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it was during the 17th Century that musketeers turned pikemen. The style of warfare at that time had separate units of musketeers and pikemen. Someone had the idea to fit a knife to the front of a musket, turning it into a short pike. The original bayonet was a "plug" type whose handle went right into the muzzle of the musket. Later types would fit alongside the barrel by a variety of sockets, plugs and clips.
There is more to bayonets than picking up a bayonetted rifle and poking the enemy with it. There are actually techniques for its use. These vary by time and country. Perhaps the largest influence on bayonet technique was French. They developed a school of "bayonet fencing" which proved effective. It was exported around the world. French bayonet technique was adopted by both British and American armies. Though it was superseded in the 20th Century, vestiges of it remain in many of the current bayonet fighting systems.
The overwhelming majority of military miniatures in bayonetting poses do not reflect actual techniques of the time. Many sculptors have no personal military experience. Even if they did, the bayonet style of their age would not match the techniques of earlier eras. You might be surprised how many people would not know about the differences between modern and old fighting styles. Once again, sculptors take things for granted and would not even think that there might be a difference.
For your perusal, then, we illustrate a few series of bayonet fighting techniques. These depict the standard fighting methods of their time.
French Bayonet from 1837
Bayonet from Civil War to 1916, Part 1
Bayonet from Civil War to 1916, Part 2
Anglo-American Bayonet from 1917 to 1970
Soviet Bayonet Method 1942
Modern U.S. Bayonet
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I am looking for military resources describing Bayonet techniques, unarmed combat and basic miltiary skills. At this time, I am interested in items from the 19 Century and earlier. If you can help. pleaee contact us at the email address listed below.
Disclaimer: the bayonet methods shown here are for illustrative purposes only. They are not intended as actual instruction in bayonet fighting and should not be used as such. Bayonet training is dangerous. It can be as dangerous for the user as it is for the target. If you wish to learn close combat, seek a qualified instructor. One should never attempt close combat without the instruction and supervision of a qualified expert instructor .
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