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"Bayonet Assault" Topic

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1,150 hits since 29 Dec 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2017 12:07 p.m. PST

Interesting Vignette….


Main page


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

Longer rifle/bayonet scores!

Legion 429 Dec 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

Nice paint jobs …

Mark 129 Dec 2017 2:30 p.m. PST

Longer rifle/bayonet scores!

Certainly in this case. And very much the thinking that drove the design of the Mosin rifle and it's bayonet.

If you have never handled a Mosin Nagain Model 1891/30 rifle (or any of the variants of the Mosin long rifle) it is an interesting beast. The bayonet is very much a hold-over from prior centuries. The bayonet turns a rifleman into a pikeman. It is about 16 inches long, pike / cruciform shaped, with a nasty flat headed point (can serve as a somewhat awkward screwdriver to help disassemble the rifle). Optimized to go through ribs, sliding between and opening them up as it goes, as gruesomely pictured in the diorama.

The bayonet fits over the muzzle and with a quarter turn is locked in place by the front site. Just like muskets from a century before.

So then it is to the side of the barrel, putting your aim off by a bit when you fire the gun with the bayonet fixed. But that's the only way you were expected to fire the rifle.

Most Red Army soldiers were not issued any form of scabbard for the bayonet. The only place to carry it was ON the rifle. However carrying it fixed made it a transport hazard (don't want to poke holes in the state-owned canvas of the state-owned truck you are riding in). So it was carried reversed, over the muzzle with the sharp end laying alongside the barrel. But there was no way to lock it in place when mounted reversed, so if you fired it you would launch your state-owned bayonet downrange a few dozen yards.

So EVERY time you were anywhere near the combat zone you fixed bayonets. And every time you expected to fire it, you expected to fire it with the bayonet mounted. As a result, a good and authentic Mosin Nagant M1891/30 rifle will shoot off to the side if the bayonet is NOT mounted. They were sighted in to fire correctly with the bayonets.

The whole contraption was rather un-handy. Enough so that the Mosin M1938 carbine, much shorter and designed for non-infantry uses (artillery crew, military police, etc.) became very popular among the "frontovnics" in Stalingrad. But the carbine, developed from the cavalry/dragoon rifles in the Mosin line, didn't provide for any bayonet at all. That's because, contrary to most other nations, Russian cavalry never had any use for any form of bayonet -- if they came within range to use blades, then the rifles when aside and the sashka sabres came out.

But the utility of a shorter gun in confined urban combat did not mean a bayonet was not useful. And so the late-war and post-war Soviet carbines (the Mosin M1944 and the SKS family) have bayonets permanently attached to the guns, that pivot from the back-along-the-barrel to the extended positions.

And … Mosin bayonets were blued. Not bare metal. They had to stand up to the muzzle flash, as they were expected to always be on the gun when it was fired. So the bit poking out of the back of our hapless landser should not be shiny silver, but subdued gun-metal blue.

Doesn't mean that it has to be modeled that way. Even my own Red Army WW2 infantry has silver bayonets. I mean, what wargamer doesn't expect to see shiny silver blades?

(aka: Mk 1)

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2017 6:20 a.m. PST


Fascinating! Especially liked the tidbit about the bayonet doubling as a crude screwdriver!


Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member30 Dec 2017 7:40 a.m. PST

I think most armies of Ww2 used "state owned" equipment.

Mark 130 Dec 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

I think most armies of Ww2 used "state owned" equipment.

True that. But …

In the Soviet Union, destruction or misappropriation of state owned property was a criminal offense.

If a Red Army soldier lost his bayonet, or any other piece of equipment he was provided with, he could be charged with a crime. Not only "could", either. Many were.

Or at least I am given to believe many were. Wasn't actually there to see it. But to this day it is a much-repeated theme in Russian-made WW2 films and books, of the poor brave frontovnic being sent to a penal battalion because he could not produce some piece of kit that he had signed for when it was issued.

Always the charge read at the court-marshal was: "destruction (misappropriation) of state-owned material".


(aka: Mk 1)

Barin131 Dec 2017 3:24 a.m. PST

To be fair, everything had a price. Later on, you could just pay for smth you've lost. This custom existed through Cold War, not sure how it is now but I think it is kept in certain way.
In Polish they have a proverb "soldier is out of the army, the cow to the army" ( will not try my rudimentary Polish) but I think it is also an old one.
End of 80s if you occasionally lost a cartridge or shot it while disarming your AK after guard duty the motherland would deduct one rouble out of your 7 roubles month allowance. We had an officer, who was paying for years for 2 cases of his stupidity once he wanted to start an engine of GTT at -35C, and the best thing he came up with was trying to pull it with another GTT, so the engine was destroyed. Next time, when driving for guard location in another GTT, he decided to show the soldiers how good his driving was, and fell from the bridge with tracks up. Luckily nobody was injured (it was winter again), but the cabin and canvas were damaged beyond repair. Think the estimate was like… 7 years to pay it off.

Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member31 Dec 2017 11:30 a.m. PST

Not sure it was much better in the US Army. Your pay could be docked for damage or loss of equipment but the maximun was based on your normal pay. When I was a LT in the 80s there was an old tall tale about promoting some low ranker during his time in the stockade so that his base pay was high enough to cover the cost of some very expensive item. When he got out they took the stripes back. I personally was responsible for some 26 million dollars worth of missiles and launching equipment for my platoon. We always laughed about getting promoted to General to cover the loss of a Pershing.

Legion 401 Jan 2018 9:07 a.m. PST

As an M113 Mech Co Cdr, '87-'89, not sure what that entire Company of 14 M113s, 1 M35 Deuce & 1/2 w/Trlr, 1 M151 w/Trlr[later replaced by a Hummer], plus everything else, etc., etc., cost. But I'm sure it was a lot too. And of course, you sub-hand receipt much of it. So if someone loses it … they buy it. After a proper Report of Survey … evil grin

utility of a shorter gun in confined urban combat did not mean a bayonet was not useful.
Especially in Closed terrain e.g. urban Close Combat Weapons can be very useful. E.g. bayonets, knives, tomahawks[heard some were used in SE Asia and the GWoT], etc. IIRC the UK troops used bayonets to "good affect" in the Falklands as well.

about the bayonet doubling as a crude screwdriver!
Been told many troops in SE Asia, etc. used bayonets to open C-Rat cans. With the advent of MREs in the mid-'80s. In tin foil pouches, the bayonet was not as useful in that situation.

However, in the urban battles in Iraq, etc. bayonets and knives were useful as well. E.g. the Point Man of a USMC or Army patrol was walking up steps in a house. And was confronted by "the enemy" there. He didn't use his M16, the quarters were too close. However, "the enemy" was dispatched with repeated stabs from the US trooper's knife or unfixed bayonet.

Up close and personal, like had been done in warfare in the past … forever …

Mick the Metalsmith Inactive Member01 Jan 2018 11:32 a.m. PST

I think a bayonet would be very useful to open MREs. I always had to resort to a good Swiss Army knife to open the brown plastic packaging. It always seemed a good liner for a Kevlar jacket!

Bayonets also have great intimidation value for dealing with mobs.

Legion 401 Jan 2018 7:14 p.m. PST

Oh yes, a sharp knife of any type would be useful with MREs as well. And many of us carried those too. Along with bayonets if issued.

Of course the best way to open a C-Rat was the little P-38. But if one was not around a bayonet would do as well. But generally everybody had a P-38, some sort of knife and maybe a bayonet. Depending on the situation. And we finally got the bayonets with the wire cutters on the scabbard @ '88.

And it is true fixing bayonets does have an intimation factor on a mob, etc. We practiced riot control when I was an LT in the 101, '80-'83.

SgtGuinness02 Jan 2018 7:45 p.m. PST

Mark 1, your statements regarding the Mosin Nagant ring true sir. It's definitely the longest rifle I've fired. Due to its length I must stand to run a patch down the barrel like a musket of old. With the spike bayonet the assembly is taller than I making it a very ominous weapon.

Legion 403 Jan 2018 8:56 a.m. PST

Kind of like the longer reach of a Boxer in the ring … That gives him a bit of an advantage.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 8:37 p.m. PST

Glad you like it my friend!.


Legion 404 Jan 2018 8:10 a.m. PST

thumbs up

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