»Stop etching our German service bayonets!«
The first fantasy-etched German 98k service bayonets appeared during the early seventies in the UK. There are probably several reasons that could explain the appearance of these blades. Firstly profit, while normal 98k service bayonets were available in huge numbers during the period and their value was low - about 5 pounds.
With the addition of new, fantasy etchings, the value of the pieces rose to 35-50 pounds each. Secondly, there is also the possibility that dedicated bayonets were ordered by re-enactors, neo-Nazi groups or older veterans as a remembrance of their service time.
The "fantasy upgrades" were primarily done by new etching on blades, in some cases on a single side, but in the majority both sides of the blade were etched. Typically used formulations include the remembrance dedications on original SS daggers, and dedication to special units; Waffen-SS divisions, KM - warships, Afrika units and Fallschirmjäger are very popular. The typical SS motto is "Meine Ehre heisst Treue".
During the same period, branch symbols or SS div. logos were added to the pommel area in form of panels, which were typical for dress Extra kS98. Unfortunately, after end of communist era in early of 90's similar commenced in East European block area, mainly in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The new upgrades are technically better, mainly in single etch and with floral motifs, or are copied from existing wartime dress bayonet etchings. The value of similar " upgraded in the wrong way " bayonets goes into the 300 hundred dollar range and higher now - which is about quadruple the value of a normal service 98k bayonet. They are inevitably presented by dealers as original special unit pieces.
Unfortunately, it was strictly prohibited by the Wehrmacht to personalize equipment issued to personnel. So it has nothing to do with real 3rd Reich era items. These fantasy bayonets have no really collectors worth as either a historical artifact or as a collectible German bayonet.
We, as a world community of bayonet collectors, want to warn as many buyers as possible about buying these pieces, they are not real !!!
All these pieces with similar mottos and designs are fake fantasy etchings.
Unfortunately, many good German service bayonets 98k have been - and will be - irreversibly destroyed in this manner, while the original bluing and the blade itself is destroyed.
Edited by members of Bayonet Collectors Network