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I came across this picture at this website. “Bristol City Police practice their cutlass drill“, the caption partially reads. The officer in the center of the picture, the one with the beard, seems to be really enjoying himself!
So why cutlasses, anyway? Did they think they would have to board a ship and take it from pirates?
Probably not. I think a major justification of such training was tradition, but it was also probably their main method of riot control. In times of major unrest when the mob was, as they say, “running riot” and there was no tear gas, water cannons or riot gear armor for the police to employ, then I can certainly imagine them forming a skirmish line and going choppy on the maddened miscreants that were burning and looting their way across town.
If you think cutlasses are cool, then you might find the following to be of interest, as the inestimable Matt Easton debates the finer points of choosing a cutlass as a sidearm with the formidable Mrs. Easton.
Posted on Christmas Day, no less. Most families like to watch an uplifting holiday movie as the tradition that binds their hearts together, but there certainly is nothing wrong with each hauling out their favorite slashing blade and holding forth on their relative merits.