Jump to content
Hauptmann

Bayonet Drill Dies Of Boredom

Recommended Posts

Bayonet Drill Dies Of Boredom

March 17, 2010: The U.S. Army has finally eliminated bayonet drills from basic training. While the bayonet, and the bayonet charge, have a firm place in military history, the reality is rather different. Bayonets are still carried, but rarely attached to the front of a rifle. Most modern bayonets are simply knives, which are handy for all sorts of things on the battlefield. Sticking them in the enemy is rarely one of them. So training new recruits in the battlefield use of the bayonet is misleading and a waste of time. Why do infantry continue to carry a bayonet? To a certain extent, carrying a bayonet is tradition, but there are practical reasons as well. A lot of time is spent out in the field, and a knife is useful for cutting stuff. But perhaps the most effective military use is intimidation. This is nothing new, the fearsome effect of a bunch of guys advancing with bayonets on the end of their rifles has been known for centuries. It's also a morale boost for the lads using the bayonets. When you hear the order "fix bayonets" (put them on the end of your rifle) you know it's do or die time. Unfortunately, that very rarely happens anymore.

The most common "combat" use of bayonets is for crowd control. In fact, this is about the only "bayonet training" most troops get anymore. The bayonet is used somewhat differently in these situations. For one thing, the troops don't just rush at the crowd carrying their bayonet tipped rifles. They march forward, neatly lined up, with the rifles held so that the crowd sees a line of bayonets coming at them. The troops do this while marching in step, and are trained to bring their right feet down as heavily as possible. The sight of the advancing troops, the bayonets and the rhythmic thud of boots striking the ground usually causes the crowd to scatter.

Meanwhile, the army has done some work in developing a more effective replacement for the bayonet. Sort of. Three years ago, after several years of research and field testing, the U.S. Army bought 38,000 M26 12 Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun Systems (MASS).

The M26 weighs less than three pounds (2 pounds, 11 ounces) and has a five round magazine. This mini shotgun is mounted beneath barrel of your assault rifle. The M26 is a 16.5 inch long, 12 gauge shotgun and can be operated right or left handed. It fires solid shot for blasting open closed doors, or lower velocity, non-lethal (most of the time) rubber slugs for dealing with hostile crowds without killing people. A stand-alone version weighs 4 pounds, 3 ounces, and is 24 inches long (with the attached stock collapsed).

The first versions of this weapon weighed nine pounds and carried only three rounds. The design rapidly evolved into the current M26. Troops have been testing it in combat for about a year. There were complaints about the cocking mechanism, which uses a bolt instead of a pump action (which many troops expressed a preference for.) The final design improved the cocking mechanism, and the reliability of the magazines. Before the M26 came along, troops used a conventional (Mossberg) 12 gauge shotgun for getting locked doors open in a hurry. Many still do. The M26 proved very reliable during testing, with over 15,000 rounds being fired. Large quantities of the M26 reached troops two years ago, after the demand for them in Iraq had largely abated. There was not as much demand for such a weapon in Afghanistan. Makes for a hell of an assault rifle accessory, though.

Original link: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htinf/articles/20100317.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bayonet Drill Dies Of Boredom

March 17, 2010: The U.S. Army has finally eliminated bayonet drills from basic training. While the bayonet, and the bayonet charge, have a firm place in military history, the reality is rather different. Bayonets are still carried, but rarely attached to the front of a rifle. Most modern bayonets are simply knives, which are handy for all sorts of things on the battlefield. Sticking them in the enemy is rarely one of them. So training new recruits in the battlefield use of the bayonet is misleading and a waste of time. Why do infantry continue to carry a bayonet? To a certain extent, carrying a bayonet is tradition, but there are practical reasons as well. A lot of time is spent out in the field, and a knife is useful for cutting stuff. But perhaps the most effective military use is intimidation. This is nothing new, the fearsome effect of a bunch of guys advancing with bayonets on the end of their rifles has been known for centuries. It's also a morale boost for the lads using the bayonets. When you hear the order "fix bayonets" (put them on the end of your rifle) you know it's do or die time. Unfortunately, that very rarely happens anymore.

The most common "combat" use of bayonets is for crowd control. In fact, this is about the only "bayonet training" most troops get anymore. The bayonet is used somewhat differently in these situations. For one thing, the troops don't just rush at the crowd carrying their bayonet tipped rifles. They march forward, neatly lined up, with the rifles held so that the crowd sees a line of bayonets coming at them. The troops do this while marching in step, and are trained to bring their right feet down as heavily as possible. The sight of the advancing troops, the bayonets and the rhythmic thud of boots striking the ground usually causes the crowd to scatter.

Meanwhile, the army has done some work in developing a more effective replacement for the bayonet. Sort of. Three years ago, after several years of research and field testing, the U.S. Army bought 38,000 M26 12 Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun Systems (MASS).

The M26 weighs less than three pounds (2 pounds, 11 ounces) and has a five round magazine. This mini shotgun is mounted beneath barrel of your assault rifle. The M26 is a 16.5 inch long, 12 gauge shotgun and can be operated right or left handed. It fires solid shot for blasting open closed doors, or lower velocity, non-lethal (most of the time) rubber slugs for dealing with hostile crowds without killing people. A stand-alone version weighs 4 pounds, 3 ounces, and is 24 inches long (with the attached stock collapsed).

The first versions of this weapon weighed nine pounds and carried only three rounds. The design rapidly evolved into the current M26. Troops have been testing it in combat for about a year. There were complaints about the cocking mechanism, which uses a bolt instead of a pump action (which many troops expressed a preference for.) The final design improved the cocking mechanism, and the reliability of the magazines. Before the M26 came along, troops used a conventional (Mossberg) 12 gauge shotgun for getting locked doors open in a hurry. Many still do. The M26 proved very reliable during testing, with over 15,000 rounds being fired. Large quantities of the M26 reached troops two years ago, after the demand for them in Iraq had largely abated. There was not as much demand for such a weapon in Afghanistan. Makes for a hell of an assault rifle accessory, though.

Original link: http://www.strategyp...s/20100317.aspx

It masy be dead in the US Army but not in the British Army. My son is an Infantry Instructor and still teaches Bayonet Drill, with the age old encouragement to, "Show your Killing face, get at him and give him three inches, thats all, three cold killing inches of steel, I guarantee he,ll be off like a scared bunny afore you get near him, etc etc etc ". And guess what, the recruits LOVE it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to agree with Scabbyrat here. When I was an instructor at the Guards Depot we would put great emphasis on bayonet drill with all sorts of 'extras' added to enhance the training for the recruits. Pits of fire, buckets of blood and offal, pipers playing and machine guns firing blanks.

All good clean fun and if done properly one of the most physically exhausting ways of building up controlled aggression in any Infantry Soldier.

The US Armys loss in my humble opinion.

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got to agree. When I was in the US Marine Corps we did have bayonet training. I think it promotes the "killer" instinct which is needed if you are infantry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We never had to worry about the bayonet when I was in the USAF Air Police, however, when I was stationed in Korea, we very much enjoyed watching the ROKAF troops doing their morning drills WITH bayonets (WITHOUT) scabbardsspeechless1.gif

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The most common "combat" use of bayonets is for crowd control. In fact, this is about the only "bayonet training" most troops get anymore. The bayonet is used somewhat differently in these situations. For one thing, the troops don't just rush at the crowd carrying their bayonet tipped rifles. They march forward, neatly lined up, with the rifles held so that the crowd sees a line of bayonets coming at them. The troops do this while marching in step, and are trained to bring their right feet down as heavily as possible. The sight of the advancing troops, the bayonets and the rhythmic thud of boots striking the ground usually causes the crowd to scatter."

One of the most intimidating crowd control I've ever seen was a video clip of NZ riot police getting ready to defend a soccer pitch against anti-South African protestors. The unit advanced with shields locked and batons projecting horizontally forward. Every time the right foot came down each man gave a grunt or shout and the baton pistoned forward about 12 inches. In lock step, right foot hammering down, it looked like a giant machine - a thresher made of men - scary as hell!

And in our 1812 reenacted battles, the guys love the "Charge bayonets" command. The muskets come down from 'port arms' in unison, with a loud shout as they come level and then the battalion marches forward in lock step, no rushing and no further noise or commands. As we always tell the crowd, and as your BA instructor says, "They wont be there tio be stabbed!" Even in 'play' it looks intimidating. For real, terrifying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't a UK group of soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan attack with bayonets a couple of years ago? And wasn't the squadleader awarded a medal for that? Was it the CGC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for a community college, but I also teach a college credit class every morning at a local high school. The school has a US Marine Corps Junior ROTC program there. One day I saw one of my students, a young lady, watching the cadet drill team practicing their fancy drill where they throw their rifles around. She is a cadet herself. Later in class I told her that many, many years ago I was on the US Army ROTC drill team at the University of Florida and we did our drill routines with an unsheathed 14 inch long bayonet on the rifles. I tried to hide my shock when she looked at me and said, "What's a bayonet?"

Perhaps I had a more exposed life because my father was a career soldier, but I probably knew what a bayonet was by the time I was 4 or 5 years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike

Here's one to show your Cadet. Coldstream Guards 1939, definately with bayonets fixed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice, Coldstream! When I was on the drill team, we used 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifles. I have a small scar on my right elbow from the 1970 Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans where the fellow behind me whacked me with his bayonet during one of the routines. At least I'm luckier than another cadet, Ed Grant, who was trying to teach a new guy how to throw the rifles back and forth one day. Ed ended up with a large scar about 3 inches long on his forearm where the bayonet tip caught him!

I don't know this for a fact, but I'd be willing to bet that under modern safety rules the university cadets are probably forbidden to drill with bayonets anymore. Too dangerous!! :shame:

Edited by Mike Dwyer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was at the Naval Academy (Class of '61), we always paraded with bayonets on our M-1 rifles. We never did the fancy-schmanzy rifle tossing, but it was always interesting to see which way the rifle fell when somebody passed out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...