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37 votes
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Was swordsmanship important in the American Civil War?

Generally speaking, swords were not much used during the civil war due to lack of training, lack of quality swords and lack of well-trained horses (plus, of course, improvements in firearms), but ...
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31 votes

When would one carry a sword on a shoulder with grip upwards?

This is anecdotal, but enough people seemed to like my comment and OP had further questions, so I'm posting it anyway. I did some re-enactment in my time. My weapon of choice was a longsword. (Well, a ...
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  • 12k
28 votes
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Identify this sword!

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 ...
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25 votes

How long would the average sword last in the middle ages?

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 ...
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  • 1,568
16 votes

Can someone help me identify this sword?

This is very likely another fascine knife (compare pictures on Faschinenmesser): The fascine knife was a side arm / tool issued to 17th to 19th century light infantry and artillery. It served both ...
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  • 75.2k
16 votes

Can anyone identify these swords with carved ivory grip and narrow guard

That looks like a Chinese double sword Similar examples Chinese Shuangjian Double Sword A Fine Chinese Double Sword Set, Shuang Jian Note. In many countries, mislaid belongings still legally belong ...
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13 votes
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What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

TL;DR: We don't know, but at least ~170 swords bearing - in whole or in part - some variation of "VLFBERHT" are known to exist. Number of Extant VLFBERHT swords: I came across the closest available ...
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  • 4,113
12 votes

In the Medieval period, how long would an average swordsmith need to forge an average sword?

In medieval Europe it took a standard blacksmith about a week to make a decent average steel longsword. If they were making something for their lord or king they would often spend as much as 6 months ...
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12 votes

Why were swords used in battle?

The Romans developed tactics that involved both swords and spears. The spears ("pilum") were used first, and were throwing spears (not "polearms"). After the "shock and awe" administered by the ...
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  • 103k
11 votes

When were swords last used in European warfare?

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 ...
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11 votes
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Why were swords used in battle?

Pole arms vary greatly in length and purpose. Everything from a Zulu iklwa, a short 1 to 2 meter personal thrusting weapon... Source: Therion Arms International ...to the 7 meter pike favored by ...
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  • 53k
10 votes
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When did cavalry soldiers unsheathe swords?

The cavalry tactics could differ from century to century, yet when they got firearms, for sure, they had to learn quick swapping from firearm to a saber during the attack. The Russian cavalry officer ...
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  • 4,258
9 votes

What language is this and what does it say?

The language is Chinese. Here's a clearer image (taken from http://iantiqueonline.ning.com/group/whadjafind/forum/topics/japanese-kanji-katana-samurai-sword-i-d-help?) The text is verbatim: 張武傑 (...
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  • 1,103
8 votes

Can anyone tell me what style of sword this is?

What you have there appears to be a Moro Kris, or Kalis. It is a type of short sword or long dagger that used to be common in the Muslim (aka: Moro) parts of the southern Philippines. In the ...
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  • 110k
8 votes

What does the inscription on this sword mean?

Taking into account that the first "R" and the second are graphically very different (the first "R" could actually be "N"), I propose another possible version: (in) NOMINE DOMINI CHRISTI OMNIPOTENTIS ...
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8 votes

Can anyone tell me anything about this sword?

First, it's probably a sword made in Toledo, Spain. This city is famous for its ancient sword industry. Today, the sword industry in Toledo forges both high-quality swords and souvenirs of industrial ...
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8 votes

Can someone help me identify this sword?

It appears to be a Spanish machete of the mid 19th century. They were issued to pioneer units (Gastadores) in the army. http://www.agmohio.com/items/12031101.htm As the article suggests they were ...
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  • 667
8 votes

When would one carry a sword on a shoulder with grip upwards?

I made a jokey comment in the question comments, but this is in fact something that was done. There were apparently two techniques in medieval German swordfighting that involved grabbing the blade. ...
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  • 110k
7 votes
Accepted

How was the hilt attached to a medieval sword?

One technique used to hold the assembly together is called 'peening'. The tang actually penetrates through the end of the pommel, and then is hammered and polished flush. The (commercial) website ...
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  • 34.1k
6 votes
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How were small swords worn in the 18th century?

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 ...
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  • 37.2k
6 votes

How much did a good sword cost in Medieval Western Europe?

Lifting from this site, I found a "cheap sword (peasant's)", England ~1340, listed at 6 pence. The same site lists the daily wage of a thatcher (in the same time period) as 3 pence. The source is ...
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  • 12k
6 votes

What is this sword?

Definitely looks like a stabbing weapon. I think Europeans would call/would have called this a long dagger, but in Indonesia I think these were often called swords (short ones, but still). It bears a ...
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  • 131
6 votes

Help on finding out about a sword

Although the provided image is a bit unclear, I believe that the inscription is the same as on another image which I gave a quick-and-dirty translation on /r/translator a while back. Here is the ...
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  • 1,103
5 votes

How would a 16-17th Century European Rapier have been made?

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 ...
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  • 37.2k
5 votes
Accepted

How would a 16-17th Century European Rapier have been made?

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 ...
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  • 1,568
5 votes

How much did a good sword cost in Medieval Western Europe?

A sword might be the most expensive item that a man owned. The one sword whose value is given in the sagas (given by King Hákon to Höskuldur in chapter 13 of Laxdæla saga) was said to be worth a half ...
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5 votes
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Where and when is this sword from?

Not 100% certain and no idea of the time period or authenticity, but FWIW the blade's slightly bent shape that grows thicker towards the end of the blade, pointy tip, and the grip's slight curve make ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Why did officers fire revolvers with just one hand, while wielding a sword in the other hand despite being too far away to use swords?

An officer's primary responsibility is the command and control of his men, not combat with the enemy. In consequence, an officer is issued with a weapon of little use in combat at a distance: a pistol....
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4 votes
Accepted

Searching for a very powerful Indian sword

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 ...
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