Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum


Recommended Posts

Found on FB 


At first glance, this may seem like just another unremarkable page out of a 19th century manual, but it’s actually incredibly influential… revolutionary, even.


What makes this page out of the Queen’s 1859 Evolutions of Infantry manual so incredible is that it is the first time, in any military regulation of a great power, that says soldiers will defeat their enemies by shooting at them. For the first time, the bayonet is subordinate to the firearm, and no longer the decisive weapon. 


It goes even further: all the drill and marching a unit does, is simply to put the soldier in the best location to fire on the enemy.


And it concludes with a profound statement: the soldier who cannot shoot is useless and an encumbrance to the battalion!


Can you imagine how shocking this was to the old soldiers in the British Army in 1859? It horrified the old Napoleonic veterans like William Napier, the hero of the Peninsula, who just lived long enough to rail against the embrace of firepower, and insisted the bayonet charge was the “ne plus ultra” of the British soldier. 


The significance of these things can be overlooked so easily, if we don’t understand the context. Today we don’t bat an eye at the thought of soldiers using firearms to defeat enemies without a single fixed bayonet. But in 1859, this was extremely controversial and while everyone else in Europe and America was still training for bayonet focused shock tactics, the British decided, from now on we fight primarily with bullets.



  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The powers that be always train to fight the last war.


Looks like drone waves are what we should have been training to defeat.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.