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david f

Bayonets

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Are these now obsolete?

In this modern era of warfare is there any need for the bayonet?

We all know the stories of the enemy running from the charge of cold steel from the olden days but where are they now on the modern battlefield?

We very rarely have the chance of seeing the bayonet apart from on parades.

Is it now the time to consign these things to the past??

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David,

 

Depends on the type of bayonet... are socket and sword bayonets obsolete... yes. These were designed to prevent cavalry attack, something no longer seen.

 

Modern bayonets have evolved into a multipurpose tool, they can cut wire (a good thing), act as a utility/survival knife, sometimes have a saw or saw blade, and have many other features that are useful to modern combat soldiers. As a weapon on a rifle, well then it is debatable. There are stories of them used by British Troops in Iraq as a last resort, and perhaps it is good to keep them as a last resort weapon and for an extension in close arms combat. You could also argue it makes a handy way to stick a rifle into the ground to hand stuff off of in the field :-p

 

 

ps... glad to see the forum back up and running!

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Hi Greg,

 

good to see you back :) have reinstated you as Edged Weapons moderator.

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Hi Kenny, it is good to be back, many thanks on the moderator bit... hope the forum takes off as hoped :-)

 

Hi Greg,

 

good to see you back :) have reinstated you as Edged Weapons moderator.

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David,

 

The use of the bayonet depends on the length of the rifle also. seems to me the SA 80 is a bit short!

 

Size matters!

 

I do feel there are very few people who can stand and fight a deternined man with a bayonet, if he can get close enough!

 

"They don't like it up them Captain Mainwiring!" :blink:

 

Dave.

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i would love a bayonet but my mum wont let me get one :smilie_daumenneg:

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I have a few bayonets now. My pride and joy is the bayonet my great grandfather had with him in France during WW1 which I have alongside service meadal and picture in uniform. Nice oiece of family history.

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Apparently even during the American Civil War the number of bayonet fatalites was pretty minimum.

"The bayonet was carried by the infantry on both sides. It was used as an entrenching tool, can opener, roasting spit, but seldom as a weapon".- Arms and equipment of the Civil War by Jack Coggins.

I wonder if the bayonet was largely a psychological threat, the "Red line tipped with steel. I have a de-act WW1 Mauser, and with a Butcher Knife bayonet attached turns into a pretty impressive weapon, with the knowledge that you can stop an advancing enemy about four feet away from you.

But, to shoot an enemy many yards away is one thing, to stick a bayonet into him and see the white of his eyes ..... ?

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the bayonet was first and foremost a weapon designed to act as a replacement to the pike in defense against cavalry. This is why the earlier ones were spikes for the most part. By the 1860s the lack of cavalry charges began to cause this to change and knife bayonets were introduced with utilitarian function. Sawbacks either were for pioneer troops to cut wood with or to denote officer rank. When France designed the Lebel bayonet the Germans had to make the M1898 quillback because the french bayonet on rifle had a longer reach in bayonet drill than the German gun.

 

In reality by WWI they were useless for attack but still useful as a utility knife (hence why they still are around) and also as a projection on a rifle to disarm an enemy at close quarters. If a guy lunges at you with a rifle you can grab it and toss him. Now try to grab it with a large pointy thing on the end... not going to happen so easily.

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And my vote for the most useless bayonet ? That ridiculous 'Prong' stuck on the end of the Lee Enfield during WWII, must have been damned effective tackling a can of evaporated milk.

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I agree. The French Lebel epee bayonet was some of the British inspiration but in the late 1800s when it was designed it still had a purpose (see above). However the British Mk2 bayonet series is the absolute most useless item I have ever seen. You should have stuck with a short 1907 model. The US and German WWII bayonets were very good and useful. The british 'pig sticker' as it is known speaks for itself.

 

That said there are tons of Mk 2 variations, some quite rare and a cheap area of collecting you easily can get into.

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yeah the lee einfeild bayonette is like a knitting needle

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Obsolete?

 

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The would not be able to take their time on the battlefield

 

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