Bayonets

Military bayonets are knives made to fit onto the end of a rifle barrel. The idea of a bayonet is as old as warfare: close with the enemy and kill him before he kills you. While a few bayonets will fit more than one rifle, bayonets are usually associated with a specific rifle, made to fit that firearm.

The long bayonets that went with early rifles were intended to be the same weapon as a medieval pike -- the rifle and bayonet together were a long pole with a deadly spear on the business end. As warfare evolved and mass collisions of troops became less common, bayonets became shorter. In some cases, bayonets became secondary to fighting knives which are short and intended strictly for hand to hand combat as a last resort.

USMC Bayonet Training, 1953, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA. M-1 Bayonet with M-1 Garand Rifles.
USMC Bayonet Training, 1953
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA.
M-1 Bayonet with M-1 Garand Rifles.

Today in WW II: 11 Nov 1940 55 Polish intellectuals murdered in Dachau concentration camp [near Munich], the first of many mass executions there.  More 
11 Nov 1940 Operation SWORDFISH: Raid on Taranto, Italy, the British Royal Navy's first all-aircraft naval attack, launching obsolete canvas planes from an aircraft carrier [11-12 Nov].
11 Nov 1942 Triggered by Operation Torch in N. Africa, Germans take control of all of Vichy France north of the Riviera.
11 Nov 1942 Allies capture Casablanca, Morocco during Operation Torch.
11 Nov 1942 In the aftermath of Operation Torch, Germany and Vichy France begin negotiations on the fate of the French fleet at Touson.
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Bayonets of the U.S. Military

Traditionally, all U.S. military rifles and carbines were issued with a bayonet. But the last American bayonet charge took place in Korea in February 1951. By 1973, the U.S. Army phased out mandatory bayonet training as unsuited to modern weapons and obsolete in an age of computerized warfare. However, the bayonet assault course never really disappeared in the Army and continued to be valued by the Marine Corps. The emphasis has shifted to combatives (hand-to-hand combat) and aggressiveness. In the 21st century some of the newest edged weapons are fighting knives which still retain the ability to be attached to a rifle -- for example, the USMC Multipurpose Bayonet (MB).

There have been many bayonets and scabbards issued to the U.S. military since the early days of the 20th century. The following list covers the ones most issued and used from World War I into the 21st Century, each with its own Olive-Drab.com page that can be reached by clicking on the link. Scabbards for each bayonet are covered on the same page.

Bayonet Training, World War II, M-1 Garand Rifle with M-1905 Bayonet
Bayonet Training, World War II. M-1 Garand Rifle with M-1905 Bayonet.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: bayonet. Then click the Search button.

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