French WW1 Lebel bayonet fighting dagger made from M1886/91 “French needle” spike bayonet; original metal handle, 5.3-inch blade. Very good overall condition, considering the age.
Scarce WW1 era fighting dagger made from the hilt section of the French M1886/91 “French Needle” Lebel bayonet. Due to the shortage of fighting knives at the beginning of WW1 this type was used extensively by the French military during the dragged-out trench warfare. These modified “bayonet trench daggers” were popular with the French infantrymen as they provided to be much handier in the close-quarters fighting than sabers or standard issue extra-long Lebel rifle bayonets. Similar “spike bayonet conversion” types are illustrated on page 24 of FRENCH FIGHTING KNIVES DURING THE GREAT WAR book by Christian Mery – a well-established expert and the author of a number of books on the subject of military edged weapons (see book’s page scan attached).
This specimen’s original “long” bayonet’s spike blade has been cut-down and original white metal handle ground down; original muzzle ring and bayonet release mechanism are still intact. This dagger is about 10″ / 33 cm overall; spike blade is about 5-3/8″ / 13.6 cm. The cruciform spike blade has been sharpened, the needle-like tip is intact. The handle is nice and tight; all parts are solid with no play. The scabbard did not survive.
This interesting French WW1 Lebel bayonet fighting dagger has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way, the set is in 100% original “as is” condition. These are the actual photos. I have a few more European WW1 era military knives and bayonets, as well as several scarce WW2 fighting daggers and trench knives from other countries available for sale – please take a look in the store’s Militaria section.
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