Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

29

Cavalry sabres (a.k.a. Shashkas) were still widely used in the Russian Civil War (1918-1922) and appear in many books on that period. This weapon is primarily associated with Cossacks even though it was standard equipment in the Russian and later Soviet army. The Russian Wikipedia article claims that Shashkas were still used by the cavalry in the Second ...


26

A tuareg takooba sword, maybe Scabbard and half-moon markings on the blade are reasonably similar to a tuareg takooba sword shown on antiqueswordsonline. See images below: note that the half-moon markings appear at the same place as on the sword above, where the two outer fullers (grooves) end. From a general description: "The typical blade tapers, ...


18

I believe that the last use of sword in Western military were cavalry sabres used in cavalry charges alongside revolvers. Those were used in the Crimean war and in the USA Civil War. So we are talking mid-19th century. After the USA Civil War automatic rifles made cavalry obsolete (or nearly so) so I do not think you will find any more examples. ...


17

As it is, all three are interesting for being completely different methods of achieving a high quality of steel. Equally interesting is that they are each of high quality in different ways. As for Tamahagane, the iron that was available in Japan was actually very poor compared to that found in Europe. It had a characteristically low carbon content, and the ...


16

Toledo steel was a very good steel, comparable to mainstream contemporary ones. It is based mostly on the content of the material and way of hardening. Now the best European steel for blades is not Spanish, but Swedish V10. With Damascus there is a wide-spread fallacy. What is now called "true damascus" - blades based on the way of smithing of two or more ...


15

The shield came first. The sword is an invention of the bronze age, but the shield has been used to protect against many types of weapons by stone age (not primitive) peoples. It is still in use today by traditional societies. For example: See pics of an Australian aborigine and a Zulu warrior. The shield is believe to have been invented in the late ...


12

Anywhere between "after first serious use" and "never". Assuming thorough, regular maintenance, a sword can last almost indefinitely - the oldest one I've held that has seen use was about 250 years old and might still be usable, given a good cleaning. The oldest one that I've seen was about 1500 years old and while thoroughy rusty, was worn (indicating ...


10

Wikipedia's page on Japanese swordsmithing provides some information on the time frames involved in the manufacture of good quality blades: The forging of a Japanese blade typically took many days or weeks, and was considered a sacred art, traditionally accompanied by a large panoply of Shinto religious rituals. As with many complex endeavors, rather ...


8

I have friends that forge knives and swords. Assuming you already have your steel stock, a couple days will be sufficient. Maybe less than one day if you work hard at it. This will vary by smith and by sword type. An apprentice might take a week or more.


8

The only reliable use of a sword I can find is mentioned in Tuchman's book 'The Guns of August' when a British cavalry Captain used the 1912 new pattern sabre against some German cavalry. That was August 1914.I will dig out the reference. [edit] Page 269 in my edition in the Chapter 'Debacle: Lorraine,Ardennes,Charleroi,Mons'. "Captain Hornby, leader of ...


6

The Stele of the Vultures shows Sumerian spearmen employing shields - it's from the middle of the third millennium BCE. While long bronze daggers are found in parts of Anatolia about this time, true bronze swords longer than 60cm and strong enough to be used for weapon-to-weapon combat, would take another thousand years to become prevalent as metalworking ...


5

It was derived from the European guild system, most notably from German cities. Full members of a guild were called masters and allowed to teach others. Swordsmanship was simply another craft to be learned and taught. For some additional sources, check out these online copies of historical European martial arts & fencing books and this Wiki on ...


5

While I can't find much on when the sword was adopted (at least for the moment) I have found several sources that point towards answers for some of your other questions here. It appears that the method of death varied depending on who you were, or who was punishing you. The following refers to the reign of Caligula. Many men of honourable rank were ...


4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_swordsmithing A couple of the claims written in the answers above need to be discussed with counter points; The ancient Japanese samurai sword that we are talking about was specifically developed to address the brittle nature of steel that time, no it was not brittle by yesterday's standard or today's. Precisely ...


4

Cutlasses remained a personal weapon in various navies, mainly for use when boarding an enemy vessel, I think. The cutlass was reported to have been used during the Korean War (wiki).


4

Any clue about such sword? There's apparently a Hindu sacred text that contains an account of a sword being used to behead an elephant Then, O great king, having uttered a loud shout, Bhima, sword in hand impetuously jumping on (Bhanumat's) excellent elephant aided by the latter's tusks, gained, O sire, the back of that prince of tuskers, and with ...


4

Since times immemorial, most all types of swords were made by forging rather than casting. Casting a sword is visually appealing, which is why you see that in the movies, but was not used in practice for multiple reasons, foremost of which were metallurgical concerns. Casting steel requires significantly higher temperatures than forging (~1400°C vs. ...


3

First of all, swords are made from steel and casting steel is an advanced technology not available in the 17th century. Swords and all other steel tools are forged, which means that the steel ingot is hammered into shape. The rapier was original to Toledo and at one time that city exported swords to all parts of Europe. Later, of course, their work was ...


3

Since British soldier Jack Churchill was still using a sword in WW2 (and getting the latest yet confirmed kill with a bow, also in WW2), this might just be the most recent major war where these were used.


3

Normally a sword is worn from a sash or belt worn across the shoulder, known as a baldric. The scabbard is attached to the belt by a contraption of strings and leather known as a frog. In some cases scabbards were made with eyes. In this case, only a cord is needed to hang it from the belt, or it can be hung directly on a shoulder strap. In some cases, ...


3

The first influence of this kind of the thing is the arms race. In the case of weapons they are always racing against armour. Japanese weapons evolved to the point where they were able to defeat the type of armour they would encounter and Western weapons did the same. Due to the increased diverity of cultures, greater natural resources, farming ...


2

In western Europe it seems that the grooves appeared in swords about the eighth century, according to H. R. Davidson's The Sword in Anglo Saxon England as related on this forum post. In other areas it was probably invented independently. For instance, the Japanese have a long tradition of sword making, including fullers, and likely came up with that on ...


2

As for the Roman Military they used a gladius you suggested as their main fighting tool. To back up my answer this site has pictures and summaries of roman weapons etc (None of which seem to resemble a scimitar). There are two types of these: The first being the original shorter Gladius Hispaniensis. The second being the more pointier Gladius Pompeianus ...


2

There was a sling worn either under or over the jacket, with the scabbard of the sword attached to the low end. swords have been worn like that for millenia. Why would they change that in the last years of the use of swords? besides, it looks classy.


2

If you go to an old farm, you may be surprised to find out that a lot of the metal tools in the shed have the metallic part dating back 50 or even older than that without significant degradation other than rust and some chips. The wooden parts however have long been replaced with newer material, and the edge is periodically resharpened. I wouldn't be ...


1

I submitted the photos to a dealer and he said the sword is, as Mario Elocio said, of North African make. He said it was made sometime between 1900-1950 and would be worth $100 to $200 on eBay.


1

There are oodles of myths around Damascus steel, particularly centering around how durable and sharp its swords were. Some of this steel still exists. Analysis shows carbon-nanofibers, which is quite an impressive accomplishment for the time. There are some superior modern steels, but nobody knows quite how to duplicate them with ancient methods. Or for that ...


1

A portion of one of the ancient Damascus steel blades was removed and examined, the molecular structure was made up of a series of carbon nanotubes around iron nanowires. It's unknown as to how this was achieved, and hasn't been replicated by modern humans. It's sometimes referred to as Wootz steel. Ref Modern attempts at replicating Damascus steel involves ...


1

I can't comment here yet, so I'll have to make this an answer despite its being broad, but I hope useful. If you're looking for the end of the sword "being used as a primary weapon by infantrymen or cavalrymen in Western warfare" then I think you have answered your own question: "the High Middle Ages (12th century)." Stretch that to 1300 or so. One might ...


1

Sabres were widely used in WWII, although I would not call them swords. By Russia By Germany By Italy By Poland



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible