A bayonet is a knife- or dagger-shaped weapon designed to fit on or over the muzzle of a rifle or similar weapon. It is a close combat weapon.

Its evolution can be traced to a certain extent to a fortuitous accident. In the mid-17th century irregular conflicts of rural France, the peasants of the Southern French town of Bayonne , having run out of powder and shot, rammed their long-bladed hunting knives into the muzzles of their primitive muskets to fashion impromptu spears, and by necessity created an ancillary weapon that was to influence Western European infantry tactics until the early 20th century.

Ref: 122111/2006-09-19


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