Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Praxis: "The Bullet and the Bayonet."

"Poetry about a decidedly unpoetic modality of war."
Some thoughts on the continued utility of the bayonet from Weaponsman:
"It’s unlikely the British will give up their Sweet Sister any time soon. In 2004, they used bayonets in Iraq to rout Sadrist militia; the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders — perhaps a descendant of Sassoon’s “Highland Major’s” regiment — killed some 35 with a full-on bayonet charge."
"The psychological effect of the bayonet is two-sided: it strikes fear into the enemy at point end, and stirs confidence in the soldier behind the bayonet. Such de minimis subtleties are the foundation stones of many a victory."
"Because new things must be taught in Army basic training, bayonet training’s been cut, like other obsolete skills such as much close-quarter drill."
"The Marines take a different approach. The Marines’ official website says flatly, “Every Marine receives bayonet training in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) and on the Bayonet Assault Course in Recruit Training.”
Every military generation since, oh, I don't know, the War Between the States, has heard predictions about the bayonet being as obsolete as the pike. While it is true that resort to the bayonet represents a tactical foul-up inflicted by a. command failure; b. supply failure; or c. lop-sided enemy numbers and/or tactical skill; the fact of the matter is that such failures happen and then you will have to resort to what the Brits in the Boer War referred to as "the long spoon."
In addition, nothing says seriousness of intent in a situation where bullets ought not be the first resort -- herding prisoners, keeping order at a food distribution facility, etc. -- like a fixed bayonet. I'm sure we'll have a lively discussion of this topic.


Anonymous said...

This is why the collectivists hate bayonet lugs.

They fear facing cold steel just as much, or more, as the thought of being on the recieving end of the contents of any standard capacity magazine.

The cry of "No quater! In with the cold steel!" simply loosens their bowels ... They don't like it up them.


Hefferman said...

"Cold as steel was the heart that first formed the blade."

Unknown quote

Having a bayonet means this Marine will never surrender until he has used every round, and then broke the bayonet off in someone.

However by then I hope to have other weapons to pick from for future use.

Semper Fi

AJ said...

That's it. I'm buying a bayonet for my 1895 Steyr.

Anonymous said...

The bayonet gives every rifleman an instant back up weapon and happens to double as a great fighting knife.

Check out the okc3s which can be had around $100 on eBay or Amazon. This is not your grandfather's bayonet! For that price you can't go wrong.

Bayonet lugs can be added to low-pro gas blocks and even bolted on to free float tubes (my gunsmith is talented).

A 16" carbine can still receive a bayonet with the use of an apapter sleeve that robs you of 1.5" but is still plenty long enough to get the jobs done.

Historian said...

"There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men." Heinlein, "Starship Troopers"

The rifle butt is an under-rated weapon, too. There is a reason that older rifles had steel butt-plates.

California Midwesterner said...

If you're into AR15 types with 16" barrels, check out the mid-length gas system.
It gets the bayonet lug further forward, and at just about the right distance from the muzzle again.
Or, there are hilt-adapters for the M7 bayonet that will lengthen the grip/pommel area to get the blade into its proper relationship to the muzzle.

As an aside, this is why I have a bayonet for nearly every rifle of mine that can accept one.
Need to get a spare for a couple that use the SMLE pattern lug, and a trench shotgun-compatible model as well...plus a spare M16-style wouldn't go amiss.

"They don't like it up 'em, sir!"

Paul X said...

I did poorly in my bayonet training in Paris Island long ago. (sigh)

Bayonets on M16s (or anything else with a separate pistol grip) seem a bit silly to me. They really belong on such guns as M14s/M1As. Even better on a Garand. Hmmm, yet another excuse to buy a Garand...

Anonymous said...

Two observations:

The Gunny who taught us bayonet fighting out at Camp Upshire at OCS in '71 got a medal for winning a bayonet fight. Dummard was addicted to the chocolate bars they were issued and used to hide them in the pockets of his gear where ammo was supposed to be carried. He reasoned that he'd never need the extra ammo since they'd never gotten in that long a firefight. Then one day Charlie decided to slug it out in a protracted firefight and he ran dry. Since there was a badguy between him and the rest of his unit he did the only thing he could - he held up his M-14 and wiggled it in the sign Charlie used to challenge someone to a bayonet fight. Instead of shooting Gunny as soon as he stepped into the clear (like any sane person who has any ammo left) the badguy engaged Gunny with a fixed bayonet. Result: badguy lying rotting in the jungle while Gunny figures out how to carry the chocolate bars he's so fond of AND carry all the extra ammo he could. From that I concluded that as long as you can still walk, you can never have too much ammo.

Whichever uniformed bureaucrat (likely some bird colonel who came up during the 20-odd years between Korea and the Nam and so has never spent a day of his life in mortal danger) decided to cut out close order drill and bayonet fighting was too stupid to understand the purpose of either.

Close order drill helps build discipline and unit consciousness. Bayonet fighting can keep a man live when things get primal. Of course keeping such "obsolete" and/or "outdated" material doesn't leave much room for vitally important subjects as racial sensitivity or subtle-but-very-real forms of sexual harassment.

I have to disagree with Anon on November 19, 2013 at 7:40 AM. I am convinced that the elites are not worried about being on the wrong end of a serfs' rebellion. They do understand that "pacification" of the hoi polloi is easier and less expensive if the rank and file are unarmed.

Anonymous said...

Revolutions may be inaugurated and accomplished by the unsworn, unarmed, unorganized masses; wars, once fairly commenced, must be won by soldiers. An entire population is frequently ripe for revolution, only a portion of it is available for, and will enlist for, war … Enthusiasm runs higher; patriotism is more reckless and demonstrative than when the bayonets are about.
- General BASIL W. DUKE, CSA

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the Marines in the O'Bummer Inaugeration Parade DID NOT HAVE BOLTS in their rifles. Nothing like disarming the "Potential Enemy" by castrating their rifles by removing the bolts (but did they overlook the bayonets?)
Time for some HEMP ROPES and ignore the bayonets. Focus on the true criminals in office that need to be taken care of.

Anonymous said...

Bayonets have many uses. For years we used an 1860s era Enfield bayonet for a candle holder.

I have one for each rifle, including the Charleville.

oughtsix said...

Per 1963 Army Basic:

DI: What is the Code of the Bayonet Fighter?

Trainees: Kill or be killed!!!!

DI: What is the cry of the bayonet fighter?

Us: Kill or be killed!!!!

Got that?

I can't HEAR YOU..............

Anonymous said...

i got a bayonet wound on a little island called kotang may the 12 1975.i have often thought i may be the last marine wounded in such away your friend truckwilkins