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curved sword question

On last night's Antiques Roadshow one bloke had a curved sword and the expert said it was used by troops on the flanks eg grenadiers and light infantry! Why curved? Slashing?


Dashing and Hussar like; Inf Light Coys liked to resemble light cavalwy, including dress such as pellises and frogging...

So therefore they carried the same sword as light cav, a curvy one.

All Infantry officers carried sabres, ie. curved blades for exactly the reason specified above, and also that a straight-bladed Heavy Cavalry blade would have been too long and awkward for an officer on foot to handle.

Light cavalry carried sabres as they were ideal weapons for pursuits (pretty much the only occassion in which cavalry would attack disciplined infantry), as a curved blade, when slashed, will create a much longer wound than a straight blade. The standard pursuit tactic was to overtake the target (easy enough on horseback) and then slash backwards into the face.
growler said:
so, is there any significant difference between a sabre and a curved sword
Definitions of sabre on the Web:

a fencing sword with a v-shaped blade and a slightly curved handle

a stout sword with a curved blade and thick back

cut or injure with a saber

kill with a saber

a fencing weapon with a flat blade and knuckle guard, used with cutting or thrusting actions; a military sword popular in the 18th to 20th centuries; any cutting sword used by cavalry.

A fencing weapon with a flat blade and knuckle guard, used with cutting or thrusting actions; a military sword popular in the 18th to 20th centuries; any cutting sword used by cavalry.

a fencing weapon with a flat blade and knuckle guard, used with cutting or thrusting actions; a military sword popular in the 18th to 20th centuries; any cutting sword used by cavalry

a/ Cut and thrust weapon used in modern fencing, and the basis for much theatrical swordplay. b/ Heavy sword with curved blade, favoured by the cavalry since the eighteenth century.

The modern fencing sabre has a straight blade and a curved, triangular guard to protect the hand. Touches, known as cuts, can be scored with either the tip or the edge of the blade.

A fencing weapon with a flat blade and knuckle guard, used with cutting or thrusting actions; a military sword popular in the 18th to 20th centuries; any cutting sword used by cavalry. Salle A fencing hall or club. Salute With the weapon, a customary acknowledgement of one's opponent and referee at the start and end of the bout. Second Intention A false action used to draw a response from the opponent, which will open the opportunity for the intended action that follows. Seconde Parry #2; blade down and to the outside, wrist pronated. Septime Parry #7; blade down and to the inside, wrist supinated. Simple An attack or riposte that involves no feints. Simultaneous In foil and sabre, two attacks for which the right-of-way is too close to determine. Sixte Parry #6; blade up and to the outside, wrist supinated. Stop Hit A counter-attack that hits; also a counter-attack whose touch is valid by virtue of it's timing. Stop Cut A stop-hit with the edge in sabre, typically to the cuff.

A sword with a relatively wide, flat blade, usually curved, to facilitate cutting.

The sabre can be differentiated from the basket-hilt schläger only by its blade: The sabre blade is convoluted. The difference between light and heavy sabre is not the weight of the weapon, but the kind of bandages used during a sabre duel. The sabre is a duel weapon, is used for honour conflicts, and thus it is not used anymore.

GM prototype; AF, pp.35/36 + 141. Earl at wheel plus 2 other views, TQ 5-6/79, p.13; have catalog on this model and many original photos from special albums viewed at Styling Center archives in September 1994. The first ideas and sketches for Le Sabre (the sword) were done in July, 1946. In October, 1948, full-sized drawings were preparecd; in December 1948 construction of the first part component of the actual car was begun; Harley Earl gave the name Le Sabre to his creation; in December, 1949, a fill-sized plaster model was begun; the finished car was presented to the public one year later, in December 1950, in Paris. Tests were run in March 1951 and the caa was revealed to the American press in June, 1951.

Plastic paint coated piece of metal in the shape of a curved, flattened sword. Hurts if caught wrong and/or without gloves. Great to get a point across.

a cutting and thrusting weapon which has as its target the entire torso from the waist up, the arms and head.

Acronym for South Atlantic Bight Recruitment Experiment, a NOAA program to stud the birthdate history of survivors (larvae, late larvae, and juveniles) to determine which life history phase or passage (spawning, transport across the shelf, inlet ingress, estuarine development, inlet egress) regulates recruitment variability in annual cohorts of transgressive species like Atlantic menhaden. [http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/~wheless/sabre.html]

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A curving sword used mainly by cavalrymen.
May not fully answer the question, but it seems a curved sword can be a sabre, but all sabres are not curved! 8O
I believe the difference is due to the hilt and hand protection. A sabre has a full hand guard, and a curved sword (like a General Officer's Mameluke version) has no had guard.
The chap on the Antiqies Roadshow was almost certainly talking about an 1803 pattern sabre.

This sabre was introduced to fill an important need amongst British officers who duties took them away from the safety of regular Infantry line formations. Skirmishing with the enemy as light infantry or riflemen was a very dangerous venture, and these extended formations were vulnerable to being overrun by timely movements of enemy cavalry or concerted pushes by enemy infantry.

The 52nd (Light Infantry) initially introduced its own pattern of sabre (of steel hardware) only months before the army pattern came out in 1803. The 52nd slowly adopted the army pattern as new officers joined the regiment and the gilt scabbard fittings of the above officer documents this.

While the regular pattern 1796 Infantry straight had some cut and thrust functionality to it, it was completely inadequate for the Grenadier, Light Infantry and Rifle officers of the British Army. In the late 1790s unofficial curved bladed Infantry sabres started popping up in regiments. These sabres came in many shapes and sizes and in 1803 the army officials took steps to standardize this sabre.

In addition, this pattern was taken up (with a white ivory grip) by many mounted regimental field officers (majors and colonels), again because of its usefulness in combat. Even some General officers adopted it instead of the 1796 staff pattern.

This pattern of sword even made its way into the Royal Navy. It is suggested that the flank companies of the Royal Marines adopted this pattern with the white grip. However there is evidence that some Royal Navy officers chose it as well. This may have been simply an issue of commercial availability and the degree of independence of selecting their fighting sword, despite the Admiralty's efforts in 1805 to standardize the sword.

Even with standardization there were a number of variations in the 1803 pattern. In studying originals, the blade's shape, ornamentation, and functionality vary greatly. Some blades have the same effective curve of a light cavalry sabre, without engraving, and well fullered. While other blades are curved to the point of uselessness, and constructed flat, and well etched, blued and gilted.

The 1796 pattern looked like this

Ozgerbobble said:
The chap on the Antiqies Roadshow was almost certainly talking about an 1803 pattern sabre.
He was, but it had a grenade in the hilt, which meant something or other about being held by grenadiers. Wasn't paying that much attention. The Scottish sword was also quite interesting, had a German blade.

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