Surprise Attack Surprise
2005 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin
(3 January 2005,
St. Maurice, Switzerland) It was the first week of a weapons refresher
course, and Swiss Army Grenadier Detachment 20/5 had just finished training
with live ammunition. The shooting instructor ordered the soldiers to
secure their weapons for a break.
The 24-year-old second lieutenant, in charge of this detachment, decided
this would be a good time to demonstrate a knife attack on a
soldier. Wielding his bayonet, he leaped toward one of his men, achieving
But earlier that week, the soldiers had been drilled to release the safety
catch and ready their guns for firing in the shortest possible time. The
surprised soldier, seeing his lieutenant leaping toward him with a knife,
snapped off a shot to protect himself from the attack.
The lesson could not have been more successful: the soldier had saved
himself and protected the rest of the detachment from a surprise
attack. The lieutenant might have wished to commend his soldier on his
quick action and accurate marksmanship. Unfortunately, he had been killed
with one shot.
And this, kiddies, is why we don't play with knives or guns. Ever. Even
if we are trained professionals, and especially if our target is a trained
"I wonder if the enlisted guy got a Combat Action ribbon?!"
"No one brings knives to Paintball this weekend!!!"
"What's the surprise? He was a SECOND looey."
"That's what he gets for bringing a knife to a gun fight!"
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Submitted by: Rene Laederach
Reader Andy says, "It's bogus I tell you. I was a US Army Ranger
weapon specialist, in combat in Panama, Iraq, and Kosovo, and spent many
days on various ranges. In Europe, we all used the same ranges with the
same rules. They are set up as a sort of assembly line, a row of concrete
holes with the range spread out in front. After cease fire has been
called, the troops are ordered step by step out of the holes, into a line,
where they file past a Sergeant who checks them for ammo. If the story is
true, it was premeditated murder. You can't accidentally get off the range
with a round locked and loaded. Even in combat, they don't let you just
carry ammo all willy-nilly. If memory serves, Blick is a reliable
publication, but I still don't see how it could happen. What the LT should
be criticized for isn't the stupid bayonet attack, but for allowing one of
his troops to leave the firing line with a 'hot' weapon."