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1/95th Rifle - A Rifleman's Kit

Sword Bayonet

 

The sword bayonet was used throughout the Napoleonic Wars. It is 27.5 inches in full, of which 23.75 inches is made up by the blade. The pattern featured in these photographs is the 1801, a slightly modified 1800. The only difference between the two being the widening of the knuckle guard in the latter. The sword bayonet has a slot and catch built into the hilt, that fixes onto the side of the baker rifle so as not to obscure the sights (as seen below).

 

In 1802 another experimental version was briefly introduced, though their is no evidence of it having been issued to the regiment. It followed the design of the 1801 pattern with the addition of a serrated saw edge along the back of the blade in order to make it a more usable camp tool.

 

It is more likely that the sword bayonet was used as a camp tool, to cut wood or clear foliage, rather than in combat. The 95th, and indeed all units issued with the Baker Rifle, had the advantage of range over the enemy, making the necessity of close combat less frequent.

 

The sword bayonet is notably longer than the standard infantry bayonet, used by regular line troops with the Brown Bess Musket. This was to make up the difference in length of the Baker and Brown Bess and to ensure that when Riflemen joined Line Infantry in the protective square, the defensive formation to repel cavalry, the bayonet and sword points were of the same length, thus providing an impenetrable wall that no cavalry horse would go near.

 

The Regiment used the command ‘Fix Swords’ rather than ‘Fix Bayonets', a distinction that is still observed by The Rifles today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rifleman's Kit

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