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Old 2007-11-13, 00:25   Link #81
Spectacular_Insanity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
Real European broad swords was as dull as a paper knife and was used more as a blunt weapon than a cutting weapon with it's sheer weight.
Lol. Okay, let's test that theory. You stand there while I hit you with this standard knight's hand-and-a-half sword:



We'll see if it cuts or not. Seriously, I've nary heard such a stupid thing in my entire life. Baka! Why would knights use a sword that couldn't cut? Kind of defeats the purpose of a sword, doesn't it? That's what flails, maces, and axes were for.

And they are EXTREMELY SHARP. I OWN one of these, and I ran my finger down it one time to see how sharp it was. Damn that was a stupid idea. I cut my thumb quite badly, and I wasn't applying very much pressure at all. Again, Tri-ring, you're just biased. Yes they are heavy, but so are many katanas. I think many things made of solid steel would be heavy.

The idea that european swords=clubs with edges? REJECTED.

And again, you can't cut anything without some kind of downward or pulling motion anyway. It's kind of how blades work.

As Yellow Flash once said, "Bullshit. You just telling your stupid theory here with no consideration of facts."

Edit: If anything, its weight would augment its cutting ability with (usually) a downward force, using gravity to increase one's speed and power. That's not the same as saying the weapon was not sharp in the first place.
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Old 2007-11-13, 00:34   Link #82
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@Spectacular_Insanity:

The problem is, it's not easy to cut through the heavy layers of armor the knights used... that's why, against knights, maces or other bludgeonging weapons were preferred.
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Old 2007-11-13, 00:42   Link #83
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Well you wouldn't use a cutting force against heavily plated foes anyways. You would use a thrusting motion to penetrate the joints in the armor.
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Old 2007-11-13, 01:12   Link #84
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Besides, the point being made by Tri-ring (though overstated) is that the edge of a battlesword of that type generally isn't razor sharp -- otherwise it'd be a mess after a battle. Such swords were generally "sharpened" to wider angles so they wouldn't be nicked into oblivion.

The velocity of the swing drives the cut rather than a razor thin edge in that type of blade. The japanese swords (katana) do run a lot *sharper* but their blades are made with a stiffer spine and a razor-edged softer iron.

Cutting force worked just fine until advanced chain and plate became common -- remember the whole sword/mace/spear vs leather/scale/chain/plate was a thousand+ year arms race, not a static picture. Besides even in partial plate or advanced chain, many vulnerable points remained.
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Old 2007-11-13, 01:38   Link #85
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Well, they WERE razor sharp, but they'd just get notched as battle progressed and eventually become useless.

And yes, I did mention the types of sword that are specifically designed for thrusting attacks in an earlier post, if anyone actually bothered to read it (only the relevent parts are quoted):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectacular_Insanity View Post
Good examples of a stabbing weapon specifically meant as a solution to armor would be the stiletto or epee, both not suited for slashing attacks due to their light weight (and the epee has only a point anyway, no blade), but perfect for piercing armor or slipping past it and stabbing joints in the armor. Another sword almost exactly like the epee is the estoc, again having no slashing blade, only a point of stabbing/piercing attacks. Also, neither the epee nor the estoc are really suited to defense, for any well placed blow could easily break the blade clean off (because they are extremely thin, needle-shaped weapons).
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Old 2007-11-13, 02:24   Link #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Besides, the point being made by Tri-ring (though overstated) is that the edge of a battlesword of that type generally isn't razor sharp -- otherwise it'd be a mess after a battle. Such swords were generally "sharpened" to wider angles so they wouldn't be nicked into oblivion.

The velocity of the swing drives the cut rather than a razor thin edge in that type of blade. The japanese swords (katana) do run a lot *sharper* but their blades are made with a stiffer spine and a razor-edged softer iron.

Cutting force worked just fine until advanced chain and plate became common -- remember the whole sword/mace/spear vs leather/scale/chain/plate was a thousand+ year arms race, not a static picture. Besides even in partial plate or advanced chain, many vulnerable points remained.
You guys are forgetting that the shape of a sword also has to do with ability of cutting.
A straight bladed sword when swung down in a right angle will contact the surface in a line therefore the strength of the blow will disapate through out the contact line making a cleaving wound. A blade with a curvature like a Katana when swung down in a right angle will have a contact surface of more or less a point where the strength of the blow will be concentrated and when pulled the contact point will remain concentrated thus a slashing wound. Same principle used in a scalpel, it's curved blade is for a purpose.
Of course there are pros and cons for both weapons and can not be proven which is better and I have never implyed that either did.
A Katana has a narrow sweet spot where you can render a fatal blow where as a straight sword's has a much wider sweet spot because of it's shape.
I did read your link and it says much the same as I have elaborated, as he did wrote it cleaved the opponent. Cleaving cut is a forced cut with the weight of a blade not a slashing cut like a scalpel.

One more thing the composition of the spine of a katana is a softer steel and the blade is the hardened steel not the other way around.
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Old 2007-11-13, 06:09   Link #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagato View Post
They should test it to a moving katana, coz we can also do a "slicing bullets with katana".
What difference would it make if it was moving or not? Are you implying the test was rigged somehow?
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Old 2007-11-13, 07:08   Link #88
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About that, Europe vs Asia thing. I always thought that Europeans had a much better experience regarding swords, than Asia. Mainly because of the numerous wars and battles that have crossed the continent.
Also, there is the focus on weapon development. In Asia, it seems that the focus was on swords, rather than armor. While in Europe, the main focus was on developing better armor. Like Gothic armor. A knight wearing this armor was nigh invincible, to any sword out there. Only firearms packed punch, strong enough to pierce the armor.
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Old 2007-11-13, 09:42   Link #89
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Swords are so overrated. Give me axes and maces anyday!

(says Aohige, who plays dwarves and paladins in MMOs)
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Old 2007-11-13, 10:02   Link #90
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Quote:
In Asia, it seems that the focus was on swords, rather than armor. While in Europe, the main focus was on developing better armor. Like Gothic armor. A knight wearing this armor was nigh invincible, to any sword out there. Only firearms packed punch, strong enough to pierce the armor.
Well, my artistic insctinct tells me that it's much more interesting to focus on technique and killing style rather than just adding layers of armor just to end up like a bulky trash can. Potentially invincible, yes, but damn bulky and aesthetically unattractive, anyways
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Old 2007-11-13, 10:16   Link #91
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You know there used to be a Japanese broadsword, I think it's called the tsurugi if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 2007-11-13, 11:59   Link #92
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
What difference would it make if it was moving or not? Are you implying the test was rigged somehow?
Nope, I don't think the test was rigged. I just say that "moving" sword is not the same with fixed one. Say when you want to cut a piece of wood, ofc you will swing the sword ( and with slicing move, not a strike one to make the sword more durable) and not swing the wood instead. Just as simple as that. There's definitely the differences, significant or not.

btw, no body mentioned about sakabatou?
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Old 2007-11-13, 12:00   Link #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade
About that, Europe vs Asia thing. I always thought that Europeans had a much better experience regarding swords, than Asia. Mainly because of the numerous wars and battles that have crossed the continent.
Well, if the focus is on China alone, I'd say that I wouldn't be so confident about your opinion. China experienced its fair share of contemporary wars and extended periods of civilian strife. At least two important types of weapons were developed during such times -- crossbows and firearms. Make no mistake, the arms race was every bit as deadly in China as it had ever been in Europe. We just don't know very much about it because precious little research has been done in the West regarding this part of world history.

As such, I wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese had as much experience with swords as their European counterparts.

Quote:
Also, there is the focus on weapon development. In Asia, it seems that the focus was on swords, rather than armor. While in Europe, the main focus was on developing better armor. Like Gothic armor. A knight wearing this armor was nigh invincible, to any sword out there. Only firearms packed punch, strong enough to pierce the armor.
There were important differences in climate and geography that influenced this trend. Meaning to say, it wasn't just based on cultural factors alone. If we're talking about Japan alone, there was simply never enough iron to go around. Devoting what's available to the manufacture of swords and other weapons was probably already quite extravagant, let alone articulated full-plate armour.

And then, there's the Japanese summer to deal with. Summer was the prime season for warfare, and while they were probably a tough breed of people, I doubt that even samurai would take kindly to being broiled alive under a hot sun.

Soldiers are, by and large, a pragmatic lot. It probably wouldn't take a lot of brains to realise that metal armour is tougher than, say, bamboo armour. So, when Asian warriors chose to fight in lighter armour than European men-at-arms, I daresay it was not just simply because of cultural preferences. There were probably more prosaic reasons for such tactical choices.
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Old 2007-11-13, 12:05   Link #94
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I'm obsessed with medieval swords. I must of been a knight in a previous life.
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Old 2007-11-13, 14:22   Link #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
You guys are forgetting that the shape of a sword also has to do with ability of cutting.
A straight bladed sword when swung down in a right angle will contact the surface in a line therefore the strength of the blow will disapate through out the contact line making a cleaving wound. A blade with a curvature like a Katana when swung down in a right angle will have a contact surface of more or less a point where the strength of the blow will be concentrated and when pulled the contact point will remain concentrated thus a slashing wound. Same principle used in a scalpel, it's curved blade is for a purpose.
Of course there are pros and cons for both weapons and can not be proven which is better and I have never implyed that either did.
A Katana has a narrow sweet spot where you can render a fatal blow where as a straight sword's has a much wider sweet spot because of it's shape.
I did read your link and it says much the same as I have elaborated, as he did wrote it cleaved the opponent. Cleaving cut is a forced cut with the weight of a blade not a slashing cut like a scalpel.

One more thing the composition of the spine of a katana is a softer steel and the blade is the hardened steel not the other way around.
Thanks, I was working with my brain reversed yesterday
Aye, if you don't use a katana quite precisely you can actually shatter the thing (unless its *extremely* well made) by missing the sweet spot.

Also, a european sword is normally sharpened to a 30 degree angle - by definition that isn't "razor edge" though it cuts quite nicely either slicing or with pressure. I can generally mildly whack a properly sharpened sword on the palm of my hand without damage (as long as I don't slice) -- whereas my wife's ancestral family katana..... well I'm always cutting the crap out of myself just touching it.

The thing I want to emphasize in this thread is that sword technology was never really static (especially in Europe). You can make almost any comment about a sword and it'll be true for a particular time period and place and not for others.

The Chinese and Japanese sword technology histories are interesting because they focused on refinement of a few good models for the styles of combat they engaged in - rather than discontinuous technology jumps that European theatres engaged in. And, on both sides of the world, swordsmen were somewhat the exception rather than the rule for combat: axe, pike, spear, mace, hammer, bow were likely to be what one saw on the combat field.

sidenote: yeah, my MMO characters tend to favor axes (though they're usually trolls if that's an option ).
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Old 2007-11-13, 15:59   Link #96
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Old 2007-11-13, 16:33   Link #97
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@ TinyRedLeaf

I admit that I have limited knowledge about the amount of battles in Asia, since I'm a European. But, until I expand my knowledge in that area I'll hold on to my opinion about the Medieval warfare in Europe.
Regarding the development of crossbows. Didn't they originated from ancient Greece in about 5 BC? I think it was called a gastraphete or something.

Quote:
Well, my artistic insctinct tells me that it's much more interesting to focus on technique and killing style rather than just adding layers of armor just to end up like a bulky trash can. Potentially invincible, yes, but damn bulky and aesthetically unattractive, anyways
Medieval armor wasn't bulky. A well made suit of Plate Armor weighed only 20 kg, while an average suit weighed about 30 kg. Also, considering the fact, that the weight was distributed over the entire body, it allowed the knight to run, climb ladders and move completely unrestricted. Also, the thickness of a plate armor was only 2 mm!
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Old 2007-11-13, 18:32   Link #98
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Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
About that, Europe vs Asia thing. I always thought that Europeans had a much better experience regarding swords, than Asia. Mainly because of the numerous wars and battles that have crossed the continent.
No, East Asia had decent swords. It's just that spears were used more often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
Also, there is the focus on weapon development. In Asia, it seems that the focus was on swords, rather than armor. While in Europe, the main focus was on developing better armor. Like Gothic armor. A knight wearing this armor was nigh invincible, to any sword out there. Only firearms packed punch, strong enough to pierce the armor.
Not really, because there's something to East Asian warfare that people tend to neglect: Archory.

Yes, arrows. East Asia already had armor piercing arrows in the 500's (mainly used by Goguryeo, a Manchurian kingdom that is one of the major ancestors of Korea). Given that armor wouldn't protect you much from a hailstorm of arrows, it was better to get lighter ones so that you could move fast, thus avoiding being hit. Mainly, in Japan, iron wasn't as abundant as the mainland, so they had to conserve it, meaning they couldn't produce massive, thick iron armor.
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Old 2007-11-13, 20:41   Link #99
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Do dirks count as swords? Many people in Ireland and Scotland think they are while some think they are knives. If they are swords then they will go in my second place behind kodachi.
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Old 2007-11-14, 00:56   Link #100
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
Medieval armor wasn't bulky. A well made suit of Plate Armor weighed only 20 kg, while an average suit weighed about 30 kg. Also, considering the fact, that the weight was distributed over the entire body, it allowed the knight to run, climb ladders and move completely unrestricted. Also, the thickness of a plate armor was only 2 mm!
As long as you qualify that with the understanding that early second millenium knights were rarely more than 5.5ft high. It was only at the very end of the "plate period" that plate armor got past the point of absurdity (when firearms made much of the issue moot and everyone went back to agile cloth). Also remember that direct sunlight was a bit of a downer for full plate users.
Never mind that whole "longbow" thing at Hastings

My chainmail (12/14 gauge iron) shirt weighs in at around 30lbs. Add a chainmail coif, leggings (20lbs) ... and then a reasonable amount of leather (10lbs), a gambeson, (5lbs), assorted gear and weaponry (10-20lbs), and THEN put on the plate exterior. Of course, I'm 6' and 220lbs -- a veritable giant by most pre-15th C. standards.

Its distributed over the entire body and you can be quite nimble but don't be fooled into thinking you can sing and dance for several days straight without some serious fatigue.
Its why I distinctly prefer recreating pre-1200AD garb.
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