Item:
ONSV22CWS14

Original U.S. WWI M1917 Enfield Bayonet and Scabbard by Remington Cutdown For French-Indochina War Era French Army Use

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The M1917 bayonet was designed to be used with the US M1917 Enfield .30 caliber rifle, as well as with the seven different U.S. trench shotguns. The blade was originally 17 inches (43.18 cm) long, however, this was cut down to 7 ⅜” (18.73 cm). The M1917 Enfield was the U.S. Version of the British P-14 rifle, and the bayonets used are identical, down to the double groove in the grips, used to differentiate the bayonets from the P-1907 for the SMLE rifle.

This bayonet is marked 1917 over REMINGTON in a circle on the ricasso. The reverse has the Ordnance "Flaming Bomb" over U.S., along with what appears to be inspection stamp. The wood grips are in excellent condition, with no chips or cracks we can see, with the correct double grooves in the middle. The finish on the blade is in excellent condition, and looks to have been redone when put back into French service. The edge has the original arsenal grind, and has not been sharpened since. The original machine marks can be seen in the fullers on each side. Just a great example of this type of bayonet.

The original scabbard was cut down and repainted when the arsenal conversion and refinish was done to the bayonet. The only markings on the scabbard are present on the throat and drag, both being the initials M.S.. The French made leather belt loop and retaining strap are in virtually unused condition.

The reason the bayonet was cut down and the muzzle ring ground away was for use in the French Army during the 1950s into the US involvement in Vietnam. They are often referred to as being “French Foreign” legion use, but according to the French Foreign Legion museum, they were not just Foreign Legion use, but were used in the regular Army as well.

French Units That Also Used These Cutdown Bayonets:
Marine Infantry Parachutists or RpIMA (Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine)
Marine Infantry Regiments or RCP (Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine)
Parachute Infantry Regiments or RHP (Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes)
Airborne Cavalry (Régiment de Hussards Parachutistes)
Parachute Artillery or RAP (Régiment d'Artillerie Parachutistes)
Parachute Engineers or RGP (Régiment du Génie Parachutistes)

This is a wonderful item that started its life during WWI and was still being used up into the First Gulf War. Comes more than ready for further research and display.

Specifications:-
Blade Length: 7 ⅜”
Blade Style: Single Edge w/ Fuller and Clip Point
Overall length: 12 ¼”
Crossguard: 2 ¼”
Scabbard Length: 8 ⅞”

First Indochina War
The First Indochina War (generally known as the Indochina War in France, and as the Anti-French Resistance War in Vietnam) began in French Indochina from 19 December 1946 to 20 July 1954 between France and Việt Minh (Democratic Republic of Vietnam), and their respective allies. Việt Minh was led by Võ Nguyên Giáp and Hồ Chí Minh. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in Northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.

At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Combined Chiefs of Staff decided that Indochina south of latitude 16° north was to be included in the Southeast Asia Command under British Admiral Mountbatten. The Japanese forces located south of that line surrendered to him and those to the north surrendered to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. In September 1945, Chinese forces entered Tonkin, and a small British task force landed at city of Saigon (Cochinchina's capital). The Chinese accepted one Vietnamese government under Hồ Chí Minh, then in power in Hanoi (Tonkin's capital). The British refused to do likewise in Saigon, and deferred to the French there from the outset, against the ostensible support of the Việt Minh authorities by American OSS representatives. On V-J Day, September 2, Hồ Chí Minh had proclaimed in Hanoi the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). The DRV ruled as the only civil government in all of Vietnam for a period of about 20 days, after the abdication of Emperor Bảo Đại, who had governed under the Japanese rule. On 23 September 1945, with the knowledge of the British commander in Saigon, French forces overthrew the local DRV government, and declared French authority restored in Cochinchina. Guerrilla warfare began around Saigon immediately, but the French gradually retook control of the South and North of Indochina. Hồ Chí Minh agreed to negotiate the future status of Vietnam, but the talks, held in France, failed to produce a solution. After over one year of latent conflict, all-out war broke out in December 1946 between French and Việt Minh forces as Hồ Chí Minh and his government went underground. The French tried to stabilize Indochina by reorganizing it as a Federation of Associated States. In 1949, they put former Emperor Bảo Đại back in power, as the ruler of a newly established State of Vietnam.

The first few years of the war involved a low-level rural insurgency against the French. In 1949 the conflict turned into a conventional war between two armies equipped with modern weapons supplied by the United States, China and the Soviet Union. French Union forces included colonial troops from their colonial empire - Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian Arabs/Berbers; Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese ethnic minorities; Black Africans - and French professional troops, European volunteers, and units of the Foreign Legion. The use of metropolitan recruits was forbidden by the government to prevent the war from becoming even more unpopular at home. It was called the "dirty war" (la sale guerre) by leftists in France.

The strategy of pushing the Việt Minh into attacking well-defended bases in remote parts of the country at the end of their logistical trails was validated at the Battle of Nà Sản even though the base was relatively weak because of a lack of concrete and steel. French efforts were made more difficult due to the limited usefulness of armored tanks in a forested environment, lack of strong air forces for air cover and carpet bombing, and use of foreign recruits from other French colonies (mainly from Algeria, Morocco and even Vietnam). Võ Nguyên Giáp, however, used efficient and novel tactics of direct fire artillery, convoy ambushes and massed anti-aircraft guns to impede land and air supply deliveries together with a strategy based on recruiting a sizable regular army facilitated by wide popular support, a guerrilla warfare doctrine and instruction developed in China, and the use of simple and reliable war material provided by the Soviet Union. This combination proved fatal for the bases' defenses, culminating in a decisive French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

An estimated 400,000 to 842,707 soldiers died during the war as well as between 125,000 and 400,000 civilians. Both sides committed war crimes during the conflict, including killings of civilians (such as the Mỹ Trạch massacre by French troops), rape and torture. At the International Geneva Conference on July 21, 1954, the new socialist French government and the Việt Minh made an agreement which effectively gave the Việt Minh control of North Vietnam above the 17th parallel. The south continued under Bảo Đại. The agreement was denounced by the State of Vietnam and by the United States. A year later, Bảo Đại would be deposed by his prime minister, Ngô Đình Diệm, creating the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). Soon an insurgency, backed by the north, developed against Diệm's government.

The conflict gradually escalated into the Vietnam War (1955–1975), which resulted in the fall of South Vietnam and reunification of Vietnam.

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