Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Hint Where I Was Last Friday...

This was just one of the cool things I saw on Friday:


I don't know why, but this exhibit just spoke to me. No idea why... Well, maybe just a little...

I think it's a shame that the bayonet has fallen out of style. I understand it, in the same vein as mounted cavalry of course; this is a tactic whose time has passed, supplanted by newer and more exotic technology that has rendered it moot. I'm sure the knights in their armor felt the same way watching the first cannon being wheeled onto the battle field. While their swords served their purpose, they were no longer the main weapon of choice.

I've always wondered about the clash of technologies. Being used to hand-to-hand combat and suddenly being felled by an arrow. Rifles using metallic cartridges being used to devastating effect against muskets that could at best be fired three times a minute on the battlefield. The first soldiers to come up against a Predator drone.

Science fiction is replete with energy weapons: lasers, phasers, light sabers, etc. From the elusive rail gun that utilizes electromagnetic repulsion to launch projectiles at incredible velocities to the fanciful proton torpedoes of Star Trek, we're always thinking of new ways to kill more of us faster and further away. The time may very well come when we look at firearms in much the same way as we look at bayonets now - still dangerous, of course, but from a different time.

Personally, I want my disruptor now...

That is all.

18 comments:

Brad_in_MA said...

Jay,

Your secret is safe with me. However, for the right price, I might be persuaded to reveal your secret destination.

Brad


Mopar said...

I'll blab. Looks like Springfield Armory.
Word verification: MeekSKS.... no really.

Brad_in_MA said...

Damn it, Mopar. I was hoping to make Jay sweat for a while before someone came through with the answer. Maybe next time.

Michael W. said...

Not so out of out of style, if my failing memory serves, with in the last few years,some Black Watch members serving in Afghanistan did a successful bayonet charge on a bunch of Taliban that had ambushed them.

Dave H said...

I remember a line from a fantasy story I read some years ago. "A knife always works." Same is true of a bayonet.

Angus McThag said...

The bayonet proved it still had a function during the Gulf War. The prisoners would kinda sorta get moving if you gestured with a rifle barrel. A rifle with a bayonet and they MOVED.

Seems that while the Iraqis didn't believe that their captors would shoot prisoners, they weren't so certain that they wouldn't be stabbed.

POW prod is a useful function. And it's always nice to have a big knife.

Scott_S said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/9571522/Soldier-who-led-Afghanistan-bayonet-charge-into-hail-of-bullets-honoured.html

Old but effective - even now.

joethefatman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xenolith said...

I'm still a "cold hard steel" kinda guy. Like guns. LOVE knives. Any kind. Even a great gun has only one purpose. Fire a projectile at something/one from a distance to do the most damage possible. And I DO so love doing exactly that!
But a knife? So many uses. There is a very good reason the knife was invented by cavemen and is STILL around today...

Geodkyt said...

I predict that when Star Trek style phasers are being issued, the Army and Marine issue ones will have bayonet lugs.

While massed bayonet charges on-line and into another line of opposing forces isn't really taught anymore (for good reason), fixed bayonets have too many uses (both as a tool and as a primarily psychological weapon, as detailed above), the gun needs to be strong enough to usrvive combat service in the hands of StarPrivate Snuffy anyway, the bayonet lug doesn't weight much, and troops need a "bush knife" anyway -- might as well give it a bayonet latch.

Velcro8ball said...

You might want to give "The Forever War" by Haldeman a read, it'll give you lust for cold steel a ride.

Bubblehead Les. said...

My Buddy the Cop used his Bayonet when he was a MP in the Gulf War, OIF1 and OIF3 during Prisoner Transfer and Riot Control. He claimed it was VERY effective in Iraq.

zeeke42 said...

Angus, I've heard similar stories about laser sights. Point a 50 cal machine gun at a guy and he might move. Put a laser dot from an M9 on his chest and he gets the hell out of the way.

Larry said...

Marines still train with bayonets.

Sendarius said...

Are there no Trekkies reading?

It's PHOTON torpedoes.

Daniel in Brookline said...

Sendarius: you beat me to it!

And while I'm geeking out here -- Dave H, that would be Larry Niven's Warlock in "Not Long Before The End", right? (In a similar vein is "What Good Is A Glass Dagger?") Loved 'em both... and spent some fine hours contemplating the Warlock's line in the latter: "I think I'll make a conservative of you."

I recently learned that, while Mass-legal AR-15s come without bayonet lugs, you can order an upper from out of state with a bayonet lug. (You have to be careful to order one with a 10-round magazine, though.) Go figure.

Daniel in Brookline said...

Oh, and Jerry Pournelle's stories of Falkenberg's Legion (also highly recommended) make mention of future soldiers using bayonets -- and commenting to one another that every generation of soldier, for hundreds of years, has thought they'd be the last ones using them.

Maybe one day, soldiers will use hand weapons accurate enough to make long rifles unnecessary -- and then the bayonet will finally be obsolete, because who would want to put a bayonet on a pistol? (Except for our Noble Host, of course...)

dsmith512 said...

How about a Klingon Bat'leth, to go with your disruptor?