Home:  Soldiers Equipment: YATAGHAN BAYONET, 1885


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Bayonet used by Sergeants on the Martini Henry Rifle Item A0549. Not used on the long Snider rifle, short and carbine version only.
The sword known as a Yataghan with its characteristic recurving blade of an extended gentle S-shape originated in Turkey. The blade form was probably first used on a bayonet in France in 1837 when an experimental sword & socket bayonet with an unfullered Yataghan blade was manufactured in small quantities. The subsequent used by the French of this type of blade, now fullered, on their Model 1840 brass hilted sword bayonet proved hugely influential as this bayonet model also pioneered the use of the very successful muzzle ring, pommel T-mortised and flat- spring fixing catch method of fixing on the firearm, and was widely copied by other nations.

The Yataghan blade is a good compromise between the curved edge, superior for cutting purposes, and the straight blade, better for thrusting with the point. For a fixed bayonet, the Yataghan blade design had the added advantage of positioning the blade point well away from the line of the rifles bore, a feature very useful in the age of muzzle-loading firearms as it reduced the chances of a soldier spiking his hand on his bayonet point when ramming home a charge in the gun barrel. This feature was obviously rendered unimportant when breech-loading military firearms became the norm from the 1860's onwards and, by the end of the 19th century, Yataghan blades were looking increasingly old-fashioned. Most military rifles which were newly made after the late 1880's were fitted with straight bladed knife or sword bayonets. Brazil's Model 1904 bayonet was up to date as far as its proportions and hilt design were concerned, but its Yataghan blade was definitely a somewhat anachronistic survival from an earlier era.
(The Armourer Oct 2008 R.D.C.Evans.)

Your comments:

  • I have one of these. Grips not much good due to being bent. How ever it has a steel SCABBARD?? A few people believe it's not for it, until I show them. Any info on that would be great. I will do it up one day when I get a rifle it will fit.
    .......... Phill Miegel, Gunnedah NSW Austrila, 2nd of March 2012

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