Straight swords vs. curved swords

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D5CAV
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by D5CAV » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:47 am

CByrneIV wrote:Oh.... me wantsssssss

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Spanish-Heavy-C ... 1146950075
Me too!

Beautiful sword! It looks like my Cuirassier sword, only much nicer. Too pricey for my taste, however.

Here's a piece on the Cuirassier sword: http://www.oldswords.com/articles/Frenc ... N%20XI.pdf
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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D5CAV
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by D5CAV » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:29 pm

I'm still lusting after a Patton sword, unfortunately, most of them go for stupid prices.

http://www.pattonhq.com/sword.html

The Patton sword was based on the design philosophy of thrust vs. cut: http://www.pattonhq.com/sword.html
In the Peninsula War, the English nearly always used the sword for cutting. The French dragoons , to the contrary, used only the point which almost always caused a fatal wound. This made the English say, "The French don't fight fair." Marshal Saxe wished to arm the French cavalry with a blade of a triangular cross section so as to make the use of the point obligatory. At Wagram, when the cavalry of the guard passed in review before a charge, Napoleon called to them, "Don't cut! The point! The point!"

The point is vastly more deadly than the edge. While it might be possible to inflict a crippling blow with the edge (were the swing unrestricted by the pressing ranks of the charge or by the guard of attack) the size and power of the blow is so reduced there is grave doubt it would have sufficient power to do any damage to an opponent's body, protected by clothing and equipment. And even should the blade reach the opponent, it's power to unhorse is dubious.

The cavalryman rides at a man to kill him. If he misses, he goes on to another, moving in straight lines with the intent of running his opponent through. As to the question of recovering his sword thrust into an opponent, when a man has been run through he is going to be pretty limp and will probably fall from his horse, clearing the weapon for you. It would seem, then, that the straight sword possesses all of the advantages of the curved sword for cutting, besides the proper use of the point, which the other does not, and that in using the point in the charge not a single advantage of the edge is lost, while many disadvantages are overcome. In addition, the highest possible incentive to close with the enemy is given.
I questioned the utility of the sharpened back-edge in my comments on the M1907 Spanish saber, but here is a rational explanation of it's utility:
The sharpened back edge makes it much easier to withdraw from a body than would be the case if it were single edged. The use of the point is taught exclusively. In the charge with the point, all the energy of the horse is conserved and he becomes a steel-pointed missile.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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D5CAV
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by D5CAV » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:53 pm

On the topic of M1913 Patton swords, there were not many SA blades made - only about 35,000. Many of these were turned into fighting knives, so only a few thousand surviving examples, hence the stupid prices: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ ... on-sabers/
M-1913 Cavalry (Patton) Saber

Year - Production- Low Serial No.- High Serial No.

1913 - 200 - 13- 8,140
1914 - 24,799 - 8,246- 29,574
1915 - 5,292 - 30,119- 30,440
1916 - ? - 30,735- 30,817
1917 - ? - 31,199- 33,482
1918 - 5,000 - 32,822- 37,610
Interesting that there are examples of 1918 marked blades with SN lower than 1917 marked blades.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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D5CAV
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by D5CAV » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:26 pm

How to evaluate swords: http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_eval.html

Good resource
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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D5CAV
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by D5CAV » Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:07 pm

More on cuts vs. thrusts (i.e. curved vs. straight): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c38zGxQxYok

Also some interesting points on knife fighting (back before it was supplanted by gunfighting): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD0EbGpemLk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRB9h8D3xao

The US Army taught the "icepick grip", either point up or point down, but primarily point down.

"West side story" is not a good knife-fighting tutorial.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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D5CAV
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by D5CAV » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:02 pm

More on evolution of cavalry swords.

Looks like my Prussian sword was about the same period as the British 1908 cavalry sword and US 1913 Patton sword.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHmrQNu_wbQ

He describes them as hand-held lances, and doesn't feel the grip is good for fencing. However, the grip is closest to my "French" grip on my foil and epee, so easiest for me.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Michaelser
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Straight swords vs curved swords

Post by Michaelser » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:29 pm

Maybe it has something to do with sharpening? A curved blade has only one cutting edge, and thus can be sold sharpened, much like a common knife. A straight sword has two edges and must be sold unsharpened false-edged. Because most people wont bother to sharpen their swords, maybe they are trying to remove one danger by banning curved swords which already come sharpened? This is just a wild guess, but I cant think of any other reason why this distinction should be made.

Johnnyreb
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by Johnnyreb » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:30 am

I remember reading somewhere or other that the way to use a saber on infantry was not to strike at his back, where his pack would take the blow. But to do a backhand slash at his face s the horseman rode past.

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D5CAV
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Re: Straight swords vs curved swords

Post by D5CAV » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:20 pm

Michaelser wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:29 pm
Maybe it has something to do with sharpening? A curved blade has only one cutting edge, and thus can be sold sharpened, much like a common knife. A straight sword has two edges and must be sold unsharpened false-edged. Because most people wont bother to sharpen their swords, maybe they are trying to remove one danger by banning curved swords which already come sharpened? This is just a wild guess, but I cant think of any other reason why this distinction should be made.
I believe all swords were issued dull and sharpening was only done prior to deployment. My better quality swords are all un-sharpened. The ones that are sharp are also "ridden hard". That's true for my British, French, German and Spanish swords. The only exception is a ca. 1900 Japanese NCO sword that is pristine and still coated with factory grease. It is sharp.

The Prussian Uhlanen "saber" I described is sharpened, which probably decreases it's collector value.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

toad
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Re: Straight swords vs. curved swords

Post by toad » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:21 am

I remember from my reading that the straight swords were superior for cavalry vs. cavalry but when cavalry were required to ride down infantry a long curved sword was preferred. As the horseman rode past the man on foot , a back stroke was delivered avoiding a strike to hat, helmet, or back pack. Instead a cut would be delivered to the throat, head, or shoulder. I remember a painting of young Civil War Union officers riding through a flock of geese an cutting their heads off. I suspect they got spanked for that.
During the beginning of WW I , the Germans still had cavalry armed with lances . They were sectional aluminum that were screwed together prior to combat. Then machine , guns , trenches, armored vehicles , and aircraft pretty much screwed that up.

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