the ultimate for of the old socket tri-form bayonet. the T shape allows for a long, light but still strong bayonet. The mutually perpendicular legs make for a very stiff blade which is less likely to bend than a straight blade without the T

I hope in this page to provide a guide to the T-Back style blade the users and the various users of the style,, and provide information on the variations and the countries who have used them. Where possible I have used examples from my collection to illustrate the information, others have been illustrated by other collectors allowing me to use examples from their collections (and duly noted with thanks

I have not included re used bayonets unless they were modified,

 

 

country

date

details

length

blade

mrd

Belgium c1868 A trial bayonet for an experimental Remington Nagant rolling block rifle. Uses the French Gras style blade but has a straight back hilt, with the pommel milled across the slot. Bayonet made and marked by Alex Coppel   648 526 16
Belgium 1882 For the 1882 Comblain, the bayonet has a straight hilt with a forward swept quillion and does not have a muzzle ring adjustment screw. The Scabbard has a distinctive oval frog stud.
The bayonet is often referred to as the Garde Civic, which is a shortening of the official designation
"Épée-baionette pour le Fusil Comblain des Corps Spéciaux de Garde Civique, Modèle 1883"
656 522 17.2

Note straight hilt

Acceptance stamp

Quillion more open than that on the 1874
Belgium 1882 Identical to the above bayonet but without rifle mounts and with solid muzzle ring, thought to be a bandsman model 656 522 ---
Belgium 1889 A possible trials blade for the 1889 Mauser, uses the T backed blade with a Mauser style hilt and a more curved quillion, similar to the more commonly found 1889 bayonets and the blade of the Comblain bayonet above 645 523 16
Belgium 1889 for the 1889 rifle and 1930 carbine. Mauser style hilt similar to the 1924 model. straight hilt, no muzzle ring adjuster and no quillion 571 450 17.5
Belgium 1889
shortened
The above bayonet with the blade shortened, for the 1889, 1935 and 1936 rifles 461 341 15.5
Belgium Gras bayonet used by Belgium made by Alex Coppel and marked as such on the blade 645 523 16
Chile 1885 Kropatschek rifle bayonet . Modified by Steyr by modifying the cross guard to take a higher stepped muzzle ring to extend the ring to locking mechanism to fir the rifle. 645 523 16

Stepped back muzzle ring

shaved pommel

Steyr makers marks
Chile Police The end of a Gras blade with a new cast brass hilt. there appears to be two versions of this one using a Gras blade and the other a new made blade, although there is some discussion on this point. Chili.jpg (47250 bytes)      
China Fake Large numbers of faked 1874's come out of China This one looks like a Peabody or Kropatschek. Like the Chassepot copies these seem to be based on German Ersatz models rather than the original blades, so maybe these are copies of blades supplied to China post WWI      
China Fake Large numbers of faked 1874's come out of China this uses the Gras blade and a brass hilt seemingly based on the UK 1856        

Appears to be an original 1874 blade

UK 1856 style hilt with brass hilt rather than leather

Gras style cross guards
France 1874 Fits the Chassepot and the model 1874 Gras rifle. The most common of all of the T backed blades. Models are marked on the back edge with the arsenal name and the date (as per the 1866 Chassepots) FRANCE_1874_Gras.jpg (83935 bytes) 643 522 17.5
France 1874 The Gras modified by adding a screwed adaptor to the muzzle ring to allow the bayonet to be used as an earth for telegraphy use, blade is shortened and reshaped to make it more effective in penetrating hard ground      
France 1874 Scolaire blade, a scaled down 1874 for cadet/children use, there are numerous variations with both stepped and un stepped hilts 470 375 18
France 1878 Made for the Kropatschek Navy rifle these use a blade and scabbard identical to the 1874 but have a crossguard without a muzzle ring adjustor and a straight lengthened hilt. Typically these will be found marked with a anchor mark on the crossguard 662 525 21

Straight lengthened hilt

Unmarked blade spine
France 1878 Made for the Kropatschek rifle these use a blade crossguard and scabbard identical to the 1874 a straight lengthened hilt. Typically these will be found marked with a anchor mark on the crossguard- which typically means colonial issue 640 520 17.5

Anchor mark on cross guard

flat hilt

Typically Steyr made
Germany Ersatz Modified Belgian 1882 Comblain, made by shortening the blade and scabbard. The rest of the bayonet was unmodified and would therefore not fit any German issued rifles and must have been used purely as a side arm probably by NCO's   415 280 17
Germany Ersatz Modified 1882 Comblain, the muzzle ring has been removed and the hilt slot lengthened and deepened to fit the Mauser rifle. The spring and press stud were also modified. These are usually marked DEUTSCHLAND on the hilt   653 520 --
Germany Ersatz A French 1874 blade mated to a new cast hilt and a cross guard modified to fit the 1888 and 1898 rifles. Used by the Landwehr and the Landstrum   646 522 19
Germany Ersatz 1874 French blade fitted with a hilt similar to the German 71/84, issued to front line troops 655 522 --

Distinctive 71/84 type hilt

Original makers marks

Modification to original tang
Germany Ersatz Shortened version of the above conversion 391 258 --
Germany Ersatz A 1874 modified by extending the tang and fitting new longer grips, the hilt is machined down straight and is made to fit the GEW88 rifle   653 523 17.5
Germany Ersatz 1874 converted to fit the GEW 88 by machining down the original cross guard to leave just a spacer, and fitting another cross guard in front of this. The pommel is machined down as well.   643 513 17.5
Germany Ersatz French 1874 with pommel machined down and muzzle ring bored and thinned to fit the 88 rifle, the spring is shortened and fitted with a new locking piece, and the blade bent downwards about 80mm from the crossguard 643 523 23
Germany Ersatz French 1874 with modified press catch, a machined down muzzle ring and a shaved hilt. Marked DEUTSCHLAND 643 523 17.5
Germany Ersatz Greek 1903 converted to fit the 1898 rifle by fitting a straight backed Mauser style hilt, about 3000 of these were made and issued to Bavarian units 532 395  

New Mauser style hilt

Throat acceptance stamp
 
Germany Ersatz Romanian 1879 Martini bayonet modified by adding a bushed muzzle ring to allow it to mount on the 188 rifle 665 524
Germany Ersatz Converted Dutch 1895 Mannlicher with shortened blade and scabbard      

Sewn scabbard tip
     
Greece 1874 The Greek 1874 is similar to the French version but has a 2mm higher muzzle ring and the hilt is almost straight, with the brass pommel being slightly below the wood grip level. All of these blades were made by Steyr and are so marked on the spine   640 520 18
Greece 1903 Identified as the 1874/03 these are standard Greek 1874's modified by changing the muzzle ring to one sitting higher above the hilt, by letting in a new section of metal into the original crossguard   641 520 14
Greece 1903 Same modifications as the above blade but with the quillion removed   641 520 14
Greece 1903 A shortened 1874 blade (shortened at the tang end the makers mark is now in the hilt area) fitted with a new straight hilt and crossguard to fit the 1903 rifle   515 402 14
Greece 1903 A new made bayonet has the hilt of the Austrian 1895 with a T backed blade, made by Steyr this is the model converted by the Germans to the ersatz covered above after the Austrians and Germans went to war in 1914 512 400 13.5
Greece 1903 As above but made by the Italians, this is less common than the Austrian made model Greece 1903 Italian made.jpg (115051 bytes) 512 400 13.5
Greece 1903 Italian made blade marks.jpg (38093 bytes)
Italian makers mark
Holland ? For an unknown rifle, the hilt is similar to the 1892 Remington carbine but fitted with a t backed blade like the 1895 Mannlicher 620 501 14.3
Holland 1895 Swept forward quillion (removed after 1900 and new made bayonets after this didn't have them) and distinctive pommel shape, made by HEMBRUG, OEWG for the carbines 3 and4 607 483 14.5

Different scabbards indicate end user this is for Fortress Artillery, Engineers and Torpedo men (canal units)

Distinctive pommel shape

2nd Pattern without quillion
Holland 1895 Swept forward quillion ((removed after 1900 and new made bayonets after this didn't have them) ) and distinctive pommel shape, made by HEMBRUG, OEWG, Alex Coppel, and Weisberg Kirschbaum and Co for the carbines 3 and4 HOLLAND_M1895.jpg (89163 bytes) 480 360 14.5
HOLLAND_M1895_markings_closeup.jpg (126621 bytes)
2nd Pattern without Quillion
       
Holland 1895 Shortened and blunt version of the 1st pattern, 2nd pattern and Naval pattern possibly made for training purposes 375 254 14
Holland 1895 Originally the Dutch navy used the above pattern 1895, however in 1902 they changed to a model with removable grips held by a single large oval bolt and washer with no quillion.. 480 360 14.5
Indonesia 1895 Shortened 1895 with local made wooden scabbard, probably used by locals fighting the Dutch for freedom, after WWII      

Pattern 1 with intact quillion
   
Ireland   French 1874 modified to fit the Italian Vertelli rifle, this is a previously undocumented conversion and the identification is based on weapons usage and the location from which the blade was bought. this has been plated but shows signs of regular mounting on a rifle      

Modified slot has slope to fit Vertelli mount
Ireland A French 1874 modified to fit the GEW 88 rifle by modifying the spring and locking catch, these were made for the UVF in Northern Ireland Ireland Gras hilt.jpg (59174 bytes)  
Ireland Gras hilt mod.jpg (46555 bytes)
Modified pommel
Ireland Gras stud mod.jpg (51577 bytes)
Modified spring
   
Papal State 1879 For the Peabody rifle, has a straight hilt like the Kropatschek but 4mm longer, made by Steyr identical to Romanian Peabody but for markings 664 523 18
Romania 1879 For the Peabody rifle, has a straight hilt like the Kropatschek but 4mm longer, made by Steyr   664 523 18

Long straight hilt

Rumanian markings
Russia 1889 For the Nagant rifle similar to Peabody and Kropatschek except for using an internal coli spring and a less curved quillion 564 452 15
Russia 1874 Standard French 1874 with Russian acceptance marks and no French serials        
Switzerland Experimental bayonet for the Saurer-Stamm rifle, has low mounted muzzle ring and conventional hilt profile with fine curved quillion 516 401 14.9
Switzerland Experimental bayonet for the Saurer-Stamm rifle, has low mounted muzzle ring and conventional hilt profile with fine curved quillion similar to the above but with slightly different dimensions 526 400 19
UK ? A shortened 1874, fitted in modified scabbard with oval frog stud (material has been removed from both ends of scabbed), the muzzle ring has been modified and replaced to give a a full non adjustable ring. there are several minor variations of this 433 310 11.6

Frog stud and muzzle ring changes
             
UK ? Another shortened and modified 1874 usually described as a Home Guard WWII conversion      

Muzzle ring modification

nice scabbard shortening
   
UK   Pritchard bayonet for Webley Mk6 revolver, uses the end of a Gras bayonet on a brass or steel (very rare) hilt built to fit the Webley and lock onto the hinge and sight. 345 210  
         
Unknown   Originally bought as a Kropatschek, closer examination showed this to not be the case, there being several minor variations from that bayonet. Neither is it a Peabody again for minor variations. It is possibly a variation of the Russian Remington Nagant with an external spring but I have not confirmed this yet. Maybe the muzzle ring diameter will give the clue - 18 not 17.5     18

Straight hilt and no muzzle ring adjustor

Compared with Kropatschek (lower)

Different slot configuration

lower muzzle ring and adjustor