Is the age of the Bayonet over? An example through the Marines of 1/1

marines-kick-off-exercise-koolendong-16-in-australia

The Marine Corps Times (not affiliated with the USMC) released an article detailing the activities of Marine Infantrymen from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines while undergoing training in the Cultana Training Area of South Australia. Post OIF/OEF, infantry battalions traveling to Australia as part of Marine Rotational Force Darwin, UDPs (Universal Deployment Program) to Okinawa, or the usual MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) has become the new routine for the Victor units of the Fleet (active duty infantry battalions). However, with this particular exercise in Australia, I noticed something interesting about the units live fire attack.

Bayonets. Why is that off? Isn’t this supposed to be the bread and butter of any infantry community? Yes, and really no. From a real world vantage unit, of myself serving with 1st Battalion 9th Marines from 2010-2014 as an 0311, the bayonet had completely, literally, and absolutely no tactical/intrinsic or practical value among anything my battalion participated in, whether it was training in the United States or on deployment to Helmand Province. Zero. In fact, guess what happened on deployment? As we drew our weapons at the armory, so too did we draw our bayonets. At the end of the armory line, one of our squad leaders stood with an open seabag (duffel bag), and everyone in the platoon put their bayonets into the bag, a combination lock was locked onto it, and the bag was not opened until we returned to the United States. The only two times I ever affixed a Ontario Knife Company bayonet to my service rifle was once in Boot Camp at Parris Island for bayonet qualification, and then once in the Fleet for some martial arts training that was more the result of a bored Staff NCO giving us something to do than any real world requirement.

The Marines of Kilo Company 3rd Battalion 1st Marines fight through their piece of Fallujah during the Nov. 2004 assault on the city.

Kilo 3/1 Marines in Fallujah 2004. Grunts have their bayonets affixed, and this example is often used as an example of bayonets being used in OIF. However, upon closer examination, this picture was probably taken on the first day of the battle, because if you look at India 3/1’s (Kilo’s sister company) deployment video, you don’t see a single bayonet mounted, in the exact same battle. Thus, this is more reflective of the commanding officer of Kilo ordering his Marines to mount bayonets (it obviously didn’t happen in India), and isn’t reflective of how combat in Fallujah was fought.

Why is this? Is there no need for the bayonet among Marine infantrymen? Granted, President Obama made a comment in one of his speeches about how the military doesn’t use bayonets anymore, and the entire Marine Corps almost had a spiritual seizure. The realistic, bare bones answer is an affirmative “No”, there is no real world requirement for bayonets in today’s warfare. How we fought and patrolled in Helmand and Iraq never presented an opportunity for a bayonet to be affixed and used in combat. There were isolated cases in both areas of operations where bayonets did come in handy when it came to close quarters combat. But for the overwhelming majority of the time that Infantry Marines have been engaged in combat, myself included, we did not utilize bayonets. Where is the tactical necessity to mount a bayonet when your dismounted patrol is getting shot at from 600 meters plus with a PKM? Because of the suicide bomber threat and stricter Rules of Engagement, if anything there has been a push to keep the enemy at a distance, rather than closing with them. On Vehicle Control Points, while engaging civilians in social situations, there has very rarely ever been a threat that could not be solved with a rifle or a handgun better than with a mounted bayonet. Maybe if we ran out of ammunition? That could be a possibility, but then again there has very rarely ever been a U.S. force that has gotten low on ammunition in OIF/OEF and could not have been resupplied.

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Check out the M27 gunners drop pouch stuffed full of magazines. These guys get issued 20 magazines for their M27, and sometimes have to carry all of them on these live fires.

Why do we still have them then? The psychological benefit of the bayonet, is one that is extremely hard to replicate with anything else when it comes to closing with the enemy. Dave Grossman covers it very well in his book On Killing. I’ve selected this paragraph from an academic paper on the topic as well

The rarity of bayonet fighting has long been an established fact. Credible eyewitnesses to battle have frequently observed that soldiers seldom trade blows at close quarters. During the nineteenth century, the experienced Swiss soldier, Baron Antoine de Jomini, was emphatic on this point: ‘I never saw such a thing on a regular field of battle’.9 Ernst Jünger served in the German army throughout the First World War, during which he was wounded seven times and was highly decorated for bravery; and yet it was not until March 1918 that he witnessed a large-scale bout of hand-to-hand fighting.10 According to Fred Majdalany, a British veteran of the Second World War, there was a ‘lot of loose talk about the use of the bayonet. But relatively few soldiers could truthfully say they had stuck a bayonet into a German’.11 The last sizeable bayonet charge by US soldiers occurred in Korea in 1951 and was considered a highly unusual event at the time. Captain Lewis Millet led two platoons in an assault against superior Chinese forces that were dug in on a hillside, inflicting some 30 bayonet casualties in the process.12 Since then, smaller episodes have occurred on an infrequent basis. US troopers employed their bayonets against North Vietnamese soldiers during the battle of Ia Drang in 1965.13 In the Falklands War of 1982, Major John Kiszley led his soldiers in a night-time charge against Argentine positions, bayoneting one of the enemy in the process.14 During the second Battle of Fallujah in 2004, US Marines sometimes used their bayonets to kill insurgents whilst clearing buildings.15 British soldiers also had recourse to the bayonet upon occasion in Afghanistan.16 The overall picture, however, is one of isolated episodes of bayonet combat that are deemed unusual when they occur.

So, looking at these guys in Bravo 1/1 with bayonets mounted on their rifles during a live fire attack, I have several conclusions. The first one is for the junior enlisted, sucks to suck, hopefully no one lost one and the entire company had to police call after the attack looking for a single bayonet. In addition, I hope no one suffered any injury from the mounted knives. But the second one is for the officers of the company conducting the attack. Mounting bayonets wouldn’t have been a decision from the Staff NCOs or the First Sergeant of the company, that was a tactical decision made by the company commander, or even the battalion commander. Personally, I can’t see the logic in this. The decision was probably made along the lines of, “Well, we’ve never used bayonets before, so we should try to make sure the guys can know how to use them now during this live fire”. I think the biggest fallacy with this train of tactical thinking, is that the only real world use of the bayonet, would be an attack that gets the infantry within close quarters fighting distance of an enemy. If that isn’t the case, for example with many Marine live fire attacks that often take place over hundreds of meters (IPBC in Fort Pickett is almost a mile long, Range 400 in 29 Palms is about that as well), then this is essentially training to fail. If an attack is taking place over 600 meters to an enemy objective, then there is absolutely no need to fix bayonets the first 500 meters! Training otherwise is counter-intuitive.

The end state of this post is that there are much more important tasks completely relevant to the Infantry skill set than running an attack with bayonets. Such as individual actions, Combat Lifesaver knowledge, Immediate action drills, call for fire, 9 line Medevac recitations, even MCMAP martial arts training that involves wrestling and boxing.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Isaac Newton

    Perhaps the Commanders are thinking along the lines of: “I trained with the bayonet, I turned out to be a good Marine, my unit should also train with bayonets to be good Marines”. Unfortunately this is called “illusory correlation”.

    • RSG

      Or the thinking that it’s better to have it when you need it, than to need it and not have it.

      • CommonSense23

        Cause extra useless weight is a good thing.

        • Major Tom

          It’s more useful than a lot of gear. At least a bayonet can open up your MRE’s. A lot of the fancy doohickies and electronic thingamajigs issued these days can’t do anything else but be useless.

          • CommonSense23

            That’s what my multi tool is for. If somehow my hands stop working and I can’t open the MRE bag that is designed to not need anything. But thanks for bringing up another useless reason to carry one.

          • Stephan Koopmans

            Hey, my issued bayonet actually saw use when I was in Afganistan. Our engineer needed to cut some concertina when we were stringing up the wire around our FOB.

          • Sure didn’t need those THOR and CHAMELEON ECM devices when dealing with RC IEDs in Helmand, those doohickies were useless. I’d also like to point out that the only publicly known and verified hand to hand combat kill by a Marine in Helmand was with the combatants PKM, not a bayonet.
            http://www.businessinsider.com/the-crazy-story-of-cpl-wooldridge-2013-12

          • Ron

            Well there was Now Zad with F/2/7 in 08, were they fixed bayonets prior to clearing Paki Alley

        • Ron

          Marines have bayoneted and killed people with them in the GWOT
          Although I agree it is not the most useful piece of gear we have, beyond the psychological effect of them there are still things to be said about them.

          • CommonSense23

            And plenty of people have muzzle striked someone and pieces their skull. Yeah bayonets have probably killed some people. It doesn’t mean they were the best option. The weight vs reward gain is a negative. More people have probably been killed by hatchets in the GWOT but you don’t hear people talking about the importance of carrying a hatchet there days.

          • Ron

            I seen couple of times when guys got “muzzle “f–ked” and it did mess the guys up but the worse injury was a broken cheek bone.
            It would take very pin point hit to the skull to kill someone, If you hit them in the chest chances are you would break a rib if you did not hit their AK chest rig or if you hit soft tissue give them a hell of a bruise.

      • DGR

        Take a step back, in what world is that a valid point? The DoD spends millions reducing the weight of gear. But then, we turn right around and say, ya, lets give them a massive lump of useless steel and make them carry it around just incase they need it? By that logic the standard combat load should include 10 additional 30rd magazines, because you never know when you might possible need them…
        But lets remember who we are talking about, logic does not exist in the Army and USMC world.

  • Major Tom

    And yet some of the Scottish units from the UK are more than keen about the use of bayonets. Yep, even the Taliban don’t like it up ’em!

    • Rnasser Rnasser

      Propaganda, maybe?

      • Major Tom

        Nope. Actual combat use in Helmand Province in 2002. Scottish troops under fire at risk of being overrun by Taliban forces decided to do a good old fashioned bayonet charge when all other tactics had failed to get them out of their situation. The bayonet charge completely demoralized the Taliban and broke up their attack to the tune of a number of Taliban casualties.

        So really, they didn’t like it up ’em.

        • Rnasser Rnasser

          oh yes, running scared at the sight of bayonets… this is one of those reports where facts and fiction were blended for the joy of the masses.

        • Wrong country, wrong year. 2004 in Basra, Iraq.
          http://www.sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=391

          And this one particular event influenced the way we went about fighting in OIF/OEF how? One bayonet attack, compared to the hundreds of thousands of TICs and firefights that British soldiers found themselves in. This is a grave statistical anomaly among reality. Even if you want to make the claim that the bayonets made a difference in the Scots lives that day (which I will not take away for any small measure, life is human life), I would argue that if those Scots had made the same charge without bayonets, they would have achieved similar success and carried the fight.

          • Major Tom

            “Wrong country, wrong year. 2004 in Basra, Iraq.”

            Ah thank you. I knew the event existed but flubbed the location and time.

            As per the next questions, that’s irrelevant. What matters is that the bayonet proved itself useful and tide-turning despite the carrying on of people who act like nobody ever uses them ever.

  • Bullphrog855

    Bayonets really came in when cavalry charges were a thing, and once the horse was killed off, there were no need for spears. Bayonets were left as a novelty. A lot of parallels with guns on fighter jets.

    I don’t understand how it’s training to fail. What is the negative impacts of having a bayonet mounted? It seems like it’s just unnecessary.

  • 11b

    In the Army we don’t fix bayonets, we don PT belts. Safety first!

  • RSG

    Miles- thank you for your service to our country and all the implied sacrifices that occur doing so. God bless America.

  • CommonSense23

    I’m going to weep with joy when people stop bringing up Grossman.

    • mike

      I’m interested to know why. Grossman is quite reputable, and his books usually present a very balanced viewpoint.

      • CommonSense23

        Actually he kinda has been losing traction these days thank god. A lot of his data came from the work of Marshall, who a lot of his work is extremely questionable. Then a lot of Grossmans point don’t really hold up well at all with any sort of actual research.
        He was the guy who came up with a interesting claim that fit well with the narrative people want to believe. And then was able to support it with some minimum research and yell loud and long enough that people just didn’t question it.
        Fortunately with GWOT there have been a lot of actual psychologist and psychiatrist who have started to study the same subject these days.

        • So overall I agree that he lacks some real first hand research, and even in his books you can see where he kind of trails off without any real evidence. However, in this particular respect, about bayonet fighting, I find little qualms with his findings, or at least his restated findings from others. Because even those prove to be correct.

        • majorrod

          Specifics? Which of Grossman’s points don’t hold up and according to what actual research which you are dinging Grossman for not actually doing?

          Grossman’s explanation on how the method and range where killing happens increases stress is extremely valid. Does one think a drone operator in the States has the same level of stress as the troop on patrol down range?

          His explanation on how the military has made training more realistic to lower our societal mental brakes on employing violence is also on target. There’s a plethora of data out there that supports the hypothesis that repeating a task under the conditions one must actually do it makes one more skilled at it and also reduces the thought necessary to execute. If this wasn’t true all we have to do is play Call of Duty to be competent.

          S.L.A. Marshall for all his weak research still stumbled onto some fundamental realities of close combat. There is a natural tendency to not return fire. It gets in the way of seeking cover and exposes one to being shot if you actually try to aim. A couple of individuals often have a much larger impact on defeating the enemy because of their direct action and by inspiring others to take action. SLAM’s work on the soldier’s load remains timeless and still too often ignored.

          So what specifically did Grossman (or SLAM for that matter) get wrong?

    • Alex @Sea

      Please inform us who you are studying that combines more real world combat reports with human physiology/psychology.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    A bayonet is a joke mounted on a 14.5″ carbine…
    A field knife (or machete, or club, or anything) in the hand is much better for combat.

    • Major Tom

      A fixed bayonet is faster than any of that. You’ll have that 14.5″ carbine at the ready to begin with. It takes time to draw that knife or bring out that club. Time you won’t have in a real fight because unlike Call of Duty, switching to your knife is not but a mere press of a button.

      • CommonSense23

        Or you know you could just muzzle strike them. That can kill them with ease.

        • Major Tom

          That’s what a fixed bayonet is. If you start the fight with one already out, that’s a much more lethal option than muzzle thumps and buttstrokes.

          • Joshua

            Do you realize how much damage the muzzle on a M4 can do when jabbed into someone’s face?

          • Ron

            Yes and having seen it several times in Iraq, I don’t think it is a much as they teach in MCMAP.

          • Major Tom

            Yeah, nowhere near as much as an M9 or OKC3S jabbed into someone’s face or between their ribs. Or as much as a good haymaker with your fist or a good buttstroke with a solid stock weapon. (Such as an M16.)

          • CommonSense23

            If you believe a haymaker can do more damage than a muzzle strike you have no clue what you are talking about.

      • Rnasser Rnasser

        Pleeeze…. the bayonet on an M4 is a JOKE.

        • MattCFII

          The Army’s M9 is but the USMC’s OKC3S as pictured is a impressive piece of steel that was also designed to be a fighting knife of not fixed.

        • Major Tom

          It’s better than muzzle thumping them.

  • Schnee

    Wait, are you telling me that my trench gun with attached bayonet is useless? Need moar sword!

    • Major Tom

      Ah yes, nothing better than a short ranged sword attached to your short ranged shotgun.

      • aka_mythos

        I think that’s the point… On a modern battlefield there isn’t a need to transition from ranged shooting to close combat but in the situation where you’re already fighting close, such as with a shotgun, a bayonete can potentially serve a backup.

        • Gary Kirk

          Yeah, takes a couple seconds to reload the tube mag.. The bayonet might just come in handy if clearing a house with unknown number of hostiles

          • Dean

            That’s why you always top off your mag.

        • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

          Especially since youre dealing with a much smaller magazine capacity allowing for a much higher probability that your gun will be empty (I know with proper shotgun practice that shouldnt happen, but combat is rarely ideal) and the bayonet will be all you have.

      • Schnee

        You could think of it as a sword with a built in “reverse” button in case it gets stuck in the thing you’re piking. Just pull the trigger and pull.

        • Major Tom

          Exactly! It’s a sword/spear with an anto-extraction/retraction secondary function that also hurts the target more!

      • Larry

        Fighting hand to hand DUMBASS!

      • buzzman1

        Actually with the limited mag capacity of a shotgun it does make since. I saw 12 ga’s with fixed bayonets being used in the 90s.

      • Zebra Dun

        Goes well with a short range plan and short range engagement of short length.

    • imachinegunstuff

      A shotgun and a bayo actually makes the most sense, even then it’s not enough

    • mechamaster

      The sword bayonet is cumbersome, but the knife bayonet is more effective. especially in tight and small room like the trenches and building.

    • Edeco

      Are (horse) cavalry attacks a major concern for you?

      • Schnee

        Aren’t they a major concern for all of us?

        • Edeco

          nah, I live on the third floor.

          • Sunshine_Shooter

            Giraffe cavalry.

      • Zebra Dun

        Well, I do own horses!

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    About the poor soldiers “fighting” with the bayonets mounted on their rifles, hopefully they had their rifles/carbines zeroed with them mounted, or it would be a Kentucky windage/elevation fest…

  • William Nelson

    Perhaps its the idea (meaning the bayonet) of “better to have it than not,” and continuing with a tradition of sorts for the infantry type soldiers; I don’t know.

    All I can say is that I didn’t enjoy lugging around a big knife that I never used outside of prying stuff, throwing it at stuff (when bored) and using the handle to beat on stuff. Really glad the supply sergeant just took the knife back afterward and didn’t look at the horribly ganked up blade – tee-hee.

  • Kyle

    Ha, small world. You were in the boot drop that hit right before I got out. I was in 1/9 and got out early 2011.

    • Small world indeed… I was in Charlie, with third platoon for the first Afghan, then Bravo for the second

      • Kyle

        I was in Alpha, and I was long gone by the Afghan deployment lol. I almost extended for it but decided against it. I was out on terminal leave in January 2011.

        • Ahhh Alpha…. enjoyed the meu did you? All our seniors told us that Alpha and Bravo had an awesome time while Charlie got screwed sitting around in the Indiana Ocean for no reason…

          • Ron

            That 24 MEU deployment was the worse deployment ever for the guys who made it.
            The previous deployment they went to AFG and re-opened the south, the S3 shop was pretty strong, the next deployment was cutting gator squares.

          • Kyle

            Well we would have enjoyed it a lot but we were on the USS trAashland. God that ship was a floating garbage heap. Cumulatively we probably spent well over a month rationing water because the damn boilers kept breaking. The trash compactor broke so after we were out for a while there were piles of trash bags all over the place because we weren’t supposed to throw anything overboard. Nevermind all the other crap broke constantly. Now the times when we were in port were pretty good.

  • Gus Butts

    In my experience, bayonets only serve to stab and cut you when you fall asleep during parade rest for 4 hours during a parade. I wish I could post my scar from work.

  • Ron

    There have been a handful of bayonetings in the GWOT by US forces and at least two bayonet charges by U.S. Marines in Iraq. The first was in the early days of the invasion when elements of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment came into contact with Fedeyeen at close quarters in some marshland. The second was at An Nasirya when a company of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines fixed bayonets when it came into close contact with insurgents in a palm grove.

    While not bayonet charges during the Battle of Najaf there was heavy hand to hand fighting involving Marines to include bayoneting of several insurgents while clearing a hotel occupied by Mahdi Army.

  • LazyReader

    Useless, is a knife useless? In the film We Were Soldiers, Col. Moore
    orders his troops to fix bayonets for a charge at the NVA forces.
    Granted that never happened. Ia Drang Valley was not Little Round Top.
    Colonel Chamberlain’s order to fix bayonets is a legendary moment in
    military history, but 102 years later Colonel Moore wisely did not
    follow
    Chamberlain’s example. Instead, his soldiers did what they
    were trained to do, which was to hug the terrain and return fire to turn
    back the enemy.But the filmmakers, finding that historical truth
    inconvenient, dramatically unsatisfying and insufficiently
    inspirational, fabricated a new ending. But still, you never know when
    6-7 inches of steel can save your life…
    Heaven forbid if the manufacturer is so lazy they cant put a sliver of metal under a barrel.

    • majorrod

      FWIW, I spoke with Ernie Savage when I had the opportunity to work with him. Some of his guys used a bayonet at the Ia Drang.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Ive never been in the military but I have walked a long way carrying a rifle and a bunch of other crap in the heat so personally Id rather ditch a heavy piece of useless metal in favor of the equivalent in ammo.
    But what do I know.

    • Just say’n

      It’s a great tool to have though, handy for opening MREs, disarming mines, cutting through barbed wire (with the proper attachments), digging a cat-hole, etc.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Cant you do all that with an SOG Flash II?

        • iksnilol

          BUt you can’t stab someone with it.

    • Tom Currie

      The first and last parts of your post say it all.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        If that’s all you care to take from it then sure.

  • imachinegunstuff

    I remember having to carry a bayo on every field, regardless of the fact I carried two weapons that couldn’t fit bayonets.

    • Tom Currie

      And you wonder why the combat vets in your unit frequently muttered that they wished the balloon would go up so they could stop having to be “tactical”

  • Captain Obvious

    The purpose of the bayonet was to have a pike/spear to charge the enemy after you fired your massed volley. Pretty effective in the 18th and 19th centuries when long unreliable single shot muzzle loaders ruled the day, not so much today. On the other hand there is something intimidating, personal and primal about “giving them the steel”.

    • AK

      Bayonets were also used for defence, especially against cavalry in an infantry square (a form of perimeter defence). Even less relevant today, although cavalry (actual horse/mule/donkey mounted) is becoming back into vogue.
      In WW1 and 2 close combat, spades and fighting knives were found to be more useful than actual bayonets. That’s why every army eventually redesigned their bayonets to be more like knives than pikes. But I agree, fixing a bayonet can be a powerful psychological crutch for the individual soldier in some instances.

    • Tom Currie

      Sorry CPT Oblivious, but the original purpose of a bayonet was not as a pike or spear to charge the enemy, but rather as a pike to stop an enemy charge, especially a cavalry charge (horses are smarter than cavalrymen, and don’t like being skewered). A pike is not the same as a spear – they are very different weapons with different purposes.

      Yes, pike units were capable of a charge (over short distances) but their primary role (pre-firearms) was as a defensive block. A pike charge was normally only to roll up and enemy line from the flank once both forces had closed.

      • Captain Obvious

        Well certainly prior to the advent of massed musket fire but in the 18th century the bayonet was an offensive weapon.

  • kyphe

    There are some propaganda situations where civilian protesters will walk up to you and dare you to open fire, “come on! make us into martyr live on TV news!” bayonets then possibly give you an optional deterrent to keep people at standoff distance as knives have a different psychological effect and can be used in a far less lethal manner. From memory I believe the last occasion of bayonets being used in Ernest by British troops was mount tumbledown in the Falklands conflict where in some situations it got a bit WW1, with troops falling into occupied enemy positions in the dark.

    • I’ve often thought about this, and why we didn’t use bayonets on VCPs. In theory it would be good practice, and I wholeheartedly agree with the psychology. However in reality, it just doesn’t happen and isn’t even an afterthought in our operations overseas.

      • Ron

        In 03 post March Up, it proved to the best way to keep the “Friendly” Iraqi away from our gear. Iraqi would continue to attempt to get close to vehicles and steal gear. They backed off when we starting fixing bayonets, because they did not think we would shoot them for some stealing and looting, but they were not so sure we would not stick them. Similarly, when pulled your pistol out all the f-cking around stop because they believe the chances of an execution just went up.

        • imachinegunstuff

          The same in Afghanistan in 2009. A machine gun, not scary. An M9? Terrifying.

          • iksnilol

            Everyones got a machine gun, but pistols are more rare 😛

      • majorrod

        Hard for junior leaders or individual troops to use bayonets when they are locked up in a dufflebag in the rear.

        That in turn reinforces a mindset that the bayonet is worthless. The same mindset surrounded carrying the gas mask in WWII. If the enemy starts using chemical weapons the mindset changes rapidly. Up until recently we’ve not done much with gas masks and one can find some that think it’s a waste. The enemy doesn’t have to agree.

        You’re reasoning is sound though. Bayonets would have excellent utility on a VCP. Why doesn’t it happen? Because for too many losing a bayonet trumps having it available for appropriate use.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      I think you are right. A gun that isn’t pointed at you or you know the person holding it is bluffing is essentially a club. A sharpened blade is always dangerous. You can just hold it in front of you and people have to deal with it, they can’t just shoulder it aside or grab it with their hands.

      Almost like they were designed that way…

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Why do the M27 boiz only get 20-round magazines? Seems somewhat limiting.

    • “20 magazines”, not 20 ’round’ magazines. You misread the caption…

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        Oh faak.

    • Ron

      20 rounders are not even in the Marine Corps system, the 20 magazines is based on the 600 rnd UBL of a Automatic Riflemen.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        What is UBL?

        • Ron

          Unit Basic Load, I know we often ignore them when actually loading up for a fight, but planners use them to determine how much ammo to have on hand prior to stepping off.

          • Gary Kirk

            Yeah… I can only have 7 mags?? Gunny!? “You’d better have at least 10 boy. And a couple more won’t kill you, they’ll kill the bastards we’re going after”..

      • Gus Butts

        Three FN M249 drums converted for the M27 IAR = 20 magazines. How fun!

  • Curtis Anthony

    My bayonet was used to open mres and that was it when I was in Iraq. Giant pain in the ass and everyone had a utility knife anyways.

  • mechamaster

    What really interest me in the bayonet topic is.. Why the new OKC3S bayonet missed the “Wire cutter” capability ?
    Or maybe there are separated / dedicated wire cutter tool included ?

    • Ron

      Have you ever actually tried to cut barbed or C-wire with on of those style cutters? I think it is one of those item that briefs well but in reality is not a good idea.

      • mechamaster

        Never tried in actual barb-wire, but I used it to cut small wire. But yes, I agree it’s not a good idea.

      • Cal S.

        I have a muzzle break with a notch on the end specifically designed to catch wire. That way you can just notch it in there and shoot it off.

        No, I wouldn’t try to use that functionality when I’m sneaking up on someone…

    • MattCFII

      The OKC3S is designed to be less multi-tool like the M9 and to be more bayonet/fighting knife.

  • Steven

    Two points. 1 judging all battle field doctrine based on what we have been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is a mistake. If and when we are forced into a more conventional war against a heavily armed modern army on large scale, the rules will be a lot different than the current chasing bandits. 2. Every troop needs a combat knife as both a tool and a weapon. The Ontario USMC bayonet is probably the best being issued to any army.

    • Nik Stiles

      Negative. That would be the poncho liner.

  • Kivaari

    Riot control. I was on a team at the Long Beach Naval Base and the ARNGUS, where we trained with fixed bayonets. Lot’s of “stomp – drag – thrust”.

  • Kivaari

    Herding EPOWs.

  • billyoblivion

    1) The last war is the last war. It’s lessons should inform, but we should not expect the next war to conform to the last war in any way.

    2) The bayonet is *generally* not useful in open terrain where one can maneuver. It is an artifact of first generation warfare (massed troops) and from an era where weapons had more limited cyclic rates, ammunition capacities and fighting could wind up close in (trenches of WWII, tunnels and trenches and jungles of the islands the Marines cleared in the pacific in WWII etc.). Team based tactics and modern weapons (30 round magazine fed rifles v.s. 8 round clip fed, every grunt issued a pistol AND a rifle etc.) can *usually* overcome the need for bayonet tactics given the way we fight wars today. Then again, see #1.

    3) That said, never underestimate the psychological impact of a platoon/company of “oversexed underpaid teenage killers”, having been given the order to “Fix Bayonets” coming screaming out from behind cover with mayhem in their hearts and a terrible smile on their faces.

    4) Which, ultimately, is where the greatest un-used (at least from my time in the Marine corps) utility of the Bayonet is. Killing someone is something that we are trained (generally) from a young age to NOT do. Our culture (again generally) tells us that killing/beating people is bad. Most American martial arts are either taught as “self-defense”, or as sports (MMA, taekwondo), and are focused on “Ok, guy attacks you with a [punch weapon]” and then you… We are (rarely) taught to attack, and almost never taught to attack with speed, aggression and overwhelming violence. Blade arts (Escrimia, European dueling, some HEMA) teach you to GET IN THERE AND [CUT STAB] THEM, but they are still “sport” based. Bayonet training is GET IN THERE AND STAB AND SLASH THAT F*KER TO DEATH KILL KILL KILL. Properly done it teaches the student to turn their mental switch from “Civilized human being” to “I’m Going to Dance In Your Entrails”. This is useful whenever distances get VERY close. In modern warfare you can’t outrun your enemy, so you need to close with and destroy them.

    5) Which ultimately is why Obama doesn’t want Marines to have them. The military is for handing out food and rebuilding towns after natural disasters and for being the vanguard of social justice, not for being SO DAMN GOOD at killing things and breaking people that others are afraid to start s*t with us.

    F*k Obama. Get a bayonet.

    6) While a bayonet might not be useful, a big sharp knife is often VERY handy to have around, even if you’re not planning on sticking someone with it.

    Oh, yeah:

    Semper Fi, USMC (85-89).

  • Cal S.

    Ah, Afghanistan, where the US even resorted back to horse cavalry charges because it was fun…

    By the time WWI came about, most of the hand-to-hand fighting was done in trenches where a 4.5″ weapon would have been unwieldy in a 6′-7′ trench environment. Therefore, knives, maces, and un-affixed bayonets were used. However, in the open field where some hand-to-hand fighting occurred and that last round went downrange. If I were in the military today on prisoner duty, I’d still want either a bayonet or a sharp muzzle break for weapons retention purposes.

    So yeah, I get they’re not that practical anymore, especially as a tactic. That being said, I did get a midlength AR just so I could mount a bayonet. It has that second kind of cool aspect to it, and against other civvies in a WRoL scenario would be as intimidating as all get-out and may prevent a confrontation. Again, there’s that weapons retention thing…

    • Major Tom

      “So yeah, I get they’re not that practical anymore, especially as a tactic.”

      They weren’t that practical in terms of casualties caused even in their heyday. In the American Civil War, something like 1% of all casualties on both sides were due to bayonets. 1%, in a war that only just started cracking into repeating rifles and pistols by its end.

      Yet, the bayonet was still useful then despite the low kill counts relative to rifles and artillery.

    • SoulInvictus

      Funny you mention that.
      My brother was one of the soldiers in Afghanistan you mention.
      He was in a book called Horse Soldiers about their experience there. Worth reading for those interested.

  • Mark

    I don’t personally subscribe to this philosophy, but I think the main reason for issuing bayonets in the modern context is that the government are unwilling to issue everyone a pistol.

    “In a man-to-man fight, the winner is he who has one more round in his magazine.”
    -Rommel

    Beyond that, a simple, well-made folding knife like a Benchmade would be sufficient. If you really wanted to be motto you could carry a or K-Bar. I think these have much more practical use in today’s world.

    • Tom Currie

      Congratulations, Mark, you have just suggested carrying a knife as a better alternative to carrying a knife.

  • Spade

    Bayonets are cool though. And, for us civilians, they once said we shouldn’t have them. Hence why I need to order one for my Uzi SBR. It makes no sense whatsoever, but it looks cool.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    I would rather carry an extra magazine for the weight and take my chances muzzle striking someone if need be. I also carry a Spartan Blades CQB tool on my chest rig if i needed some sort of close range weapon quickly deployed. Bayonets seem like a nice idea but 99.99% of the time its just another peice of junk soldiers dont need hanging off their gear.

  • DoctorH

    The literal purpose of a bayonet… is to bring a knife to a gunfight.

  • aka_mythos

    In many instances bayonetes double as knives… I imagine the multi-purpose utility of a knife is what’s kept it at our soldiers’ side… So by having that knife then be able to attach to a firearm detract or enhance utility?

  • Henry Reed

    I don’t know if anyone remembers, but years ago a company was offering under-barrel bayonets for various handguns. I believe they sold like popcorn.

  • flashoverride

    Meh, if you want to do away with the bayonet – the only T/E knife available – then you need to edit all the T/E to include the KA-BAR.

    Regardless of how smart you think privates might be, they won’t pack a knife unless instructed. And let’s be honest, the KA-BAR is just as much utility as it is knife.

    • imachinegunstuff

      You sure? Most of the boot Privates and PFCs I knew carried something between a fighting knife and a long sword, or a hatchet, half convinced wars were fought hand to hand more often than not.
      I carried a Gerber Infantry for my entire career. My bayonet was a piece of junk

    • Ron

      Kabars left TEs about decade ago, the only knives in the armories (other than ceremonial swords, are the Marine bayonet which are issued to both rifle and pistol bearers

    • Gary Kirk

      The OKC3S bayonet replaced the K-bar.. The whole reason it’s designed the way it is was to replace the M-7 bayonet, and combat knife with a single piece of gear.

  • nova3930

    I don’t think any soldier has ever really wanted to close with the enemy and stick them, even going back to when Gen Washington was marching around shooting at Red Coats. It’s just one of those things that is sometimes, even if rarely, necessary. Probably not something we should spend a lot of time and training on, but at the same time do you want to give up that last ditch weapon for those “oh $%(*&#” situations? If you did give it up, it might be prudent to replace it with some other hand to hand weapon.

  • vwVwwVwv

    put a guard in front of a building, once with the other one without bayonet and see the
    civilians. the soldiers are not allowed but all the talkings and discussions tuchings
    and other provocations stop to exist when between the sivilian and the
    serviceman are 6-7 inch of sharp steal.
    (its a formidable tool to)

    • CommonSense23

      If you don’t give the authority to use it. Its not going to mean anything.

      • vwVwwVwv

        Yes Sir.

    • Martin M

      I enjoyed that so much I watched it three times.

      • vwVwwVwv

        now imagin you are driveing there, they throw stones at you,
        you drive fast and hit the heavy beton block, they throw
        stones and no army around. israelis have NO
        second amendment, take kare for it,
        once abolished you will
        miss it for sure.

        god bless the NRA. 😉

  • Tour18

    Sooooo many commenters who have never been in a face to face fight, alone and with someone trying to kill THEM personally. If you have, you obviously won too, so you know where I am coming from. Me, I’ll take the bayonet. I’ll take a spear over a club any day…

    • Tom Currie

      +1

    • Zebra Dun

      Yup, in the dark on the way to the head or sitting with just your one BFF on LP where you don’t dare fire off a round.

  • Blake

    …how in the world does that academic paper you quoted completely gloss over the Marine’s experience in the Pacific theater in WWII? A rifleman probably killed more japs during the first half of the war with a bayonet than they ever did with a bullet. Obviously after the Japanese strategy shift on Peleliu of attrition warfare that changed, but before then the banzai charge was where the bayonet saved many Marine’s lives.

    • Klaus Von Schmitto

      Al Schmid would disagree I’d bet. Emplaced 30 Cal M1917’s killed a whole lot of Japanese on Guadalcanal.

      • Blake

        Well duh, I was being somewhat facetious. But there might even be an argument anyways as the gun crews could only fire during the very beginning of the charge. Once the japs reached the US lines it was pretty much all hand-to-hand, so probably 80% of the battle by time was hand-to-hand. I wonder exactly where most the casualties were. The Pacific campaign is so freaking interesting.

        • Major Tom

          Historical nitpick:

          Rarely did Japanese banzai charges ever mingle much or even reach US lines. Attu Island in Alaska is the ONLY case of Japanese banzai charging showing any signs of success and only because it caught US troops by surprise.

          • Blake

            I’m not trying to be mean, but that information is woefully incorrect. Just off the top of my head I can think of a major charge on Saipan on D+22 where the Japanese charged and broke through and killed a great many artillerymen, destroyed regimental CPs, and generally caused major hell for support troops in addition to pushing the lines back almost 2,000 yards. If I remember correctly ~1,500 US servicemen died in that charge. There were multiple medals of honor given out that night. One Marine artillery battalion had over 100 of its men killed.

            Also on Edson’s Ridge on Guadalcanal multiple banzai charges pushed and broke the Marine Raider lines a few times, and even ended up with Japanese troops walking into aid stations and CPs behind the lines. The Raiders ended up holding out on the very last ridgetop and barely clung on.

            Like I said that’s just from memory, if I did some digging I guarantee I could find many more. Was it insanely ineffective most of the time? Yes, but to say that it only “showed any signs of success” one time is just flat out completely wrong. If there is one thing on this earth I know way too much about it’s the Pacific Campaign of WWII, at least the Marine’s side of it (which is most of it). While banzai charges always ended up with more Japanese killed than US killed and were eventually given up on altogether, they killed a great many US serviceman.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    They make a pretty decent tent peg in hard ground. As far as killing someone with one goes – I killed a man with a can of green beans once but I wouldn’t want to try that again either.

    • iksnilol

      You’re a that bad cook?

  • Martin M

    Bayonets are so scary that civilians shouldn’t be allowed to own them, much less mount them on a weapon. So Scary…sooo scary….

    • Tom Currie

      THAT is really the whole point of these “Assault Weapons Ban” laws — they are really meant to ban bayonet lugs, and the rest of those scary features on military looking guns just get brought along for the ride.

      • Gary Kirk

        No.. Those so-called “assault weapon” bans are nothing but false prophesies that target a certain group of shooting enthusiast. And once they subdue that group, they’ll move on to the next. And this is why, we need to drop the labels in and amongst ourselves.. Firearm owners must grow up. And stop the inter-squabbling amongst ourselves.. DONE.

      • Martin M

        Don’t even get me started on ‘pistol’ style grips.

    • Bob

      Believe it or not, but I have heard people talking about knives say that they don’t like the idea of civilians being able to purchase military knives or bayonets. After all, the only logical reason someone would want such things is if they fantasize about killing people with them…

      • Martin M

        The logic of some people is just, well, illogical.

    • mbrd

      according to the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives, sharp and pointy things, a kitchen knife and a roll of gaff tape constitutes a bayonet.

      • Martin M

        I don’t know how these people get into positions where decisions like this are made and approved. Do you have to flunk some sort of test or something?

  • Frank Martin

    I know I served in the what many consider the “Least” military of the service branch’s, the USAF. But to my way of thinking.. the need to use the bayonet in combat is a desperate move now days.

    But for the NEED and use of the bayonet? Even when I was trained at the Air Mobility Warfare Center at Ft Dix NJ… “If it comes a time to use a pistol in combat because your rifle is not operational, then you got problems and are almost screwed or in deep trouble”!

    I would imagine that if your out of ammo for either your rifle or pistol, the Bayonet may be your only choice.. but you ARE really in deep trouble. Because the #1 rule is.. the enemy will not fight fair.. so neither should you!

    • Gary Kirk

      Hey, you served brother..
      And can understand your view on the bayonet..
      And can understand Miles V. as well.. But would still rather have it, than need it.. Semper Fi

  • HenryV

    How will they open cans of food?

    • Kivaari

      What cans? MREs use pouches.

      • Major Tom

        The heater cans are still cans.

        • Kivaari

          When did they go back to heater cans? We used the water-reactive bags for heating MREs. When we had “canned heat” we still had P38 can openers. I always carried heat tabs that I bought privately. It was funny to see how many men had never seen heat tabs.

        • CommonSense23

          What MREs are you talking about? American?

          • Major Tom

            Yeah, American ones about 5 years ago. Tasted terrible, barely edible (but you would eat em because you were hungry), came with these little cans of heat.

          • CommonSense23

            What country were you working with that got can heaters?

          • Major Tom

            The United States Army. That was when I was stationed at Fort Benning Georgia.

          • CommonSense23

            What MREs did you get that had a can heater?

          • Major Tom

            Tuna, roast beef with potatoes (and chocolate peanut butter), at least a few others.

          • CommonSense23

            What brand MRE doesn’t use a can. Standard MREs definitely haven’t used a can heater for a while now. Your cold weather MREs don’t use one. So I’m really curious what brand you had at Benning that was running a can heater.

          • Major Tom

            The only labeling I remember on them was the blatant lie saying “Soldier Tested, Soldier Approved”.

        • Phil Hsueh

          As everyone else has commented, when did you have MREs with the heaters in a can? I was in during the ’90s, when MREs started getting better, and every single one of mine had a water activated heater in a bag. By the time I got out the heater had changed slightly but it still water activated, and it still was in a bag.

          • Major Tom

            2011. The whole kit came in a resealable bag filled with each portion in its own separate pouch with the heater can in the bottom. The can itself was this little tiny thing barely wider than a baseball.

      • Ron

        UGRs come in pouches, trays and cans for usage in FOBs, BPs etc.

        • Kivaari

          Big food.

      • HenryV

        You have never taken a can of fruit into the field for a treat?

        • Kivaari

          When I did I always had a P38. I still have P38 openers. I never needed to resort to knife, inless it had a cap opener on it. I still have my 1961 issue pocket knife.

          • HenryV

            Methinks you are taking my original joke a bit too literally……..

          • Kivaari

            I just planned ahead when going afield. We were still issued C-rats so there were P38s in each case. I do love those peaches.

          • HenryV

            I know. 🙂

            I was joking with my first comment my friend. 🙂

          • iksnilol

            I sorta lived on canned beans for a week or two, I just used a knife. Stab knife, wiggle in a line, bend up the “lid”, “enjoy” tomato beans.

  • vwVwwVwv

    for the history entusiasts

  • Kivaari

    Are bayonets just knives that every soldier should want to have? A knife. What soldier doesn’t want a knife?

  • roguetechie

    All my milsurp or military “style” rifles have both a bayonet mounting system and a matching pointy thing for them.

    Why? Mostly just to make sure they’re fitted out in a manner befitting them. Same reason I have a sling on each and either the original or a substitute cleaning kit. I’m kinda weird like this, given an extra $50 to buy gun stuff with I will usually pick ammunition and finishing touches rather than a crappy Chinese red dot or etc.

    As far as employment goes I train fairly regularly to use my rifles as weapons in the event of critical logistics or function failures. And if something were ever to go really pear shaped I’ll be the guy with bayonet attached because nothing says it’s best for you if you seek out a softer less aware target like a bayonet.

    So in a way it’s kinda like the lifelines on who wants to be a millionaire, it’s one last chance for bad actors to decide I’m not the droid they’re looking for. This is exactly the same reason I’d never attach one in an HD scenario, because I need to be able to legally say using my gun was the only reasonable course of action. I also need for the DA not to have any extra reason to want to turn a legitimate shoot into depraved indifference, malicious wounding, or a cold blooded ambush.

    For military use I’m of the belief that the situation on the ground should dictate the equipment load rather than TRADOC policy papers.

    • Gary Kirk

      Situation on the ground.. Always changing.

      • roguetechie

        Hah, yeah kinda my point in a back handed manner. The situation on the ground is always changing, and no matter how well we plan it will always be this way because the enemy gets a say too.

        It’s the responsibility of the leadership to determine the best equipment load out to minimize the variables.

    • Doom

      I know /exactly/ how you feel. pointy ends for the win!

      Not Pictured, K31, M48, Lee Enfield No.4Mk2, Yugo M59/66, Type 99, And an AR15 in A3 style all with nice pointy bayonets.

      I need to buy another bayonet for that one lonely m91/30.

  • pieslapper

    Better to have it and not need it…

  • CommonSense23

    Or the case of 9 of my buddies having to remove grey matter from their muzzle.

  • Chris Sehmel

    Best example I have ever heard of the practical use of a bayonet in a modern setting was on board a U.S. carrier during the late 70’s, early 80’s. The on-board Marine security detail would frequently run through the gangways in full battle gear, and some of the Navy guys waiting in the chow line thought it would be funny to put soapy water on the deck and make the Marines go all Keystone Cops. After that, the Marines ran those drills with fixed bayonets, and never had the problem again.

  • Spike

    Try a different environment when everything gets waterlogged, a swamp or steamy jungle at close quarters, a bayonet will prove very useful.

  • Tom Currie

    I see the military bayonet in much the same light as carrying a firearm as a civilian: It is better to have it and not need it rather than to need it and not have it.

    With the exception of tight spaces inside a moving vehicle, I don’t see any situation in which having a bayonet on an M16 or M4 would cause any disadvantage. Perhaps the odds of needing it are 1 in 10,000; but if there is no downside to having it, why not.

    It seems that the units doing stuff like locking bayonets in a sea bag are commanded by officers who think their soldiers are idiots who would either lose the bayonet or do something stupid while playing with it (of course, perhaps those officers really do know the quality of the soldiers they have trained).

    On the other hand, for the military shotgun I would consider the bayonet to be an NO GO for breaching and immediate CQB, but a necessity in just about any other role (based on the much smaller ammo capacity of the shotgun combined with its much shorter effective range meaning that if you are actually using a shotgun in combat the enemy is much closer and you ARE much more likely to be out of ammo at just the wrong moment).

    • Gary Kirk

      Fixing bayonets prior to entry is not common practice, and trying to do so in said condition is backward thought.. The OKC3S is a combat knife that can be affixed to your rifle.
      Which makes the only tool you have to clear a hooch just a bit more effective..

    • Mazryonh

      I can see why a bayonet would get in the way of breaching, because breaching is best done at a specific distance (breaching muzzles are supposed to tell you this by touch, which a bayonet would obstruct). But I don’t get why a bayonet would be NO GO for immediate CQB. In a room-to-room fight or arms-length gun battle, every target you down with a bayonet is one more shot you can save for more distant opponents. At that distant, it’s too late to fix a bayonet.

  • Gary Kirk

    Hey Miles, Semper Fi brother.
    Don’t like to talk about my time, but thanks for your articles..

  • dm

    In the airborne we still camo up for initial entry exercises, even while wearing ACU (green face paint while wearing grey uniforms). Not because we become instantly invisible once we are out of the parachute harness, but because war paint is more about mindset than practicality. To camo up is a deliberate process that gives you time to reflect. Bayonets fixed sends an unmistakeable message, both ways.

  • I reckon that a bayonet still has practical utility for doorkicking/room clearing with a carbine– the only situation where anyone is realistically likely to engage with a carbine at punching distance– but otherwise it’s main use in the era of reliable 400m+ accuracy is defensive, as when trying to hold a position that’s being overrun, and I seem to recall something about Marines being unaccustomed to taking defensive positions.

  • vwVwwVwv

    keep your bayonet, it is protecting your ears.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cr2pqptUAAERxsy.jpg

  • A Fascist Corgi

    “Where is the tactical necessity to mount a bayonet when your dismounted
    patrol is getting shot at from 600 meters plus with a PKM? Because of
    the suicide bomber threat and stricter Rules of Engagement, if anything
    there has been a push to keep the enemy at a distance, rather than
    closing with them.”

    What’s your opinion on Nathaniel F’s repeated statements about upgrading to the 6.5 Grendel round and using magnified optics being idiotic since most modern combat engagements happen within close range and U.S. soldiers can’t hit anything past 200 yards in combat.

    • Gary Kirk

      It isn’t about tactical necessity.. More about old school marine doctrine. If you’re receiving fire from 600 odds are they have glass on you. And if everyone affixes bayonets and turns into the fire.. Sends a pretty good message to those who thought they had an easy fight on their hands..

      • A Fascist Corgi

        I wasn’t talking about bayonets. Nathaniel F likes to argue on this blog that your average infantryman shouldn’t have to worry about combat beyond 200 yards. I was asking Miles V what he thinks about that.

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    Bayonets have large psychological impact on opponents in close quarters?
    Guess what I just added to my CCW:

    • vwVwwVwv

      is this real or a photoshop?

    • Mazryonh

      You’d probably be better off doing it “American Civil War” style and carrying a machete, tomahawk or sword in your off-hand.

    • Gary Kirk

      And guess how many years you just added to your sentence for defending yourself..

  • Stormin’

    the attack pictured here was in northern territory, not cultana.
    We fixed bayonets before advancing to contact, whereupon each fire team from each platoon cleared and emplaced in a trench in order to support the next team there’s a great video on mrf-d facebook page of the attack.

  • Jake

    Haha..war with china will make bayonets great again.

    • Mazryonh

      My guess is that you’re referring to the “horde attacks” used by the Chinese infantry forces back in the Korean War.

  • Kalash

    Nobody needs a bayonet, until they do.

  • Phil Hsueh

    I’d argue that with all of the nasty, and quite often poisonous, critters running in Australia having a bayonet while training out in the Outback is a good thing to have. You never know when you might have to stab a Brown Snake, or one of those large spiders that you find running around the Outback.

    • Gary Kirk

      Haha.. Dude, if you’re quick enough to jump up from prone and give a forward thrust into a Brown snake that’s “coming right at you”.. I ain’t ever messing with you brother..

    • iksnilol

      Sorry, but if I see a Brown snake or stuff I’mma unload a mag into it.

  • Realist

    Those who feel technology obviates the need for a bayonet only have to look at the history of fighter aircraft…”we don’t need no stinking guns for A/A combat, we’ve got missiles”.

  • Redfoot

    Kinda like the same reason a loaded gun will not grab the attention of a perp/protestor, but a K-9 unit will-intimidation and the willingness to use it.

  • mazkact

    Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain disagrees.

  • ZURK1

    Having enlisted in 82, I now feel that my training is antiquated. But for an old guy, I don’t understand why someone would want to give up a tool. Ask those guys who did “Fix Bayonets” during battle if they’d wished they hadn’t?

  • Matt Grizz Gregg

    Completely unrelated and all but I always thought an M44 with the spike bayonet deployed would be an excellent weapon for The Walking Dead style zombies. Or an SKS for that matter.

  • bobk90

    The Bayonet was designed for ‘Close Quarter Combat’ and will always be needed, even if it’s NOT ATTACHED to the Rifle!!! End of Story…

  • WFDT

    I seem to remember reading about a Blackhawk Down veteran saying he would never again take to the field without NVGs or a bayonet.

  • scaatylobo

    I am happy that the writer made it back in one piece,and with no personal use for the blade.
    I do note that he ‘mentioned’ the FACT that there had been a few incidents of the need for that blade on a mission or 2.
    I would love to hear from the VERY few that got to use that blade.
    As I am sure they might disagree STRONGLY with the facts as presented above.
    Even if its just for moral,taking the only possible weapon from a man that only has a rifle —- is WRONG.
    I pray that all get to polish and sharpen their blade,and not need them.
    BUT a cool head and a sharp blade could be the difference between life and death .
    I would like to think they are “allowed” that choice.

  • majorrod

    The bayonet gets flack because for too many leaders, losing a bayonet trumps having it available for appropriate use.

    We went down the right road when we developed the M9 bayonet, a multiuse knife
    issued to the Infantryman so they don’t have to go buy their own to do most of the things one needs a knife to do vs. its predecessors. Yes the wire cutter is just about worthless but for the first time in over a century the individual soldier was issued a knife that could reasonably do more than just stick somebody.

    There are plenty of reasons for the grunt to carry a knife and most of them don’t involve killing someone. Putting a barrel ring and bayonet lug catch on it just adds another use.

  • Juanito Ibañez

    In the 1951 movie ‘Up Front’, based on Bill Mauldin’s famous war era cartoons, there is a scene where Joe (David Wayne) and Willie (Tom Ewell) are in a foxhole while under enemy fire, when a new replacement soldier jumps into the foxhole with them, and he has his issue 16″-long M1905 bayonet affixed to his M1 Garand rifle.

    Joe (IIRC) takes the rifle from him, removes the bayonet, throws it away, then tosses the M1 back to the newby, stating: “Son, if you’re close enough to stick `em, you’re close enough to shoot `em.”

  • richard kluesek

    Has not the German Army long ago replaced bayonets with field knives ? And are not contemporary bayonet / knife designs (M9, M11) patterned after bowie style patterns rather than classical spear points (M3,4,5,6,7) ? Is not some sort of utilty knife that might be used as a prybar, chopping instrument, and lethal weapon still useful (Gerber ifantry knife, Air Force Pilot Survival knife, USN Seal Knife, K Bar) ?

  • Richard Lutz

    Soldiers rarely use pistols so should they stop using them as well? If you are going to carry a strong fixed blade knife (a very useful tool that is much stronger and faster to use than any folding blade knife) why not have it function as a bayonet as well?

  • buzzman1

    This argument about whether or not to use bayonets has been going on for over 100 years. It was a necessity in the early days of slow to load muzzle loading firearms but became obsoletes with the invention of self contained cartridges.. The only reasons we still have bayonets is that 1. the Russians still use them and 2. soldiers need the psychological comfort of knowing that if the run out of ammo they still have a way of defending themselves

    BTW Technically speaking, the Kbar the marines went to long ago is a utility knife that can be used as a bayonet. Its much more useful that way.

  • Bloody Bucket

    How many here carry a handgun? What’s the likelyhood you’ll ever use it? I kept my bayonet with me on both of my tours. Never used it, but I’m O.K. with that.

  • Zebra Dun

    The bayonet serves many purposes.
    Field Knife.
    As an attachment to keep the barrel out of the mud and dirt.
    Riot control.
    To keep anyone from grabbing your rifle easily.
    To probe.
    To use in between magazine change or a weapon that has become combat ineffective for just the right moment to save your life.
    As a Bayonet.
    It is far from being useless or obsolete.
    Any doubts need to be addressed in the Full 30 videos called “Mud Test”.

  • Mike Washburn

    In Navy boot camp, in the early ’60s, bayonets were said to be still used in riot control (long blades) and as parade pieces though I never saw the latter. Marines I knew said that in Korea they and SEALS used them for sneaking up on sentries. Other, older, Marines used them for general utility and had them because they were issued…..no thinking required.

  • Bill_Levinson

    I read that perhaps 1 percent of the casualties in World War I resulted from bayonets, knives, and handguns. You are therefore very unlikely to need a bayonet in the 21st century. If, however, you do need it, you need it very badly if you are among the fraction of a percent who get close enough to the enemy to use one, and/or have one used on you.

    In Israel, where terrorists rampage on the streets and you don’t want to fire a high-powered rifle for fear of hitting bystanders, a bayonet makes perfect sense. It can be brought into action without having to worry about who is behind the individual you want to kill.

  • alex archuleta

    Wrong Miles! Bayonets are useful for opening MRE’s and when you stab em into a tree they make great shitpaper rolls.
    Which is what I was using it for during Op. Croc 2003, and when my APC was moving out I started running towards my platoon when my dummy corded M7 ripped off the tree and stabbed me in the leg. lol Ill never forget the look on my Plt. Sgt. face as I ran up to get in,covered in blood with TP hanging from my trousers that were half way on. That’s about my experience with a bayonet. At least I got to stab something!

    • Mazryonh

      How exactly did your bayonet unsheathe itself?

      • alex archuleta

        I stabbed it into a tree and inserted a roll of TP on the handle (so when I pull on it, it slowly rolls down in nice little squares just like If I was back on the block dropping a deuce)
        So when I was told we were leaving I ran off and forgot about the M7, good thing it was dummy corded! the M7 went from being stuck in the tree to stuck in my leg around I think 3/4 inch? Idk I stIll have a scar.

        • Mazryonh

          Oops, didn’t realize that you meant that you had already unsheathed your M7 bayonet and stabbed it into a tree. But it looks like your experience was an object lesson in that sharp blades should be treated with as much respect and attention as live guns.

  • BigR

    I would rather have it and not need it, than not have it and need it!

    • Mazryonh

      If your field knife can be mounted as a bayonet, then you’re already carrying your bayonet most places, and it’s already useful for a lot more than just stabbing enemies.

  • Jake

    I agree. I also would like to point out that the wars we have fought since have not been total war..meaning eastern front ww2 or pacific island style war, where there are no prisoners taken, geneva conventions are but a memory, where you adorn your vehicles with trophies taken from enemy soldiers.. That is what has been, and shall be again. the bayonet will serve as it always has, then too

    • Mazryonh

      I don’t think the kind of behaviour you describe is limited to “total war” between nation states. It’s easy to find that kind of battlefield behaviour in “small wars” too. The ISIS beheadings are just a new version of the “take no prisoners” approach. I guess bayonets are also useful for intimidation, especially when used to mount “war trophies” on the end of them.

  • Bob

    who cares what barrack thinks about bayonets?
    he wouldn’t know squat about combat anyhow!