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Thread: When was the last US bayonet charge?

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    Default When was the last US bayonet charge?

    I have a friend here in Kabul that swears it was during the Korean War, but I thought the Marines led the last one in Vietnam. Does anyone know???

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    See link here: the depiction of a bayonet charge in We Were Soldiers Once caused this historian to get his knickers in a twist.

    The last recorded bayonet assault by American soldiers took place in the Korean War—and even then it was considered a wildly outmoded tactic. And, as anyone who has read Colonel Moore and Joe Galloway’s book knows, they make no claim that any such thing took place.

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    Default British Bayonet Charge

    A British article published on May 17, 2004 reads:

    "OUTNUMBERED British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army's first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago.
    The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down. Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara.
    The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway. After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills.
    When the fighting ended bodies lay all over the highway and more were floating in a nearby river. Nine rebels were captured. An Army spokesman said: This was an intense engagement. The last bayonet charge was by the Scots Guards and the Paras against Argentinian positions."

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    Default Korean War

    Another Tulane Alum here. As a kid, I lived on Osan Air Base in South Korea. Every year, we had a ceremony on Hill 180, located on base, in remembrance of the location of the last U.S. Bayonet charge led by Lewis Millett, who received the Medal of Honor for the act. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_L._Millett The last year I was there, Colonel Millett came for the ceremony and led a walk through of the battle. Anyway, below is the citation for his Medal of Honor:

    Citation:

    Captain Millett distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While personally leading his company in an attack against a strongly held position, he noted that the 1st Platoon was pinned down by small arms, automatic, and antitank fire. Captain Millett ordered the 3rd Platoon forward, placed himself at the head of the two platoons, and, with fixed bayonet, led the assault up the fire-swept hill. In the fierce charge, he bayoneted two enemy soldiers and boldly continued on, throwing grenades, clubbing and bayoneting the enemy, while urging his men forward by shouting encouragement. Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill. His dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder. During this fierce onslaught, Captain Millett was wounded by grenade fragments but refused evacuation until the objective was taken and firmly secured. The superb leadership, conspicuous courage, and consummate devotion to duty demonstrated by Captain Millett were directly responsible for the successful accomplishment of a hazardous mission and reflect the highest credit on himself and the heroic traditions of the military service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s.noll View Post
    A British article published on May 17, 2004 reads:

    "OUTNUMBERED British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army's first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago.
    The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down. Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara.
    The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway. After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills.
    When the fighting ended bodies lay all over the highway and more were floating in a nearby river. Nine rebels were captured. An Army spokesman said: This was an intense engagement. The last bayonet charge was by the Scots Guards and the Paras against Argentinian positions."
    From what I have heard this never happened, as written here. After all the shooting stopped, some guys went forward with fixed bayonets (only 1 in 4 UK weapons can fit a bayonet), and took the surrender of the bad guys.

    The references to bayonet charges in Falklands are mostly false. Some guys got did use their bayonets, but no formed body of me ever fixed bayonets and "charged," that I am aware of.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    tulanealum,

    Viet Nam, Khe Sanh, March 30, 1968 by Bravo Co., 1st Bn. 26th Marines.

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    Default URL for Bravo Co, 30 Mar 1968 ...

    is here.

    However, I find a later reference (6 Jun 1968), which is here.

    At 1:30 P.M. on Saturday, 3 June 2000, a park atop a hill in Closter, New Jersey, will be re-dedicated. Schauble Park was named to honor the memory and the sacrifice of one of our own, Corporal Kenneth W. Schauble. Ken was a Squad Leader with the 2nd Platoon, "Echo" Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines. He served at Khe Sanh on Hill 861-A during the 1968 Tet Offensive, and he was later Killed in Action on 6 June, 1968 during an intense battle in "Leatherneck Square" near Con Thien. The date of the ceremony closely coincides with the 32nd anniversary of the day he and 13 other Marines died On the day of his death, the 2nd Platoon of "Echo" Company was on a security patrol when they engaged a large North Vietnamese Army force concealed in a bunker complex. After a pitched battle which lasted several hours and resulted in numerous casualties on both sides, the 2nd Platoon was cut off nearly out of ammunition, and had only sporadic communication with one remaining radio. Realizing the only hope was to break out, Ken gave the order to "fix bayonets" and he led 2nd squad "over the top," on line, into the enemy bunker complex. While Ken was killed instantly when struck by a machine gun bullet, the 2nd squad pressed the attack suffering near total casualties while pressing the attack into the enemy bunker complex, killing numerous NVA. Jim Kaylor, the only survivor from 2nd Squad, said "Ken was one of the many brave hearts who died that day; 14 Marines were killed and 11 wounded. He was always one of my heroes because he was a bright and very brave man. Ken Schauble was a strong leader, tough as hell and he loved the Marine Corps!"
    All that being said, James Kaylor supplied a more complete report of the action, without mention of bayonets, which is here.

    After reading through these reports of actions, now more than 40 years old, the presence or absence of a bayonet charge seems so very, very irrelevant to the courage shown by these Marines in two encounters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    From what I have heard this never happened, as written here. After all the shooting stopped, some guys went forward with fixed bayonets (only 1 in 4 UK weapons can fit a bayonet), and took the surrender of the bad guys.
    Without even knowing any of the specifics, that was my hunch. If they were "pinned down" then how did they manage to even attempt the "charge" let alone not suffer significant casualties? And why not just return fire? Insurgents aren't notorious for accurate fire, but I think they could dump a few magazines in the direction of a charging Scotsman and manage to hit him at least once, especially given the large target that a highlander presents. My spidey sense was tingling when I read that one.

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    Default Another example

    The battle, one of three separate attacks against British troops in the area on the same day, ended when the soldiers fixed bayonets and stormed a series of enemy positions dug-in by the road-side. About 30 Iraqis were killed, 12 were captured and a further dozen are believed to have fled from the battlefield.
    news telegraph.co.uk 13-June-2004


    It's going to be difficult to determine the last time there has been a "fix bayonets" order given on any given FEBA. Could have been one yesterday for all we know.
    ...
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    news telegraph.co.uk 13-June-2004


    It's going to be difficult to determine the last time there has been a "fix bayonets" order given on any given FEBA. Could have been one yesterday for all we know.
    ...
    I've had a few people tell me they witnessed guys from 5th Marines bayonet Iraqis in OIF 1. Though apparently that was just one of the CQB methods used, others included the door of an Amtrac.

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    Mike Co., 3rd Bn., 5th Marines (transplacement) fixed bayonets and cleared the Presidential Motorcade route for Pres. Eisenhower in Naha, Okinawa R.Is. when he visited Okinawa enroute to a visit to Japan.

    We did not charge, but moved down the route with fixed bayonets held at high port and the crowd parted and remained on the sidewalk with smiles on their faces.

    There were some organized communist sympathizers who attempted to disrupt the process, but a single buttstroke to a collarbone stopped that act immediately.

    Seems a fella tried to trip a squad leader from his right side and the SL nailed him with a quick chop from the highport position and the platoon remained in motion with out any additional incidents.

    I have pictures of Ike in his open vehicle waving to the crowd while Marine Infantry lined the route with their M-1 Grands held at high port topped with bayonets.

    I never laid eyes on the President, but he passed within 15 feet of my position.

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    The last bayonet charge of the us arm forces were made by the puerto rican 65th infantry batallion in the korean war. This is a fact of history that has remain buried like many other things...here is the link so you guys can look this up and now the facts...


    Read this and you will see.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-30-2012 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Wikipedia link removed as moderator found it had NO content.

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    The wikipedia link doesn't have any content.

    Try this one, which also claims that the 65th conducted the last battalion-sized bayonet attack by the US Army.

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    Ah, the mytique of the bayonet...

    I don't recall the exact details, but I believe it was as the results of the Russo-Japanese war were being studied in the west and the bayonet charge was still seen as the culminating event of any good infantry engagement that the % of soldiers deemed killed by bayonet was something like 3%. To which which an unrepentant Infantry General remarked, "Yes, but they were the decisive ones."
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    Default Fixed bayonet image - Guantanamo Bay, 1991

    An image at this link about Guantanamo Bay, is not of a "bayonet charge," but is of Marines with fixed bayonets in a conflict situation, circa 1991.

    As my post at that link describes, this was during "Operation Take Charge," which was a mission within the larger "Operation Safe Haven," related to the Haitian refugee crisis in 1991.

    In December, Haitians at the tent city on Guantanamo rioted and essentially took control of the camp area they lived in.

    A company of Marines was called in to restore order, though they did not use force. At 4 a.m. one morning, they stormed the camp over wooden slats that crossed the barbed wire, surrounded the interior of the camp, and everyone "surrendered."

    The fixed bayonets were for intimidation, and I'm sure they worked. So, not a "charge," but certainly a rare case of actual use in a 'conflict' situation.

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    Interesting... given that relatively few of their current section weapons will actually accept a bayonet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwigrunt View Post
    Interesting... given that relatively few of their current section weapons will actually accept a bayonet.
    One of my experiences in stone green-olive was that you cannot assume soldiers to be equipped with current weapons...

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