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Old November 23, 2005, 09:45 PM   #2
Sir William
Senior Member
Join Date: October 13, 2004
Posts: 3,261
There are many advances in tactics and weapons. The types of edged weapons varies greatly. The early iron and later steel weapons were used for many tasks. Early Leathermans if you will. Common uses were foraging/hunting, farm and fieldwork, domestic tasks/cooking/chores and self defense. These were usually simple and sturdy. If they were sharpened, it was for a tool, not as a advantage in force. The Romans used soft copper swords that were not up to the task against the Celts secret weapon-forged steel. The edged weapon was forming into different things for differing regions by the time period you are interested in. Swords were often kept dull unless a war was on. Keeping your sword sharp was actually an offense in some areas against the ruler. Until blood gutters were deemed as sensible, edged weapons did become rather messy and rusted implements. The swords varied in size, length and use. Artillery swords in the US CW were made to block attacks and to repel infantry. They weren't made for thrusting or quick mobility and swordfighting. The rapier was rather a dashing and popular means of selfdefense but, it wasn't a full battle dress sword. The normal sword was kept dull until a war was on. One side was usually sharpened. The unsharpened side was used for blocking/parrying while the sharp side was used for slashing/cutting deeply. The point was usually added/maintained during combat for quick jabs rather than deep stabbing. The sword could get stuck in an opponent and effectively disarm the wielder. Twisting became a need to accomplish a in, twist free and pull out attack. The fact that twisting creates greater tissue damage was not lost on wielders either. The point is not the main force with swords. The weight, angle and forward momentum are. Bringing the side of the blade down on opponents was the commn usage. Broken bones, great gashes, need for aid to be removed from the field of battle and terror were the order of the sword. Sword use varies as often as their designs. Osprey has several Mam At Arms series that cover this. If you are interested in display swords- The A&E/History Channel videos are a good reference also.
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