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Bayonets in use....
Rust


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Norway
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Watching the film Zulu last night, I noticed, for the first time, that there seems to be a mixture of bayonets in use in the film. Colour sergeant Bourne, for one, often appears to be using a Martini Henry rifle, but fitted with a pattern 1853 Enfield bayonet. Many of the or's also apear to have the much shorter 1853 bayonet and scabbard.
The Pattern in use at the time was the 1876 socket bayonet, which was longer and perfectly triangular in section.
I did have in my former collection a couple of pattern 1853's, that had been bushed ( fitted with a smaller diameter inner sleeve) for use with the later Martini Henry rifle. I also had a pattern 1859 cutlass bayonet and a pattern 1856 'yatagan' bayonet, that were also similarly bushed. However, as far as I am aware, these were not issued to the British Army's regular regiments, they were used mostly by the milita and colonial forces etc.

I had never noticed this in the film before. Surely none of the 24th could still have been using the older, shorter and by then mostly obsolete Patt.1853....could they?? Or maybe it is simply my old eyes playing tricks on me......?

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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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I never noticed bushed Enfield bayonets in the movie myself, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that some were used for the film. Several of the other props were selected for availability and expediency at the expense of accuracy. I'm sure you've noticed the occasional CLLE (Charger Loading Lee Enfield) and that the Martini that Dicky Owen (Schiess) is dragging about at the end is a MK IV, a later pattern.

That said about the movie, there were a couple of threads earlier that addressed the question of which bayonet/bayonets were likely used during the AZW. Check out one started by Carl Daeche titled " Has my mind gone? which bayonet!".
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Brecon
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I will ask Bill Cainan for the full technical reply - of course you all know that Sergeants and Colour Sergeants had sword bayonets as standard issue. Whether they got it right in the movie I do not know. I have not studied it in detail.

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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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Quite so! Nigel Green (CS Bourne) should be packing an 1860 pattern yataghan sword bayonet bushed down to fit his Martini-Henry rather than the socket pattern he's uses. Hey, it only a movie Shocked
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Rust


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Norway
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Great stuff! Thanks gents.

Actually, I didn't know that Sergeants and Colour Sergeants were issued with the 1856 pattern sword bayonet, as opposed to the standard socket bayonet!
There is a nice picture of Wheeler Cantwell (?)DCM, showing him wearing his pattern 1871, sawbacked, sword bayonet. But as he was R.A., that was standard issue for them.
Thankyou for the feedback and information so far!

Regards,

Rust

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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
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Thanks Martin ! I believe Neil is currently away on holiday, but I'm sure he will give chapter and verse on this on his return.

Bill
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 290
Location: Loughborough
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The P76 bayonet was standard issue for "other ranks", with the exception of Rifle brigade, who were carried the bushed and mortice slotted yataghan as standard.

The 1/24th were still armed with the P53/74 in 1879, the scabbard found by Drury Lowe on Isandlwana debris field is a 53/74, why was this?. The 1.24th received their Martinis in early 1875, at the time the p53/74 was the only serviceable bayonet and the regiment had not been home to convert.

It is a strange twist that in 1875 the Ordnance department were trialling the 17" saw backed sword bayonet, an far superior bayonet than the P76 of the next year, it failed to become standard issue. The idea was re-visited in in 1887 with the P1887 sword bayonet in 4 marks. In effect twelve years too late.

All Martini's had the bayonet bar on the front barrel band, the sword was always going to be the final tool in the box.

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Rust


Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 8
Location: Norway
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Gentlemen, thank you so much for the very knowledgable and informative replies to my post.
Very interesting points you raise there Mr. Aspinshaw! Thankyou.

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Bayonets in use....
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