What is a triangular bayonetA triangular bayonet is a type of bayonet characterized by its triangular cross-section. Bayonets were very useful and became popular in the early 17th century.

They even replaced a type of weapon used in infantry attacks. However, the first design of the bayonet had a significant flaw.

Read on to find out how this problem was solved and how it led to the development of the triangular bayonet.

What Is a Triangular Bayonet?

The triangular bayonet is related to the fact that it is a socket bayonet with three edges. This socket bayonet is a blade with a collar that fits over a musket’s barrel and locks it in place, turning the musket or muzzle-loaded long gun into a short pike. It was an effective weapon capable of penetrating strong armor in the early 17th century.

Triangular bayonets were a result of an improved bayonet that was utilized as a primary weapon in infantry attacks until World War I. The marching units or “marching regiments” used to consist of musketeers and pikemen.

The pikemen shielded the musketeers as they reloaded their weapons and in the event of a cavalry onslaught. The pike was finally phased out in the late 17th century when the bayonet took its place.

– Why Are Bayonets Triangular?

According to a myth, the objective of triangle bayonets is to make the weapon more lethal by generating a hard-to-stitch wound that bleeds out slowly and painfully. The triangle puncture wound could also take months or years to heal if it heals at all.

However, the logical reason for the triangular shape of the bayonet was greatly associated with the process and the technology available at the time; the triangle blade was easier to make. It also provided more stability than a two-sided knife blade bayonet without adding much weight.

However, where did the triangular bayonet come from?

Let us take a look at its origin.

History of Bayonets

In the early 17th century, the first design of the bayonet was invented in Bayonne, France. It was a foot-long straight blade with double edges and a tapering wooden handle that is intended to be attached to a firearm’s muzzle. It resembles a pike but is significantly shorter.

The bayonet improved the musket from a medium to a long-range weapon to at least one that can be used at close range. A soldier could now defend himself against an enemy who is less than a 100-yard distance, that is why pikemen were no longer required to defend musketeers in battle. The bayonet was mostly utilized in close-range combat and during cavalry attacks. The weight, shape, and attachment of bayonets have all altered over time to improve the musket and bayonet’s efficacy.

History of bayonetDuring the 19th century, bayonets were mostly utilized to drive enemies out of the battlefield.

Whoever wins the fight would be the one who controlled the land.

Despite the brutality of the wounds created by being stabbed with a bayonet, it only contributed to less than three percent of all the casualties during the war.

This can be attributed to the fact that bayonets are more of a psychological weapon, such that when enemies see them, they frequently disperse to avoid being stabbed.

The Bayonet’s Development

Bayonets were used for the first time by the French Army in 1647 at the Battle of Ypres. These were inserted into the barrel via a plug, hence the name “plug bayonet.”

  1. Plug Bayonet

The early bayonet design had various problems, including the risk of the gun exploding if a plug bayonet was inserted into the muzzle of a loaded musket and fired. This type of incident was common among civilians. It was so common that in 1660, Louis XIV had to issue a proclamation prohibiting the use of knives in the muzzles of hunting guns.

The main issue in the military was that the musketeers could not load or fire while the bayonet was in the muzzle. It was also difficult to remove because the bayonet fitting was forced into place, but it enabled the musketeers to act as pikemen. This is due to the addition of the bayonet that turns the musket into a spear or half-pike, allowing them to fight horse attacks.

By 1650, bayonets were hinged to the gun at the factory while also folding rearward along the barrel. French fusiliers adopted the plug bayonet as standard-issue regular equipment in 1671, and English fusiliers followed suit in the year 1685.

  1. Socket Bayonet

In 1688, a military engineer named Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban from the French Army introduced the socket bayonet. The new design features free rings on the haft that fit around the muzzle, and a stud on the barrel locks into a right-angled groove in the socket to further secure it.

This design successfully addresses the difficulty of removing the bayonet. It became the fundamental design of bayonets until the 19th century when some were altered to be used as engineering tools while others were used as entrenching tools. It became a standard issue for the French infantry by the year 1689.

The socket bayonet had the main advantage of allowing the musket to be fired while the bayonet was mounted. Hence, the socket bayonet was modified to incorporate a split down the side to overcome the fact that not all soldiers used the same weapon or guns with the same barrel sizes. A deliberate slot running the length of the socket allowed the socket to be adjusted to the size of the barrel.

The socket bayonet had three edges, earning the name “triangular bayonet.” Socket bayonets with triangular blades were employed until the middle of the 20th century, although after the late 1800s, the triangle shape became obsolete.

Are Triangular Bayonets Illegal?

The belief is that triangular bayonet banned, the reason is that triangular bayonet wounds are more difficult to heal and cause more initial bleeding than two-sided bayonet wounds. After a fight, wounds from a triangle bayonet have been known to last for years or never heal at all. This also meant that the wound was more prone to becoming infected before the mid-nineteenth century, making it the major cause of death during the War of 1812.

In addition, the myth says that the Geneva Convention forbade triangular bayonets in 1949 for these reasons, arguing that they cause unnecessary suffering long after the conflict has concluded.

Nonetheless, many people believe that the Geneva Convention of 1949 made the triangle bayonet illegal, although this is not the case. Triangular bayonets are not particularly mentioned in the Convention. Furthermore, the Geneva Convention established many of the rules of war, including the prohibition of “bayonets having a serrated edge,” in response to the use of bayonets (International Committee of the Red Cross).

Are Triangular Bayonets Still Used Today?

With the advancement of our technology today, bayonets are rarely utilized in the military. The Marines are the only branch of the US military that still has bayonet assault training as part of their basic training. During their initial martial arts training, all Marines are taught how to utilize bayonets. The Bayonet Assault Course, where Marines are unleashed to bayonet everything in sight, is where some of this training takes place.

Are Bayonets Worth Anything?

Bayonets of various types may often be purchased for $100 or less, making them accessible to a wide variety of collectors. With the many different types of World War II bayonets, the rarest can cost thousands of dollars. Original Civil War bayonets are also extremely precious.

Prices vary; for example, a genuine World War II German K98 Bayonet Elite Diamant can cost up to $500, whereas a more common World War II Japanese Type 30 Arisaka Bayonet can be had for less than $100.


Triangular bayonetIn today’s military, bayonets are rarely utilized; the Marines are the only ones among the branches of the US military that still have bayonet assault training as part of their basic training. The triangular bayonet is the result of an improvement from the first-ever bayonet.

The following are some key points to remember regarding triangle bayonets:

  • Triangle bayonets, as the name implies, are triangular bayonets that were initially developed in the 17th century in France. They were an improvement over the plug bayonet, which had the drawback of preventing the gun from being fired when it was attached.
  • The fundamental advantage of the socket and split-socket bayonets with triangular shapes is that they allow the musket to be fired while the bayonet is attached to the gun.
  • Many believed that the triangular bayonet Geneva Convention of 1949 banned triangle bayonets because the wound they make causes undue pain even after the battle because the broken skin and the wound from triangular bayonets were impossible to stitch; however, only bayonets with serrated edges were confirmed to be banned.
  • Even though triangular bayonets are hardly used today, they still have value, especially those that are from the previous wars. They can cost as much as a thousand dollars to less than a hundred dollars, depending on the specific type.

Bayonets are employed as a close-range weapon and a utility tool all over the world. However, due to technological advancements, many conflicts are now conducted at greater distances, making bayonets useless.