Bayonets were weapon attachments that could be fit onto the muzzle of muskets and rifles, often as sharp spikes or knives.
In most cases, bayonets were attached in preparation to receive a cavalry charge, as the crude spear they formed was effective at staking the riders or the horses, before they reached the otherwise vulnerable infantry. They were also utilized in close-quarters combat, when shooting would have been insufficient.
The Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton was able to take muskets with bayonets from racks, or from disarming soldiers, in order to slash or impale nearby enemies. While a bayonet was embedded in a soldier's torso, Ratonhnhaké:ton could also fire the musket itself, and efficiently eliminate two opponents in quick succession.
- Historically, bayonets were removed outside of melee combat.