Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

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Hans1906
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Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Hans1906 » 22 Feb 2021 17:21

The so called "Bajonettfechten" was taught in the german Imperial Army, which was also still common in the Reichswehr, and in the later Wehrmacht ?

Searching the forum for the german term "Bajonettfechten" showed up no results.
(Attached image from a very old postcard)
Comparable close combat was taught in the former DDR, there are some photos online...

Thanks for more hints and answers...


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Richard Anderson
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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Feb 2021 17:42

Bayonet training (formerly bayonet practice) is still part of the training regime in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Hans1906
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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Hans1906 » 22 Feb 2021 18:09

Thank you, Richard,

in the german Bundeswehr in the 1970s, a bayonet was no longer issued to us young soldiers, the reasons are unfortunately unknown to me.
But I can understand the reasoning, all it takes is a first look at the trench weapons used in close quarters combat during WWI.

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mikel
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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by mikel » 04 Mar 2021 03:08

We did a certain amount of this in the US army in the 60s.
Pugil sticks were more commonly used.
Bayonets were issued and used in training.
"What is the spirit of the bayonet?"

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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Hans1906 » 04 Mar 2021 17:27

mikel, thank you very much,

the term "pugil sticks" was new to me personally.

Quote: "What is the spirit of the bayonet?"
Sorry, unfortunately I do not understand, what was or is meant by this?

Do you want to elaborate on that, I would love that, thank you.


Hans1906
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Latze
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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Latze » 11 Mar 2021 10:26

Hans1906 wrote:
04 Mar 2021 17:27
mikel, thank you very much,

the term "pugil sticks" was new to me personally.

Quote: "What is the spirit of the bayonet?"
Sorry, unfortunately I do not understand, what was or is meant by this?

Do you want to elaborate on that, I would love that, thank you.


Hans1906
Drill instructor shouts: "What's the spirit of the bayonet?"
Recruits are supposed th shout even louder: "To kill!"

It's a silly thing like the similar question "Wovon wächst das Grass?" passed to me when I was in the Bundeswehr.

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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Latze » 11 Mar 2021 10:35

Hans1906 wrote:
22 Feb 2021 18:09
Thank you, Richard,

in the german Bundeswehr in the 1970s, a bayonet was no longer issued to us young soldiers, the reasons are unfortunately unknown to me.
But I can understand the reasoning, all it takes is a first look at the trench weapons used in close quarters combat during WWI.

Hans1906
As far as I know (I could find a source but frankly don't have the time right now) the Wehrmacht discontinued bayonet training in 1944. It was just deemed an inefficient use of the training time available. Because of that the Bundeswehr never bothered with it. "Deutschießen" (snap shooting) was to be trained as a substitute but was regrettably neglected during my training (early 90ties, air force security troops).

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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Hans1906 » 12 Mar 2021 14:47

Thank you very much for your comments, Latze.

Photo of the G3 Bajonett: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:G3_ ... t_noBG.jpg

Quote and translation from the german Wikipedia article:
"As a further accessory, there is a bayonet. It was never widely issued to the troops, but was in the early 1980s quite in the so-called "barracks stock". The blade is blunt on the sides, so it has no cutting edge, and is designed as a pure thrusting weapon. Grinding or removal of the matte black coating had to be omitted (light reflection/glare). Occasionally the bayonet was issued/procured by some units (e.g. floating bridge pioneers / M-boatmen) on their own initiative to cut (then with sharpened blade) as "working knife" e.g. ropes. For mounting on the weapon is also a conversion of the same with a bayonet adapter necessary."

Source: HK G3 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/HK_G3


Hans1906
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Latze » 22 Mar 2021 15:12

Hans1906 wrote:
12 Mar 2021 14:47
Thank you very much for your comments, Latze.

Photo of the G3 Bajonett: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:G3_ ... t_noBG.jpg

Quote and translation from the german Wikipedia article:
"As a further accessory, there is a bayonet. It was never widely issued to the troops, but was in the early 1980s quite in the so-called "barracks stock". The blade is blunt on the sides, so it has no cutting edge, and is designed as a pure thrusting weapon. Grinding or removal of the matte black coating had to be omitted (light reflection/glare). Occasionally the bayonet was issued/procured by some units (e.g. floating bridge pioneers / M-boatmen) on their own initiative to cut (then with sharpened blade) as "working knife" e.g. ropes. For mounting on the weapon is also a conversion of the same with a bayonet adapter necessary."

Source: HK G3 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/HK_G3


Hans1906
I am pretty sure that the Bundeswehr never procured the bayonet adapter. (Even if the blades were in use with some units). I read the technical manual for the G3 and that did not include it. I think the Iranians had it, one can find photos of Iranian soldiers with mounted bayonets on the G3.

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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Latze » 22 Mar 2021 15:21

William Triplet was a soldier in the US Army in the First and Second World War. He wrote a memoir which was published in two separate books - one for each conflict. I found both books to be fascinating. Here is a story from the first book (William S. Triplet (edited by Robert H. Ferrell) " A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne" University of Missouri Press, 2000, p. 289f) about American and German bayonet fighting techniques. Setting: a POW camp just after the armistice:

I went through the line for seconds one evening, changed my mind and handed the mess kit and cup to a hungry Saxon infantryman. After stowing away the slumgullion, rice-prune pudding, and over-sugared coffee, he begann talking. At first he was quite acceptable and politely assured me "das Essen war herrlich, danke vielmals." Then talking about various armies he became patronizing about the Americans, rating us somewhere between the Italians and the Russians. He finally made the outrageous impertinent statement that German bayonet fighting methods were far superior to that of the Americans. We had just copied the British and they were known to be inferior.
To a graduate of Sarnt-Major Giles academy of assassination that was the last straw. I borrowed a pair of rifles with scabbarded bayonets fixed, handed one to my arrogant Saxon, and told him to hit me if he could. we came on guard, he in the typical German crouch with his rifle at the semi-high port. I bored for his right chest, undercut his right parry, and I hope tore his fifth rib loose just left of his wishbone. Anyway he acted like his rib had been torn loose. After a while he was able to straighten up and croaked "nochmal?"
"OK, Bud, you want another round? Best two out of three."
Again we squared off a ten paces. I figured that this time he'd try for a throw-point - deadly if it landed but leaving him over-reached and helplessly trying to recover his overextended weapon with one hand if it missed. So I was all set up for a high parry left and a butt stroke to his belly button.
I shouldn't have done that. A man can plan his own battle be he shouldn't be certain about what the enemy is going to do. I went in dead center because I knew his guard would be up, intending to brush his throw over my left shoulder. But that underhanded , low-down, treacherous son of a Saxon sow didn't throw his point. He just dropped to his knees, braced the butt of his rifle on the ground, and ducked. My point took his cap off, his took me in the solar plexus, and if we' been using bare blades would have come out between my shoulder blades. One hundred eighty pounds at thirty feet per second striking an immovable object of half a square inch in area. I spent several miserable minutes just trying to breathe. By the time my vision cleared the bastard was gone, wouldn't try for two out of three.
Last edited by Latze on 22 Mar 2021 21:10, edited 1 time in total.

Latze
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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Latze » 22 Mar 2021 15:25

And another, same book (p. 269f) about Triplets comrade White, who is rescued by another doughboy during a melee - I cut the scene because it was not relevant for the bayonet question and I was too lazy to type it all up.

[White] had been an enthusiastic bayonet expert and advocate of cold steel until Exermont. I'll let him take it from there. "... We untangled and I thought there was a Jerry I could get with my bayonet; he didn't have his fixed and I thought it would be real easy. So I bounced up and came at him with a long point - thank God he was out of ammunition. Well, he parried left with the muzzle and swung a butt stroke that like to took my damn arm off at the elbow and I dropped my gun."
"Then this Kraut flipped his rifle end for end and clubbed me over the head with the butt, rang the helmet like a gong and drove my head down between my shoulder blades. I was feeling like a technical knock-out at the end of the fourteenth round. Next time he swung sideways and busted some ribs but I clamped an arm down on the gun and grabbed onto it with my good hand. ... But finally [Lyons] shot. The fellow'd lost his helmet in the scuffle and the bullet took the top of his head off and splashed brains all over me. I rolled him off and set up and wiped the mess out of my eyes and swore I never point a bayonet at anybody ever again as long as I have a round in my rifle."

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Re: Bayonettfechten (Bayonet fencing) ?

Post by Hans1906 » 24 Mar 2021 15:11

Thank you Herr Latze,

I am not very deep in this topic, the close-to-close combat in the former trenches of WW I, this is, what impressed me very much.
Killing a man with a knife, a bayonet, a flare gun, a pistol, eye to eye, with your own hands, the horror of war.

To split an enemy's head with a spade, just horrible, but that was the situation of our great-grandfathers,
Pity is the wrong word for this horror, maybe mercy....

Thank you!


Hans1906
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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