Journalist in Residence
“Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.” – President Barack Obama
Who would have guessed the most talked about quote from this week’s presidential debate would involve bayonets and horses?
According to the Associated Press, the Twitter hashtag “horsesandbayonets” immediately began trending in the United States, becoming the top trend in the country and third most-trended worldwide, even an hour after the debate ended.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Army has 419,155 bayonets in its inventory. The Marine Corps has about 195,334 bayonets (and has plans to acquire 175,061 more).
But here is a bit of bayonet trivia. The current military design for the bayonet was created in Illinois back in 1995 at the Rock Island Arsenal.
Here is an excerpt of story I wrote back then for the Quad-City Times with the remarks of an enthusiastic engineer describing the redesigned weapon:
The most obvious difference is that it lacks a long, deep groove on the blade.
“The blood groove is there to eliminate suction,” (John) Kreider said. “You see, when you take a cold knife and stick into a warm body, it can be difficult to pull out. But we determined that this bayonet would leave a big enough hole that there shouldn‘t a problem with pulling it out.”
image credit: Photographer: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images