Bayonet and case

Contributed by Antiques Roadshow - Hutton-in-the-Forest

My family inherited these objects that are from the Napoleonic war.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 19:44 on 29 July 2010, JOHNSDUNCAN wrote:

    Unless I am mistaken This is an1860-1880 pattern French army bayonet. I have one exactly like the one in the photo, inscribed 1880. It is nonetheless an interesting historical piece since much of the French army was still equipped with this bayonet in 1914. This reflects the mentality (if not arrogance) of the French armed forces at the outbreak of WWI, who thought that the courage of their soldiers (still wearing scarlet red trousers as they went into battle) would be more than enough to defeat the modern 20th century army that Germany possessed.
    This bayonet was replaced by a shorter triangular one, easier to use in the trenches. This earlier pattern was so long that in close combat the bayoneter was often despatched himself before he could pull the bayonet out of the person he had just killed. Such is the brutality and the reality of war during this period. A far cry from the poet Rupert Brooke's romantic vision of war - There's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England"

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