Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Spirt of the Bayonet

Barack Obama's reference to fewer horses and bayonets in the final debate certainly brought back some vivid memories for me.  I never actually used a bayonet in combat.  I don't recall even seeing one in Vietnam.  Nonetheless, those days of chanting "To kill! To KILL! TO KILL!" in basic training still ring in my brain as does the aggressiveness that comes with charging a dummy and shoving that blade in with a blood-curdling scream.  The yell is part of the drill; it's even come in handy a few times in my post-military life when confronted by aggressive dogs.  They do tend to run when I charge them screaming at the top of my lungs.  (Note:  That only works when you are sure they are not on home turf.)

Bayonet fighting is more than t just the blade.  I also learned butt strokes and smashes.  You can accomplish one hell of a lot of mayhem with a bayonet.  But that's the whole point of combat.  Fucking mayhem.  And the whole point of bayonet training is to train the recruit to kill up close and personal.  That makes it so much easier to pull off routine impersonal killing with rifle, grenade, artillery and air strikes.  Even if I never actually used a bayonet in combat, I realized I could, in fact, kill another person if I were sufficiently threatened.  The situation has never come up but the training alone cost me some humanity.

Bayonets are not obsolete even today.  Obama didn't say "no bayonets", he said "fewer".  Bayonets come in handy at times like this:

So do horses.

Personally, I am happy to have no actual bayonets in my life these days.

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Blogger the salamander said...

Amen .. brother .. sister ...

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Syrbal/Labrys said...

This the season to remember....yesterday was the anniversary of actually completing the Labyrinth built to memorialize those dying in Iraq...and Afghanistan.

We all know, in those places, medieval minds and all, they wouldn't turn away from a bayonet use.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

Obama is subjecting the US Military to a "Bayonet Gap"!!! Unless we immediately elect Mitt Romney and increase the Military-Industrial-Complex by $250 Billion we will fall behind in Bayonets!!!

8:36 AM  

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