Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A la baionnette! VI. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

"'He must have seen his blood flow, have his teeth
crackle under the blow of his adversary, have dashed to earth with such force as to feel the weight of his foe, and disarmed twenty times. He must twenty times retrieved his failures, more set than ever upon the combat. Then will he be able to confront actual war with the hope of being victorious' - - 14th century - - Rodger of Haveden"

Here is the saga of a man who DID get himself stirred up.

Anthony J. Drexel Biddle.

"Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, USMC CQB Pioneer"

An American aristocrat and proponent of the manly arts. Boxing, fencing, bayonet fencing, and martial arts period.

Biddle was from a very old, wealthy, aristocratic American family. Long time resident of the Main Line area of Philadelphia. When you see the names of Drexel, Biddle, Duke, etc., you are talking about old time money and lineage NOT often seen in American culture or society. Persons variously referred to as "blue-bloods".

As I have said in a previous blog entry, the children of wealth and privilege in American society generally are often useless persons. NOT having drive, initiative, desire to succeed. Why would they need to? They already have the measure by which success is usually measured within American culture, money!

Biddle was NOT by any means a useless person. Quite the contrary. Served his country in an admirable fashion in both World War One [WW1] and World War Two [WW2] Became a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps first [WW1] at the rather advanced age of forty one [41], being recalled to duty during WW2 at the even MORE advanced age of sixty six [66]!!!

[in this regard, Biddle greatly resembles such persons as Selous, Steichen, Fairbairn, Munro [Saki], and Corbett. Men of vigor, honor, and valor. Men of older age, sometimes advanced age, who desire to contribute to the war effort, and do so in a manner few others can EVER hope to emulate.]

Biddle was responsible for training U.S. Marines in hand-to-hand fighting techniques and bayonet fencing. I would have to think primarily the USMC had in mind the trench raid type of combat very common during WW1 when Biddle was assigned the task of teaching combatatives to the Marines.

"Colonel Biddle taught them the use of the machete, saber, dagger, bayonet, and hand grenade. He taught them also the techniques of jiu-jitsu and the French punch-and-kick man-killing attack known as savat [sic] [savate']."

"Biddle . . . then convinced Headquarters Marine Corps to make boxing part of Marine Corps recruit training . . . Although said to closely resemble rifle-bayonet fighting methods, the boxing was useful mostly for increasing recruits’ physical self-confidence."

Here is a news article about some Scotsmen in Iraq who have that physical self-confidence. DID use the bayonet and engage in close quarters combat with Iraqi Shia militia. The Scots emerging triumphant!! Bloody good show!!

Biddle had a strong interest in bayonet fencing even AFTER WW1 ended.

"In 1919 he exhibited rifle-bayonet fencing before the Willard-Dempsey prizefight"

[combat bayonet fencing was a military competitive sport even up unto the period of the 1940's and 1950's?? Slowly died out as a "sport"? NOT practiced anymore with the exception of jukendo??!!]

Anthony was a helluva man. Even fought a match as an amateur boxer against the World Champion of the period, Jack Johnson!!

"‘Now, you boy, there; don’t get yourself stirred up.’" - - Jack Johnson.

I just don't think they make them like Anthony J. Drexel Biddle anymore!!




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