Defending Britain with a Bayonet | Hobart's Pike | The Tank Museum

Defending Britain with a Bayonet | Hobart's Pike | The Tank Museum

Director Richard Smith looks at Percy Hobart and the incredible weapon he was issued on joining the Home Guard at the start of WW2; a bayonet welded to a pole. Major General Percy Hobart commanded the 79th Armoured Division and gave the revolutionary, specialised tanks used on D-Day their nickname “Hobart’s Funnies”.
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  1. Did you really just give a nod to Monty Python? My favorite skit: "Today we will learn how to defend yourselves against a man armed with a Banana! A Banana? I wanted to learn defending against a man with a Pointy stick! No. today is the Banana!"… more or less, the gist of it.

  2. never found any german report that the crab was operating in front …
    Would be the easiest target for a german PAK or eight eight for sure …
    Imagination that emphasizes on Hobarts funnies and always telling the story of to heavy to slow and to unreliable Tiger 1 … while the Tiger was faster than a Sherman as the curator today suddenly recognized while telling about the books on sale … oh, he is faster
    Maybe the 8,8 was very acurate too and the tank professor is right that regarding his research the Tiger 1 was a very reliable tank and that the american and british considered that tank outstanding… Why in the hell else should Winston have known about a particular tank and ordered to capture one if it was total crap ?
    Would be nice if someone put the efforts and results of the dam bustsers in perspective the right way measured by goals from the beginning: german war production increased afterwards and the dams were repaired within a year. And the dead POW from the camp below the dams were also pretty happy being killed there … by british bombers. Not to forget the immense amount of antiairguns that had to been send to the british dams to protect them assuming that there could be a revenge …

    again long live Hobart … and the nowadays export of Porsche designs and products that started with the pre war beetle until now …
    Porsche became famous across the world … and Hobart is forgotten except from so called experts. Hobart send his funnies the UK were conquered by european and german cars afterwards … especially the big brands from Bentley to Rolls Royce and even Austin Martin had to be saved by a german former Porsche engineer …

  3. "Crazy" people like Percy Hobart have been amoungst Britain's greatest weapons. Half the geniuses at Bletchley Park could have institutionalized if not for their skill at code breaking.

  4. when i was young my uncle was stationed at Dover castle 1940ish his armament was a bayonet on a piece of scaffolding didnt believe him but i do now.

  5. I have never heard someone talk so excited about a slightly gloryfied pointed stick, and never would i have expected to be so impressed and exceited with him. If the director of a museum that has highly advanced killing machines in it can excite you for a knife on a pole, you have the right person for the job

  6. Just bought the D day ops manual from your shop, looks to be fascinating, thank you, but I’m wondering why equipment such as the Sherman Crab mine flail which appears to have been pretty effective doesn’t seem to have been a continuously developed concept? We hear today about places where post conflict injuries from mines are an issue, yet clearance appears to rely on manual detection and removal rather than a modern version of the WW2 flail.

  7. The 'Croft's pike' wasn't introduced until mid-1941 at the earliest, indeed Churchill's famous pronouncement that "every man must have a weapon of some sort, be it only a mace or a pike", which led to their procurement, wasn't made until after the fall of Crete. Hobart had rejoined the British Army and was in command of 11th Armoured Division by March of 1941. This would make the story of him being issued one of these rather anachronistic, is there any further information available which might explain this discrepancy?

  8. I could say it is just one man's point of view. It has bias and is therefore provocative. So begins the the debate, the cut and thrust of others' opinions. Hopefully it can bring to surface new facts or sources to shed light on the story. I think that if Richard were writing a book it would come out completely different, proof read, fact checked, contextualised and more academic in tone.
    Right now I need the entertainment and stimulation. Got to go off and read up the Percy story, Funnies and all.

  9. That improvised spear showed Percy was also willing to do anything he asked his men to do. Can't say most officers I've met had that kind of attitude.