Bayonet in 'modern' warfare

Following-on from the postings about the action last Friday involving the Argylls and the PWRR; has this knocked on the head the old chestnut that the bayonet is outdated on the 'modern' battlefield (ironic, as I recall reading that it was heavily used in the Falklands).

An open question - to what extent is bayonet drill taught in H.M. Forces today? (or indeed hand-to-hand combat?)
(I should have seen that one coming...) The NAAFI eh? So dealing with Al-Sadr's boyos is no bother then :wink: - stands to reason.
when ever Ive done delibrate attacks before clearing trench its been fix bayonets but actual bayonet drill few and far between covered in basic and then occasionally but i'm ta so dont know about regulars
I remember a discusion we had about unarmed combat training and
our instructor was of the opinon that for infantry it was awaste of time cos you got a rifle, bayonet orat worst a helmet and shovel(this in days of58pattern) and inanycase you would be wearing combat kit boots and webbing which is very diffrent from the attire your average martial artist
wears .And anyway he also pointed out the average squaddie seemed quite able to hurt and maim people in pubs without additional training
and turning them into a f*** nija his words would just make the average saturday night far worse
Bayonet Fighting was taught at Depot, Then when its needed (Pre-Ops training) I only ever did it twice, Depot and Op Granby. I suppose its uses are limited to the final phase of an assault. Post grenade, And clear bunker ect ect
Hand to hand combat, we'd just mash the hell out of each other. We did arrest and restraint proceduires. All that armbending pap. Just club them, it worked better
when at very close quarters is the only time for bayonet fighting!!

seriously though, when at CQ it is essential for fighting as you can jam or run low on ammo/ mag change when bodies still to be put down. i am from SLR days when it was nice to have a big knife on a longer stick with a bit of weight behind it!
I would say the use of bayonets is pretty obsolete as a weapon, per say.... There only real use is to scare the shit out of unarmed 'trouble makers'. Personally, i think if you have long enough to charge an enemy, even in fortified position, they have more than enough time to put a round in you. Where as in the Falkland they had a role to play, as the SLR was too 'hardcore', for lack of a better word, for that sort of combat role, the SA80 is perfect (more or less).

Of course, there was a good argument for sidearms with the SLR, but with the SA80 it has diminished that. I still think making sidearms standard issue would be a great idea, either the USP or the browning.

Anyway, back on subject, as for training in hand-to-hand combat, i find not getting into the situation which would call for it better, and if you do you can either Glasgow kiss, rifle butt or just spark out the threat. The other reason is that you can have as much hand-to-hand combat you want, and you will still get fucked over in the fight. Personnel experience tells me after 5 years of TKD and kickboxing, to which I was decent at both, one good hit and you still go down like a sack of spuds, with less elegance.
I think the bayonet is mainly a psychological weapon, its not used to kill but to instill fear into the enemy.

Isn't fighting thro the modern day equivalent of a bayonet charge? (Obviously your gonna try to shoot enemy)
The "bay'net" is an awesome tool. It can be used to scare the living sh1t out of the enemy / rioters. Practical application for the event of stoppages etc. And it made us feel like living gods. No one was getting in our way. No one who opposed us would miss out on RARDEN, Chain Gun, 5.56, L109, burst then stab. That's escalation of violence to the extreme and it bloody well works.
polar said:
I think the bayonet is mainly a psychological weapon, its not used to kill but to instill fear into the enemy.
Not just that. It's a field signal that even the dumbest hofficer can understand, and for Friendly Forces throws the big mental switch between "let's be peacekeepers" and "it's wartime now".
I take note of how this thread started and then some of the comments following. The point made was that now the bayonet has been used to very good effect by the PWRR, does this destroy the myth that in todays modern warfare sharp steel is no good.

Having read the article in the Times, and knowing a little about this action, it would seem that no amount of rounds down range were shifting the enemy. Thus it was decided to clear the enemy out in hand to hand combat. I think the comment was "28-0" according to the Times.

It is all well and good to have superior fire power, but are we not adopting a spam attitude of bombs, bullets and body bags can solve a problem. The commanders on the ground felt that the only way they were to shift the problem was to go hand to hand with it.

This has done one of two things. One) The enemy have been given a very bloody nose and two) the damage done to the morale of the enemy is very significant. They have now realised that they can not ambush and run as they will be hunted down and killed where they stand.

Maybe a little melodramatic, but where would you rather be?

Interested to read the following comments.


I would argue that any weapon, regardless of how long it has been around, can still kill or injure an enemy. Looking at some of the weapons that are being surrendered in Afghanistan and Iraq, I notice a fair number of old Mk III Lee-Enfields and the odd Soviet PPSH or SKS Simonov carbine - this latter, along with certain versions of the AK, comes fitted with a pigsticker bayonet. Certainly in the close-quarters fighting that is becoming increasingly characteristic of Iraq, the bayonet is still effective. It is the clearest sign possible in the 'touchy feely' world of today that you mean business - bombing some poor beggar from the lower levels of the stratosphere is one thing, running at him and burying several inches of steel in his innards is quite another. Of course putting a few rounds into the opposition is preferable, but there is no reason to discount the bayonet - as a psychological weapon it has no equal - think of that 'zeep' as it is withdrawn from the scabbard, and then the 'click' as it's fitted - focuses the mind.
gallowglass said:
- think of that 'zeep' as it is withdrawn from the scabbard, and then the 'click' as it's fitted - focuses the mind.
..and loosens the bowels :-D
There are some good points ( no pun intended ) being made here. Fixing that blade to the end of a rifle sends a very clear message to the en, and also, IMO gives that final bit of focus to the Infantryman, should it be needed, on what he is going to do. Psychological effect on both sides.

Also readily available in case of stoppages / empty mags etc.

They Do Not Like It Up Them.
:twisted: Nothing, which can be used to the discomforture of the enemy, can be described as obsolete. I want every possible advantage on my side. I don't care whether the hierarchy think it's unsporting (shotguns), obsolete (bayonets) or difficult to support logistically (sidearms); if I feel that it gives me an edge, I want it and, by hook or by crook, I'll get it! :twisted:

Absolutely no pussy tendencies here, and rightly so.

Bayonets are indeed absolutely guaranteed to induce the controlled mist required to weedle those MFs out of their posistions. Hopefully the boys in ITDU will come up with the goods and provide us with bayonets to fit all section weapons, as we're currently a bit light sword-side with the new section configuration.
I agree - the bayonet will never let you down !

Not only is it an excellent weapon in close quarter fighting but the order to fix - signifies to all involved - the stepping over of that imaginary boundary between distanced 'polite' violence, and the legal mandate to kill ones fellow man - close and brutal if needs be.

Those who have fixed for real never forget the order. It is the final stage before kill or be killed. It is forever with you.

As long as we have Infantry - we have the bayonet. They are one and the same.
just hope we continue to have enough infantry to be able to effectively put them to good use in the future.

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