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Monday, July 29, 2013

Battle Rifle Accessory



"Very few people have ever been killed with the bayonet or saber, but
the fear of having their guts explored with cold steel in the hands of
battle-maddened men has won many a fight."
-PATTON

During my years of active duty and especially during basic and advanced training cycles, it seemed we spent an unusual amount of time on hand-to-hand combat training. Each block was as long as any other topic. Looking at it from the, been-there-done -that perspective I now understand why. The days of full company charges with fixed bayonets are pretty much over as a tactic, yet we still stress this fundamental combat skill from a bygone era.
If you do an exhaustive internet and library search you will find very few actual photos of someone in combat using a bayonet. You can find all the pics you want of actual combat with other tools, rifles, pistols, clubs, rockets, but very few with
bayonets.
Army FM 3-25.150 is devoted exclusively to this topic.
"Soldiers must be prepared to use different levels of force in an environment where
conflict may change from low intensity to high intensity over a matter of hours. Many
military operations, such as peacekeeping missions or noncombatant evacuation, may
restrict the use of deadly weapons. Hand-to-hand combatives training will save lives
when an unexpected confrontation occurs.
More importantly, combatives training helps to instill courage and self-confidence.
With competence comes the understanding of controlled aggression and the ability to
remain focused while under duress. Training in combatives includes hard and arduous
physical training that is, at the same time, mentally demanding and carries over to other
military pursuits. The overall effect of combatives training is—
• The culmination of a successful physical fitness program, enhancing
individual and unit strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiorespiratory fitness.
• Building personal courage, self confidence, self-discipline, and esprit de
corps."
So why is this such important training when the odds you will ever use it are slim to none ? The answer is in what your 8th grade math teacher told you when you asked why algebra was such a big deal. "Because it trains your mind for more complex ways to find solutions in many areas of life and besides you just never know what you are going to have to deal with."
( One of the few actual photos I have seen of real,non-staged,hand-to-hand combat
with a bayonet)


So where I am I going with this, whats the take-away message? Simply, learn some form of closeup and personal fighting if you are physically able. You may not be able to get to your gun or retreat (strategic march to the rear). I always said my handgun was only used to fight my way to my rifle. You may not have either luxury. Thats why the military teaches and emphasizes bayonet fighting. You might run out of ammo in both weapons, then what?

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