Emergency dagger-bayonet for Vetterli rifle mod. 1870/1887 Troops of Africa

Emergency dagger-bayonet for Vetterli rifle mod. 1870/1887 Troops of Africa

Emergency Dagger-Bayonet for Vetterli Rifle Mod.1870/87, supplied to the troops of the Royal Italian Army during the African Campaign or Eritrean War which took place with a series of military actions, starting from 1885, which led Italy, in the following 10 years, conquered the territory corresponding to current Eritrea; this war is considered the first Italian colonial war until 1895.

The bayonet mod. 1870/87 for Vetterli TA rifle, contrary to what was believed until some time ago, believed to be for special troops (TS) it was actually made in 1887 specifically for use in Cologne, where it arrived with the first contingent of the Royal Troops of 'Africa (TA).

It was a bayonet designed for hand-to-hand combat, or cavalry charges, suitable for penetrating the very hard shields of Eritrean rebels, made with elephant, hippopotamus or rhinoceros skin.

The needs of the war and its prolongation led to an emergency situation which required the rapid supply, and at a relatively low cost, of various weapons, including this important and robust bayonet.

To speed up supply, a substantial change was made which reduced not only production times but also production costs. In fact, the handle was cast in a single piece in brass with the ring and the hilt (stamped with a "crown"), straight, short and ending with a small sphere. It was also painted black for camouflage reasons. The blade, which has the inspector's stamp "MA", remained a cruciform section as in the original model, short, robust, with four converging edges which, from a massive heel rounded at the edges, forms a flattened cruciform section (the transversal cutting edges are shorter than those oriented on the cross axis). The sheath also remained original, in black leather with cape and conical trunk brass tip and nozzle with internal retaining spring.

This bayonet is complete with its original sheath and the hard-to-find original sling.

Excellent conservative conditions.

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