Friday, February 11, 2011

No. 4 MK II & No.4 MK II* Spike Bayonets

Here is another set of unique items out of my collection....... Three spike bayonets made for use on the British Lee-Enfield No.4 rifle, the standard work-horse rifle of the British Army during WW2 and into the 1950's. (N0.4 MK II on the far left and No. 4 MK II* on the far right)

These spike bayonets were a simplified version of the No.4 MK I spike bayonet that had a cruciform type spike. The spikes I have are a simplified version that were designed to be cheaper and easier to produce. The No.4 MK II spikes were forged out of one piece and the No.4 MK II* spikes were made with a cast body and a separate spike that was then pinned and welded into place, an even cheaper method of manufacturing. The scabbards were made of metal or plastic and were carried in a bayonet frog made of webbing. All of the spike bayonets were produced during WW2 by four companies and their subcontractors, with over 3 million spikes produced! Two English companies, one Canadian company and one American company...............

No. 4 MK II* : this is pronounced verbally as "Number four, mark two, star."

Here are some individual shots of my spikes:

No. 4 MK II* spike with scabard. Marked with "Made in England" stamp and possibly a partial "Blocked S in a Square" stamp on spike base. This stamp would indicate that it was manufactured by Savage-Stevens Company of England.

No. 4 MK II* spike marked with the makers marks of Lewisharn Engineering of England. This company produced 84,566 spike bayonets between 1942 and 1943.

No. 4 MK II spike marked with the stamp of Long Branch of Canada.

Here are a few close up shots showing the scabbard and release mechanisms.

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