Bayonett and Hirschfangers

In 1901 the short model 98 bayonet was adopted. This weapon was initially specified for ma-chine gun units. After 1908 it was officially designated as the `KS 98”. Other units adopted this weapon very rapidly as it was easy to carry and identified the wearer as a warrior. By 1913 the KS 98 had been adopted by the Airship Units, Kraftfahr Corps, and Flying Batallions.

A large number of photos of flying officers show them proudly wearing this sidearm. The grip scale composition will quickly help identifying specific variations. Grip scales are found made from pressed leather, leather wrapped wood, plain wood, bakelite and finally the often seen black checkered plastic grips. The scabbards of all patterns were `browned” steel. The sidearms were suspended from a frog, although pictures of officers exist with these short bayonets just simply thrust the waist belt. The flyers below are all carrying KS 98 sidearms. PLM wearer Veltjens in this photograph is wearing the later model with the black checkered plastic grips. In nearly every case pilots and observers specified eagle head sidearms as edged weapons. It appears that Veltjens has just thrust this bayonet through his belt. He is wearing an Imperial German sword portepee with leather strap around the grip.

Pour le Mérite wearer Veltjens
Pour le Mérite wearer Veltjens. hh

Famous German fighter ace Immelmann carrying
Famous German fighter ace Immelmann carrying
a bayonet. hh

Oberleutnant Immelmann is also wearing a Imperial Sword portepee on his sidearm. The sidearm is being worn in a frog with what appears to be a securing strap for the handle.

Flying master Fabeck is wearing his bayonet suspended from a frog. He is also wearing an Impe-rial Naval dagger portepee tied around the hilt of this sidearm. This bayonet also has a short se-curity strap snapped around the handle.

This writer has observed a photo of at least one flying officer wearing the rare experimental model 15 type I sidearm, with the massive cast hilt with small inserted wooden grip scales. In every case these sidearms are worn with pride by these daring flying officers.

Wearing the traditional Hirschfanger was another sidearm option for flying officers.

Generally these edged weapons associated with the German hunt, were also worn with frog and portepee.

Oberflugmeister Fabeck carrying a bayonet
Oberflugmeister Fabeck carrying a
bayonet. hh
Scarce photo of a wartime pilot carrying
Scarce photo of a wartime pilot carrying
a Hirschfänger. hh

 

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