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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Chassepot rifle & bayonet


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Hello chaps,

Did the French ever use chassepots in any form during WW1?



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I've never heard of any but as with all things WW1, you never know.

The Chassepots had a pretty short life for a service rifle. There were scrapped in large numbers in the late 1880's and the bayonets scrapped in a number of ways. I heard a few years ago that dredging in the London docks hauled up large bales of wire bound Chassepot bayonets. Used as ballast on a ship and dumped over the side when no longer needed. Napoleonic era muskets have been unearthed on the Somme battlefield but they weren't used in WW1.


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I'm less certain about the rifle but the Mousqueton d'Artillerie Gras (a development of the Chassepot rifle) took the Chassepot bayonet. A bayonet was devoloped for the "full" Gras rifle but the shortened artillery version still took the Chassepot bayonet (almost as long as the gun itself !). Their use continued, in some form, into WW1 and beyond:


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