Theoretical and practical aspects of the identification of the bladed weapon on the example of the SG 98/05 bayonet to the Mauser rifle based on metal science research

  • Volodymyr Maslak Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University
  • Yevhenii Lashko Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University
  • Olga Chencheva Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University
Keywords: expert examination, age determination, archaeometallurgy; experimental reconstruction, stamp, “Butcher”


The article examines the studies of the bayonet fragment with severe damages of metal found in the city Kremenchuk (Ukraine) in one of the canals on the outskirts of the city, near the Dnipro River. Theoretical research to study blade weapons of the World War I period and the typology of the bayonets of that period, which made it possible to put forward an assumption about the possible identification of the object as a modified bayonet to the Mauser rifle has been carried out. Metal science expert examination was based on X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to determine the concentration of elements in the sample from the cleaned part of the blade. Analysis of the chemical composition showed that the blade was made of hardened carbon steel alloyed with silicon, chromium, manganese, nickel and copper. Measure results of the chemical composition of the object correspond to steel for castings of grade 55L with an average blade hardness of 42 HRC. Manufacturing technology of the casting corresponds to the end of the XIX – the beginning of the XX century with the use of converter production. The bayonet blade was subjected to strengthening heat treatment in the form of hardening and medium tempering. Metallographic analysis showed that the research object of blade fragment suffered corrosion cracking between crystals or along the body of grains, indicating a long stay in silty deposits. The identification of the research object has been carried out using applied technologies based on visual inspection with a description of the state of conservation and comparison with the results reflected in scientific periodicals; metal science expertise; determination of weight and size characteristics and their compliance with the original, including experimental reconstruction, which identifies the preserved fragment with the original drawing at the control points. A comparison of the chemical composition of the blade steel and the “Haenel” steel, differing in concentration and additional alloying elements has been made. The remains of the royal monogram imprint of the stamp and the absence of the regimental stamp have become the basis for searching through catalogs of registered bayonets. This allowed the identification of the object under study as part of the German imperial modified bayonet model 1898/1905 for the Mauser rifle, which was manufactured in the period from 1915 to 1918. Prospects for further research are seen in an increase in the number of metal science examinations for more accurate identification of discovered specimens.


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How to Cite
Maslak, V., Lashko, Y., & Chencheva, O. (2021). Theoretical and practical aspects of the identification of the bladed weapon on the example of the SG 98/05 bayonet to the Mauser rifle based on metal science research. History of Science and Technology, 11(1), 191-211.