Bayonet

Although slightly later, this pattern of bayonet resembles very closely that which Government troops were supplied with shortly before the Battle of Culloden which fitted their now standardised Brown Bess Muskets.   This was the first time that Bayonets were fitted around the muzzle of their muskets.  Before this troops had to stop firing and insert a 'plug' bayonet into the barrel of their firearm.  The new type offered them a chance to continue firing until the enemy was too close for them to reload.   This advantage added to the wholesale slaughter of the Jacobites who charged the Government lines at Culloden.  In the past the Jacobite army used their famous charge to close the ground between themselves and the redcoat's muskets.  Not only did they now receive more volleys of shots coming their way but they were also slow, charging across uneven and boggy ground without cover.  Those who did amazingly reach the Government lines experienced another new horror; the Government soldiers had been trained to use their bayonets in a radical new fashion.  Instead of blindly thrusting their weapon into the man facing them, they had been drilled to stab at the man to his left.  This meant that instead of their bayonets hitting shields or being swept aside, they now hit the exposed underarm area of their opponent's swordarm and his chest.  This new bayonet was not a beautiful or romantic weapon, it was a custom made weapon that did exactly what it was designed for: kill.  It proved so successful that it remained more or less unchanged for decades.  
Object no :
EAAM081n
Collection :
Creator :
NA
Place of Production :
NA
Dimensions :
full length 533mm, length of blade 435mm
Materials :
steel
Location :
NA
Related site :
Accession number :
NA
Copyright :
East Ayrshire Council
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