• W. Otto SADF
Keywords: the bayonet, single-shot infantry weapon, essential part of the soldier's equipment, repelling assaults at close-quarters, hand-to-hand combat, the hunting-knife, historic weapons


It is sometimes difficult for people to break with outmoded traditions, and this is particularly noticeable in the military world, where today the most modern and technological equipment is carried into battle by soldiers also equipped with a weapon of quite historic origin, the bayonet. During the period of the single-shot infantry weapon, the bayonet formed an essential part of the soldier's equipment, being useful in mounting or repelling assaults at close-quarters when it was impossible to reload or bring fire to bear. The advent of the automatic and semi-automatic weapon has wrought drastic changes in the infantry battle, for modern weapons can be used effectively in all but hand-to-hand combat. For the latter, the hunting-knife was found to be more practical than the bayonet by soldiers in Vietnam. It would seem then, that it is time that the bayonet joined other redundant but historic weapons, appearing only on ceremonial occasions.
How to Cite
Otto, W. (2012). IS BAJONETTE UITGEDIEN?. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 6(2).