POTD: Better Than a Trowel – Springfield 1915 Bolo Bayonet
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have another multipurpose United States bayonet. Previously we had briefly covered the infamous Trowel bayonet. This is the 1915 Springfield Bolo Bayonet. These came about as a result of the United States military presence in the Philippines. Troops issued with Krag rifles and the normal knife-style bayonet found it difficult to cut through the fence forest growth. Soldiers began picking up bolo-style knives from locals and even from battles and the people in charge took notice. Eventually, word went down the line to the point where a Bolo Bayonet was issued in 1915.
“Developed in the early 20th century, the 1915 Bolo Bayonet was one of the U.S. Army’s attempts at a hybrid weapon that could reduce the loadout an individual soldier had to carry into the field. Intended for use in jungle environments, the bolo could serve as both a bayonet and a brush clearing tool. Though the daylight bayonet charge was becoming a thing of the past, observers of WW I and the Russo-Japanese War noted the rise of the night attack and its resultant brutal hand-to-hand combat; the determination was made that a bayonet should be a fighting weapon and nothing more, and all the odd ducks and promising experiments were pulled from the field. Either destroyed or discarded as surplus, it is believed that only about fifty 1915 bolos remain. 20 1/2 inches overall, with a 15 1/2 inch blade dated “1916” on the left ricasso and marked “US/3894” on the right. Wood grips, with an “eagle beak” pommel and standard 1905-style locking hardware. Provenance: Bruce Canfield collection.”
Lot 2461: U.S. Springfield 1915 Bolo Bayonet – Extremely Rare U.S. Springfield Armory Model 1915 Experimental Bolo Bayonet. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved October 16, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/72/2461/us-springfield-1915-bolo-bayonet.