I doubt President Obama’s tossing of the Bayonet Lobby under the bus will prove to be the critical issue with undecided swing voters in Ohio, but, just for the record, bayonets have played a role in both our recent wars. Afghanistan:
The 24-year-old officer [Lt. James Adamson], a member of the 5th battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, revealed that he shouted “have some of this” before shooting dead a gunman who had just emerged from a maize field.
Seconds later and out of ammunition, the lieutenant leapt over a river bank and killed a second insurgent machine-gunner with a single thrust of his bayonet in the man’s chest…
“I either wasted vital seconds changing the magazine on my rifle or went over the top and did it more quickly with the bayonet.
“I took the second option. I jumped up over the bank of the river. He was just over the other side, almost touching distance.
“We caught each other’s eye as I went towards him but by then, for him, it was too late.”
It was the first British bayonet charge since the Falklands War 20 years ago. And at the end of it some 35 of the enemy were dead in return for three minor wounds on the Argylls’ side…
’’If you’re defending a position and you see someone advancing with a bayonet, you may be more inclined to surrender,’’ Col. Ed Brown told the British newspaper the Guardian. ‘’I've never been bayoneted, but I can imagine it’s pretty gruesome.’’ Or as Cpl. Jones, veteran of the Sudan, used to say every week on the ancient BBC sitcom ‘’Dad’s Army’': ‘’They don’t like it up ‘em.’’
As I wrote in the piece above, it’s a useful form of psychological warfare. Being willing to run a chap through with cold steel tells the enemy something about you in a way that the more anonymously lethal unmanned drone doesn’t.