I've searched the WWW to no avail (interesting in itself).
So to the LR brain trust...
How many bayonets does the armed forces of the US have in it's possession today?
How many in 1917?
Same for horses.
I know this is really stupid and pointless, but the difficulty in finding these numbers has me curious. It's like trying to find out how many actual dollars are spent on education in California (hint, it has gone up every year since as far back as 1975 despite the almost universal claim, every year,
that there are "drastic cuts").
It is hard to say. Prior to the passage of the draft in May, 1917 the US Army was about 100,000 strong. I do not know how many were drafted and outfitted by the end of the year but it would have been a quick ramp up. You can expect that the US had something more than 100,000 during 1917.
At present we are likely near 1 million men who would have been issued a bayonet. You can expect the US to have supplies to at least double that number. So, probably 2 million bayonets.
The point of the debacle is that what size navy we had in 1917 is an irrelevant metric by which to measure our current force structure. So, Romney was not very smart in using it. Similarly, Obama, in an attempt to be snarky and condescending, displayed a real ignorance of both our military history and current standard issue gear and force size. We very likely had far fewer bayonets in 1917 then we do now and it is a real stretch to suggest that we had more.
Romney's metric was faulty and Obama should have had the maturity to dress him down as a sober and knowledgeable CiC. Instead, he was childish, snarky and either forgetful or ignorant.