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E Stafford




PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 1:48 am    Post subject: Langes messer         Reply with quote

I have a question: what was the German Langes Messer? It looks like a falchion, but I'm not sure. Thanks.
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 2:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Langes Messer was much longer, being a true two-handed weapon. The blade had more of a dramatic crescent curve like that of a shamshir. Other than that, the grip, tang, cross were all very similar to the Grosse Messer.


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Peter Rieder




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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 3:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as I know from books, the interwebs and my instructors, the terms "Langes Messer" (long knife) and "Grosses Messer" (big knife) are used interchangeably, they usually mean the same one-handed sword with either one edge or one and a half (i.e. a short, sharpened false edge). The really long, two-handed variant is commonly called "Kriegsmesser" (war knife).

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Mick Czerep




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 3:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with the above. There's no knowing if our ancestors used clearly-defined terms for knifre-like weapons, but there's a thing. Usually 'langes' means the handle can accomodate two hands. No more, no less. Kriegsmesser is the name I'd associate with the true two-hand weapons of 1490+
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James Head





Joined: 09 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The difference between the Messer and Falchion is mostly related to the handle construction. A Falchion's handle is built in the same way as other swords. A Messer's handle consists of a tang sandwiched between two slabs of wood and riveted together, just like a modern steak knife handle. The other big idfference was their intended use: A Falchion was a chopping blade manufactured for war. A Messer was a large, machette-like knife that was employed by all levels of society as a tool but was easily adapted to self defense.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Difference Between a Messer and a Falchion?
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A.A. Boskaljon




Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mick Czerep wrote:
I agree with the above. There's no knowing if our ancestors used clearly-defined terms for knifre-like weapons, but there's a thing. Usually 'langes' means the handle can accomodate two hands. No more, no less. Kriegsmesser is the name I'd associate with the true two-hand weapons of 1490+


Same here, but there still are a lot of folks who use different names. Nobody is right in this point I think.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most of the native German speakers I know use the term "langes messer" to describe the "hand and a half" version, but as mentioned above, the terminology wasn't very specific in period. I'm not aware of the term "grosse messer" being used as a technical term in any period sources (though that doesn't mean it wasn't, I've just only heard modern people use the term).
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E Stafford




PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ok, then. So, what are these guys using? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38sVdx7nzhQ
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
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PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

E Stafford wrote:
ok, then. So, what are these guys using? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38sVdx7nzhQ


Not to sound like an @ss...

They are using Langes Messers.

Look at the hilts, they are longer the grip of the hand.

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David

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E Stafford




PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

couldn't really see the handles, actually. I thought they were falchion.

So, a messer has more to do with the grip than it does the blade. Interesting. Thanks.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 12:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a fine line. Also considered sometimes is the method of construction for the blade.

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G. Bezanson




Location: Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Nov, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Head wrote:
The difference between the Messer and Falchion is mostly related to the handle construction. A Falchion's handle is built in the same way as other swords. A Messer's handle consists of a tang sandwiched between two slabs of wood and riveted together, just like a modern steak knife handle. The other big idfference was their intended use: A Falchion was a chopping blade manufactured for war. A Messer was a large, machette-like knife that was employed by all levels of society as a tool but was easily adapted to self defense.


I agree on the bit about handle construction, but looking at the cross guard, it looks more as if it was intended as a weapon, rather than just a tool which could fill the role in a pinch. A crossguard like that would not help it's usage as a tool, and may even get in the way.
Of course, it is possible that they were much like a seax in that they were made and used both as tools and weapons. It's also possible that the grosse messer was just a variant of a falchion.
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