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Fix bayonets!

 Because even in modern infantry combat, where the Dragoons no longer ride horses, and there are floating airfields off the coast in support - the glitter of iron on the end of a rifle and in the eye of the soldier carrying it still turns your bowels to water..

Corporal Sean Jones, 25, of 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Regiment, "reversed a potentially dire situation" when his patrol came under attack in a carefully planned ambush in October last year.

The soldier, of Tern Hill near Market Drayton in Shropshire, was second-in-command of the patrol which was trying to draw out insurgents laying homemade bombs in Kakaran village, Helmand.

As the patrol moved through an open field it came under heavy and accurate small-arms fire from the north and east.

Caught in the killing zone and unable to advance into the hail of fire, the soldiers withdrew to the relative safety of the water-filled ditch to return fire but were trapped as the insurgents moved in to try to overwhelm their position.

Firing a rocket at one of the insurgent positions, Cpl Jones ordered three of his men to fix bayonets before breaking cover and leading them across 80 metres of open ground raked by enemy fire.

As two of the soldiers provided fire support, Cpl Jones prepared a hand grenade for the final assault. He raced towards an alley and was about to throw the grenade but said he realised that the buildings were occupied so put the grenade away. But the speed, aggression and audacity of his response caused the insurgents to fall back in disarray.

Sporadic enemy fire continued.

Cpl Jones rallied his men to launch another assault just as the platoon commander and the rest of the patrol, who had been suppressing the other enemy position during the charge, rejoined the group.

The insurgents melted away.

The soldier's citation states that Cpl Jones demonstrated "unflinching courage and extraordinary leadership in the face of extreme and tangible danger".

He "epitomised the best qualities of the British infantry: gritty determination, controlled aggression, tactical cunning and complete disregard for his own safety".



Joshua Chamberlain and Lewis Millet nod their heads in approval.

10 Comments

I guess nobody told the Corporal that bayonets are obsolete...
 
"If it was a miracle, Color Sergeant, it was a Boxer primed .45 caliber miracle."

"And a bayonet, Sir.  With some guts behind it."
 
 Greetings:

And on the other hand...

It was back during my military daze that I had my first attack of bayonetophobia. When our Drill Sergeants would force march us draftees out to the bayonet training area, have us affix a not very long knifey-looking thingy to the business end of a perfectly good shooting iron, and then run us full-speed at a bunch of used tires into which we were to stick the pointy end of the aforementioned underdeveloped knifey thingy all the while shouting at the top of our already overworked lungs, “The purpose of the bayonet is to kill”, I couldn’t help but think that these almost-adult supervisors of ours were out of their ever loving one-track minds. So, being a fairly autonomous Private from the Bronx of the day, I decided to offer the nearest individual whose sleeves had more stripes that mine ever would, my take on our current endeavor. So, I says, “Hey Sargey baby, how’s about we change our explication to something along the lines of, “The purpose of the bayonet is to remind all of us to bring plenty of ammo.” ? “Wouldn’t that be less labor intensive and saving all that carbon dioxide that we would be exhaling would probably give us a headstart on that global warming problem that will be showing up in about 30 years ?”

Well, it turns out that the aforementioned Sargey baby was uninterested in either the global environment or why own personal mental health. Thus, my bayonetophobia took hold of every fiber of my being (and upon my return to civilian life, it morphed into the even more crippling kitchenophbia, but that’s a bit off-topic if you know what I mean). Things progressed steadily downhill from there, especially when I started my all-expense-paid vacation (they told me) tour of sunny Southeast Asia where there were, in lieu of cabana boys, an awful lot of misguided miscreants with, instead of drink trays, these gunny looking thingies with perpetually attached bayonety thingies that still haunt me to this day (and especially when I’m wanted on the kitchen). It was just so much longer than ours, that, if it wasn’t for my already established phobia, it would certainly have given me a severe case of bayonet-envy. It was way long, with a tapered triangular shaft and instead of ending in a pointy point, it ended in a tip like a regular screwdriver. (Those little devils were multitasking when Bill Gates was not yet a gleam in his father’s eye.)

So, things were looking kind of grim for my mother’s favorite and only son. But then, one day not long after, a (pre-DADT) man came into my life to lead me through and out of the darkness. He was long and tall, much like my self, and always spoke the truth, not so much like myself. All his sleeves were be-striped. His first name was Platoon and his last name was Sergeant and thus he spaketh unto me, “The basic combat load is 22 magazines; we hump 29.”


 
Did someone say "Fix Bayonets!"

The Army has a manual for that:
http://www.combatindex.com/store/tech_man/Sample/Small_Arms/TM_9-1005-237-23_P.pdf

Sorry, couldn't resist that.  However, anyone who sticks sharp or pointy stuff on the end of a rifle to chase bad guys really does have my utmost respect.

 
John (NTA)...you think the typo in the "error in reporting instructions" was done on purpose?

ir for in.
 
Anybody tell the president about this?  He didn't seem to be a believer in bayonets during the last debate.  This might make him wake up  to the reality of the world Soldiers have to deal with.
 
I remember reading this in 2004.  It "stuck" with me. I'm glad I found it.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0bd_1249524865

Excerpt:
In May 2004, approximately 20 British troops in Basra were ambushed and forced out of their vehicles by about 100 Shiite militia fighters. When ammunition ran low, the British troops fixed bayonets and charged the enemy. About 20 militiamen were killed in the assault without any British deaths.

The bayonet charge appeared to succeed for three main reasons. First, the attack was the first of its kind in that region and captured the element of surprise. Second, enemy fighters probably believed jihadist propaganda stating that coalition troops were cowards unwilling to fight in close combat, further enhancing the element of surprise. Third, the strict discipline of the British troops overwhelmed the ability of the militia fighters to organize a cohesive counteraction.
 
 Affixing a bayonet to the end of the typical British bullpup style rifle sort of lacks the crotch-chilling impact of one attached to the end of a traditional long arm like an M-1 or M-14, or even a Brown Bess musket.

However it does give the impression to your opponent that you are truly crazy with the blood lust, regardless of the length of the firearm.  (Please, no photos of bayonets affixed to Glock pistols, cause that's just silly)
 
Completely off topic, but here's how quickly paperwork used to be progressed:

Battle - 19 September.

Award gazetted - 2 November. Of the same year. For the Victoria Cross no less.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36774/supplements/5015

 
"The British soldiers charged across 600 feet of open ground toward enemy trenches." 

A 200 yard bayonet charge.

A 200 freakin' bayonet charge - across open ground.

Toward and ENTRENCHED!!!! enemy. 

Wonder they could walk, much less "charge" with such big brass ones haning.