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Title:BAYONET, KNIFE -  U.S. BAYONET MODEL 1905 SN# 391363
Date of Manufacture:1909
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 5572
Measurements:OL: 51.4CM 20 1/4" BL: 39.6CM 15 5/8"

Object Description:

U.S. BAYONET MODEL 1905 SN# 391363
Manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield, Ma. in 1909 - Standard M1905 knife bayonet for the M1903 rifle. Blade bright. Classified "standard" from 1905 until February, 1943 when changed to "limited standard." Declared "obsolete" in July, 1945.

Blade: US/391363. SA/Ordnance bomb/1909.

Weapon transferred to the Museum on 23 June 1932.

Notes: "By January 1905 sufficient M1903 rifles had been produced for general issue to the entire Regular Army; but this issue was suspended following receipt by the Secretary of War of a letter, dated 4 Jan. 1905, from the former 'Rough Rider', President Theodore Roosevelt, that stated in part: 'I must say that I think that ramrod bayonet about as poor an invention as I ever saw.'
The rod bayonet had been adopted as being light and always quickly at hand, and as being of value in cleaning the bore of obstructions. That it would be used much as a bayonet had been considered doubtful in view of the increased rifle fire-power. But reports of our officers observing the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese war in Manchuria indicated the extensive use of a new tactic - night attack - that reduced the effectiveness of firepower and placed the bayonet back in the military picture. Work on the rod bayonet was therefore stopped, 11 Jan. 1905, pending the reevaluation of the bayonet requirement. The special committee of five General Staff officers was immediately convened to study this problem tested a 12" rod bayonet, 3-and 4-fluted 18" rod-type bayonets, a 16" knife bayonet, a 16" bolo bayonet, and a bolo bayonet of special design that could be used, also, as an entrenching tool.
The special bayonets for auxiliary use in digging, etc., were quickly eliminated from consideration after it was decided that the place to save weight was not in the soldier's fighting equipment, and that each tool should be efficient in its own right. After a further decision to lengthen the bayonet rather than the rifle to provide 'reach', the rod bayonets were considered unsuitable, and the 16" knife bayonet was recommended. The Krag-type (Mauser cross-bolt) locking of the sample knife bayonet was to be changed, however, to a type with a less exposed locking plunger.
The proceedings of the committee were practically unanimously approved on 28 March 1905 by the General Staff in full committee, and on 3 April 1905 Secretary of War Howard Taft approved the knife bayonet as the Bayonet, Model of 1905. This bayonet was not to be issued to the Cavalry, since they were armed with revolvers for close work." - Campbell

"The M1905 bayonet, along with the M1903 Springfield rifle, has become symbolic of the Doughboy of the First World War. Whether used to broil stolen chickens or wielded in the deadly work of assaulting enemy trench positions, the M1905 bayonet provided valuable service to the troops of the AEF. The fact that the M1905 bayonet (or a slightly modified version) remained in service for forty years illustrates the basic soundness of the design." - Canfield

See, Hardin, THE AMERICAN BAYONET, pg. 158 (No. 134).

Campbell, Clark S. THE '03 ERA: WHEN SMOKELESS REVOLUTIONIZED U.S. RIFLERY. Collector Grade Publications, Inc. Cobourg, Canada. 1994.
Canfield, Bruce N. U.S. INFANTRY WEAPONS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. Andrew Mowbray Inc., Lincoln, R.I. 2000.
Canfield, Bruce. U.S. INFANTRY WEAPONS OF WORLD WAR II. Andrew Mowbray Publishers Inc. Lincoln, R.I. 1998.
Hardin, A.N. THE AMERICAN BAYONET. Riling and Lentz, Philadelphia, Pa. 1964.

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