Product Description: This 1945 K98 Bayonet is an extremely rare piece from the final months of the war. The bayonet and scabbard are both maker marked “45 crs” for the maker Weyersberg and the year 1945. There are very few 1945 dated bayonets known. By that time, most rifles were being produced without bayonet lugs. With most of Germany under constant aerial bombardment, and the Allies already inside the country, as well as a critical shortage of raw materials, the Germans were able to produce very few of these. When we got this one, it had a postwar applied coat of white paint, which stripped off easily with acetone, leaving no traces. The blade is in near mint condition, with most of the original phosphate finish. The rough machining is typical for late war production. The handle has attractive reddish Bakelite grips, with the usual Waffenamt inspection stamps on the pommel. The bayonet and scabbard have matching serial numbers, “4035.” The scabbard retains most of the original late war phosphate finish, but some has been worn off, most likely when the scabbard was painted white. The tip of the scabbard has a correct Waffenamt stamp. This 1945 K98 Bayonet is a very nice example of an extremely hard to find bayonet. It is in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The bayonet was an important part of the combat equipment of the German soldier in both World Wars. The first pattern of German combat bayonet was the Mauser model 1898 which had a long, slender blade. As a result of experiences in combat use in WWI, it was soon decided to shorten the blades on these weapons. This 1898 pattern bayonet was used early in WWI alongside the 1898/05 and the S84/98 bayonets, which were initially shorter, and stronger, than the unmodified 1898 type. Both of these types were made with and without a saw-backed blade. Due to the challenges faced by German industry and the shortages of raw materials, a variety of “Ersatz” (replacement) types were introduced during WWI. After the war, the S84/98 bayonet became standard issue in the Reichswehr and later, in the Wehrmacht, for troops armed with the K98 rifle (the standard WWII German infantry weapon). The bayonets made for issue with the K98 rifle initially had wooden grips. Later, some bayonets were made with Bakelite grips. The bayonets were worn on the belt by means of a leather frog, of which there were a number of prewar and wartime variations including a short bayonet frog for use with the folding shovel, and a webbing frog for tropical use. In 1942, a new model of bayonet was introduced, knows as the SG42. This was a very modernized bayonet, with a comfortable Bakelite grip, and a relatively short blade that made it ideal for use either as a bayonet or a fighting knife. Within the grip was a removable multi-tool insert with a folding knife/bottle opener, awl and screwdriver. Although the SG42 was proposed as a replacement for the S84/98, few were manufactured. German combat bayonets were made in countless variations and all are very collectible today, with some rare variants being very avidly sought-after.
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