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JMB1943

Turkish Imperial Guard--too many bayonets?

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JMB1943

Assafx & Trajan,

 

The photo (see 'A Few Ottoman Cartridges', by Assafx, post #73) depicts a squad of soldiers from the title unit.

Each carries a rifle, with a spike bayonet affixed.

At least six of the men wear a haversack that appears to contain a sword bayonet (with HQ) seated in a scabbard.

Any explanations / speculations are welcomed.

 

Regards,

JMB

1009913361_TurkishImperialGuard.jpg.9cedcc0bd19245b114f883a85ba43417.jpg

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trajan

Hi JMB,

 

Well, spotted!

 

This is the 'Albanian' section of the Imperial Guard and they are carrying unconverted (full-length) P-M rifles with their original below-the-barrel P-M socket bayonets. The name for the pouch is Selahlik silahlik, or bensilah, and it was used in the Balkans for carrying a fighting knife or sword. It seems that when the long P-M yataghan came into service with the Ottoman army (in about 1875), these replaced the earlier weapons, and were used mainly as swords rather than bayonets. By 1880-1883, the Imperial Guard had replaced the socket bayonet with the yataghan - have a look over https://www.ottoman-uniforms.com/1876-till-1908-sultan-abdul-hamid-ii-imperial-guard-army/ But the sockt bayonet was still being used in WW1 - I have seen a photograph of Goltz' grave at Constantinople in which Ottoman soldiers have the shortened P-M rifle with socket bayonet fixed.

 

One thing I can't quite decide on with the PCard is - are these full lenght or short-and-straightened yataghanlar? I am pretty certain that they are the former, but the PC - which is basically a coloured version of a well-known B-W photograph dating to before 1876 (see the web-link) - is not a straight-on view, and so the angle makes it a bit difficult to be sure of their length. However, I can detect a curve between hilt and scabbard chape with the two carried by the front two on the left. 

 

Trajan

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JMB1943

Trajan,

 

Thank you for that info.

Yes, I think that you are right about the curved bayonet carried by the John Cleese look-alike and his right hand side squad-mate.

 

Regards,

JMB

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trajan
10 minutes ago, JMB1943 said:

... I think that you are right about the curved bayonet carried by the John Cleese look-alike and his right hand side squad-mate.

 

Hadn't noted the resemblance before, but yes, so it is!

 

I think I am correct in saying the original P-M rifle with socket bayonet has an overall length of around 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm), the rifle with an overall length of 49 inches (124.46 cm), the socket bayonet being overall 23.25 inches (59.1 cm), the blade at 20.125 inches (51.4 mm) - all measurements being mas o menos! The full-length yataghan has an overall length of 28 inches (714 cm), blade at 22.6 inches (575 mm), the shortened having an overall length of 23.6 inches (60 cm) and blade length of around 18 inches (46 cm)... 

 

I plan to PM you over the next few days as I need a bayonet text that needs reading through - ok?

 

Best wishes,

 

Julian

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JMB1943
6 minutes ago, trajan said:

 

I plan to PM you over the next few days as I need a bayonet text that needs reading through - ok?

 

OK?

Yes !

I insist, more or less....

Red pencil: sharpened....

Calculator: charged....

 

Regards,

JMB

 

 

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trajan

Just a few paragraphs to end the thing... But need some P&Q at home to do that!:unsure:

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