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BERGMAN BAYARD, SERIAL NUMBER 15769, MANUFACTURED FOR THE GERMAN ARMY, UNIT MARKED TO THE MACHINE GUN COMPANY OF THE 2ND GARDE REGIMENT OF FOOT.
During the first weeks of World War I the Germans over ran the Pieper plant at Herstal, Belgium. This plant manufactured the Bergman Bayard and the Bergman Bayard is listed as being offered for sale by the Prussian Army Arsenal to German Army officers (August 8,1917). The late James Stewart states that during the occupation of Belgium, Bergman Bayard’s in the 15000 to 16000 serial range were manufactured according to German specifications for the German military. (Stewart, James B., “Bergman System Military Pistols”, an article in the 1973 Gun Digest.)

I first became aware of such a German Bergman Bayard in 1982. Its serial number was reportedly 15769 and it bore unit markings of 2.G.N.G. 104 (Volume I, p. 124). After tracking this pistol for 20 years, I recently had the opportunity to add it to my collection and it is shown below.


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Figure 1. Bergman Bayard, serial number 15769. Left side. Like the Mauser broom handle, it has its magazine forward of the trigger. It has a detachable magazine.


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Figure 2. Bergman Bayard, serial number 15769. Right side. Note: the absence of Belgium proofs.


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Figure 3. Bergman Bayard, serial number 15769. Bottom, showing the serial number.


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Figure 4. Bergman Bayard, serial number 15769. Showing details of the manufacturing logo.


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Figure 5. Bergman Bayard, serial number 15769. Front.


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Figure 6. Bergman Bayard, serial number 15769, showing the unit markings on its front strap. 2.G.M.G.104. signifies 2nd Garde Regiment of Foot, Maschinengewehr-Kompagnie, Waffe Nr.104. During World War I the 2nd Garde Regiment of Foot was part of the First Garde Division that battled on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. Allied intelligence rated this Division as the one of the very best German shock divisions. During World War I the First Garde Division battled at the Marne, Flanders, Champagne, Tarnow, Brest-Litowsk, the Somme, Russia, Riga, Chemin De Dames, and Argonne.


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Figure 7. The First Garde Division battled at the Somme during 1916. The Battle of the Somme is illustrated, showing a British assault on German machine gunners.


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Figure 8. Illustrated, German machine gunners swamped by an allied attack late in the War.

Between Sept.26 and Oct.8, 1918 the First Garde Division was swamped by the American Meuse-Argonne attack(total losses 4000). It is even possible that the machine gunners from this Division opposed Sargent York in the Argonne Forest. Sergeant York killed 15 German machine gunners and captured 132 prisoners on October 8th. He won the Congressional Medal of Honor.
 

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Recently a friend was at a gun shop in Kentucky and found this box of ammunition for me.


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Figure 1. German issue Bergman Bayard complete with 9mm Bergman Bayard ammunition.


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Figure 2. The Bergman Bayard has a staggered detachable magazine.


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Figure 3. The box top reads:
Rheinische Metallwaaren u. Maschinenfabrik
Abteilung Sommerada Sommerada
59 stuck Patronen
zur
Bayard-Armeepistole
9mm
This ammunition was made in Germany probably during World War I or earlier. There were some Bergman Bayard’s in German military service during World War I and they were offered for sale to by the Prussian Army Arsenal to officers during World War I(Volume I page 127). Are there any ammunition experts that the can date this ammunition?

This was the same factory that manufactured the 07 Dreyse.


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Figure 4. The ammunition is stamped * R. M.* S. which, probably signifies: Rheinische Maschinenfabrik Sommerada


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Figure 5. Left to right: 9mm Parabellum, 9mm Steyr, and 9mm Bergman Bayard. They have some what similar ballistics.
 
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