Which of our ancestors made the most sturdy, and effective battle ready swords | Page 15

Discussion in 'Weapons and Tactics' started by MadSquabbles500, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. MadSquabbles500 Gold Belt

    MadSquabbles500
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    If it is just spear versus just a sword sure, I sure the spear will win. But if swordsman has a big shield, I am sure the playing field is more even.

    If Spearmen also has a shield, he still be more cumbersome with just one hand on the spear.

    Did the pikemen have shields? I know the Swiss were famous for their pikemen, and they were used heavily against cavalry.
     
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  2. SweetDaddySiki Orange Belt

    SweetDaddySiki
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    Its all supposition though. How did a phalanx fight another phalanx? Did they crash together, shield to shield? Did they poke away at a short distance? Did they fight over or underhand? We dont know.

    Swiss pikemen did not have shields. That being said, the pikemen were supported by an array of troops equipped with different weapons.
     
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  3. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with Lederhosen

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP
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    But would you agree that motions like the Zwerchhau (or any other cutting motion) would be absolutely useless against armour ?

    So why do treatises often illustrate these motions against armour ?
     
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  4. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with Lederhosen

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP
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    If Greek history is any indication, I think that many battles were fought by unmatched units, so that the hoplites from one side often fought other types of troops (light fantassins armed with javelins, archers, cavalry, etc. ) from the other side. And even if the fought, the hoplites were never in even numbers on both sides.

    All this to say that I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't so many accounts of representative hoplite on hoplite, just like cavalry against cavalry.

    Armies tended to employ troops to gain a tactical advantage (like light fantassins throwing stuff at hoplites on uneven terrain, or flanking the opposite army using the cavalry).

    Their is no point in stalemating formations against the equivalent enemy formation just to proove a point.

    That is why the quality of specific troops is only one of many factors that determine the quality of an overall campaign / army.

    IMO.
     
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  5. SweetDaddySiki Orange Belt

    SweetDaddySiki
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    The original greek phalanx was actually a form of ritual combat. You had two groups of men, who met in field, had a clash of arms. There wasn't much in the way of tactics or anything. It was a head on clash. One side would win. The winning side would then burn some fields, maybe lay siege for a bit then the two would come to terms and everyone would go home. This form of combat was meant to demonstrate virtue, not annihilate. Its as if you decided issues by two champions fighting a ritual duel, except the champions on each side were the citizens in the phalanx. The winning side would prove its superior virtues and masculinity. This all began to change with the persian wars..but the pattern still held.There were still small numbers of skirmishers and such, but they werent decisive in any way.

    Then came the peloponnesian wars. These wars were something more akin to what we think of as war, and both sides fought to finish off the other. Tactics and weapons evolved rapidly. The phalanxes were lightened, more cavalry was added and light troops became an integral and highly trained portion of any army. This culminated in the combined arms approach of the Thebans who smashed the Spartans to such an extent that they never recovered.

    The Thebans hosted a young Macedonian named Philip. He took the theban approach and perfected it. He lengthened the spear into a pike, and redesigned the shield to eliminate phalanx drift. His wall of pikemen would pin the enemy line. They would be screened by skirmishers. A corps of light infantry was trained to guard the flanks, fill any gaps that opened in the pikewall and support the pikemen. The real striking force was his cavalry, which would smash the flanks and back of the enemy after the pikewall had pinned it.

    Its this army that his son Alexander would use to conquer the persians.

    The swiss took a different approach. The macedonians would advance in a long line. The Swiss would advance in several deep columns arrayed in echelon. Unlike the macedonians, the Swiss used thier pikemen as the main striking force. These pikemen would be screened by crossbowmen (later handgunners), and supported by swordsmen and halberdiers, The light troops had two purposes..fill in the gaps and break the push of pike. When two pikeblocks met, the resulting carnage was said to be ghastly. the pikes would get tangled up. That's when the swordsmen and halberdiers came out.
     
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  6. Thycidides Blue Belt

    Thycidides
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    Which treatise do you mean? Not every source or image is from a technical manual. A lot of material is more like action movie than a Mauy Thai instructional for example.
     
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  7. Thycidides Blue Belt

    Thycidides
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    A lot more is known about 1600's pike combat and later bayonet usage than earlier warfare. A good book to read is " Europe's Tragedy, the 30 years War"

    A lot of warfare is psychological, one side breaks and leaves once they take casualties or see the enemy charge them.
     
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  8. Doughbelly αlpha-nerdette, action scientist

    Doughbelly
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    Here is Kashima Shin-ryu, known to emphasize fighting against men in armor. The first has Karl Friday, who is of an authority on kenjutsu and koryu (you guys have no idea what an understatement that is) talking in the foreground. Note the two techniques at 1:00 and at 1:45. Both are clearly meant to be performed on an armored opponent.



    Now check this out.



    The start is mostly standard kenjutsu stuff, but keep watching as they move onto the techniques Kashima Shin Ryu is known for. They have a lot of techniques off of the bind and a large proportion of their moves involve grapples and/or getting the opponent on their backs or on all fours, exposing the back of their necks through the underside of the overlaps in armor. Half the time, the sword is only used as a lever against the neck, arms and torso. Done with live blade on unarmored flesh, you've already killed the guy. IOW, a good proportion of their techniques wouldn't really work on unarmored opponents. I'm sure they have specific ways of attacking the neck armor gap that they do on downed opponents that they are not demonstrating in public, but Japanese koryu, that's what they do.

    And only watch Kashima Shin Ryu with two Japanese guys in Japan demonstrating techniques (or Karl Friday). Some hippy hipster granola munching motherfuckers (white guys, of course) got a hold of some techniques and managed to turn a battlefield martial art into tai chi in white pajamas. Also, Kashima Shin Ryu is not Kashima ShinTO ryu.
     
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  9. Doughbelly αlpha-nerdette, action scientist

    Doughbelly
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    And here is some Jigen ryu stuff. This is the ryu that does not do defense or second attacks or followups. This ryu is the distilled essence of the actual primary role of an unhorsed samurai in combat - reaping through unarmored or lightly armored peasant levies or musketmen like a scythe until he gets shot or whacked or runs into a guy who specializes in killing armored guys who don't know how to fight another armored guy, like a Katori Shin ryu guy.

    This one has a lot of the footage I saw in that documentary, but also is missing a lot of footage that I remember.

     
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  10. Doughbelly αlpha-nerdette, action scientist

    Doughbelly
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    Yes and no. People who can afford to buy books (aka treatises) and the literacy to read them are few and far between. They are the ones who can afford the fanciest armor of the time period. On a battlefield, these guys almost invariably start on horseback. If they're on foot, it means they've been unhorsed during a skirmish, or more likely a heavy cavalry charge. IOW, surrounded by enemies. As the armored guy surrounding a bunch of unarmored guys, the only real threat to you is someone else in armor. Thus, a lot of the the emphases on 1-1 armored fighting makes sense.
     
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  11. Gregolian .45 ACP

    Gregolian
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    Figured some folks here would enjoy seeing this.
     
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  12. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with Lederhosen

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP
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    God damn it. I have seen tens of longsword illustrations in armour over the years, but now that I am looking for them I can't find sh1t....

    Although I have to admit that treatises do seem to focus on unarmed fighting, as far as the longsword go.

    You are probably right and what I saw was not from technical manuals.
     
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  13. SweetDaddySiki Orange Belt

    SweetDaddySiki
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    My favorite Koryu!
     
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  14. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with Lederhosen

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP
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    We must not let this thread die !

    So here is an update on my fencing training : I have started to train the sport sabre almost 5 months ago now (of course the épée remains my main weapon, though).

    It's fun, but unlike épée, I suspect that not so much of it translates to actual sabre fighting. Sure the footwork and parries as well as some attacks would definitely help, but that's about it.

    These Right-of-Way rules are pretty weird and way too often it only means that the person who started the attack gets the point on a double point. Meh.

    Also, the sabre is so flexible that often in an exchange it will flap around everywhere and create a point.

    Lastly, the fact that only touching the opponent with any part of the blade will create a point means that there is absolutely no notion of "cutting", even if the movement is always more effective when using a cutting motion. Compared with the épée, where you still need pressure on the tip of the blade at the right angle to get a point (and a thrust is a thrust), that makes it very irrealistic.

    But I don't really "play that game". I try to keep it "realistic" and focus alot on the parry-cut. Or surprise them with a thrust. Ha.

    I won't train the sabre much longer, though, since I am changing jobs and the hours won't match.

    But it will have been a good experience overall, especially if I have the opportunity of training the military sabre one day, if I find a club.
     
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  15. Thycidides Blue Belt

    Thycidides
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    Don't let the thread die!

    I had the same problem with saber. The rules are silly and frustrating. I thought I would like escrima better but the problem with escrima is you don't really sparr you do a sort of flow a drill that it feels more like Thai boxing with a stick than its own unique sport.

    I ended up doing Thai boxing instead because the instructors were more relaxed and there was actual sparring.

    There is a military saber/ hema club in my town but I get the sense the people running it don't really know what they are doing, its out of the way and I could be doing BJJ instead which I like a lot.
     
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  16. KBE6EKCTAH_CCP Arrow sash belt with Lederhosen

    KBE6EKCTAH_CCP
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    I would love to do military sabre but I haven't found a single school in the country I live in.

    I think that it is a very rare weapon outside of the UK, where there are really good and serious guys like Nick Thomas teaching it. I also think Matt Easton is good with the sabre.
     
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