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Why did the Wehrmacht have blunt bayonets?

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    Why did the Wehrmacht have blunt bayonets?

    This is one of the things I have been wondering about for years... Why didnt the Germans equip themselves with sharpened bayonets? It would seem to make more sence.

    JL
    Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

    #2
    Originally posted by Jean-Loup View Post
    This is one of the things I have been wondering about for years... Why didnt the Germans equip themselves with sharpened bayonets? It would seem to make more sence.

    JL
    well, i reckon the bayonet was a stabbing device...so, sure, you could mount a breadroll on it and toast the thing...against army rules, but you wouldnt be able to seriously slice it.
    if you want a slicer, go for the entrenching tool.
    so, to recap, the end of the bayonet is not very blunt. and that's the business end.
    so being hit by one wouldnt really make you think critically about the bayonet's lack of slicing abilities...

    Comment


      #3
      Mine all have points like needles.
      Most have been sharpened to a degree.

      No idea why they were issued unsharpened-many others also seem to be the same.
      Those were still days when lots of things were done by hand, and it was apparently left up to the individual.
      A knife is pretty important in the field for many different things and a GI can only carry so many pieces of eqipment.
      I recently bought a chromed dress bayonet at a sale that somebody had sharpened-not good for an original of that type, but post war common practice.
      MLP

      Comment


        #4
        Could be a load of crap, but the "story" i heard about this was that sharpened bayonets could get stuck in the body (bones?) and a blunt one not.
        I'm collecting anything related to the towns Castricum and Bakkum during WWII.
        Also soldbucher from 116pzdiv. And 1944-1945 eastfront pockets, kampfgruppe and Oder front.
        My website: Gotrick.nl

        Comment


          #5
          quote from "Die Brücke" (Le Pont) (The Bridge)

          It makes bigger holes

          Tom
          www.mp44.nl
          looking for ..... brown A-frame mess tin strap with alu hardware

          Comment


            #6
            the question imo misses the point about bayonets. they need a sharp pointed end, rather than sharp side blade edges.
            what bayonets were ever issued with sharpened blade edges? as in sharp, like a razor?
            the bit that is meant to go in is the sharp point at the front. like a bullet. as i say, we dont use the bayonet for slicing up things, but for sticking them in and twisting. so its possible to stop wondering now, imo.

            Comment


              #7
              "the question imo misses the point about bayonets. they need a sharp pointed end, rather than sharp side blade edges."

              Yes, bayonets are made to stab other humans with, however in actual life, that is what they are used for 0,1% of the time, the rest of the time they are used as a tool for daily life activities of the soldier.

              You will note that German bayonets are very partialy sharpened on one side, though not enaugh to actualy be sharp.

              If you are going to take the trouble to march all the way to Stalingrad lugging the bayonet around with you, it may as well be a sharp baionet.
              Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

              Comment


                #8
                The answer is above.

                The bayonet was designed for use as a weapon. Other 'unofficial' uses were not the primary reason for the bayonet being issued.

                Mine are all sharp and although couldn't slice my roast beef joint as I'd like, are effective.

                Think of when we cut ourselves when cooking, a sharp knfe does less damage. When an enemy is bayoneted, they need to go down and stay down. A clean wound is not as damaging.

                Regards,
                Chris.
                I collect photos of beer drinkers in the Third Reich.

                Comment


                  #9
                  "Think of when we cut ourselves when cooking, a sharp knfe does less damage. When an enemy is bayoneted, they need to go down and stay down. A clean wound is not as damaging. "

                  No actualy, a sharp knife does more damage; and if the point was to have a blunt bayonet, then why do german bayonets have partialy sharpened blades (see red circle below)?

                  Why go through the trouble of making a 'blade', without actualy making a real cutting edge blade? The explanation that soldiers were to sharpen them themselves sounds resonable... But were they actualy allowed to do so? So few bayonets we find are sharp, that we can wonder...
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Jean-Loup; 06-26-2011, 04:51 PM.
                  Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

                  Comment


                    #10
                    .

                    I would say most bayonets still ended up being used for mostly opening tin cans, cutting this and that and utility etc in addition to if you had to use it for it's purpose. So I would say confidently that sharpening wasn't done specifically for the purpose of causing more damage but I would also say anybody on the front in close combat would probabaly put an edge on it, along with their shovel. Common sense.

                    Ah good old bayonet training....

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pzxb2sxbDU

                    Pete
                    Last edited by pete; 06-26-2011, 06:48 PM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I would say the blade "edge" is needed to cut the skin as it makes a hole for itself...it would be awkward to stab with two edges that were like the top and with just a point.
                      Back when the blade wasn't so wide there was the spike type bayonets, which wouldn't need the edge.
                      I also heard at one time that no militarys' edges was sharpened as a precaution so the soldier wouldn't inadvertently cut himself and be sent home. Not sure if this is true.



                      Comment


                        #12
                        "I also heard at one time that no militarys' edges was sharpened as a precaution so the soldier wouldn't inadvertently cut himself and be sent home. Not sure if this is true. "

                        I was also thinking about something along these lines, as bayonets probably cause more accidental wounds to friendly troops then combat wounds to the enemy.
                        Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

                        Comment


                          #13
                          .

                          Seen that on Parade before!

                          Soldier drops Rifle, and Slash to the legs of the guy in front!..or "Cut towards Chum not towards thumb" when cutting a string or some tape the bayonet is heavier then the pocket knife and tends to swing towards the cutter if not attentive as to what is happening!

                          Pete

                          Comment


                            #14
                            In U.S.Army Basic Combat Training in 1971 the bayonet training meant learning assorting parrying movements and when asked "What is the spirit of bayonet?" you answered "To Kill!" then when asked "What is it used for?" you answered "Stabbin' and Jabbin'!"
                            So I suppose the bayonet only needed to be pointed to "Stab and Jab" like some spike bayonets, slashing wasn't mentioned much.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              excellent contributions to this insanely simple question.
                              a sword would slash, of course.
                              if you wanted a rifle and bayonet attached, to make it slash you'd need to sharpen the whole length of the bayonet and rifle. which isnt an option. so get yourself a sword instead.
                              dagger for stabbing, sword for slashing.
                              i dont think under such german strictness it would be easy for a landser to simply sharpen his own bayonet, so he had a handy can opener. they would have had can openers... maybe the us army was allowed to turn their bayonet into an eating utensil, by sharpening the sides. the brits just had pig stickers, so not really the same thing trying to get an edge on little more than a mean little spike.

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