The Ersatz Bayonets
Bayonets on this page by the Carter Ersatz Bayonet book Nomenclature
EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, EB6, EB7, EB9, EB10, EB17, EB19, EB22, EB23, EB24, EB25a, EB26a, EB28, EB33, EB34, EB35, EB36, EB40b, EB42, EB42a, EB43, EB44, EB45, EB47, EB49, EB53, EB55, EB56, EB57, EB67, EB103, EB106, EB123, EB147,
For many years these bayonets were said to be last ditch bayonets made by the Germans at the end of WWI in order to reduce production costs and time. It is now however accepted that the opposite was the case and the bayonets were actually made at the beginning of the war as production of the 98/05 was ramped up to meet the requirements of the rapidly expanding army. There are a large number of designations placed on these blades, 1916 Ersatz, Bavarian Ersatz etc. It is common now however for collectors to use the designations used by Carter in his Ersatz bayonet books, as it gives a consistency to the designations as all have the same German designation - S88/98 based on the rifles the bayonets fit and I shall use Carters identifications on this page.
Designs for the bayonets fall into two main styles one similar to the 98/05 in blade shape and the other a parallel bladed long knife, with some other styles made in small numbers. Hilts varied considerably in style and in method of manufacture - from formed to cast - and materials - brass, cast metal, steel sheet. Blades also vary in position and style of fullers - and if they have one.
No manufacturers are attributed to most of the bayonets and it is thought that many were assembled from parts from a large number of factories making parts. The only markings found on the bayonets are a small inspection stamp on the blade. Occasionally the bayonets can be found with unit markings on the cross guard. Any blades found with a serial number on the cross guard are Turkish issue.
Huge numbers of the ersatz types were supplied to Turkey at the end of the war - there is also a blade made specifically for Turkey - these can be found in 3 conditions
a) Unmodified blades - with a serial number on the cross guard
b) Shortened blades - the blade is shortened to 10" / 250mm with appropriate shortening of the scabbards and replacement of the frog stud by an oval stud one
c) Modified cross guards - initially to fit the bayonets on the export pattern Mauser rifle, subsequently some were further modified to fit the US M1 Garand, these modifications can be quite extensive
I am using bayonets from my collection to illustrate as many variations as possible, this should cover most of the more common ones, and a few of the less common ones. However the Germans used a large number of blades from other countries as a basis for ersatz bayonets, either modified to fit German rifles or rehilted, these are a not common bayonets and as yet I have none in my collection for illustration purposes. Hopefully with time I can illustrate more types. Where necessary I will use a Turkish (Turked) model to show blade and hilt styles
Note the dimensions shown are nominal only and large variations can be found
EB1 - The famous Crank Handle bayonet, one of the few ersatz bayonets for which a maker can be attributed as the makers mark is clearly marked on every blade. Designed to fit the G98 rifle the bayonet has a very distinctive handle shape. The hole in the cross guard is there to allow a clearance for the rifles cleaning rod. Hilts were field grey painted with black painted scabbard.
Care must be taken in buying this type as there are large numbers of fakes of this type available, one give away on these is that they are unpainted or blued. There are 4 variations of the markings dependent on the period of production.
There is a Turked version reported with a modified cross guard to fit the 35 pattern rifle but these are not common
Demag Crank Handle Ersatz
|Duisberg Demag (fake)|
With thanks to a private collector
EB3 - The two piece crossguard version of the most manufactured style of ersatz bayonets
two piece cross guard and fullered blade
EB4 - The two piece crossguard version of the most manufactured style of ersatz bayonets this is without the raised rim around the locking stud seen on other variations of this
EB4 bayonet with Turkish serials in both Arabic and Western script on each side of the crossguard, it is thought that the original Arabic script numeral was probably applied during WWI, but may have been at any time up till around 1928 when western script was used (although "western" numerals are actually Arabic!!). Note the rather original frog stud welded onto this item, I have seen a couple more of these for sale.
EB6 - A conversion using a Belgian 1899 blade fitted with a new hilt and cross guard
Distinctive square fullers of this type are clearly visible
EB7 - Another of the rarer types this has not got a "oil hole" drilled across the hilt but has its cleaning hole on the top of the hilt with a hole close to the cross guard
Ersatz, rarer version with the cleaning oil in the top of the hilt
One of the few ersatz with ricasso inspection stamp
Cleaning hole in the top of the hilt, this one has the hole next to cross guard, rather than mid handle
EB9 - This is the most commonly found of all of the ersatz types
Ersatz with FAG scabbard
Turkish conversion, this one has the original German unit marking on the top of the hilt
Turkish shortened version
EB10 - Almost identical to the most common of all ersatz types (EB9) this version is without the fullers seen on 9 and is rarer
Un fullered blade with small false edge
EB17 - A conversion of the most common of all of the ersatz types. This has had its muzzle ring removed
EB19 - A very rare conversion of one the most common of all of the ersatz types. The two piece crossguard has been removed and only one section replaced. Carter gave this an R10 rating
|Rare EB19, the twin piece cross guard normally seen on the EB4 ersatz has been removed and replaced with a single piece|
EB22 - One of the less common ersatz bayonets, this one has a hollow brass hilt with the blade held by two steel rivets through the tang. Original bayonets would have had the hilt painted field grey most are found with the paint removed and often polished. The difference between this and EB 21 is that there is a raised lip around the press stud. The muzzle ring is the double radius one although it has been reported that single radius rings have been seen. It is also possible to get the blade with the muzzle ring removed, either due to damage or as manufactured.
Ersatz bayonet with brass grips, blade in poor (relic) condition
Turkish 1935 made by converting a WWI German brass hilted ersatz by adding a new cross guard approximately 20mm back from its original position. Very crude brazing holds on the steel cross guard to the brass hilt. For comparison the bottom picture shows an unmodified original German bayonet with original cast on muzzle ring
EB23 - The hilt is similar to the brass hilted ersatz bayonets this version has a cast steel hilt. A small number of these were modified by countersinking the muzzle ring to allow a better fit on the GEW 88 rifles
Ersatz bayonet with a modified (countersunk) muzzle ring to allow it to mount more fully onto a GEW88 rifle, this is one of the less common ersatz variations
|EB23 ersatz, scabbard is modified Mauser 98/05 with a new throat, scabbard is probably a Turkish rework|
|None counters sunk version with D stamp on cross guard|
EB24 - The unfullered blade is one of the less common of the variations as few were made. Like EB23 these can be found with the countersunk muzzle ring
Ersatz bayonet (EB24) shortened to 10" blade but otherwise unmodified this is one of the counter sunk muzzle ring versions
Left hilt, blade is unfullered
A non counter sunk version
EB25a - The unfullered blade is one not recorded by Carter so could be a 25b. Muzzle ring has been removed leaving a residual pair of ears allowing it to locate against the K98 rifle.
Ersatz bayonet (EB25a) shortened to 10" blade but otherwise unmodified. It is not known if the removal of the muzzle ring was carried out by the Germans or the Turks or if it was originally made this way, I would suspect a German rather than Turkish conversion
Left hilt of above, blade is unfullered
EB26a - This is one not in carters book, the hilt is similar to the EB25 but the blade is from EB26, so I suppose it should be the EB26a
|I bought this as a 25 variant and then noted the blade grind is unlike any of the e25's but identical to the 26, shows how closely you need to look at any blades you buy.|
EB28 - A cast steel hilt with heavy double radius muzzle ring, distinguished by lack of reinforcing ring around press catch and slightly different ring profile.
German Ersatz Carter EB28
Hilt markings on above blade
EB33 - distinctive hilt and crossguard, this model was made solely for the K98 and is stamped on the pommel to reflect this. A fullered version which is rarer is EB32
EB33 one of the less common ersatz types, this one has a distinctive cross guard shape not shared by any other of the ersatz types, also found with fullers (even rarer) the EB32. These were made solely for the K98 rifle and are marked 98 on the end of the hilt to indicate this
EB34 - Different than any other ersatz due to its distinctive cross guard shape, this bayonet may also be found without fullers (EB35). Hilt is sheet steel.
Ersatz bayonet (EB34) shortened to 10" blade but otherwise unmodified
"Bent" muzzle ring is original to this model of ersatz bayonet
Left hilt, blade is fullered
EB35 - Un fullered version of EB 34
|EB 35, the unfullered version of EB 34 with the distinctive step back m|
EB36 - Parallel hilted bayonet with only a small beak at the pommel. Has single piece cross guard, can be found without fullers (EB37) .
Probably repainted but to represent the original finish on these bayonets.
EB40b - Parallel hilted bayonet with only a small beak at the pommel. Has a two piece cross guard,
This example has no markings other then 12 on the crossguard, the beak is very small and rounded. The muzzle ring has been partially removed leaving a pair of "high ears"
EB42 - Ersatz copy of the 98/05 sawback, has the fullers farther down the blade. This one has 51 saw teeth
In original 98/05 sawback leather scabbard
Unit markings on leather scabbard for Ersatz 98/05 sawback
EB42a - Ersatz copy of the 98/05 sawback, has the fullers closer to the cross guard than EB42 but the saw teeth start further down the blade and there are 49, 51, 52 and 53 teeth reported on this type
Teeth start further from the cross guard than the true 98/05 bayonet
Ersatz scabbard has separate locket similar to the one on the leather and steel scabbard
Back of scabbard shows the weld seem.
EB43 - Another of the variations on this style, this one is more crudely made than many parallel blade edges and narrow fuller
Converted by shortening and grinding original shape would have been like EB44. This has also had its cross guard modified removing the quillion and fitting a taller muzzle ring
EB44 - Another of the variations on this style, this one has short narrow fullers
original 98/05 steel scabbard
EB45 - The blade is similar to the Belgian 1909 or the Bayard but is different to each in detail, another of the less common ersatzes. Hilt is the same as that found on the 98/05 look alikes
leather look steel scabbard
Steel scabbard has "tool" lines similar to those seen on the original leather 98/05
EB47 - possibly made by Koeller and cie. The hilt is pressed steel riveted together with domed rivets (mounted right to left normally). This is one of the commonest of all of the ersatz bayonets.
Ersatz Carter EB47
Unit marks are unusual Ersatz bayonets, as the practice was normally not carried out after he start of WWI
Close up of above blade showing crude welding of new cross guard onto bayonet, and the small muzzle ring diameter, the 13mm diameter is to fit the US M1 Garand
EB49 - with its muzzle ring removed (a rare variation of a rare ersatz model)
With thanks to to a private collector
With thanks to a private collector
EB56 Distinctive crude hilt with 5 diagonal grooves. One of the rarest of the ersatz bayonets according to Carter
EB57 not a bayonet, the original ersatz book had this one in it, but is now thought to be an attempt to re create 56 without access to a bayonet
EB67 "Ersoc" bayonet made using a UK 1853 pattern socket blade.
Blade has normal double German inspection marks on ricasso, there are signs of the original markings still left on the blade, but not fully distinguishable. Only other marking is a small CTS marking behind the cross guard, most of the ERSOC blades only have the inspection marks and any remaining marks from the original blade, so this is unusual.
|Grooved handle variation |
with thanks to a private collector
EB103 - Captured French 1866 Chassepot. Many were issued with only a change to the frog stud to use a German style stud rather than the French horizontal stud. Many of these carry German unit marks from rear echelon units. Other versions exist with modified hilts and cross guards to fit on the 98 and 88 rifles
Re issued French 1866 Chassepot
Chassepot modified scabbard
EB106- French 1866 modified by reducing the hilt over its full length with a single step running over approximately 1/3 of its length. The Muzzle ring has been narrowed and dished to mount on the GEW88
French 1866 converted by Germans to fit the GEW 88 rifle by stepping the hilt (EB106)
unfortunately the locking stud and spring is missing
and modifying the muzzle ring by counter sinking
and slightly narrowing the ring
EB123 Captured French 1874 Gras. This has been extensively modified by adding a 71/84 style hilt to the original blade so as to fit the 98 Mauser, it makes you wonder if the work involved really made these ersatz types viable.
WWI ersatz conversion of a French Gras bayonet, fitted with a 71-84 style hilt and with cross guard modifications. There are no German markings on this item that I can find, and the original French markings show it to be one of the rarer makers of the original French Bayonet.
EB147 - Captured Russian 1891 Mosin Nagant. Bayonet is unchanged although some will be found with German acceptance marks. The Russians did not issue scabbards for German use a sheet metal scabbard was made (in several versions)
Russian 1891 Nagant bayonet with WWI ersatz scabbard made for captured bayonets
Brass stud and separate throat
EB - Greek 1904 converted to fit the 98 Mauser, this was not a limited conversion with 3000 of them being made
Greek 1904, one of 3000 converted by Germans in WWI, the hilt is modified to fit the 1898 Mauser, the unmodified scabbard is correctly marked with German inspection stamp
In order to allow German bayonets to be used on allied rifles or vice versa various adaptors were made along with adaption's to the rifles or bayonets them selves.
This adaptor allows standard
German Ersatz bayonets to be mounted on a French Lebel rifle|
Pictures courtesy of Dat Nguyen
This adaptor allowed GEW bayonets to be used on captured Lebel rifles
Many thanks to Jim Maddox for the pictures