Bayonets, York Sunbury Historical Society, Fredericton Region Museum artefacts

Bayonets in the Fredericton Region Museum Collection

Musée de la région de Fredericton baïonnettes

A bayonet (from French baïonnette) is a knife, sword or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit on the end of the muzzle of a rifle, musket or similar firearm, allowing it to be used as a spear.  From the 17th century to the First World War, it was considered a primary weapon for infantry attacks. Today, it is considered an ancillary weapon, or a weapon of last resort.

The term bayonette itself dates back to the second half of the 16th century, but it is not clear whether bayonets at the time were knives that could be fitted to the ends of firearms, or simply a type of knife.  (Author Photos)

Bayonet (1987.13.1), 5426, used with the British Bown Bess musket.  This offset spiked socket bayonet was made by Wheeler, one of the contract makers.

Bayonet (2008-158).  1856/58 British sword bayonet, made for the Model 1853, .577 calibre Enfield (2-band) rifled infantry short-musket issued to British units.  These rifles and bayonets were also sold in large numbers to both the Union and Confederate armies during the American Civil War.

Bayonet (1969.2404.1), 5458c, designed to fit on the French Model 1866 Chassepot Rifled Infantry Musket.  It was manufactured from 1866 to about 1874.  The blade is steel, single-edged, fullered (both sides), with a re-curved or "yataghan-shape." The blades are usually marked on the back-edge (opposite the cutting edge) with the arsenal, month, and year of manufacture; this is done in engraved cursive fashion and will appear something like, "Mre d' Armes de Chatellerault Janvier 1866" or perhaps "Mre d' Armes de St. Etienne 8bre [October] 1868".

Bayonet (1969.697).  The S84/98 III bayonet was a German knife bayonet used during the Second World War, primarily on the Karabiner 98 rifle.  The S84/98 III was the most common bayonet of the Wehrmacht, with millions being produced from 1935 to 1945.

Bayonet (1969.2405.1).  1879 French Gras Bayonet with scabbard.  Engraved: Mre d’Armes de St. Etienne Mars 1879.

Bayonet (1969.2409).  1879 French Gras Bayonet with scabbard.

Bayonet (1969.N.25.1).   German Gew 98 M1898 Mauser Bayonet and scabbard. This Model 1898 has a rib back blade design, and is 25.75-inchesin length with a 20.5-inch blade.  It hasa two-piece hardwood grip and has the scabbard intact.

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