Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2005 Darwin Award WINNER

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

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 complete surprise.

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 professional.

Reader Comments:
"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
Reference: Blick

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."

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