Monday, June 13, 2011

Deutsche Reichsbahn Bayonet, Narrow Pattern Karibiner 98k Bayonet, WW2 Veteran Bring-back

Today's posting is a on a beautiful German Mauser bayonet that I inherited from my grandfather, William R. Spannaus.  The bayonet is a WW2, SG 84/98 III model, for the Mauser Karibiner 98k rifle, (the full name: Seitengewehr M1884/98 III ).

My grandfather served with the US 89th Division, 405th Quartermaster Company, in France and Germany during WW2.  Just before the war was over, he was critically wounded and evacuated to Paris and then later to the US.  His unit buddies tucked this bayonet in with him as a souvenir when he left the unit en route the hospital.

My Grandfather, William R. Spannaus
At this end period of the war, my grandfather said that there were numerous German soldiers that would just walk out with their hands up to surrender. They were tired of the war and just wanted it over.  This bayonet probably came from one of those soldiers.

Here are a couple of great diagrams that show how the bayonet and scabbard are constructed:

UPDATE 9/1/11:
The bayonet has been identified by another collector as having been issued to the Deutsche Reichsbahn, or German Railway.  This was the civil service run, national railway of Germany.  The Deutsche Reichsbahn's primary responsibility in WW2 was the transport of the Wehrmacht troops.  In peacetime it was primarily a civilian railroad.  This bayonet would have been used by the armed railroad police in the service of the Deutsche Reichsbahn.  These bayonets were also used by the various Schutzpolizei units of the State Police, but were marked differently.  This style of Bayonet is actually not an official 98k bayonet because the blades are narrower and were not manufactured for the military, but were still intended for use on the 98k rifles.  These bayonets are often referred to as "Narrow Pattern Bayonets".  Here's a couple of links to good pages that explain the Deutsche Reichsbahn.

Deutsche Reichsbahn

Deutsche Reichsbahn in WW2

Here is the you will see, the only identifying mark is the serial number on the pommel:

Some great archive photos that show the bayonets in use........ look on the rear, left side of the soldier's belts:

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