Sometimes, in close combat, the need emerges to kill or injure you opponent with the light infantry shovel at a range of 5-7 meters. For this you must enter a left-sided combat stance, holding the shovel by the far third of the handle, with the blade pointing upwards and forward, and raise it behind your head, while turning your torso to the right. Then straighten the arm while turning your torso to the left, aim your shovel to the target and let go of it just as your arm straightens, and your shovel is aimed at the target, breathing out sharply. In this form of shovel-throwing, the most common mistake is to tilt the hand too far down, which causes the shovel to spin too much, reducing the likelihood of it striking blade first. Another mistake is moving the hand sideways, rather than upwards, when raising it for the blow. That would cause a miss.
Another way to throw your entrenching tool is throwing it from concealment. It is used when one must strike the opponent by surprise. For this your left side should be turned towards the target. The right hand should hold the tip of the handle, with the shovel lowered along the body, blade down. For the throw one must tilt the torso suddenly to the left, and simultaneously, using a straight arm, throw the shovel over your head to the target. Its axis must be the same as that of your arm. The shovel is released at the moment of maximum tilt, with the shovel pointed to the target.
It never ceases to amaze me what military minds will commit to paper.
It’s just so specific (and very Soviet). This isn’t a history of the use of improvised weapons, its a manual on how to weaponize entrenching tools.
And while that almost doesn’t even need instructions (how old were you before you discovered that a shovel was a mighty lance or bastard sword or lightsaber) the amount of thought and technique that’s gone into this, from the stance to the part about when to breathe, goes beyond the pale. With one little exception.
Sometimes a shovel of any size can be used to stop a fleeing opponent by disabling his legs. In this case one uses the shovel as if one was playing gorodki.
Actually, it’s a lot more similar to another North Atlantic game, also played with bits of wood, kubb. But unlike gorodki, or even bocce or petanque, kubb has a much less taciturn, more playful air about it.
(And if you think games like bocce are all sexy drinky ciao fun, you’ve clearly never stood between a 70-year-old Corsican and his Sicilian counterpart weaponizing the stems of their emptied, shattered wine glasses thinking that this is the family trip that will finally be your last.)
Kubb is also played with blocks, not sticks, and in teams, preferably, drunk.
Kubb is a fun yard game for 2-12 players that is similar to horseshoes or bocce that I first played while traveling in Sweden. The game can take anywhere from twenty minutes to several hours to play and usually involves a fair amount of taunting no matter what continent you’re on. Having uneven teams does not necessarily offer an advantage, making it a great outdoor game for cookouts or beach parties.
Goal: Be the first team to knock down all your kubbs and then the king, or be on the opposite team of the player that knocks down the king before knocking down all of their kubbs. Knocking down the king without knocking down the kubbs is like sinking the eight ball out of turn.