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Some informative answers particularly the respondent who wrote about the making of historical katanas which accurately described the process as lamination not pattern welding. Whoever wrote that doesn't have a clue about Japanese swordsmithing. The remarkable thing about those ancient swords was that despite having poor quality ore to work with they ...


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 ...

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