Which was the last war in which swords were actively used as the primary weapon by an army?

  • 1
    Define 'Used'. Do you mean as primary offensive weapon on a battlefield?
    – User999999
    Jan 9, 2017 at 10:43
  • Are you including cavalry? Use by officers?
    – Steve Bird
    Jan 9, 2017 at 10:44
  • 2
    Do we count machetes as swords? If so then just look back to the Rwandan civil war, tons of them were used!
    – ed.hank
    Jan 9, 2017 at 14:08
  • 3
    You'll need to define "actively used", "sword" and "army", and possibly "war".
    – CGCampbell
    Jan 9, 2017 at 15:01
  • 1
    They could actively use them for parades or for cans opening... Better change that to "use as a primary or at least a secondary weapon"
    – Gangnus
    Jan 10, 2017 at 8:32

2 Answers 2


Swords were certainly used in World War II.

Japanese officers carried Guntō swords and used them as hand-to-hand weapons.

One eccentric British officer, "Mad Jack" Churchill used a broadsword, along with a longbow, through the war.


During the WWII Russian, Polish, German, French and Italian cavalry regiments existed. And they really used swords. The use against tanks is obviously a fallacy, but in the sudden attacks against infantry the swords worked!

Here is a large collection of contemporary photos and pictures.

So, these armies had not only CARRIED swords, not only USED swords, but even COUNTED on them in battle!

  • Thank you. Corrected. In comments here: wiki.istmat.info/… you can find an example of cavalry attack against tanks and motorbikes, but it was not a sword attack, of course.
    – Gangnus
    Jan 9, 2017 at 15:59

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