French Spadroon question

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French Spadroon question

Postby Carletto » 19 Feb 2014 21:47

After seeing this and the comment coming with it

http://art-of-swords.tumblr.com/post/77 ... th-century

I wonder what makes this sword so terrible. I know you cannot judge a sword from how it looks but the section of the blade seems adapt to thrusting to me, if metal isn't crappy. I cannot predict wether this would cut or not, but thrusting works, if you can deliver (if you can fence, that is).
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby admin » 19 Feb 2014 23:21

Well, it only has a 72cm blade, so this is quite a little sword, judging by the proportions in the photo. I'm sure it would function quite well as a smallsword, but I wouldn't want to try and use one against a bayonet or cavalry sword. The hand protection is quite poor as well.
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby Thearos » 20 Feb 2014 01:30

At a tangent, I note this site with nice portraits showing how during the American Revolution, British officers often carried "fusils" (flintlock firepieces) with bayonets, often leaving their swords (spadroons)

http://www.62ndregiment.org/officer_arms.htm
Last edited by Thearos on 21 Feb 2014 00:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby Max C. » 20 Feb 2014 16:08

There is a collector in Quebec making functional reproductions of these swords, many of them were not as slender as this one (which I think is part of his own collection). http://www.theroyalsword.com/

There is a commonly held notion among historians in Quebec that French colonial forces abandoned the sword in favor of the hand axe. I have yet to see sources supporting this idea but it does make sense, especially when you see that later on the soldier's briquet will become more like a big machete. While on the other hand you have officers carrying sabres which wouldn't look out of place in a Napoleonic setting http://www.museedelaguerre.ca/cwm/exhib ... 01_lrg.jpg

The second half of the 18th century was truly a pivotal period for military swords.
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby Carletto » 20 Feb 2014 20:32

admin wrote:Well, it only has a 72cm blade, so this is quite a little sword, judging by the proportions in the photo. I'm sure it would function quite well as a smallsword, but I wouldn't want to try and use one against a bayonet or cavalry sword. The hand protection is quite poor as well.


This doesn't really make it any worse than most infantry swords of the time, though, considering that some were not good for either cutting of thrusting
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby Thearos » 21 Feb 2014 00:14

Apologies for leaving this out:

http://www.62ndregiment.org/officer_arms.htm
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby admin » 21 Feb 2014 15:45

Thearos wrote:Apologies for leaving this out:

http://www.62ndregiment.org/officer_arms.htm


Fascinating - I had never heard of that practice by British officers in America. I suppose it might have come from similar motivations to carry rifles and forget swords (both officers and cavalry troopers) in the Boer War, as the enemy were often essentially guerrillas who sniped and moved. I posted in another thread somewhere I think a referrence stating that American troops rarely used bayonets and instead preferred to club muskets, or run away.
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby admin » 21 Feb 2014 15:47

Carletto wrote:
admin wrote:Well, it only has a 72cm blade, so this is quite a little sword, judging by the proportions in the photo. I'm sure it would function quite well as a smallsword, but I wouldn't want to try and use one against a bayonet or cavalry sword. The hand protection is quite poor as well.


This doesn't really make it any worse than most infantry swords of the time, though, considering that some were not good for either cutting of thrusting


Well, worse in the sense that it is smaller than average and has an even more inadequate guard than average. But the requisites of the melee are very different to single combat of course, and the majority of opponents would always be armed with muskets and bayonets, rather than swords (unless you find yourself in India).
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Re: French Spadroon question

Postby Thearos » 21 Feb 2014 17:24

admin wrote:
Thearos wrote:Apologies for leaving this out:

http://www.62ndregiment.org/officer_arms.htm


Fascinating - I had never heard of that practice by British officers in America. I suppose it might have come from similar motivations to carry rifles and forget swords (both officers and cavalry troopers) in the Boer War, as the enemy were often essentially guerrillas who sniped and moved. I posted in another thread somewhere I think a referrence stating that American troops rarely used bayonets and instead preferred to club muskets, or run away.


It's also covered in one of the Osprey books about Redcoats in the AMerican Revolutionary War (it basically argues that the British army was not the bewigged linear army of Hollywood, but a hard-hitting light infantry force)
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