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How Rex Applegate Taught the U.S. Marines to Kill or Get Killed


Kill Or Get Killed: The Classic Book on Close Combat by Rex Applegate




If you are interested in learning the skills and techniques of close combat, there is no better source than the book Kill or Get Killed by Rex Applegate. This book is the best and longest-selling book on close combat in history, and it has been reprinted and used by the U.S. Marine Corps as an official training manual. It covers everything from self-defense, offensive close combat, combat shooting, and crowd-control techniques in riot situations. In this article, we will give you an overview of the book and its author, and explain why it is still relevant and useful today.




Kill Or Get Killed Rex Applegate



Introduction




Who was Rex Applegate?




Rex Applegate (1914-1998) was a legendary American soldier, instructor, and author who specialized in close combat and combat shooting. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he trained thousands of soldiers, spies, and agents in the art of fighting with firearms, knives, and bare hands. He also worked with British experts such as William E. Fairbairn and Eric A. Sykes, who developed the famous Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife and the hand-to-hand combat system known as Defendu. After the war, Applegate continued to teach and consult on close combat, security, and counter-terrorism for various military and law enforcement agencies around the world. He also wrote several books on these topics, including Kill or Get Killed, which was first published in 1943 and revised several times until 1976.


What is close combat?




Close combat is a term that refers to any type of fighting that occurs at close range, where the opponents can use their hands, feet, elbows, knees, head, teeth, or any other part of their body as weapons. It also includes the use of improvised weapons such as sticks, stones, bottles, chairs, or anything else that can be found in the environment. Close combat can be divided into two categories: self-defense and offensive close combat. Self-defense is when you are attacked by an enemy or a criminal and you have to defend yourself or escape from harm. Offensive close combat is when you are the aggressor and you have to attack or kill an enemy or a target.


Why is this book important?




This book is important because it is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources on close combat ever written. It contains hundreds of illustrations and photographs that show how to execute various techniques and tactics in different situations. It also explains the principles and psychology behind close combat, such as speed, surprise, aggression, deception, simplicity, adaptability, etc. It also provides practical advice on how to train for close combat, how to choose and use weapons and equipment, how to deal with multiple attackers, how to control crowds, and how to survive in a combat zone. This book is not only useful for soldiers, spies, and agents, but also for anyone who wants to learn how to protect themselves or their loved ones from violence.


Main Content




Part One: Self-Defense




The Principles of Self-Defense




The first part of the book covers the basics of self-defense, which are essential for anyone who wants to survive an attack. The author explains the following principles:



  • Avoid trouble whenever possible. Do not look for trouble or provoke it. Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Do not go to dangerous places or associate with bad people. Do not drink too much or use drugs. Do not argue or fight over trivial matters.



  • If trouble cannot be avoided, act quickly and decisively. Do not hesitate or show fear. Do not try to reason or negotiate with your attacker. Do not wait for help or mercy. Attack first and attack hard. Use any means necessary to disable or kill your attacker.



  • Use the element of surprise. Do not telegraph your intentions or movements. Do not let your attacker know what you are going to do or what you have in your hands. Strike when your attacker least expects it. Use deception and distraction to create openings.



  • Use the most effective methods. Do not waste time or energy on fancy or complicated techniques. Use simple and direct methods that target the vital areas of the human body, such as the eyes, throat, groin, etc. Use the most suitable weapon for the situation, whether it is your fist, foot, knife, gun, or anything else.



  • Do not stop until the threat is eliminated. Do not relax or lower your guard until you are sure that your attacker is no longer a threat. Do not show pity or remorse. Do not leave any evidence or witnesses behind. Escape as soon as possible and seek medical attention if needed.



The Vital Targets of the Human Body




The second part of the book shows the vital targets of the human body that can be attacked for maximum effect. The author divides these targets into three categories: primary targets, secondary targets, and tertiary targets. Primary targets are those that can cause immediate death or unconsciousness, such as the brain, spine, heart, lungs, etc. Secondary targets are those that can cause severe pain or disability, such as the eyes, ears, nose, throat, groin, etc. Tertiary targets are those that can cause minor pain or inconvenience, such as the fingers, toes, elbows, knees, etc. The author also explains how to locate and strike these targets with different parts of the body or with different weapons.


The Methods of Attack and Defense




The third part of the book demonstrates the methods of attack and defense that can be used in self-defense situations. The author covers various techniques such as punches, kicks, chops, elbows, knees, headbutts, bites, gouges, locks, throws, chokes, etc. He also explains how to defend against these techniques using blocks, parries, dodges, counters, escapes, etc. He also gives examples of how to apply these techniques in different scenarios such as facing a single attacker or multiple attackers, facing an armed attacker or an unarmed attacker, facing an attacker in front of you or behind you, etc.


Part Two: Offensive Close Combat




The Principles of Offensive Close Combat




The fourth part of the book covers the basics of offensive close combat, which are essential for anyone who wants to kill an enemy or a target. The author explains the following principles:



  • Know your mission and your enemy. Do not act without a clear objective and a plan. Gather as much information as possible about your enemy's location, strength, weapons, habits, weaknesses, etc. Study your enemy's psychology and behavior patterns.



The Weapons and Equipment for Close Combat




The fifth part of the book describes the weapons and equipment that can be used for offensive close combat. The author covers various types of weapons such as knives, bayonets, daggers, swords, axes, clubs, spears, etc. He also covers various types of firearms such as pistols, revolvers, rifles, carbines, submachine guns, machine guns, shotguns, etc. He also covers various types of explosives such as grenades, mines, booby traps, demolition charges, etc. He also covers various types of accessories such as silencers, flashlights, binoculars, scopes, etc. He also gives advice on how to select, carry, conceal, maintain, and use these weapons and equipment effectively.


The Techniques and Tactics of Close Combat




The sixth part of the book demonstrates the techniques and tactics that can be used for offensive close combat. The author covers various techniques such as stabbing, slashing, thrusting, cutting, hacking, smashing, piercing, etc. He also covers various tactics such as infiltration, ambush, raid, assault, sniping, etc. He also gives examples of how to apply these techniques and tactics in different scenarios such as attacking a sentry or a guard post, attacking a vehicle or a convoy, attacking a building or a bunker, attacking a camp or a base, etc.


Part Three: Combat Shooting and Crowd Control




The Principles of Combat Shooting




The seventh part of the book covers the basics of combat shooting, which are essential for anyone who wants to use firearms effectively in close combat situations. The author explains the following principles:



  • Shoot to kill. Do not shoot to wound or scare. Aim for the center of mass or the head of your target. Do not waste ammunition or time on non-lethal shots.



  • Shoot fast and accurate. Do not sacrifice speed for accuracy or accuracy for speed. Shoot as fast as you can hit and as accurate as you need to kill. Do not hesitate or overthink.



  • Shoot with both eyes open. Do not close one eye or squint when shooting. Keep both eyes open and focused on your target. Use your dominant eye to align your sights and your non-dominant eye to scan your surroundings.



  • Shoot with both hands. Do not shoot with one hand unless absolutely necessary. Use both hands to grip your weapon firmly and control its recoil. Use your dominant hand to pull the trigger and your non-dominant hand to support and stabilize your weapon.



  • Shoot from any position. Do not limit yourself to one position or stance when shooting. Shoot from any position that is comfortable and stable for you. Shoot from standing, kneeling, sitting, prone, crouching, etc. Shoot from behind cover or concealment if available.



The Firearms and Ammunition for Combat Shooting




revolvers, rifles, carbines, submachine guns, machine guns, shotguns, etc. He also covers various types of ammunition such as ball, tracer, armor-piercing, incendiary, explosive, etc. He also gives advice on how to select, load, unload, clear, and maintain these firearms and ammunition effectively.


The Techniques and Tactics of Combat Shooting




The ninth part of the book demonstrates the techniques and tactics that can be used for combat shooting. The author covers various techniques such as sighted fire, point shooting, snap shooting, rapid fire, aimed fire, etc. He also covers various tactics such as moving and shooting, shooting from cover or concealment, shooting from different positions or angles, shooting at moving targets or multiple targets, etc. He also gives examples of how to apply these techniques and tactics in different scenarios such as engaging a single enemy or a group of enemies, engaging an enemy at close range or long range, engaging an enemy in daylight or darkness, etc.


The Principles and Methods of Crowd Control




The tenth part of the book covers the basics of crowd control, which are essential for anyone who wants to deal with riot situations. The author explains the following principles:



  • Understand the nature and causes of riots. Do not underestimate or overreact to riots. Analyze the factors that contribute to riots such as social unrest, political agitation, economic hardship, racial tension, religious fanaticism, etc. Identify the leaders and instigators of riots and their motives and goals.



  • Use the minimum force necessary to restore order. Do not use excessive or indiscriminate force that can escalate violence or cause collateral damage. Use non-lethal or less-lethal weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, etc. Use lethal weapons only as a last resort and only against armed or violent rioters.



  • Use the proper tactics and techniques to control crowds. Do not confront or provoke crowds unnecessarily. Use persuasion and negotiation to calm down crowds if possible. Use dispersal and containment to break up crowds if necessary. Use arrest and detention to remove troublemakers if feasible.



  • Use the appropriate personnel and equipment to control crowds. Do not rely on regular troops or police alone to control crowds. Use specially trained and equipped units such as riot squads or military police to control crowds. Use vehicles and barriers such as trucks, tanks, armored cars, fences, barricades, etc. to control crowds.



The Methods of Attack and Defense in Riot Situations




using fire or explosives, using firearms or other weapons, using shields or barricades, etc. He also covers various methods of defense such as wearing protective gear, using fire extinguishers or water hoses, using tear gas or smoke grenades, using counter-fire or counter-attack, etc. He also gives examples of how to apply these methods in different scenarios such as defending a building or a vehicle, defending a street or a bridge, defending a crowd or a group, etc.


Conclusion




Summary of the main points




In conclusion, Kill or Get Killed by Rex Applegate is a classic book on close combat that covers everything from self-defense, offensive close combat, combat shooting, and crowd control. It explains the principles and psychology behind close combat, shows the vital targets and methods of attack and defense for the human body, describes the weapons and equipment for close combat and combat shooting, and demonstrates the techniques and tactics for close combat and crowd control in various situations. It is a comprehensive and authoritative source on close combat that is still relevant and useful today.


Recommendations for further reading




If you want to learn more about close combat and related topics, here are some recommendations for further reading:



  • Get Tough! by William E. Fairbairn. This is another classic book on close combat that was written by one of Rex Applegate's mentors and collaborators. It focuses on the hand-to-hand combat system known as Defendu that was taught to British and American commandos and agents during World War II.



  • The Modern Technique of the Pistol by Jeff Cooper. This is a modern book on combat shooting that was written by one of the most influential figures in the field. It focuses on the fundamentals of pistol shooting and introduces the concept of the combat mindset.



  • The SAS Self-Defense Handbook by John "Lofty" Wiseman. This is a modern book on self-defense that was written by a former member of the British Special Air Service (SAS). It covers various aspects of self-defense such as awareness, avoidance, escape, fighting, weapons, survival, etc.



  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu. This is an ancient book on warfare that was written by a Chinese military strategist and philosopher. It covers various aspects of warfare such as strategy, tactics, intelligence, deception, leadership, etc.



FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Kill or Get Killed and close combat:



  • Where can I buy Kill or Get Killed?



You can buy Kill or Get Killed online from various retailers such as Amazon.com or Paladin Press. You can also find it in some libraries or bookstores.


  • Is Kill or Get Killed legal to own?



Yes, Kill or Get Killed is legal to own in most countries. However, some of the techniques and tactics described in the book may be illegal to use or practice depending on your local laws and regulations.


  • Is Kill or Get Killed suitable for beginners?



Yes and no. Kill or Get Killed is suitable for beginners who want to learn the basics of close combat and combat shooting. However, some of the techniques and tactics described in the book may be too advanced or dangerous for beginners to use or practice without proper training and supervision.


  • Is Kill or Get Killed reliable and accurate?



Yes and no. Kill or Get Killed is reliable and accurate in terms of reflecting Rex Applegate's experience and expertise in close combat and combat shooting. However, some of the information and advice in the book may be outdated or inaccurate due to changes in technology, science, law, etc.


  • Is Kill or Get Killed ethical and moral?



No and yes. Kill or Get Killed is not ethical and moral in terms of promoting violence, killing, and war as a means of solving problems. However, Kill or Get Killed is ethical and moral in terms of providing knowledge, skills, and tools for self-defense, survival, and resistance against oppression and injustice.


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