Military bayonet question?
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:12 PM   #1
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Default Military bayonet question?

Watching the movie "300" I was thinking how well a blade at the end of something long, during a close-fight, did well to keep the opponent away. Watching WWII movies of fighting in the South Pacific, again I saw reasons why a blade, bayonet, on the end of a rifle, seemed to work wonders in close fighting. But movies of Korea (I think...), Vietnam, and even now, the bayonets seem to be replaced with knives on leg pouches. That seems to me to bring the fight a lot closer to your body. What happen to the bayonet in the military?

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Old 08-09-2011, 12:21 PM   #2
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They are still there. In Korea, was used a lot. In Vietnam, rare to have hand-to-hand, and the M16 was not real bayonet friendly (one horizontal butt stroke, you now had a pistol instead of rifle). It has since had some reinforcement- but for several years, Army stopped bayonet training.

Me- I like. Teaches aggression. Gives you chance to intimidate the other guy. And when you are running and fall down, if there is a bayonet on the muzzle, you do not get crud in the barrel. A lot of people tend to shoot high (bullet is gone forever) in assault firing- bayonet moves aim down (miss him, it may hit ground in front of him, ricochet into him)

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Old 08-14-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Metrolocksmith View Post
Watching the movie "300" I was thinking how well a blade at the end of something long, during a close-fight, did well to keep the opponent away.
It's called a pike. A 14-16 foot long pole with a steel point. In its day, the pike formation was the most feared element on the battlefield. Once firearms came on to the scene, the pike was used to fend off cavalry charges while the musketeers reloaded. The bayonet (a civilian hunting implement) was initially adopted by the military purely as a defensive weapon, so that infantry could do away with the pike. It was only after using the bayonet, militarily, for a few decades, that the bayonet's offensive potential became widely accepted as an appropriate (gentlemanly) use. The advent of the Minie rifle and the tank's resultant elimination of horse cavalry, vastly diminished the bayonet's role on the battlefield to the point, today, where its value is mostly psychological (as c3shooter points out).
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:19 AM   #4
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And a musketeer was considered skilled labor, and was better paid than a pikeman- which caused fathers to tell their sons "Don't be a piker!"

See also the Phlanx as a battle strategy.

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Old 09-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metrolocksmith View Post
Watching the movie "300" I was thinking how well a blade at the end of something long, during a close-fight, did well to keep the opponent away. Watching WWII movies of fighting in the South Pacific, again I saw reasons why a blade, bayonet, on the end of a rifle, seemed to work wonders in close fighting. But movies of Korea (I think...), Vietnam, and even now, the bayonets seem to be replaced with knives on leg pouches. That seems to me to bring the fight a lot closer to your body. What happen to the bayonet in the military?
I just retired from the Corps and although the bayonet is issued and methods for using it are taught as well there just isn't much use for them in today's combat environment.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:12 AM   #6
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Much of todays combat is close quarters where a rifle with a bayonet would be way too long to be effective A short rifle (m16 or m4) along with a combat knife is much more effective. Also, full scale charges such as those in WW2 allowed soldiers to take full advantage of their bayonets when their rifle was empty and they did not have time to reload. These charges are rare now, especially in today's modern battlefield. I still think that they put fear into your enemies that a regular combat knife can't. During either WW1 or WW2 (maybe both), the Germans had a bayonet that had a serrated edge on it that inflicted horrible wounds. This caused a lot of fear. They were originally serrated to cut branches and such, not human flesh. Whenever Germans with these types of bayonets were captured, they were quickly executed on the spot. Those things look as mean as hell.

Here is are two German serrated bayonets. The first one is from WW1, The second one is from WW2.

ww1-german-bayonet.jpg   ww2-german-bayonet.jpg  
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