19 images Created 5 Oct 2018
It’s interesting that after thousands of years we’re still fighting in caves with clubs, of sorts. More than 100,000 years ago, Neanderthals fought in caves with crude, handmade wooden clubs. Today, U.S. Army Special Forces commandos are using handmade tempered steel hatchets to clear Afghanistan caves of enemy combatants. The idea of fighting on a battlefield is bad enough, but hand-to-hand combat in a dark cave with a hatchet is really disturbing. While it seems barbaric, it’s a practical solution given the dangers of using firearms in close quarters with ricochet potential. Michael R. Pick, a blacksmith in the Rocky Mountains west of Fort Carson, makes these instruments of destruction by hand the old-fashioned way with heat, hammers and heart. As a decorated Marine veteran with a Purple Heart award, he’s experienced combat firsthand, and wears the physical scars of battle across his back from a bayonet attack in the jungles of Vietnam to prove it.