Czech M1924 Bayonet (VZ 24), Dated 1946, Chromed
Single fullered spear pointed knife blade with reversed cutting edge (on the same side as the muzzle ring), steel hilt with muzzle ring and protruding rivets, wood scale grips attached by two screws, steel beaked pommel with locking button. Steel scabbard with frog hook and ball finial.
The blade is stamped on one side at the ricasso with ‘ČSZ’ over ‘D’. ČSZ stands for Československá Zbrojovka, the state arms factory in Brno. Its exposed tang is stamped with a three-part stamp ‘E3’, followed by a lion emblem, followed by ‘46’, indicating the year of manufacture was 1946.The scabbard frog hook is stamped with a crossed-swords emblem.
The M1924, or VZ 24, was the first bayonet adopted by Czechoslovakia after its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. It fits the vz. 24 rifle, which was a derivative of the M1898 Mauser rifle that could be chambered in multiple calibres depending on customer demand. These rifles and their bayonets were widely exported, notably to South American countries: Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua and Ecuador were all users, and it was found on both sides of South American conflicts of the 1920s and ‘30s such as the Chaco War and Ecuadorian–Peruvian War. During the Spanish Civil War Catalan Republican forces were supplied with vz. 24s purchased by the Soviets. Chinese Nationalist forces purchased 195,000 over the course of a decade (1927-1937), used during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War. Iran placed multiple orders and also produced a version under license.
Large numbers were captured from Czech arsenals after the fall of the Czech Republic in 1939 and reissued to German forces under the designation Gewehr 24(t) - the Czech factories continued to produce these rifles under occupation, with modifications to match German standards. Nearly 500,000 vz. 24s were also ordered by Romania during the occupation. Production of true Czech VZ 24 bayonets resumed in 1946, through the Communist takeover of 1948, until it was finally halted in 1950 ahead of the introduction of the vz. 52 rifle.
All metal parts of the bayonet have been chromed, possibly for parade use – the chrome is bright with no wear or chipping to the plating. There is some dimpling to the blade, which is underneath the plating. The scabbard is free of dents and has very little wear to its deeply blued finish. The wood grips are undamaged.