Prev: Re: [GZG] [SG3]: What if? Next: Re: [GZG] [SG3]: What if?

Re: [GZG] [SG3]: What if?

From: "Allan Goodall" <agoodall@h...>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 13:20:00 -0600
Subject: Re: [GZG] [SG3]: What if?

On Jan 31, 2008 11:09 AM, Adrian1 <> wrote:
> This means there is no accurate record of how effective H2H weapons
> because they leave few if any survivors.

I'm not sure where you're getting the information that cause of death
isn't recorded, but in some wars it _was_ recorded, and in relatively
good detail.

During the American Civil War, the Union did a very detailed job of
going over corpses on several of the major battlefields (Antietam,
Gettysburg for sure, several others spring to mind, like Chickamauga
and The Wilderness) during burial of the dead. They checked to see the
type of wound that killed the soldier.

Now, this wasn't 100% accurate. It took some experience to tell the
difference between a bayonet stab and penetration from a shell
fragment, but they did a reasonable job.

It was through these studies that they discovered that bayonet wounds
resulted in about 4% of the battlefield deaths where bayonets were

So, some battlefields did result in accurate data for a lack of
lethality in hand to hand weapons.

Note: HTH combat in the American Civil War was relatively rare.
Bayonet _charges_ were very frequent. The bayonet charge had a
psychological effect. Either the guys receiving the charge would run
away, or they'd stand and discharge their weapons into the chargers,
who would usually stop charging. Actual hand-to-hand combat only
happened when one side or the other was caught unawares.

I'm not sure how much this applies to modern combat, if at all, other
than to say that there have been wars in the last 150 years that
generated detailed information about the use of HTH weapons in combat.


Allan Goodall

Gzg-l mailing list

Prev: Re: [GZG] [SG3]: What if? Next: Re: [GZG] [SG3]: What if?