MEN of SABER-BAYONETS
My country, Argentina, in addition to all countries of this large American Continent, from their beginnings first as colonies and then as free nations, have always received the remarkable influence of Europe, not just from Spain, United Kingdom and Portugal, but also from Germany, France, Italy and some others with certain extent. And obviously, the three Americas (North, Central, and South), absorbed with much eagerness and delight all matters concerning the European militar progress of the major Powers of that time, each one of them showing itself as "the model to follow" for the still nascent Armies of our young continent. In this aspect, Uniforms, Weapons, Trainings and Behaviors of the first Men of Arms of our Americas were copied or emulated with the closest accuracy becoming in several cases, in the most dignified replica of their more advanced and evolved comrades belonging to the magnificent European Armies.
A military custom of European Armies was the carrying of a Sidearm (I prefer the concept Accompaniment Weapon) using this one together with the combat, training, ceremonial or output/out of service uniforms. Therefore, this habit was very well received in Argentina, being that since from that era when the first Spanish colonists settled (and some foreign ones who came with the first expeditions) on that faraway "Holy Mary of the Fair Winds", and continuing with gringos settlers and Creole people dedicated to the farming and cattle raising exploitation, they were daily helped themselves with a tool brought also from Europe, turned on in countless times in a Weapon for Personal Defense for the user, its family, and including their movable or immovable property (from those could be owners, or mostly they belonged from their employers in the case of many farmers or cattle workers) and I´m refering to the Knife: that Traditional Tool/Weapon currently named Argentine Gaucho Knife and it commonly typecasted as Facon, which it has transcended the borders of my country and today it manifests as a sacred piece for many collectors around the world. This reason is why our first Men of Arms and then by their succesors, received with logical appreciation the custom of carrying an Accompaniment Weapon as a saber, sword or bayonet above any firearm, by simple tradition or heritage of our Gauchos who always carried the Knife, their own Sidearm.
In our modern present, the Regulatory Gun has totallly supplanted the saber, the sword and the saber-bayonet as a Sidearm, however for certain ceremonials or also outputs/out of services activities, it`s possible even to see Cadets, militar and police Graduates, included Officers and NCOs, carrying together with their corresponding uniform for such moments an appropriate little saber, dress sword, or couteau.
The images that I present here belong to the Argentine Militars from the first decades of the twentieth century (some photos may correspond to the years before 1900 but most of them are from later dates from 1909 until mid 1950), in which you can observe the vestments used for daily service activities such as instructions or trainings, and in others for ceremonials or also for output/out of service licenses, although in this case the importance is that these militars are shown with their respective Sidearms or Accompaniment Weapons (the german concept Seitengewehr fits perfectly in this case), and these turn out to be our beloved Saber-Bayonets for MAUSER "Argentine Model 1909" rifles and carbines in the vast majority as you can check, and there is one (left side of the first photo, with aluminum grip scales) for the MAUSER "Argentine Model 1891" rifle. I hope this images would be well received and surely I will be adding more in the next months. See you soon!
Versión en Español:
Víctor H. Carrizo