Watch: US M1915 Bolo Bayonet


Watch: US M1915 Bolo Bayonet

So you’re a U.S. soldier in the Philippines, hacking your way through the jungle, and you only have a standard bayonet. What to do? Well, get yourself a bolo bayo, of course! Never mind that it would take more than a decade before it would become available, thanks to government “efficiency.”

It was dreamed up by Captain Hugh D. Wise of the U.S. Army, who recommended it in 1902. Naturally, it only became reality in 1915.

The bolo bayonet ideas resurfaced in 1911 when a commission was formed to look into special equipment for the Philippine Scouts. After another series of experimental designs, the M1915 Bolo bayonet was formally adopted on May 22, 1915 and an order was placed for 6,000 of them to be made at Springfield Armory.

Delivery of these bayonets took place in 1915 and 1916, and they proved to be extremely popular tools with the soldiers in the Philippines. They would remain in service on the islands until World War Two, serving at last as a replacement for the M1913 cavalry saber for the 26th Cavalry.

It looks pretty good, at least as good as any bayonet could look I guess.

Oddly, they turned out to work quite well and both GIs and locals loved them. After a long service life, they were even used during a horseback cavalry charge against Japanese tanks in WW2.

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