Friday, June 14, 2019

You'll Never Need A Knife In Combat

h/t Daily Timewaster

Then 28 y.o. squad leader SSGT Bellavia, in Iraq, circa 2004.

Which is absolutely true...until you do:

From Army Times
"Bellavia grabbed the wounded insurgent and put him in a choke hold to keep him from giving away their position.
“The wounded Jihadist then bit Sergeant Bellavia on the arm and smacked him in the face with the butt of his AK-47. In the wild scuffle that followed, Sergeant Bellavia took out his knife and slit the Jihadist’s throat,” the Silver Star citation reads. "Two other insurgents who were trying to come to their comrade’s rescue, fired at Bellavia, but he had slipped out of the room, which was now full of smoke and fire."
Bellavia's Silver Star for the action in 2004, upon review, was upgraded to a Medal of Honor. When President Trump puts it around his neck on June 25th, it will make him the Army's only living recipient of that award from OIF, out of seven total awards.

And a certified badass.


Why Ontario Knives, KaBar, or whoever's product he was carrying hasn't already signed him to a lifetime contract as their cutlery spokesperson is a mystery.
Oughta be a slam dunk.


Anonymous said...

A good friend who spent time at a fire base in VN said that the bayonet was a useful tool that could also be used as a weapon by itself or attached to a rifle. (Ka-Bar/Camillus excepted on that part) Being in the field was camping out and a knife is a requisite for camping out. Whether or not you ever expect to use it on an orc is irrelevant. It's part of your EDC kit, so you will have it with you if you DO need to shank a bad guy - kind of like a .45 that can actually be useful for every day chores.
My favorite "outdoor" knives are the Ka/Bar pattern and the Glock M81. Can't attach to a rifle but I have never needed to do so. I sure have used them camping though. Camillus in the car, M81 in the pickup emergency kits.

Stealth Spaniel said...

Thank God, Trump (Orangeman Bad) is our President. Obamanation would've thrown him in solitary confinement for the rest of his life.

Anonymous said...

Some years ago I worked with a fellow who had done pilot rescue in the Yugoslavia adventure. He stated that back when they had been training, all of the old (read "Vietnam Vet" SF guys were wearing the little Air Force survival knives, so of course they copied them and did the same, all wearing them proudly on their load bearing equipment.

He noted that much to their chagrin, they discovered some interesting things shortly there after. First, he remembered that the old SF guys were carrying the AF survival knives because the Vietnamese are small framed, and you could stab yourself with one by it going through the victim and on into you. Second, Serbs are one hell of a lot bigger than Vietnamese.

They all acquired K-Bars soon after an "incident" brought all of this to light.

He also pointed out that while such weapons are technically "silent", the victims usually aren't and can make a LOT of noise before you're done. I heard that from a few WWII vets too.

Ah, the things we learn at work!

Light Dragoon

Jim Scrummy said...

Read his book House to House. Recommend it for everyone. Unfortunately, I will be off grid when he receives this overdue honor, and won't be able to watch the ceremony at the White House or Pentagon. Watched Ron Shurer's ceremony, and know a few people who work with him at the USSS. They all say he's great guy, very unassuming and humble person.

Anonymous said...

I can already see it now ' The Kabar Jihadist - now with slots for bacon strip insertion !"

Hope@ZeroKelvin said...

For working around the ranch, hunting or backpacking, I have one of those Ontario Air Force survival knives. Yes, I know, haha, but I put a good edge of it and it is damn near indestructible. And inexpensive. I had a new sheath made to keep it on my belt as the one it comes with is great if you are jumping out of an airplane but unwieldy otherwise.

Ordering this guys's book today.

The SJWs are probably all fainting at his "toxic masculinity", lol.

The Gray Man said...

This is why I brought a Ka-Bar with me on every mission SERGEANT FUCKASS! My question to the other members of my team was WHERE THE FUCK IS YOUR KNIFE? And some of the NCOs has the nerve to ask why I brought one. Why the fuck wouldn’t you?

The Gray Man said...

If I had a dime for every Muslim local national I saw at the DFAC with a PILE of bacon on his plate, I’d be richer than Mansa Musa.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Good story read it this morning as I am behind on reading the blogosphere. Book is on order as well. Thanks for spreading the word Aesop and all your recent information as well. God Bless and God Speed

A.B. Prosper said...

It amazes me that people don't carry knives where it's legal. It's completely insane for a soldier not have one .

On a personal note I was with a group of millennial friends not long ago, like 6 guys and a couple of gals. The only person there with a knife was the non millennial , me.

Carrying decent sized pocket knives is fine in my state BTW .

In fairness of the girls did apologize as she'd accidently left her knife at home that day so some hope there I guess

Given these are guys with working class jobs from military families , hell one friends dad carries a huge knife , he's a cop but still. I mean these aren't city goobers but normal guys who like guns. WTF ?

It is not like a Swiss army Knife or a decent folder is expensive or heavy .Hell my former EDC knife, was $10 on sale and served me for years.

Anonymous said...


waepnedmann said...

IIRC Bellavia used a Gerber multitool to off the guy he was rolling around with by shoving the blade in near his collar bone and wiggling it around. The "slitting his throat" scenario makes for dramatic reading, but inserting a blade and stirring the giblets is a more practical way of using a blade in a face-to-face encounter.
As the French fencing folks say, "La point, tojours la pointe."

waepnedmann said...

No, I do not know how he "opened" the blade from the multitool while wrestling the guy.
I have thought about that, and it does not make a lot of sense unless he was behind the guy and was controlling him with a choke using one arm and accessing the multitool with the other hand then bringing the tool up to access the blade with the choking arm/hand.
I don't know.
I thought it was odd when I read the account.

waepnedmann said...

Addendum 2:
So, I went back to the book and reread Bellavia's account of his hand to hand fight.
He did use a Gerber multitool, they were face-to-face, he flicked the blade open one-handed, and,with a considerable effort, inserted the blade under the other guy's collar bone and wiggled the blade until he cut an artery.
I am guessing the left subclavian, but our host would have a better guess at that than I.

And, yeah, I like knives. A lot.
I felt nekked when I worked in a non-permissive environment and could not carry one.

Everything is a weapon, depending on how you hold it (h/t Tam).

Will said...

IIRC, Tam quoting her roomie RobertaX: "A human without a knife is just a chimp with a bad haircut".

Anonymous said...

a Gerber multi tool blade, didn't the old one not lock, at least mine did not. sling open, then open handles and then pull blade out. i'm thinking needle nose multi tool, sling open, jammed in the neck region a whole bunch of times. I bet their publisher made it PC in the book.

Beans said...

Light Dragoon - There is an art to silent killing with a knife. If cutting the throat, you need to shove the victim's head forward to mostly cover the sound of air escaping.

Better yet, shiv the bastard in the kidneys. Supposedly it is so painful that the victim can't scream.

But the key, no matter what, is controlling the scream. As Christopher Lee could attest to.

As to knives, a good point is required. At least strong enough to drive through several layers of denim or other dense cloth. And knowing the best places, armpit, groin, neck etc.

Bleh. A necessary skill, but one that is rather more disturbing than just shooting an individual from range.

Pat H. said...

Italian bayonet above, USMC bayonet below for comparison purposes. Both are NATO standard fitment.

waepnedmann said...

Re. Stabby vs Slicey:

The point/tip is easiest to use to cause a fatality.
The edge is easiest to "defanged the snake".

(Insert quotes from Dune).

I had a girlfriend in high school whose father had been taken prisoner by the Germans in WWII (yeah, I'm that old).
Her mother told me he escaped out of the back of a truck transporting them to a POW camp by cutting the throat of a guard with a piece of broken glass from a bottle. He got across the border to Switzerland.

Everything is a weapon (Bellavia beat the guy with a plate from his plate carrier and his helmet before ending the fight with his multitool).

So, whatever works.

I cannot understand why a person would not carry an edged tool in combat.
One of my employees had done the snake eater, whiskey and cobra blood thing prior to working with me. He carried a well-worn BFK. He told me as much as he likes his knife, if you gave him a Stanley utility knife and five seconds he could have someone incapacitated and bleeding out.

A multitool would be my minimum requirements for any outdoor activity.

Reltney McFee said...

Once upon a time, in Da City, my (African Heritage'd) EMS partner and I (very, very pale) caught a stabbing run. Well, it was called in as "sick", but, geez, ya know...

So Doug (pseudonym) trotted out to retrieve the Cot, and I collected vitals. The crowd, a "diverse" crowd, voiced disappointment that the stab-ee had not already been transported. As they approached closer to me, unhappily murmuring, I profuced my lock blade knife, opened it with a flick of my wrist, and began to "expose the wound" on my patient.

Everybody backed up 3 or 4 steps.

Doug arrived, and off we went. TTFN!

I always carried/carry a knife. Or two.

Domo said...

The kabar weighs 320g
Roughly the same as a 20 round magazine of 5.56 or slightly less than a grenade.

Not saying knives are bad, but there are carry limits

Anonymous said...

Domo; knives never run out of ammo. Frags and mags are wonderful things, but are NOT substitutes for pointed, edged steel.
Paternal grandfather brought home a 1917 trench knife; three-sided blade about 8-9" long. One very efficient stabber that would penetrate several inches of wet wool. A bit specialized perhaps but certainly appropriate for the time and place.
EDC ; Swiss Climber and Ontario lockblade. There are "Kabars" on most of the field gear owned by family members.
Boat Guy

Aesop said...

Ever try to cut through a packing strap with an M-16 magazine?

Anonymous said...

Two items one should always be wearing/carrying are a knife and a belt. If you live in some Blue hell carry a multi-tool. Its not a knife, its a multi-tool. A belt can be a weapon or a field expedient tourniquet or strap to hold or carry something or use your imagination. You may also want to consider having a few knives stashed around the house JIC. (do mind the reach of kids). As has been alluded to above choose the right knife for the job if you can. When I hunt I have no less than 4 knives (2 in the pack, 2 on my person) for field dressing or in case I need to cut line, etc. Finally, there is nothing quite so soothing and rewarding as sharpening your knife on a whetstone.

waepnedmann said...

"Finally, there is nothing quite so soothing and rewarding as sharpening your knife on a whetstone."

I think it is a kind of Zen meditation that allows your mind to be in neutral while your hands are engaged in a precise repetitive movement.

The Cheyenne chief that whites called Dull Knife had changed his name, after he had signed the peace treaty with the whites, to:
"I-Will-Sharpen-My-Knife-No-More-Against-My-Enemy". A totally different meaning than meaning of Dull Knife as he was called by the whites.

Sharpening your knife while waiting and prepared to engage in an activity burns off nervous energy for some and shows the resolve of others.
Kind of like polishing your shoes before a funeral.

And about the whetstone: my dad bought an electric sharper thinking I would like to speed the job up over a whetstone.
He just did not get the reason I like to take my time to bring up an edge on a blue stone, then a fine ceramic, and then polish the edge on a charged leather strop.