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Old 03-18-2015, 09:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
Do you mean melee combat as a norm or outstanding feature of the battle?
Both as the norm and outstanding feature or even just a common occurence yet not quite the deciding factor. Like during the beginnings of firearms, right at the transition between swords, and spears and arrows to firearms. What was the last battle that still had firearms but also had shield walls and that sort of action.

Was it the Imjin War in Asia? Both sides had primitive arquebuses, but also there was sword fighting.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
This. Your question is not phrased well. What are you looking for? Hand to hand combat, as well as use of the bayonet has been documented in the Mid East and A'stan.
Hand to hand combat, but not barehanded but with percussion or cutting weapons like swords, bayonets, or makeshift weapons like a table leg with spikes. I remember watching a history channel special about WW1 trench warfare and they showed an improvised weapon. It is basically a table leg with nails driven into it transforming it into a flanged mace. In trench warfare in WW1 did people actually still hit each other or was it all just pulling the trigger?
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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Have been doing a bit of reading on the Western Front lately and a number of the accounts do mention hand to hand fighting within the trenches.
When I read the OP I immediately thought of the above as it is part of recent reading.

Other examples in the gunpowder era would be the storming of fortifications particularly in the muzzle loading era where soldiers did not use dispersed tactics and so were massed on the battlefield, fighting confines cramped and lengthy reloading times meant after the initial discharge the muskets would be used as battering weapons or pikes if a bayonet were affixed. Some of the Napoleonic era sieges feature this type of combat. Badajoz is the one I have read on.

I am not a 19th century European or U.S. Civil War specialist so cannot say if there were similar examples in that era.

Battles decided by melee as a norm are the "push of pike" battles common in the 17th century. Gunpowder firearms had an important role but they were a supporting arm.

The Battle of the Alma is known as a soldiers battle of the Crimean War was close in due to the poor lighting conditions.

I think you would be hard pressed to find a battle where melee was the norm once accurate long range or breech loading firearms were in common use as that would mean soldiers had to disperse and seek cover and concealment and work their way forward via rushes in small groups which dissipates some of the necessary elements.

Last edited by Felix C; 03-19-2015 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:33 AM
 
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The Falklands War, for one.

Battle of Mount Tumbledown - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:35 AM
 
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We could take a look at the Zulu war battles ...Rorke's Drift and Isandhlwana. The British had the Martini-Henry's but eventually it came down to bayonets, assegais and hand-to-hand.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:44 AM
 
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I believe someone whom posted in this thread, wrote in another thread, that wounds from bayonets where actually quite rare in the Napoleonic era. That during charges, bayonet combat was not that common, and one side would usually just surrender when the other side ends up with more people after the charge and return volley ended.

But I am sure there was at least one battle in the beginning of bayonets that change everything that was prior to what it was.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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Bayonet wounds were scarce in the U.S. Civil War. I recall this from Brent Nosworthy's book. He also examined the American Revolution.

John Elting, Napoleonic scholar and old soldier did write in his outstanding work Swords Around a Throne that one side generally gave way under the weight of fire or threat of bayoneting when the advance appeared unstoppable. He examined all combatant nations during the Napoleonic Wars.

Last edited by Felix C; 03-19-2015 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:02 PM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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British troops fixed bayonets in both Iraq and Afghanistan, multiple insurgents were killed with cold steel in at least two incidents during both wars. Both of these incidents are well documented.

And for a "recent" American example:

US Army Rangers during the assault on the PDF "La Commandancia" headquarters during the invasion of Panama in 1989 ... take a look at what is on the end of their rifles.


US Army troops in Iraq - I believe this photo was taken during the immediate aftermath of the fall of Saddam's regime (ie: spring/summer 2003), it appears to be a crowd control incident.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:44 PM
 
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Fixing bayonet is not he same as having to use it though. Those pictures of rangers, and soldiers in Iraq does not mean they actually did use them.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Elysium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Fixing bayonet is not he same as having to use it though. Those pictures of rangers, and soldiers in Iraq does not mean they actually did use them.
Or the plan was to conduct either a bayonet charge or last ditch defense. So when was the last time orders were issued to unload so that soldiers wouldn't stop to shoot rather than go into the melee?
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