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27

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 ...


15

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. ...


11

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 ...


9

Toledo steel is a very good steel, comparable to the best contemporary one. It is based mostly on the content of the material and way of hardening. Damascus is much better, it is based mostly on the way of smithing - folding, beating, folding again,.. repeat a year every day many times a day. With addings during smithing. The precise receipts are not ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


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 ...


5

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 ...


3

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 ...


2

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 ...


1

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 ...


1

US cavalry troops carried sabers throughout the US Civil War of 1861-1865. During JOseph Wheelter's cavalry raid on Union supply lines after the Battle of Chickamauga one of General Crook's brigades made a saber charge against some of Wheeler's forces. Source Crook's autobiography or official records. The autobiography of General James Wilson mentions a ...


1

To take off on another answer about the Crimean war, the use of swords (by cavalry) is documented in Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem about the Charge of the Light Brigade ("sabering the gunners there"). It was a late example of sending soldiers with blade weapons against soldiers with "fire" weapons that became infamous for the disproportionate losses suffered ...



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