History UsefulNotes / Swords

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.

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* 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.

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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 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.

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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.



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.

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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.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.

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* 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.



*

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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.
* 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.
22nd Apr '16 4:02:18 PM machiavellianFictionist
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* The arming sword is a versatile weapon, able to cut and thrust, and the cruciform hilt construction is a lot better for parrying off blows than shorter blades or curved blades. The second edge allows the weapon to cut in either direction; blows with the "short edge" (the edge which faces the wielder) are a major component of many Western martial arts. This is the blade design most commonly seen in use by feudal and medieval knights, and was designed for use either on horseback, or on foot. It was generally a one-handed weapon, often used together with a shield or a buckler. The short sword as described by George Silver in his treatise "Paradoxes of Defence" in 1599 is similar, but with an early form of basket hilt. Though called a shortsword, their median blade length was actually 30-to-32 inches. Silver specifically states that a shortsword should be just short enough to pass behind a dagger that is held in the outstretched off-hand.

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* The arming sword is a versatile weapon, able to cut and thrust, and the cruciform hilt construction is a lot better for parrying off blows than shorter blades or curved blades. The second edge allows the weapon to cut in either direction; blows with the "short edge" (the edge which faces the wielder) are a major component of many Western martial arts. This is the blade design most commonly seen in use by feudal and medieval knights, and was designed for use either on horseback, or on foot. It was generally a one-handed weapon, often used together with a shield or a buckler. The short sword as described by George Silver in his treatise "Paradoxes of Defence" in 1599 is similar, but with an early form of basket hilt. Though called a shortsword, their median blade length was actually 30-to-32 inches. Silver specifically states that a shortsword should be just short enough to pass behind a dagger that is held in the outstretched off-hand.
buckler.



* The messer is not so much a single weapon, but generally a family of similar-looking slightly curved, single-edged blades, with a pointy tip fit for thrusts; in differing incarnations one- or two-handed. The German names include varieties of "Messer", meaning simply "knife": Grosses Messer, Langes Messer, also Kriegsmesser. The difference between them is somewhat arbitrary, though one may opt to differentiate between the one-handed and two-handed version. A name one can encounter, that doesn't follow this pattern, is Dussack (somewhat more likely to refer to a training weapon). As evidenced by its name, the messer was a simple weapon in origin, less "knightly" than a sword, but simpler in making -- which is perhaps best evidenced in that it originally had a guard consisting of a nail sticking out of the handle. When the arming sword grew into the longsword, varieties of the messer filled the ecological niche of a weapon of this size, as well as keeping that of a commoner's one. Because of this, their comparatively low cost, and laws against the wearing of swords by commoners [[note]]''it's just a knife, eh guys? Eh?''[[/note]] many fencing manuals teach the use of it, on its own or with a buckler.

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* The messer is not so much a single weapon, but generally a family of similar-looking slightly curved, single-edged blades, with a pointy tip fit for thrusts; in differing incarnations one- or two-handed. The German names include varieties of "Messer", meaning simply "knife": Grosses Messer, Langes Messer, also Kriegsmesser. The difference between them is somewhat arbitrary, though one may opt to differentiate between the one-handed and two-handed version. A name one can encounter, that doesn't follow this pattern, is Dussack (somewhat more likely to refer to a training weapon). As evidenced by its name, the messer was a simple weapon in origin, less "knightly" than a sword, but simpler in making -- which is perhaps best evidenced in that it originally had a guard consisting of a nail sticking out of the handle. When the arming sword grew into the longsword, varieties of the messer filled the ecological niche of a weapon of this size, as well as keeping that of a commoner's one. Because of this, their comparatively low cost, and laws against the wearing of swords by commoners [[note]]''it's just a knife, eh guys? Eh?''[[/note]] many fencing manuals teach the use of it, on its own or with a buckler.



* Somewhere around late 12th or 13th Century, improvements in forging allowed arming swords with lengthened blades of 100-120cm, and an extended hilt allowing it to be used in either one or both hands. These "great swords" (e.g., Oakeshott types [=XIIa=] and [=XIIIa=]) eventually evolved into the classic "longsword" (e.g., Oakeshott types [=XVa=], [=XVIa=], [=XVII=], [=XVIIIa=]). The English longsword was described as having only a slightly longer blade than the arming sword but with a longer hilt, while the Germans thought that a longsword's pommel should reach the armpit of the person with the tip down to the ground. As advances in armorsmithing blessed [[KnightInShiningArmor Shining Armor]] with enough endurance that shields were no longer necessary, this type of sword became more common than arming swords but never completely replaced them. Notably, most of medieval and renaissance swordsmanship manuals that survive - and by extrapolation, most of the manuals that were written - are centered upon this type of sword.

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* Somewhere around late 12th or 13th Century, improvements in forging allowed arming swords with lengthened blades of 100-120cm, and an extended hilt allowing it to be used in either one or both hands. These "great swords" (e.g., Oakeshott types [=XIIa=] and [=XIIIa=]) eventually evolved into the classic "longsword" (e.g., Oakeshott types [=XVa=], [=XVIa=], [=XVII=], [=XVIIIa=]). The English longsword was described as having only a slightly longer blade than the arming sword but with a longer hilt, while the Germans thought that a longsword's pommel should reach the armpit of the person with the tip down to the ground. As advances in armorsmithing blessed [[KnightInShiningArmor Shining Armor]] with enough endurance that shields were no longer necessary, heavy troops didn't need to rely on shields, this type of sword became more common than arming swords but never completely replaced them. Notably, most of medieval and renaissance swordsmanship manuals that survive - and by extrapolation, most of the manuals that were written - are centered upon this type of sword.



* These came in different variations, like the Scots claymore (claidheamh mór, "great sword") or the German Bidenhänder/Zweihänder ("two-hander"), and were very rare indeed. Their length and weight varied (from 145cm to 2m in length, and from 1.5kg to 5kg), but the average zweihander was roughly 170cm in length and weighed around 3kg. Their primary purpose, aside from ceremonial designs, was for use by shock infantry to support an infantry formation against enemy pike blocks, in the same way as halberds and similar polearms. Due to their effectiveness they were often used by banner guards and personal guards. They were expensive and difficult to master, and soldiers that mastered their use were counted among the elite. Originals that survive tend to have been ceremonial or judicial weapons. However, while they sound very heavy and unwieldy they are surprisingly agile weapons due to the length of the hilt. Surviving Scots claymore have hilts typically about 50-60 cm long; this length gives the user significant leverage to swing the heavy blade, with one hand putting in pressure and the other acting as a fulcrum. Many styles of two-handed blade (particularly the zweihander) also had a "third grip" known as a ''ricasso'', a blunted portion of the blade above the crossguard that was used to provide more precise control of the weapon while striking (some claymores even had the ricasso wrapped in leather to make it easier to grip), though wielding the blade in such a manner made it almost like a polearm - hence why learning how to use one properly could be highly confusing for a seasoned soldier.

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* These came in different variations, like the Scots claymore (claidheamh mór, "great sword") or the German Bidenhänder/Zweihänder ("two-hander"), and were very rare indeed. Their length and weight varied (from 145cm to 2m in length, and from 1.5kg to 5kg), but the average zweihander was roughly 170cm in length and weighed around 3kg. Their primary purpose, aside from ceremonial designs, was for use by shock infantry to support an infantry a formation against enemy pike blocks, in the same way as halberds and similar polearms.polearms were used. Due to their effectiveness they were often used by banner guards and personal guards. They were expensive and difficult to master, and soldiers that mastered their use were counted among the elite. Originals that survive tend to have been ceremonial or judicial weapons. However, while they sound very heavy and unwieldy they are surprisingly agile weapons due to the length of the hilt. Surviving Scots claymore have hilts typically about 50-60 cm long; this length gives the user significant leverage to swing the heavy blade, with one hand putting in pressure and the other acting as a fulcrum. Many styles of two-handed blade (particularly the zweihander) also had a "third grip" known as a ''ricasso'', a blunted portion of the blade above the crossguard that was used to provide more precise control of the weapon while striking (some claymores even had the ricasso wrapped in leather to make it easier to grip), though wielding the blade in such a manner made it almost like a polearm - hence why learning how to use one properly could be highly confusing for a seasoned soldier.
soldier.

'''Dussack'''
* A very enigmatic weapon strongly associated with 16th century Germany and very often mentioned in fencing treatises from that region. It's often mistakenly described as merely a training weapon, but in reality it could be considered the predecessor of the cutlass. A very compact single-edged sword, often curved and with some degree of hand protection. They could be as simple as one piece of steel with the grip being simply and extension of the blade, and curving the bottom further upwards to form a knuckle guard. Alternatively, some models were complex basket hilt swords with short curved blades. Both versions saw very frequent use as infantry sidearms, the former by poor soldiers and the latter by wealthier individuals.



* These swords were developed from the rapier, but not in the sense most people think. The change from a long and heavy sword to a light and shorter variant was not done because the smallsword was a superior weapon, but simply because it was more convenient. Rapiers often weight well over 1 kg. Smallswords, on the other hand, are usually between 350 and 500 g. Its reduced size also made it so a person could wear it while going about their daily tasks or even in a social context without worrying about it getting in the way. In modern terms, it's analogous to the difference between carrying a large frame steel pistol and carrying a compact polymer model. The smaller and lighter weapon is simply going to be easier to live with, even if the alternative would probably serve you better in a fight.
* It was developed at the end of the seventeenth century, based both on the rapier and on some models of compact infantry swords. Its hilt was very simple in form, often just a knuckle bow and a pair of plates or rings, often made entirely of soft brass. The blades were usually just over 30 inches long, edgeless and very stiff. By the 18th century it was the most common sword carried by European gentlemen, as much of a fashion accessory as it was a weapon. Since it was the easiest sword to carry around it was frequently used as a self-defense weapon, and many fencing systems were centered around that. It was also considered the standard dueling weapon of the era, though with time it would be replaced by the pistol in that regard.

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* These swords were developed from the rapier, but not in the sense most people think. The change from a long and heavy sword to a light and shorter variant was not done because the smallsword was a superior weapon, but simply because it was more convenient. Rapiers often weight well over 1 kg. Smallswords, on the other hand, are usually between 350 and 500 g. Its reduced size also made it so a person could wear it while going about their daily tasks or even in a social context without worrying about it getting in the way. In modern terms, it's analogous to the difference between carrying a large frame steel pistol and carrying a compact polymer model. The smaller and lighter weapon is simply going to be easier to live with, even if the alternative would probably serve you better in a fight.
* It was developed at the end of the seventeenth century, based both on the rapier and on some models of compact infantry swords. Its hilt was very simple in form, often just a knuckle bow and a pair of plates or rings, often made entirely of soft brass.brass, but in some cases decorated to the extreme. The blades were usually just over 30 inches long, edgeless and very stiff. By the 18th century it was the most common sword carried by European gentlemen, as much of a fashion accessory as it was a weapon. Since it was the easiest sword to carry around it was frequently used as a self-defense weapon, and many fencing systems were centered around that. It was also considered the standard dueling weapon of the era, though with time it would be replaced by the pistol in that regard.



'''Spadroon and Epee du Soldat'''
* The spadroon is a weapon that attempts to combine the cutting capacity of the broadsword of it's era with the thrusting and fencing capacity of the smallsword. It has acquired the reputation of being very bad at both, as the general design (typified in England as the Pattern 1796 Infantry Officer's Sword) gave you a blade too flexible to thrust (to better survive impact) and too light and misweighted to cut (to facilitate lightness and "fencibility"). While some period soldiers spoke very poorly of the weapon, the general style did remain in service in various forms for many decades before the sabre finally took over.
* Two basic forms of the spadroon exist. One looks much like a smallsword, with the shell guard and knucklebow, except having a broader blade. The other, often called a "Five ball", has a hilt that looks more like sabres, with a small quillion and a D-guard - a knucklebow. It generally has the same broad-ish blade of the other spadroon. The latter was heavily associated with the English, and especially the English Navy.
* Related and concurrent with the Spadroon was the French "Epee du Soldat". It was similar to the spadroon in that it was a cut-and-thrust type sword married to a smallsword-like hilt. Unlike the spadroon, however, it tended to be double edged on the entire blade.

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'''Spadroon and Epee du Soldat'''
'''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 thrusting and fencing capacity convenience of the smallsword. It has acquired In theory the reputation concept of being very bad at both, as a broadsword or backsword blade on a smallsword hilt is not particularly bad, but in practice the general design (typified in England as 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 1796 British Infantry Officer's Sword) gave you 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 too flexible to thrust (to better survive impact) and too light and misweighted to cut (to facilitate lightness and "fencibility"). While some period soldiers spoke very poorly of the weapon, the general style did remain in service in various forms for many decades before the sabre finally took over.
* Two basic forms of the spadroon exist. One looks much like a smallsword, with the shell guard and knucklebow, except having a broader blade. The other, often called a "Five ball", has a hilt that looks more like sabres, with a small quillion and a D-guard - a knucklebow. It generally has the same broad-ish blade of the other spadroon. The latter was heavily associated with the English, and especially the English Navy.
* Related and concurrent with the Spadroon was the French "Epee du Soldat". It was
similar to the spadroon in that it of a short rapier was coupled with a cut-and-thrust type sword married to a smallsword-like very light and simple sabre-like hilt. Unlike the spadroon, however, it tended to be double edged on the entire blade.
The French Model 1882 Infantry Officer's Sword is a perfect example.



* These were the final forms of the European sword in military service. First appearing (in the form we mean here) in Hungary in the 17th Century, they were universal in Europe's armies and navies by the mid 18th Century and remained in service until WorldWarI; they still exist as ceremonial weapons. Obviously strongly influenced by the Indian Talwar (see Indian section above) and the Arabian scimitar (see Middle Eastern section below), as well as by the Cossack shashqa, these are single-edged, curved weapons frequently featuring basket hilts or D-shaped or bell-shaped handguards intended to protect more of the hand and fingers, much heavier than the rapier and in some instances about as heavy as a medieval arming sword or longsword. The saber became associated with cavalry. The cutlass is associated with the navy and is typically a bit shorter to make it more maneuverable in the narrow passageways onboard ship.
* In the late 18th and early 19th century, infantry units - particularly "flank" units such as rifles and skirmishers - began to adopt the sabre as a sidearm. Initially armed with the spadroon, the weapon's lackluster performance in combat lead to these unofficial adoptions to increase a units hand-to-hand performance. These began as adopted cavalry weapons, but quickly took on features unique to the infantry - shorter, lighter blades with a point of balance further back for increased speed and maneuverability on foot. This soon began a tradition of sabres being issued to foot units, which lasted into the 20th century. Remnants of this can be seen today in many modern militaries, including the United States, France and Great Britain.
* During the Napoleonic Wars era, the French army issued a short sabre to their line infantry forces called a briquet. This weapon featured a simple, solid cast brass hilt with minimal hand protection and a short, curved blade. It was, like the English spadroon, poorly received by the troops but had the additional disadvantage of not retaining any symbolic appeal. It was frequently "lost" and often served only as a cleaver for firewood preparation and other mundane camp tasks. The troops instead chose to rely on their longer bayonetted muskets.

'''Artillery Sword'''
* In the 19th century, the French and American armies issued short, gladius-like swords to artillery crews. Primarily intended as a fanciful machete that channeled the era's love of Neoclassicism, it could also serve as a last ditch defensive tool if the guns were charged.

to:

* These were the final forms of the European sword in military service. First appearing (in the form we mean here) in Hungary in the 17th Century, they were universal in Europe's armies and navies by the mid 18th Century and remained in service until WorldWarI; they still exist as ceremonial weapons. Obviously strongly influenced by the Indian Talwar (see Indian section above) and the Arabian scimitar (see Middle Eastern section below), as well as by the Cossack shashqa, these are single-edged, curved weapons frequently featuring basket hilts or D-shaped or bell-shaped handguards intended to protect more of the hand and fingers, much heavier than the rapier and in some instances about as heavy as a medieval arming sword or longsword. The saber became associated with cavalry. The cutlass is associated with the navy and is typically a bit shorter to make it more maneuverable in the narrow passageways onboard ship.
* In the late 18th and early 19th century, infantry units - particularly "flank" units such as rifles and skirmishers - began to adopt the sabre as a sidearm. Initially armed with the spadroon, the weapon's lackluster performance in combat lead to these unofficial adoptions to increase a units hand-to-hand performance. These began as adopted cavalry weapons, but quickly took on features unique to the infantry - shorter, lighter blades with a point of balance further back for increased speed and maneuverability on foot. This soon began a tradition of sabres being issued to foot units, which lasted into the 20th century. Remnants of this can be seen today in many modern militaries, including the United States, France and Great Britain.
* During the Napoleonic Wars era, the French army issued a short sabre to their line infantry forces called a briquet. This weapon featured a simple, solid cast brass hilt with minimal hand protection and a short, curved blade. It was, like the English spadroon, poorly received by the troops but had the additional disadvantage of not retaining any symbolic appeal. It was frequently "lost" and often served only as a cleaver for firewood preparation and other mundane camp tasks. The troops instead chose to rely on their longer bayonetted muskets.

'''Artillery Sword'''
* In the 19th century, the French and American armies issued short, gladius-like swords to artillery crews. Primarily intended as a fanciful machete that channeled the era's love of Neoclassicism, it could also serve as a last ditch defensive tool if the guns were charged.
*
22nd Apr '16 3:38:39 PM machiavellianFictionist
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* These slender cut-and-thrust weapons evolved from the sixteenth century sideswords. They were characterized by their extremely long and stiff blades (often over 40 inches long) and their elaborate hilts. Early rapiers could be nearly indistinguishable from sideswords (many collectors categorize some swords simply as "rapier or sidesword") but in the late 16th and early 17th century many distinct styles of hilt emerged. The Italian swept hilt (curved bars and rings in elegant loops), the German Pappenheimer (a pair of oval pierced plates on each side of the blade) and the Spanish cup hilt (a large half-dome covering the hilt) are the more distinctive.

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* These slender cut-and-thrust weapons evolved from the sixteenth century sideswords. They were characterized by their extremely long and stiff blades (often over 40 inches long) and their elaborate hilts. Early rapiers could be nearly indistinguishable from sideswords (many collectors categorize some swords simply as "rapier or sidesword") but in the late 16th and early 17th century many distinct styles of hilt emerged. The Italian swept hilt (curved bars and rings in elegant loops), the German Pappenheimer (a pair of oval pierced plates on each side of the blade) and the Spanish cup hilt (a large half-dome covering the hilt) are the more distinctive. Despite being primarily considered a civilian weapon, it was commonly seen in a military context, usually carried by officers and aristocratic cavalry. The use of the rapier declined in most of Europe by the end of the 17th century, but in Spain the cup hilt variety remained popular even up to the late 18th century.

*A common misconception is to link the rapier with the modern sport fencing foil or epee. In reality this sword was a very different beast. While it was a very dexterous weapon which relied heavily in precision and balance, most rapiers were still longer and sometimes heavier than the average longsword. The idea of the rapier is to have an extremely long sidearm that offered good hand protection, and for that a lot of material was needed, which added to its weight. Even so, most of that weight is on the elaborate hand guards, which positions the point of balance very close to the hand.



* These swords were descendant from the rapier. As the 16th and 17th century went on, the Rapier became increasingly longer and heavier in the blade. This lent itself to a style of fencing that relied on "single time" actions, where attack and defense were simultaneous. With a blade of this form, it became increasingly dangerous. In mid 17th century France, the trend began to reverse and swords became shorter and lighter. This short, light sword was easier to wear and in theory held an advantage over the rapier because it could more easily be used to fence in double time - parry and riposte. Additionally, the sword's compact nature - the hilt becoming increasingly stripped down - allowed it to be more easily carried in day-to-day civilian life. The smallsword became associated with the gentry, and schools of swordsmanship focused on the weapon became associated with elegance and grace. The weapon itself was frequently decorated when worn my wealthy gentlemen of the time, and became a weapon for the battlefield, the street, and the field of honor.
* Several different schools of swordsmanship arose around it. Most famously, the French school or "common method", was widely studied. This was the root of the modern foil sport and the earlier "epee du combat" (which itself gave birth to modern epee fencing). Contrasted to this school is the method put forward by Sir William Hope, a Scottish fencing master who spent many years teaching the French method before devising his own, more combative approach.
* Smallswordsmanship remained a military skill through the 19th century, though the weapon itself faded from the battlefield as the sabre and spadroon were adopted as more functional military weapons.

to:

* These swords were descendant developed from the rapier. As the 16th and 17th century went on, the Rapier became increasingly longer and heavier rapier, but not in the blade. This lent itself sense most people think. The change from a long and heavy sword to a style of fencing that relied on "single time" actions, where attack light and defense were simultaneous. With a blade of this form, it became increasingly dangerous. In mid 17th century France, the trend began to reverse and swords became shorter variant was not done because the smallsword was a superior weapon, but simply because it was more convenient. Rapiers often weight well over 1 kg. Smallswords, on the other hand, are usually between 350 and lighter. This short, light sword was 500 g. Its reduced size also made it so a person could wear it while going about their daily tasks or even in a social context without worrying about it getting in the way. In modern terms, it's analogous to the difference between carrying a large frame steel pistol and carrying a compact polymer model. The smaller and lighter weapon is simply going to be easier to wear and live with, even if the alternative would probably serve you better in theory held an advantage over a fight.
* It was developed at the end of the seventeenth century, based both on
the rapier because it could more easily be used to fence in double time - parry and riposte. Additionally, the sword's on some models of compact nature - the infantry swords. Its hilt becoming increasingly stripped down - allowed was very simple in form, often just a knuckle bow and a pair of plates or rings, often made entirely of soft brass. The blades were usually just over 30 inches long, edgeless and very stiff. By the 18th century it to be more easily was the most common sword carried in day-to-day civilian life. The smallsword became associated with by European gentlemen, as much of a fashion accessory as it was a weapon. Since it was the gentry, and schools of swordsmanship focused on the weapon became associated with elegance and grace. The weapon itself easiest sword to carry around it was frequently decorated when worn my wealthy gentlemen used as a self-defense weapon, and many fencing systems were centered around that. It was also considered the standard dueling weapon of the time, and became a era, though with time it would be replaced by the pistol in that regard.
* The training
weapon for the battlefield, the street, and the field of honor.
* Several different schools of swordsmanship arose around it. Most famously, the French school or "common method", was widely studied. This
smallsword was the root foil, with a very flexible blade for reasons of safety. It is from this sword that the modern foil practice of sport and the earlier "epee du combat" (which itself gave birth to modern epee fencing). Contrasted to this school is the method put forward by Sir William Hope, a Scottish fencing master who spent many years teaching the French method before devising his own, more combative approach.
* Smallswordsmanship remained a military skill through the 19th century, though the weapon itself faded from the battlefield as the sabre and spadroon were adopted as more functional military weapons.
was developed.
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