Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Fighting with the 19th century sabre Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 4:58 am    Post subject: Fighting with the 19th century sabre         Reply with quote

I am interested in purchasing a saber for my collection. Though I'm aware it's not historical, the Windlass M1860 LC got a good review over at the Sword Buyer's Guide. It also looks kind of nice, and I intend to pass it off as an "inspired" weapon.

I would also like to familiarize myself with a few saber drills, but Google gives me the more modern Olympic style stuff. Where can I find a good (preferably cheap or free) source on the Sabre?

M.

This space for rent or lease.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Fighting with the 19th century sabre         Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Eversberg,

On Thursday 3 September 2009, you wrote:
I am interested in purchasing a saber for my collection. Though I'm aware it's not historical, the Windlass M1860 LC got a good review over at the Sword Buyer's Guide. It also looks kind of nice, and I intend to pass it off as an "inspired" weapon.

I would also like to familiarize myself with a few saber drills, but Google gives me the more modern Olympic style stuff. Where can I find a good (preferably cheap or free) source on the Sabre?

M.

Google Books has The Militiaman's Manual, and Sword-Play without a Master, written by Matthew W. Berriman and first published in 1859. Google Books' text is that of the 1861 reprint, which is identical to that of the first edition. Berriman's purpose is to teach militiamen who lack access to formal military drill instruction, so the book should be just what you need; the American Civil War re-enactment unit to which I belong uses it. The second section, on the broadsword, deals with the sabre, which Berriman and other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors so call in contrast to the smallsword.

A Google search will reveal many copies, photostatic, reprinted, and original, that you can buy if you prefer to have paper in hand while you drill.

I hope that this proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
View user's profile Send private message
Stefan Toivonen




Location: Åbo, Finland
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a link to two US Navy manuals on the cutlass/sabre, one from 1897 and the other from 1906.

http://www.navyandmarine.org/cutlassmanual/index.html

You might also find a pdf of Alfred Hutton's Cold Steel on the net. Another site I have found that could be of some help, http://www.careyroots.com/broadsword.html

Hope that helps.
View user's profile Send private message
Thom R.




Location: Tucson
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Reading list: 30 books

Posts: 630

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

try googling <Burton sword exercise> as you should be able to find A New System of Sword Exercise for Infantry
by Richard Burton published 1876. It has a decent overview of prime techniques of the short saber. tr
View user's profile Send private message
Stefan Toivonen




Location: Åbo, Finland
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can download Cold Steel and Henry Angelo's Hungarian & Highland Broad Sword from the ARMA site.

http://www.thearma.org/manuals.htm
View user's profile Send private message
M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the links. This should give me a solid basis.

M.

This space for rent or lease.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Fri 04 Sep, 2009 10:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Eversberg,

On Thursday 3 September 2009, you wrote:
Thanks for the links. This should give me a solid basis.

M.

The suggestions above all should help you, but you'll want to keep a couple of things in mind. The military manuals, Berriman aside, are designed for use by an experienced drill-master or swordsmanship teacher exercising troops, and tend to rely on a format that assumes the presence of an instructor who will be able to correct any errors the troops may make. The cutlass manuals are furthermore meant for a shorter weapon than yours, which may make some actions difficult with the reproduction 1860 saber--then again, they describe highly stereotyped drills, so this may not be a big problem, especially if you have some fencing experience. Hutton's Cold Steel is an excellent fencing treatise, but is intended for the dueling and (sport) fencing sabre, not the military weapon. You will definitely have trouble executing the actions that Hutton describes, as your weapon is much heavier than the one for which he writes.

I hope that this proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
View user's profile Send private message
M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Fri 04 Sep, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads up. I have some experience with the long sword and a little with the messer; it should help. I was browsing Cold Steel and got the impression that it was a sporting manual as well.

M.

This space for rent or lease.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Sat 14 Nov, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been reviewing the Militiaman's Manual, and I have a few questions I'm hoping someone could fill me in on.

Page 12:

* The "second position" is continued from first position?
* When it says to come "on guard", is it referring to the later section's (page 16-17) guards, or is there a default "Guard" position?

Page 14:

* The appel for "double" and "single" attack; is this advice to strike with the foot when we perform a cut? It states in little later it is to "assure a balanced position" and to "show your opponent that you are ready for the assault." This leads me to believe this is for drill purposes (and not used in practice). What, exactly, is a "double attack" anyways?

Page 15:

*The guards and cut titles are followed by [Pl. #]. I thought this was a reference to a plate number, but there are not enough matching illustrations afterward for this hypothesis to make sense.

M.

This space for rent or lease.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Eversberg,

On Saturday 14 November 2009, you wrote:
I've been reviewing the Militiaman's Manual, and I have a few questions I'm hoping someone could fill me in on.

I'll do my best to help.

Quote:
Page 12:

* The "second position" is continued from first position?

Yes, exactly. The idea is to step into second position from first position.

Quote:
* When it says to come "on guard", is it referring to the later section's (page 16-17) guards, or is there a default "Guard" position?

This requires some familiarity with fencing terminology. In this case, Berriman is referring to the foot-and-body position that constitutes the on-guard posture. Note that the hands are still clasped behind the back. The guards on pp. 16-17 are the positions in which to execute parries.

Quote:
Page 14:

* The appel for "double" and "single" attack; is this advice to strike with the foot when we perform a cut? It states in little later it is to "assure a balanced position" and to "show your opponent that you are ready for the assault." This leads me to believe this is for drill purposes (and not used in practice).

Berriman is not saying that the learner is to strike his foot on the ground when cutting; note that the learner has not yet taken up his sword, and receives no instruction to do so until the final paragraph of this section. The appel is used in drills, exercises, and the assault (i.e., the various exercises done with a partner, more or less prescribed in their actions, ranging from pair drills to free fencing) but not in combat. If, however, one were to fight a sabre duel, an appel after the salute would be appropriate. In formal fencing instruction, the student does not speak when under arms. The appel is therefore used to signal: to indicate readiness, to request a pause so that he can ask a question, and so forth.

Quote:
What, exactly, is a "double attack" anyways?

It's Berriman's term for a double appel.

Quote:
Page 15:

*The guards and cut titles are followed by [Pl. #]. I thought this was a reference to a plate number, but there are not enough matching illustrations afterward for this hypothesis to make sense.

It sounds as though you may have a defective copy. My copy has seven plates following this chapter (i.e., beginning after p. 20): Plate 6, the cutting target and the division of the sword into forte and foible; Plate 7, Guard--Second Position, Inside Guard, and Outside Guard; Plate 8, Cut One and Guard One; Plate 9, Cut Three and Guard Three; Plate 10, Cut Five and Guard Five; Plate 11, Cut Seven and Guard Seven; Plate 12, Left Parry and Moulinets. The plates in my copy are numbered at their top centers, except for Plate 6. Note that these plates only show the cuts from the fencer's right (technically the overhead cut is from the right for a right-handed fencer) and their corresponding defenses.

Quote:
M.

I hope that this proves helpful. If you'd like further assistance, it's probably best to PM me with your e-mail address. This will be much easier over e-mail than on the forum.

Best,

Mark Millman
View user's profile Send private message
M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was indeed overlooking one; my copy would skip forward two pages for some reason.

Interesting that only the odd ones are illustrated, but the illustrations do help. I can see the purpose of the appel, since I was unaware you didn't "speak under arms" at the time.

On the circle with the cuts, what are the numbered sabres for? At first I thought they were guards, but they don't quite match up with where the guards should be going by the text.

As an aside, would the curve of an earlier period sabre effect how these basic techniques play out at all?

M.

This space for rent or lease.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Eversberg,

On Sunday 15 November 2009, you wrote:
I was indeed overlooking one; my copy would skip forward two pages for some reason.

That's strange; but I'm glad to hear that you have all of the plates.

Quote:
Interesting that only the odd ones are illustrated, but the illustrations do help. I can see the purpose of the appel, since I was unaware you didn't "speak under arms" at the time.

On the circle with the cuts, what are the numbered sabres for? At first I thought they were guards, but they don't quite match up with where the guards should be going by the text.

They do indeed represent the guards. They're a little stylized to fit better into the diagram.

Quote:
As an aside, would the curve of an earlier period sabre effect how these basic techniques play out at all?

Not materially. The same cut-and-guard diagram, for example, had been in continuous use at least since Roworth's 1798 manual, including during the Napoleonic Wars when very deeply curved sabers were in fashion.

Quote:
M.

Best,

Mark Millman
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Fighting with the 19th century sabre
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum