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Comments on Altered 1898/02 with R.L.M. marking ........


ersatz
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Some months ago, I posted the above R.L.M. variation on the Gunboards Forum to learn if other collectors had come across any similarly altered pieces.  I know the German 98/05 bayonets with R.L.M. markings are fairly common.   Results from my initial posting on Gb were limited.   So I thought I'd post details and photos on this forum in order to reach overseas collectors for their input, etc.   A description follows:

 

Original hilt retained except the heavy partial muzzle ring (ears) have been neatly trimmed, blade narrowed entire length and shortened to 98/05 Butcher Knife scabbard fitment.  R.L.M. stamped on ricasso with V.C. SCHILLING, SUHL maker mark, no date on spine, but Fraktur proofmarks remain on left side of the pommel and beneath blade on the cross guard.  By shortening the blade and removing the sawteeth, the bayonet is significantly lightened.  A standard 98/02 blade length is approx. 16-7/8", this modified plain blade measures 14-3/8".  The last photo is offered for comparative purposes using the R.L.M., an actual 98/02 sawback, and a 98/05 sawback.  Thank you for your interest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RLM3.jpg

RLM4.jpg

RLM2.jpg

RLM5.jpg

RLM1.jpg

02B.jpg

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Certainly nice piece, most real reworked already WW1 to S98/05 lenght, i tend to opinion early 1915 as small ears on crossguard but not flashguard installed, so it could be made in transition period. RLM is Weimar or NS period. Strange that it remained unreworked,so mostly a depot piece. 

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Thank you Andy for your comments.  However, I don't believe you fully understood my description.   Upon close inspection,  it is a true 98/02 Sawback that was altered by trimming the heavy ears, shortening the blade, and removing the sawteeth.  There are a few faint serrations visible on the top of the blade indicating there were once sawteeth.   My thinking is that it may have been altered post-WW1 to early 40's period for use by a veteran of the First War.   Who is to say?   

 

I'm still hoping to hear from other collectors regarding similar altered bayonets like this one...............  

 

I'm not sure what is meant by your last statement, "Strange that it remained unreworked, so mostly a depot piece"?   

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Possible it could be removed sawback already 1918,anyway here is a S,98/05 scabbard so the blade should be filled to asssembly in that scabbard,also removing of sawback and lenght should be done by that case,RLM stamp means it was service bayonet of Ministry of Luftfahrt.which was around 1935.no veterans could be real in that case.depot piece means it was not refurbished in NS period manner,reblued etc...

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What is the width at the ricasso?

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Okay............  The R.L.M. ricasso width measures a consistent 1-3/16" as does the blade width all the way to the sweeping curve near the point.  I measured two (2) 98/05 Plain Blades and (2) Sawbacks in my collection and ALL 4 measured 1" at the ricasso.  The two (2) standard 98/02 bayonets in my collection both measured 1-5/16" at the ricasso.   

 

 

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Interesting... My understanding from the official specifications is for the ricasso width at 35 cm +/- 2mm which is around 1.39 inches, and the official blade width between 33 +/- 2mm and 33.3. +/- depending on where it was measured.

 

It seems they went in for making wider blades than was required! 

 

Julian

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S98/02 blade was clearly mashined and is here smaller dimmension to accomodate the S98/05 scabbard, any picture of mouth piece of scabbard?

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Posted (edited)

Here is a photo of the scabbard throat.  As you can see there is a Fraktur present.

Throat.JPG

Edited by ersatz
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Thanks looks like normal S98/05nAS scabbard.

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Yes, it is and sure does look like a standard 98/05 scabbard.  As I stated in my initial description............  blade narrowed and shortened for fitment in a 98/05 scabbard.

 

After posting this topic to both collecting communities of the GunBoards Forum, as well as this Forum and hearing from only the same two respondents, I suppose it is safe to say that this R.L.M. variant is "one-of-a-kind".   My hope is that someone may come across this discussion at a later date and present a similarly altered bayonet.  

 

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Its probably easy to explain the possible scenarios

- the S98/02 was replaced already 1906/7 with S98/05 aAS as too heavy for field use, most real prior 1914 it was in depot, same as no remains of previous unit are visible

- possible in 1914 by great lost of field bayonets it were added to service, most real in the 1915 it was reshaped to S98/05nA standarts, even not here with flashguard, but this refurbishment was not standart

- post 1918 remained in hidden depot, that was not observed by allied control, similar pieces S98/02 are not obvious, so postwar use by Army or Police should have the 1920 dearming stamp, i assume it would be outsorted by this as obsolete piece,(to army equipment were used only S84/98 and S98/05nA) so remained covered prior NS period in depot, by adding to RLM older equipment it was stamped with owner stamp, anyway didnt got any typical NS period refurbishment  sign, so i believe it remained in depot for other decade. As with frog so it had a short service period probably in WW2, when look at the condition of blade and scabbard.

-postwar ended captured or were saled out to collector market?

 

Edited by AndyBsk
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Andy ~ certainly a lot of speculation there and I'm sure there are other variables that haven't been considered.  Thanks for your comments..................

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  • 2 months later...

Is this the modified one that just sold on E-Bay, u.s.,  early June 21, this month? Was looking at it, would have got it, but just made a couple of rifle purchases, sold for just over $600.

looks like same background 

 

Some S98/05 plain and saw removed show up now and then with Weimar markings. I have a saw removed, with Weimar and Waffenmant markings, think for Luftwaffe, which would be early Luftwaffe, I believe after 1939 or 1940, only the short 84/98 and 98k bayonets were used

 

Your bayonet is unique in being Pre War (WW1) Weimar and ( late 30’s) 3rd Reich

Edited by Steve1871
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It was still used by RLM, FLak and Luftschutz to end of war, 1942 are frogs marked for S98/05.

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On 14/06/2021 at 23:52, Steve1871 said:

Is this the modified one that just sold on E-Bay, u.s.,  early June 21, this month? Was looking at it, would have got it, but just made a couple of rifle purchases, sold for just over $600.

looks like same background 

 

Some S98/05 plain and saw removed show up now and then with Weimar markings. I have a saw removed, with Weimar and Waffenmant markings, think for Luftwaffe, which would be early Luftwaffe, I believe after 1939 or 1940, only the short 84/98 and 98k bayonets were used

 

Your bayonet is unique in being Pre War (WW1) Weimar and ( late 30’s) 3rd Reich

Hi STEVE:  Yes, it is one of the same.  My grandson decided to sell as we are both interested in Imperial Sawbacks.  

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An original 98/02, pending on condition, with or without scabbard tends to sell from $1000. For dark patina, some rust, no scabbard to $2000. For nice, unit marked with good scabbard, who knows how much a matching set would go for on EBAY. I have a few only 98/02, that one you sold would have looked great in my humble collection. I had just bought 2 old rifles. My bad timing

 

Sawbacks always LOOK more impressive, to everybody, but if you and your Grandson plan on starting a “sawback” Imperial German collection, do not forget that the “Saw Back Removed”, By German orders in 1917, they are actually the more scarce. They have seen the least interest by collectors as a whole, but someday interest will pick up. 
 

I had not seen a 98/02 conversion to /05

Have you seen any others?

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Just another theory here

1915/16 was very busy for Germany and it’s bayonets, trying to get rid of all those ersatz, trying to bring back the S98 quill backs while still pushing out as many 98/05 as possible

 

Someone in charge, military, procurement, armaments or management in one of many arsenals producing bayonets may have come to a small lot of 98/02 bayonets. 
 

So many ( 62) producers of the 98/05, someone had to think of modify an older 98/02. To an. /05 to save money and material, could have done a small batch that were turned in. 10, 50,  100+. Who knows. But if this is the case. It most certainly was dropped. As too expensive, time and manpower to track down and ship to same location, dissemble cut and all when the 98/05 was in full mass production

 

Yes, it could be a one of a kind, but the work looks professional, factory work, And I do not think a factory would do just one. Again, just an opinion

 

I still love the piece and wish I had gotten it

Again, thanks for sharing

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More real this is a small divisional waffenmeister workshop, as they repaired various and larger items, the blade has changed profil, on handle was nothing done, so dont believe it was send  to any factory, personally believe that it was done in smaller range as the heavy blade and heavy handle partly still remained and this bayonet is certainly heavier as a S98/05nA, so question is how many exists similar pieces?, i assume not large numbers as no reported prior this time in books. For soldiers they dont worry is a S98/02 reworked or S98/05, they used is a bayonet. 

Edited by AndyBsk
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17 hours ago, Steve1871 said:

Just another theory here

1915/16 was very busy for Germany and it’s bayonets, trying to get rid of all those ersatz, trying to bring back the S98 quill backs while still pushing out as many 98/05 as possible

 

Someone in charge, military, procurement, armaments or management in one of many arsenals producing bayonets may have come to a small lot of 98/02 bayonets. 
 

So many ( 62) producers of the 98/05, someone had to think of modify an older 98/02. To an. /05 to save money and material, could have done a small batch that were turned in. 10, 50,  100+. Who knows. But if this is the case. It most certainly was dropped. As too expensive, time and manpower to track down and ship to same location, dissemble cut and all when the 98/05 was in full mass production

 

Yes, it could be a one of a kind, but the work looks professional, factory work, And I do not think a factory would do just one. Again, just an opinion

 

I still love the piece and wish I had gotten it

Again, thanks for sharing

HI STEVE:  Thank you very much for offering your insight and theory.  Andy also contributed his theory on the subject as well.  I've been collecting Imperial blades on & off for 40+ years and haven't run across anything like the Altered '02.  For what it's worth . . . . my take on this piece is that a WW1 German Vet had the piece made as a personal sidearm.   Maybe down the line someone will publish a book with RLM variations.  Good Collecting to you, TED..........

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What is thought to be a 98/05 converted to K98, actually, I have never seen either conversion before 

ED651284-5591-433B-8550-AA4C32EFA7BF.jpeg

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There exist some conversions to S84/98 from S98/05,they are alerady described in some books.

Edited by AndyBsk
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