What is a Pipe Hitter?

What is a pipe hitter? That is the question many people have asked since I released the book, “A Pipe Hitter’s Guide to Crushing the Coming Societal Breakdown”. While a basic explanation is offered in the beginning of the “Guide”, I felt as though a more detailed discussion was merited.

As for the explanation of “pipe hitter”, there are various definitions floating about, however for our purpose here, a Pipe Hitter is someone or a group of people who are willing to go to the extreme in order to get things accomplished. This descriptor most commonly refers to Special Operation Forces, but it is not limited to that. One does not need to be a member of an elite military organization to be or behave as a pipe hitter, but it doesn’t hurt either.

Pipe Hitters Throughout History : Leonidas and the Spartans

If we stick with the accepted definition that a pipe hitter is someone or a group of people who are “willing to go to the extreme in order to get things accomplished” then we must acknowledge that they existed long before the term became cool or vogue. Let’s consider King Leonidas and his Spartans.

When the Persian Emperor Xerxes marched his army west in an effort to take all of Greece and the surrounding country, not every Greek City-State stood up to him. As a matter of fact, a good many of the Greek leaders instead made a deal with Xerxes and bent the knee. However, King Leonidas of Sparta refused to bend the knee and accept Persian rule over his land. While Hollywood muddied the waters of history with the movie “300”, the battle of Thermopylae did indeed take place. Some historians have disputed the total number strength of Xerxes army, whether Leonidas was outnumbered 10 to 1 or 100 to 1 or 1000 to 1 is rather a moot point.

The fact remains that King Leonidas, his Spartan warriors, and their allies, were in fact tremendously outnumbered when they took their stand at Thermopylae or the “hot gates”. Those men knew that their decision to stand up to the overwhelming force of Xerxes would likely cost them their lives, and yet they fought to the last man. The epic courage of Leonidas and the Spartans inspired the surround countryside and the free Greeks. Xerxes was eventually defeated and his broken army fled back to Persia. Leonidas was a pipe hitter.

The Massachusetts Militia

In the spring of 1775, the Colonial Governor of Massachusetts was determined to disarm the rebellious citizens and arrest their leaders. Prior to April 19, 1775, Thomas Gage had sent his troops out twice to seize arms and arrest patriots. Both of the previous ventures had failed thanks to good intelligence, spying, on the part of the colonial citizens.

On the night of April 18, 1775, Gage ordered his officers to muster their men and secretly move them to Concord to seize or destroy any and all arms and “military stores” and to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock. As you should have learned in school, the British Regular troops, Redcoats, encountered the local Massachusetts Militia mustered on Lexington green led by Captain John Parker. Regardless of who it was that fired the first, the Regular troops rushed the “damned, rebels” and fired into them. Eight American patriots died in Lexington.

Rather than cower and flee from what was, at the time, the most powerful army on Earth, the Massachusetts Militia send out the alarm and rallied meeting the Redcoats again on the North Bridge in Concord. This time, when the Regular forces fired on the advancing militia, those men fired back and charged ahead. During the initial melee, 3 British soldiers were killed and 9 wounded. It was only around 8 a.m. The Massachusetts Militia engaged the strongest army on Earth as they retreated back to Boston all day long. In the end, the American patriots suffered 49 dead and 39 wounded. The British Regulars lost 73 killed, 174 wounded, and over 50 men captured. The all volunteer force of the Massachusetts Militia were pipe hitters.

US Marines and the Battle of Belleau Wood

By 1917, World War I had taken a tremendous toll on both sides. The French and their British allies were stalled and the Germans were giving no ground. When the United States entered the war, the United States Marines fielded the 4th Brigade with the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments. At Belleau Wood, the German Army had 5 reinforced Divisions in the area and were dug in tight.

On June 6th 1918, the Marines of 1st Battalion, 6th Regiment drove the Germans off of Hill 142, a significant piece of high ground, and anchored the American forces advance. For three weeks, US Marines and German forces engaged in bloody battle often at extreme close range and hand to hand. Historians reported that Marines fought hand to hand with rifles and bayonets, knives and even entrenching shovels. Despite heavy losses to their officer and NCO ranks, juniors Marines assumed command and continued to lead their men.

In the end, after suffering staggering loses in both killed and wounded men, the Marines dealt the German a tremendous blow and drove them back. Both allies and enemies could not help but be impressed by the courage and ferocity of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments. The Germans dubbed the Marines “Teufel Hunden”, the hounds from Hell or Devil Dogs, because of the ferocious fighting spirit. The French government award the Marines units the Croix de Guerre, the highest military honor and to this day, Marines of the 5th and 6th Regiments wear the French Fourragère to distinguish the honored history of the unit. The Marines of Belleau Wood were absolutely pipe hitters.

Parting Thoughts

There are certainly more examples of pipe hitters throughout history. In our modern era, American forces have been performing admirably, despite overwhelming odds and bad situations, to get the job done. As we can see from the examples I have offered, all of the men we discussed understood that they were facing a determined enemy of great strength and number. Regardless of that, they put the mission first and put their lives on the line to ensure that the mission was accomplished. The next time the subject of pipe hitters or the question, “What is a pipe hitter?” comes up, I hope these examples will shed some light on the matter.

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