Page 11 of 12 FirstFirst ... 9101112 LastLast
Results 101 to 110 of 112

Thread: been awhile since i studied the civil war regarding melee deaths

  1. #101
    Moderator

    CSA Major

    Leifr's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    651
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRegulator View Post
    Yup happened once for me too .... Seems a bit over geared and way to much. I went out and got a cup of coffe, waited and waited ..... Thought it might be a bug or something. Then it became anoying ...
    Which is what I'm getting at, it's quicker to then rambo yourself into the opposing side and be killed than to wait for the effect to disappear.
    Captain Jim J. Digby, 8th Virginia Regiment, Company 'H'

  2. #102

    USA Captain

    James W. Holland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Lightfoot View Post
    It is the nature of how the skirmish battles are set up and the fact it is a game. People charge who wouldn't really charge because it is almost certain death for most of the people charging. In a game like WoR you come back to life after a few minutes. Death is an inconvenience. Because of the time limits, ticket system, and weapon effectiveness a charge is the best method of achieving victory.

    But reality was that the bayonet was a "morale" weapon. If an attacking line actually got close enough to use it the defender usually considered the fight lost and promptly ran away. They considering the fact that the attacker was able to hold rank and cross under fire far enough to make contact sufficient proof they should win. First person accounts tend to be embellished and not to be overly trusted.

    Here are some solid statistics from Nosworthy's book:

    Cause of death reported by the AoP's surgeon McParlin for the Battle of the Wilderness:
    Shell: 231, Shot: 6, Bullet: 7,046, Bayonet: 4, Sword: 2

    Spotsylvania where you would expect much higher casualties due to the Mule Shoe:
    Shell: 712, Shot: 37, Bullet: 8,218, Bayonet: 14, Sword: 1.

    As you can see the Bayonet was rarely used to kill people with.

    As Nosworthy goes on to say:

    There is considerable difference between a bayonet fight (which is what we do) and a bayonet charge. "A bayonet charge, on the other had, is a formal, predefined tactic whereby infantryman "charge bayonets," that is, extend their muskets in front of them and rush in upon the enemy, threatening to "run in" whoever contemplates standing up to them."

    "If the goal was to overpower the enemy only after a ferocious and bloody bayonet fight, then repeat the bayonet indeed proved to be a useless appendage during the Civil War."

    "the purpose of any weapon system is to achieve the desired tactical objective, the discomfiture of the enemy, rather than simply to impose how the conflict will be resolved. In other words, if we measure the bayonet's role by what it actually achieved during combat, then we are forced to conclude that it indeed proved to be an invaluable tool during many Civil War engagements."
    I disagree with the statistics that are in Nosworthy's book. I think there were quite a few casualties that were inflicted the the bayonet during the war. I do not believe only 14 people were killed by bayonets during that battle, There was over 20 hours of hand to hand fighting during The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House there is no way only 14 people were killed by bayonets within 20 hours, Not only that most of those statistics in those types of books are not always correct, since over 40% of battlefield deaths are from unkown causes.

  3. #103

    USA Lieutenant Colonel

    David Dire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    America
    Posts
    681
    There probably was way more bayonet casualties, however his info still may be (in a way) correct, assuming reports from the time added up to what he got.
    http://i.imgur.com/STUHVb8.png

  4. #104

    CSA Captain


    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by James W. Holland View Post
    I disagree with the statistics that are in Nosworthy's book. I think there were quite a few casualties that were inflicted the the bayonet during the war. I do not believe only 14 people were killed by bayonets during that battle, There was over 20 hours of hand to hand fighting during The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House there is no way only 14 people were killed by bayonets within 20 hours, Not only that most of those statistics in those types of books are not always correct, since over 40% of battlefield deaths are from unkown causes.
    Actually I can believe it. You can't avoid getting shot if the bullet that's going to hit you is already flying. Avoiding getting stabbed though is relatively easy. Just turn around and run away. In fact this is what happened most of the times bayonets were brought out. One of the two sides decided it was time to leave. People hate getting stabbed, can you imagine? They would rather just run away a couple of yards, turn around and shoot back.

    Don't quote me on it (can't find source back) but I believe European observers were even amazed at how few bayonet charges were actually conducted. The Americans would rather stand in lines opposite to another and exchange volleys. In the Europeans' minds this caused even more casualties since if either side decided to do a bayonet charge the other side would probably retreat (because of above reasons). At least that's what their own experience with Napoleonic wars taught them. Bayonet charge usually meant either the charging side or the charged side retreated fairly quickly.

    In game bayonet charges are unrealistic and will remain to be so. We just charge in and fight until either our own side of their side is completely wiped out. This would not have happened in real life.

  5. #105

    USA Captain

    James W. Holland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDewitt View Post
    Actually I can believe it. You can't avoid getting shot if the bullet that's going to hit you is already flying. Avoiding getting stabbed though is relatively easy. Just turn around and run away. In fact this is what happened most of the times bayonets were brought out. One of the two sides decided it was time to leave. People hate getting stabbed, can you imagine? They would rather just run away a couple of yards, turn around and shoot back.

    Don't quote me on it (can't find source back) but I believe European observers were even amazed at how few bayonet charges were actually conducted. The Americans would rather stand in lines opposite to another and exchange volleys. In the Europeans' minds this caused even more casualties since if either side decided to do a bayonet charge the other side would probably retreat (because of above reasons). At least that's what their own experience with Napoleonic wars taught them. Bayonet charge usually meant either the charging side or the charged side retreated fairly quickly.

    In game bayonet charges are unrealistic and will remain to be so. We just charge in and fight until either our own side of their side is completely wiped out. This would not have happened in real life.
    Of course people hate getting stabbed, people also hate getting shot too. The Minie Ball was worse than the bayonet when it comes to damage. In most cases you don't really have a choice, if you already fired the single shot you have, and somebody charges you with a bayonet you really don't have a choice. But only "14" people stabbed by bayonets at Spotsylvania Court House its really hard to believe, a battle that lasted from May 8 - May 20 1864. When Chamberlain Ordered a bayonet charge at Little Round Top that charge inflicted at least 70 casualties and quite a few were stabbed by bayonets more than 14 at least. So for Spotsylvania Court House, a Battle that lasted almost 2 weeks and with hand to hand fighting lasting for 20 hours "14" bayonet kills is hard to believe, Compared to when the bayonet charge at Little Round Top was ordered which killed way over "14" people with bayonets, and that only lasted a few minutes.

  6. #106

    CSA Major General

    Dether's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    104
    Quote Originally Posted by James W. Holland View Post
    Of course people hate getting stabbed, people also hate getting shot too. The Minie Ball was worse than the bayonet when it comes to damage. In most cases you don't really have a choice, if you already fired the single shot you have, and somebody charges you with a bayonet you really don't have a choice. But only "14" people stabbed by bayonets at Spotsylvania Court House its really hard to believe, a battle that lasted from May 8 - May 20 1864. When Chamberlain Ordered a bayonet charge at Little Round Top that charge inflicted at least 70 casualties and quite a few were stabbed by bayonets more than 14 at least. So for Spotsylvania Court House, a Battle that lasted almost 2 weeks and with hand to hand fighting lasting for 20 hours "14" bayonet kills is hard to believe, Compared to when the bayonet charge at Little Round Top was ordered which killed way over "14" people with bayonets, and that only lasted a few minutes.
    I have got to agree on the mule shoe fight at Spotsylvania as well as at Franklin..when men are this close and actually biting each other the bayonet has to be more involved I would think, and you have to consider some of those wounds were from personal weapons (knives and swords soidiers carried) so I think perhaps the numbers were skewed some how.. maybe between wounds and deaths ... something does not make sense.
    oh and by the way Chamberlin did not make that order.. his second in command did,, in history the only person who said chamberlin gave the order was chamberlin ... he.. like so many other Yankees became famous because others died.
    Last edited by Dether; 11-04-2017 at 10:58 PM.
    All governments, everywhere derived its power by the consent of the people. The government you have is by your own consent. Not by those brave grey dead of one hundred and fifty plus years ago.

  7. #107

    CSA Captain

    Goad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    27
    Burial teams didnt care to find out how they died. They wanted to get it over with and fast, taking time to find out probably meant up to 3-4 times the amount of time to get it all done. Your biggest hand-to-hand fighting injuries were clubbing each other over the heads.

  8. #108

    CSA Major General

    Dether's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    104
    Quote Originally Posted by Goad View Post
    Burial teams didnt care to find out how they died. They wanted to get it over with and fast, taking time to find out probably meant up to 3-4 times the amount of time to get it all done. Your biggest hand-to-hand fighting injuries were clubbing each other over the heads.
    that makes sense.. especially when I have heard of folks biting.. that is REAL CLOSE combat.
    All governments, everywhere derived its power by the consent of the people. The government you have is by your own consent. Not by those brave grey dead of one hundred and fifty plus years ago.

  9. #109

    CSA Major

    Redleader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Kingdom of Belgium
    Posts
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDewitt View Post
    Actually I can believe it. You can't avoid getting shot if the bullet that's going to hit you is already flying. Avoiding getting stabbed though is relatively easy. Just turn around and run away. In fact this is what happened most of the times bayonets were brought out.
    I agree on the 'psychological effect' of the bayonet, you can only imagine to see a bunch of folks coming for you with their bayonet ... that would tell they mean business.

    There are only a few reasons I believe a Bayonet charge could be considered (might be more, but this comes in to mind):

    • [You want to drive the enemy out of their position fast, I would consider a charge when having the numeric and strategic advantage]

    • [In case of last ditch efforts (Little Round Top) or when implying scare tactics, however the wounds inflicted by the rifles most of been a horrendous sight as is]

    • [In a case where using a rifle is considered difficult, some positions were already entrenched or position where the enemy had "cover" and your troops are in the open]

    • [At night, or bad visual (but hey that's my personal opinion)]


    Of we look at the history reports, melee or hand to hand combat was rare (how rare, well that's a bit unclear), I mean most of the time the rifles/muskets/artillery did their work already in slaughtering a bunch of people. (think it was pretty clear how things where going)

    Also soldiers get really inventive when it comes to 'Close Combat', a long rifle with a poking stick might not as be effective as other weapons (for example the fights in tunnels in WWI) -> so yes anything ranging for rifle butts, sabers, knives, axes ... even hand to hand.
    Last edited by Redleader; 11-05-2017 at 02:55 PM.

  10. #110

    USA General of the Army

    A. P. Hill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    In Maryland State Near to both Antietam and Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry et al.
    Posts
    2,444
    Quote Originally Posted by David Dire View Post
    There probably was way more bayonet casualties, however his info still may be (in a way) correct, assuming reports from the time added up to what he got.
    Here's a rather lengthy and, I admit, boring read ... medical history of the civil war.

    I have found other volumes of works that listed injuries by type but I can't seem to locate those references at this time.

    The work linked above however does go into battle casualties and causes of death.

    (This is of course a USA volume, so it goes mostly into U.S. injuries.)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •