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Third Reich Police Gendarmerie Dress Bayonet by Horster
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A Third Reich Police dress bayonet that was manufactured by Horster prior to the Third Reich and which was shortened for wear during the Third Reich. The overall length is approximately 19 inches in the scabbard, with the bayonet having a blade length of 13 inches. The ricasso is marked on one side with the Horster monogram while, on the other side, the Horster name itself appears. The spine of the blade carries the proof mark. The blade was shortened and re-plated during the Third Reich, and the plating of the blade remains largely bright. There are some gray areas, located primarily towards the point area. The stag grip plates are nicely toned and free of chips or cracks. An aluminum police eagle is set on to the obverse plate. The plates on both sides have two domed rivets which hold them in place. The grip plates, like the bayonet blade, were shortened during the Third Reich refurbishing process, and each of the grip plates has a hole near the crossguard from their placement on the bayonet in its earlier, longer, version. On the back side that hole was filled with a dark tack, which blends in nicely with the coloring of the grip plate. On the obverse side there is a visible hole near the crossguard that was, presumably, also filled with a similar tack but from which the tack became dislodged, making that hole more visible. The scabbard is brown leather, as worn by the rural Gendarmerie. Both the reverse of the upper scabbard fitting and the reverse of the bayonet crossguard have matching unit identification codes and numbers, a feature that is often not the case. It seems that, in many if not most instances of the refurbishing of the bayonets, the factories performing the work did not make it a point to keep the bayonets they received with the scabbards in which they had arrived. This example, however, is nicely marked on both the guard and the scabbard throat with the designation "L. Ka. 342", indicating that the bayonet was item number 342 in the possession of the "Landjaegerei" (the rural constabulary, or gendarmerie) of the Kassel district. The leather scabbard shows typical scuffs and spots, but the stitching is intact and the scabbard fittings are secure. Overall the bayonet is a very nice example of a rural Gendarmerie sidearm with matching inventory identification numbers.