History UsefulNotes / Swords

30th Sep '16 4:14:21 PM aurora369
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'''Flamberge'''
* A flamberge, which means flaming sword, was not a single type of sword, but rather a shape of blade: wavy, curved many times. There could be a small flamberge sidesword, or a large flamberge greatsword. The waves on the blade widened the wound, provided for some saw-like armor cutting properties and made the wounds inflicted by such a sword much harder to treat. This made flamberges very effective, but inhumane; there were numerous bans on these blades, and a soldier taken prisoner with a flamberge was usually executed on spot. Flamberges, however, were expensive to craft; it took a lot of skill to hammer all those waves on a blade, and if you just grind them on, the resulting blade will be very structurally weak.
11th Sep '16 8:27:17 PM MrWoodchip
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There are also a number of now-overlooked sub-techniques to go with swordsmanship: do you have a two-hand sword or would you like something in your off-hand (sword sizes can be roughly split into 2-handed[[note]]The real life {{BFS}}s, like the German [[OneHandedZweihander zweihander]], the Italian spadone or the Iberian montante (all different styles of the same weapon). The shortest started at around just under a metre and a half but could go as far as two and tended to weigh 2 to 3 kilograms.[[/note]], hand-and-a-half[[note]]This is usually what someone means when they say "Bastard Sword" or "Longsword". Swords that were short and light enough to use one handed, but had a longer hilt which meant they could be used with both hands for more power and speed. They tended to be only slightly longer and heavier than one-handed swords.[[/note]] or one-handed[[note]]No more than a metre in length and either designed specifically to be used with something else in your off hand (such as a traditional arming sword with a shield) or just be a light blade that didn't need more than one hand to use (e.g. machetes, cutlasses). Either way, they tended to weigh one kilo or less.[[/note]])? What would you like? A dagger or main gauche, for counter-attacks? A buckler, for parrying? A large wooden shield, which might trap your opponent's blade? How about half-swording -- which is when you grab your own sword halfway down the blade[[note]]perfectly safe as long as you hold on firmly and don't slide your flesh against the edge[[http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwuQPfvSSlo/]].[[/note]] for use against armor? Traditional DualWielding, with two swords of similar make, was an extremely unorthodox technique both in the East and West, and today is mostly excused by {{Rule of Cool}}. If you're on horseback, you'll probably opt to simply hold your sword out on one side and drag it along the ground while you gallop, or to simply hack and slash from the superior vantage point provided by your mount.

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There are also a number of now-overlooked sub-techniques to go with swordsmanship: do you have a two-hand sword or would you like something in your off-hand (sword sizes can be roughly split into 2-handed[[note]]The real life {{BFS}}s, like the German [[OneHandedZweihander zweihander]], the Italian spadone or the Iberian montante (all different styles of the same weapon). The shortest started at around just under a metre and a half but could go as far as two and tended to weigh 2 to 3 kilograms.[[/note]], hand-and-a-half[[note]]This is usually what someone means when they say "Bastard Sword" or "Longsword". Swords that were short and light enough to use one handed, but had a longer hilt which meant they could be used with both hands for more power and speed. They tended to be only slightly longer and heavier than one-handed swords.[[/note]] or one-handed[[note]]No more than a metre in length and either designed specifically to be used with something else in your off hand (such as a traditional arming sword with a shield) or just be a light blade that didn't need more than one hand to use (e.g. machetes, cutlasses). Either way, they tended to weigh one kilo or less.[[/note]])? What would you like? A dagger or main gauche, for counter-attacks? A buckler, for parrying? A large wooden shield, which might trap your opponent's blade? How about half-swording -- which is when you grab your own sword halfway down the blade[[note]]perfectly safe as long as you hold on firmly and don't slide your flesh against the edge[[http://https://www.edge[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwuQPfvSSlo/]].[[/note]] for use against armor? Traditional DualWielding, with two swords of similar make, was an extremely unorthodox technique both in the East and West, and today is mostly excused by {{Rule of Cool}}. If you're on horseback, you'll probably opt to simply hold your sword out on one side and drag it along the ground while you gallop, or to simply hack and slash from the superior vantage point provided by your mount.
21st May '16 12:29:49 PM AnonFangeekGirl
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!! Southeast Asian Swords
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris kris]] was usually a dagger, but it had sword variants (also known as kalis). The kris has an asymmetrical blade with a wavelike pattern, which would widen wounds the sword inflicted.
21st May '16 12:09:26 PM machiavellianFictionist
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'''Spadroon/Infantry Officer's Sword'''
* The spadroon is a weapon that attempts to combine the cutting capacity of the broadsword of it's era with the convenience of the smallsword. In theory the concept of a broadsword or backsword blade on a smallsword hilt is not particularly bad, but in practice the spadroon was considered a spectacularly mediocre weapon. This was because most models tried to make the sword as light as possible, resulting in a blade to flexible to thrust properly and too narrow to cut to any significant effect. The 1796 Pattern British Infantry Officer's Sword, for example, was often refereed to as "the perfect encumbrance". Even so, the concept was still solid, and in the nineteenth century it evolved into many excellent models of infantry officer's swords. Only this time, a narrow blade very similar to that of a short rapier was coupled with a very light and simple sabre-like hilt. The French Model 1882 Infantry Officer's Sword is a perfect example.

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'''Spadroon/Infantry Officer's '''Spadroon/Officer's Sword'''
* The spadroon is a weapon that attempts to combine the cutting capacity of the broadsword of it's era with the convenience of the smallsword. In theory the concept of a broadsword or backsword blade on a smallsword hilt is not particularly bad, but in practice the spadroon was considered a spectacularly mediocre weapon. This was because most models tried to make the sword as light as possible, resulting in a blade to flexible to thrust properly and too narrow to cut to any significant effect. The 1796 Pattern British Infantry Officer's Sword, for example, was often refereed to as "the perfect encumbrance". Even so, the concept was still solid, and in the nineteenth century it evolved into many excellent models of infantry officer's swords. Only this time, a narrow blade very similar to that of a short rapier was coupled with a very light and simple sabre-like hilt. The French Model 1882 Infantry Officer's Sword is a perfect example.
14th May '16 6:22:14 PM Zxczxczbfgman
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* The ''messer'' and it's variants were mostly used in German-speaking lands in the 14th-16th centuries. A similar weapon known as the ''falchion'' was in use across Europe from the 11th-14th centuries.

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* The ''messer'' and it's variants were mostly used in German-speaking lands in the 14th-16th centuries. A similar weapon known as the ''falchion'' was in use across Europe from the 11th-14th centuries.
centuries. The fundamental difference between a messer and a falchion lies in the grip construction; falchions use a guard/grip/pommel arrangement, like a "real" sword, while messers use flat grip panels either side of a flat, broad tang, more like a common kitchen knife.



* A somewhat rare variant of the longsword was the estoc, essentially an edgeless longsword with either a diamond or triangle blade profile. This was a weapon specialized for armored combat, first appearing in the 15th century and becoming more common in the 16th century.

to:

* A somewhat rare variant of the longsword was the estoc, essentially an edgeless longsword with either a diamond or triangle blade profile. This was a weapon specialized for armored combat, first appearing in the 15th century and becoming more common in the 16th century.
century. Since it was a pure thrusting weapon, but much heavier than the later rapier, it was often used as what amounted to a short, heavy lance (since the main wooden lance often broke during the charge). The later "koncerz" (essentially a one-handed estoc with a knuckle guard), famously used by the Winged Hussars, was an extension of the concept.
2nd May '16 8:29:13 AM machiavellianFictionist
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* The European sabre appeared during the 16h century in Eastern Europe. The Hungarian and Polish versions are the most well known today, both owing a lot of their features to the scimitars introduced to those regions by the Ottoman Turks. The blades of these weapons were similarly identical to their Turkish predecessors, but the hilts resembled the designs Europeans would eventually adopt, with the iconic D-shaped knuckle bow appearing in the 17th century. Other likely predecessor were the curved swords of Magyars of the early middle ages, who would later become the Hungarians.

to:

* The European sabre appeared during the 16h century in Eastern Europe. The Hungarian and Polish versions are the most well known today, both owing a lot of their features to the scimitars introduced to those regions by the Ottoman Turks. The blades of these weapons were similarly identical to their Turkish predecessors, but the hilts resembled the designs Europeans would eventually adopt, with the iconic D-shaped knuckle bow appearing in the 17th century. Other likely predecessor predecessors were the curved swords of Magyars of the early middle ages, who would later become the Hungarians.
2nd May '16 8:28:26 AM machiavellianFictionist
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* The European sabre appeared during the 16h century in Eastern Europe. The Hungarian and Polish versions are the most well known today, both owing a lot of their features to the scimitars introduced to those regions by the Ottoman Turks. The blades of these weapons were similarly identical to their Turkish predecessors, but the hilts resembled the designs Europeans would eventually adopt, with the iconic D-shaped knuckle bow appearing in the 17th century.

to:

* The European sabre appeared during the 16h century in Eastern Europe. The Hungarian and Polish versions are the most well known today, both owing a lot of their features to the scimitars introduced to those regions by the Ottoman Turks. The blades of these weapons were similarly identical to their Turkish predecessors, but the hilts resembled the designs Europeans would eventually adopt, with the iconic D-shaped knuckle bow appearing in the 17th century. Other likely predecessor were the curved swords of Magyars of the early middle ages, who would later become the Hungarians.
22nd Apr '16 8:52:18 PM Doug86
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* Despite what ''Film/ThreeHundred'' would make you believe, the primary weapon of a Greek hoplite was the spear. However, this does not mean the Greeks didn't have any swords to speak of. The first type, 'makhaira', was a curved, one-bladed weapon not unlike an oversized Gurkha kukri. The 'kopis' was somewhat of a long makhaira. Some historians speculate that the Greeks first learned of this blade shape from their trade with the Carthaginians and Iberian Celts, who appear to have called a short sword with this kind of recurved blade a 'falcata.' {{Alexander|TheGreat}}'s armies went as far east as India, and it is considered quite plausible by many authorities that their introduction of this blade shape to India survives today as the Nepalese '[[KukrisAreKool kukri]]' that the Gurkhas still use.

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* Despite what ''Film/ThreeHundred'' would make you believe, the primary weapon of a Greek hoplite was the spear. However, this does not mean the Greeks didn't have any swords to speak of. The first type, 'makhaira', was a curved, one-bladed weapon not unlike an oversized Gurkha kukri. The 'kopis' was somewhat of a long makhaira. Some historians speculate that the Greeks first learned of this blade shape from their trade with the Carthaginians and Iberian Celts, who appear to have called a short sword with this kind of recurved blade a 'falcata.' {{Alexander|TheGreat}}'s UsefulNotes/{{Alexander|TheGreat}}'s armies went as far east as India, and it is considered quite plausible by many authorities that their introduction of this blade shape to India survives today as the Nepalese '[[KukrisAreKool kukri]]' that the Gurkhas still use.
22nd Apr '16 7:21:44 PM machiavellianFictionist
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'''Saber/Sabre and Cutlass'''

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'''Saber/Sabre and Cutlass''''''Saber/Sabre'''



* During the 18th century came a sudden appreciation of the Eastern European model of light cavalry, particularly the Hungarian hussars. It was likely because of this that the curved sabre was adopted as the universal light cavalry weapon.

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* During the 18th century came a sudden appreciation of the Eastern European model of light cavalry, particularly the Hungarian hussars. It was likely because of this that the curved sabre was adopted as the universal light cavalry weapon. \n These new sabres had very varied designs, but they generally had a D-shaped hilt and a blade with varying degrees of curvature depending on the specific pattern. The heavy cavalry usually retained their straight swords, but in the British Empire all cavalry swords from the year 1821 onward would be sabres of more or less the same blade design, with only the hilt changing from pattern to pattern.
* By the end of the eighteenth century many infantry officers, particularly those who were most likely to engage in hand-to-hand combat (grenadiers, light infantry and rifles) were unhappy with the conventional sword patterns. Officers bought their own equipment, but they were generally expected to buy a predetermined official pattern of sword. Many chose to instead carry cavalry sabres or custom swords based on cavalry sabres. By the beginning of the nineteenth century many armies had approved an official pattern of infantry officer's sabre for these exact same reason, either for all their officers or just those specific branches. Throughout the rest of the nineteenth century both the sabre and the new improved models of infantry officer's swords would be used by many different nations.

'''Cutlass/Hanger/Hunting Sword'''
* The cutlass is a sword usually described as a short sabre. While this is more or less accurate for the most well known cutlasses, it's a very narrow concept. The cutlass or hanger is simply a compact cut-and-thrust weapon designed for infantry and naval use. Some patterns were even used by 19th century police officers. The hilts usually have some degree of hand protection, most commonly just a knuckle bow, and the blades are single edged, either curved or straight, and no longer than 30 inches. The first cutlasses appeared in the second half of the 17th century and they remained in even up to the early 20th century. Manuals describe their use as almost identical to that of the infantry sabre, with the exception that the length of the cutlass makes attacking the legs very impractical.
*The hunting sword is considered a variant of the cutlass, mainly used in a civilian hunting context. They were carried by hunters both as a self-defense sidearm and to dispatch a wounded animal. They were usually more ornate and sometimes had less hand protection than military cutlasses. Some 18th century officers chose to carry their personal hunting swords in battle. This probably had to do with it being very similar to the standard infantry sword, but the hunting sword also served to reinforce the aristocratic image of the officers.



* Let us now point out that a sword could also be used to hurt people outside of combat, especially as the nobility often believed that even on an executioner's block they deserved service befitting their class. The difference between an executioner's working environment and a battlefield is obvious -- no stabbing was involved, reach was not an issue, and there was much greater emphasis on carefully aiming your blows. It stands to reason, then, that many of them used weapons specially prepared for the task. An executioner's sword would often be as short as an arming sword, but still with a two-handed grip, and forward-balanced. No stabbing meant a rounded tip. These changes ensured that an executioner had a proper tool to lop the head, or occasionally limbs, off of an unmoving target in one blow.

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* Let us now point out that a sword could also be used to hurt people outside of combat, especially as the nobility often believed that even on an executioner's block they deserved service befitting their class. The difference between an executioner's working environment and a battlefield is obvious -- no stabbing was involved, reach was not an issue, and there was much greater emphasis on carefully aiming your blows. It stands to reason, then, that many of them used weapons specially prepared for the task. An executioner's sword would often be as short as an arming sword, but still with a two-handed grip, and forward-balanced. No stabbing meant a rounded tip. These changes ensured that an executioner had a proper tool to lop the head, or occasionally limbs, off of an unmoving static target in one blow.
22nd Apr '16 4:25:05 PM machiavellianFictionist
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Meanwhile, the Japanese, due to their poor mineral resources, continued to use armor made largely of leather and soft iron, and rarely had to deal with outsiders due to their insular island-nation tendencies. As such, Japanese weapons are specialized towards warfare ''within'' Japan; indeed, the tachi, the main ancestor to the katana, tended to break its tip off when used against Mongolian and Korean armor. That said, some Japanese swordsmiths were able to accomplish quite astonishing things with the low-carbon steel available to them, though the techniques they used to achieve differential tempering of different regions of the blade were labor-intensive, to say the least. As was the case in Europe, Japanese swords also underwent an evolution that, among other things, resulted in the forging of swords with thicker blades and deeper edges. Unlike Europe however, the peace established after the end of the ''Sengoku Jidai'' resulted in a virtual halt to weapons development for the next two centuries.

to:

Meanwhile, the Japanese, due to their poor mineral resources, continued to use armor made largely of leather and soft iron, and rarely had to deal with outsiders due to their insular island-nation tendencies. As such, Japanese weapons are specialized towards warfare ''within'' Japan; indeed, the tachi, the main ancestor to the katana, tended to break its tip off when used against Mongolian and Korean armor. That said, some Japanese swordsmiths were able to accomplish quite astonishing things with the low-carbon steel available to them, though the techniques they used to achieve differential tempering of different regions of the blade were labor-intensive, to say the least. As was the case in Europe, Japanese swords also underwent an evolution that, among other things, resulted in the forging of swords with thicker blades and deeper edges. Unlike Europe however, the peace established after the end of the ''Sengoku Jidai'' resulted in a virtual halt to weapons development for the next two centuries.



There are also a number of now-overlooked sub-techniques to go with swordsmanship: do you have a two-hand sword or would you like something in your off-hand (sword sizes can be roughly split into 2-handed[[note]]The real life {{BFS}}s, like the German [[OneHandedZweihander zweihander]], the Italian spadone or the Iberian montante. The shortest started at around just under a metre and a half but could go as far as two and tended to weigh 2 to 3 kilograms.[[/note]], hand-and-a-half[[note]]This is usually what someone means when they say "Bastard Sword" or "Longsword". Swords that were short and light enough to use one handed, but had a longer hilt which meant they could be used with both hands for more power and speed. They tended to be only slightly longer and heavier than one-handed swords.[[/note]] or one-handed[[note]]No more than a metre in length and either designed specifically to be used with something else in your off hand (such as a traditional arming sword with a shield) or just be a light blade that didn't need more than one hand to use (e.g. machetes, cutlasses). Either way, they tended to weigh one kilo or less.[[/note]])? What would you like? A dagger or main gauche, for counter-attacks? A buckler, for parrying? A large wooden shield, which might trap your opponent's blade? How about half-swording -- which is when you ''deliberately'' grab your own sword halfway down the blade[[note]]Do not attempt without gloves or on a sword with a fully-sharpened edge.[[/note]] for use in close quarters? Traditional DualWielding, with two swords of similar make, was an extremely unorthodox technique both in the East and West, and today is mostly excused by {{Rule of Cool}}. If you're on horseback, you'll probably opt to simply hold your sword out on one side and drag it along the ground while you gallop, or to simply hack and slash from the superior vantage point provided by your mount.

There were always a vast majority of other weapons you could lay your hands on, like polearms (increased reach) or maces, hammers and morningstars (more crushing power). In fact, it's fairly likely that most people on battlefields used implements other than swords: a sword is a weapon, meant to injure people, with no other function; it would have been something of a luxury item[[note]]However, by the 11th century in England, a cheaply made arming sword would have been affordable to virtually anyone with any income at all, and while not a knightly weapon, it was plenty adequate and standard equipment for anyone with reason to travel between towns[[/note]]. On the other hand, pitchforks, spades, tridents, axes, knives, etc have non-combat uses and thus would be more familiar to the majority of combatants on the battlefield (who were peasants and serfs, desperately fighting for their own protection or conscripted by their knights on the [[SarcasmMode totally fair]] grounds of "Hey, you there, now you're a soldier"). But this article is about swords and ''not'' about those other weapons, so we're going to ignore all this and just get on with it.

to:

There are also a number of now-overlooked sub-techniques to go with swordsmanship: do you have a two-hand sword or would you like something in your off-hand (sword sizes can be roughly split into 2-handed[[note]]The real life {{BFS}}s, like the German [[OneHandedZweihander zweihander]], the Italian spadone or the Iberian montante.montante (all different styles of the same weapon). The shortest started at around just under a metre and a half but could go as far as two and tended to weigh 2 to 3 kilograms.[[/note]], hand-and-a-half[[note]]This is usually what someone means when they say "Bastard Sword" or "Longsword". Swords that were short and light enough to use one handed, but had a longer hilt which meant they could be used with both hands for more power and speed. They tended to be only slightly longer and heavier than one-handed swords.[[/note]] or one-handed[[note]]No more than a metre in length and either designed specifically to be used with something else in your off hand (such as a traditional arming sword with a shield) or just be a light blade that didn't need more than one hand to use (e.g. machetes, cutlasses). Either way, they tended to weigh one kilo or less.[[/note]])? What would you like? A dagger or main gauche, for counter-attacks? A buckler, for parrying? A large wooden shield, which might trap your opponent's blade? How about half-swording -- which is when you ''deliberately'' you grab your own sword halfway down the blade[[note]]Do not attempt without gloves or blade[[note]]perfectly safe as long as you hold on a sword with a fully-sharpened edge.firmly and don't slide your flesh against the edge[[http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwuQPfvSSlo/]].[[/note]] for use in close quarters? against armor? Traditional DualWielding, with two swords of similar make, was an extremely unorthodox technique both in the East and West, and today is mostly excused by {{Rule of Cool}}. If you're on horseback, you'll probably opt to simply hold your sword out on one side and drag it along the ground while you gallop, or to simply hack and slash from the superior vantage point provided by your mount.

There were always a vast majority of other weapons you could lay your hands on, like polearms (increased reach) or maces, hammers and morningstars (more crushing power). In fact, it's fairly likely that most people on battlefields used implements other than swords: a sword is a weapon, meant to injure people, with no other function; it would have been something of a luxury item[[note]]However, by the 11th century in England, a cheaply made arming sword would have been affordable to virtually anyone with any income at all, and while not a knightly weapon, it was plenty adequate and standard equipment for anyone with reason to travel between towns[[/note]]. On the other hand, pitchforks, spades, tridents, axes, knives, etc have non-combat uses and thus would be more familiar to the majority of combatants on the battlefield (who were peasants and serfs, desperately fighting for their own protection or conscripted by their knights on the [[SarcasmMode totally fair]] grounds of "Hey, you there, now you're a soldier"). But this article is about swords and ''not'' about those other weapons, so we're going to ignore all this and just get on with it.
towns[[/note]].



* A relatively rare variant of the longsword was the estoc, essentially an edgeless longsword with either a diamond or triangle blade profile. This was a weapon specialized for armored combat, first appearing in the 15th century and becoming more common in the 16th century.

to:

* A relatively somewhat rare variant of the longsword was the estoc, essentially an edgeless longsword with either a diamond or triangle blade profile. This was a weapon specialized for armored combat, first appearing in the 15th century and becoming more common in the 16th century.




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* A variant of the smallsword was the colichemarde, which had a characteristic blade with a very broad base which abruptly tapered into a very narrow profile. The purpose of this was to give it more mass at its forte to allow it to control an opposing blade more easily.



*

to:

*
* The European sabre appeared during the 16h century in Eastern Europe. The Hungarian and Polish versions are the most well known today, both owing a lot of their features to the scimitars introduced to those regions by the Ottoman Turks. The blades of these weapons were similarly identical to their Turkish predecessors, but the hilts resembled the designs Europeans would eventually adopt, with the iconic D-shaped knuckle bow appearing in the 17th century.
* During the 18th century came a sudden appreciation of the Eastern European model of light cavalry, particularly the Hungarian hussars. It was likely because of this that the curved sabre was adopted as the universal light cavalry weapon.
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