Topic: Cold Steel
Close Fighting Guide being prepared
Boston Evening Transcript, 20 September 1905
Washington, Sept. 20.—The General Staff of the army is hard at work on the new manuals for the sabre and the bayonet for the army. Hitherto these manuals have called for much skill on the part of enlisted men, so much, indeed, that few of them can acquire the art of wielding either weapon in a satisfactory manner. It is proposed to omit from the manuals everything of a fancy fencing character, such as is taught in the private drillrooms. It is intended that there shall be a return to the simplest methods, and that everything shall be on the most practical and useful basis. Both weapons are meant for use in time of war, and especially is this so of the bayonet. The officers who have been on duty in Manchuria with the Russian and Japanese armies are furnishing special reports to the General Staff on the subject, and such experts as Captain Herman J. Koehler, the master of the sword at the Military Academy, and Civil Engineer Cunningham, of the navy, who is an expert swordsman, and who had charge of the Naval Academy fencing last year, are also giving valuable advice along the line indicated. The War Department recently adopted a new type of sabre, which will be kept with a sharpened edge and carried in a wooden scabbard. A new bayonet was adopted several weeks ago, based on the results of the observations of our military attaches with the troops in Manchuria. The sabre and bayonet are therefore of fighting value, and the manual will be of a kindred practical spirit.