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Nicolas Gauthier




Location: Quebec city
Joined: 18 Oct 2012

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 5:49 am    Post subject: Albion Crecy - battlefield or civil sword ?         Reply with quote

Hi, i've been an happy owner of an Albion Crecy for more than a year now, and i like everything about this sword : the general look of the sword, the way it handles, the shape of the grip, dimensions and geometry of the blade, etc.

I have always wondered if this sword is meant to represent a battlefield sword or a civil sword ? Because it's named after a famous battle, i guess that Albion meant to reproduce a sword that was used on the battlefields during that period of time in the 100 years war. However, the Albion Crecy's distal taper make the sword kinda thin toward the tip (or at least it is my perception, with the little knowledge i have on the subject).

Anyway, considering the geometry of the Crecy and it's dimensions (thickness, width at base and width at tip), is it a sword that represent what was used for the battlefield or is it a sword that represent what was used by civilians ?
thx !
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Raman A




Location: United States
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a battlefield sword for sure, but may have also been carried in everyday life. In the mid-14th century there wasn't really a distinction between battlefield swords and civilian swords. The acute point is generally thought to have been developed because it was better for getting into the gaps in armor than the spatulate points of earlier two handed swords, like the XIIa and XIIIa types.
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Nicolas Gauthier




Location: Quebec city
Joined: 18 Oct 2012

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok good to know. I would have thought that a battlefield sword used during the 14th century might have been a little more robust, maybe just a little bit more thicker (especially past the fuller).
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 11:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is not a historical statement at all, but just as a personal observation the Crecy is a little large to carry around while going about your day-to-day business. For battle it's perfect, but for civilian use I would prefer something a little more conveniently sized. I don't know if my hypothetical preferences are indicative of what was actually common at the time, though.
"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Doesn't the product description fairly sum it up?

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...cy-xvi.htm

A lot of folk don't have the luxury of handling a great many modern swords but certain makers do try to be fair and correct in their descriptions. IIRC way back in the first generation Albion swords there was some discussing on why the model was labeled as it is. THat would have been way back at the beginning of this century. The Nnext generation swords were not so much an improvement in dimensions but that there were some build changes and certainly a great many more models.

For the good or bad, the Crecy label has stood these years with much the same description and always as a war sword.

Cheers

GC
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
Joined: 04 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe there may be a bit of a misconception that battlefield swords where armor smashing brutes. I know I use to be in that camp of thought...and I think a lot of that comes from over built replicas that feel like tanks. The seem like they would excel in the field, being bigger and heavier and more robust. Now, I am not a WMA practitioner so am only going by what I have read in Oakeshott's works on sword's weights etc and from reading posts from members who practice, but the staying power of the wielder using an overly heavy sword is not long. Not only that but recovery after a strike is slow so if you miss...you have problems. I think the Crecy is a battlefield sword for sure, even with the distal taper taken into account. Historical "battlefield" swords were lighter than popular belief would have us believe, so they must have worked out as those people depended on them in true life or death situations.
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryan Heff wrote:
I believe there may be a bit of a misconception that battlefield swords where armor smashing brutes. I know I use to be in that camp of thought...and I think a lot of that comes from over built replicas that feel like tanks.... Historical "battlefield" swords were lighter than popular belief would have us believe, so they must have worked out as those people depended on them in true life or death situations.

Sorry, when I said big for a civilian sword I did not at all mean heavy. I just meant physically long enough that you might have a problem of it bumping into things if you were just out on the town with it attached to your hip. I'm a proud owner of the NG Crecy and I know for certain that I wouldn't tire myself out if I had to carry it around for a day; in fact, it's actually lighter than some of my cheaper swords that are up to six inches shorter. But it might be inconvenient in other ways, like when moving through groups of people, doorways or other tight spaces. I'm 6 feet and the thing comes up to my ribcage - it's not the sort of thing I'd really want to carry around unless I had plans to use it.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Feb, 2014 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess the other question is if they had a real distinction between a single handed sword used for war and a single handed sword you'd bring around with you at this point.

From what I have seen I sort of have my doubts. I am sure the larger, especially war swords would be unlikely but at this point I suspect many single handed swords served both purposes.

RPM
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Feb, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd agree with Randal, where does the distinction come from?
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Feb, 2014 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
I'd agree with Randal, where does the distinction come from?


If we are talking single hand swords only at this point then I would also agree with Randal especially in the earlier Middle Ages.
The same sword was probably carried whether actively on campaign or during times of piece. I think when we get later in time that does change some. "Riding" swords are one example that I can think of as well as rapiers and similar types. I think the later time period we go we start to see a greater distinction between purely war swords (single or otherwise) and civilian swords.
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Feb, 2014 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If Oakshotts Typology is a modern way to classify the types of sword design, that AFAIK were just "swords" in period, then I have doubts they would have been divided into war sword or walking around sword during that same period.
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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P. Schontzler




Location: WA, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Feb, 2014 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It varies widely between period and culture, but I think it's safe to say that just about all medieval swords were intended/designed for battle. I believe small daggers and knives would be the every day carry item, wearing a sword is often associated with expecting trouble.
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Paul Watson




Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Feb, 2014 12:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There must be some subtle differences even between swords of the same "type" but distinct in their use either battlefield or civilian. I am certain Peter Johnsson commented at one stage for example on the difference between the Sheriff/Yeoman blade and that of the Sovereign, the latter being more robust in section and more suited for the battlefield, although all are XIV's.
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Feb, 2014 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But if there is Paul where is the evidence?
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Feb, 2014 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since my name has been mentioned, perhaps I should comment on this topic?

I think it is wise to be careful about applying distinctions such as "civilian sword" or "battlefield weapon" to swords from the high medieval period.
Later on we do see swords that are designed to be worn and used in a civilian setting, but I think this only happens in the late 15th century and onwards.

Swords with very similar outline, size and even similar weight can have very different types of edges. Some swords have very sturdy edge geometry while others have very fine and acutely sharp edges. One would perhaps think that the more robust edges were made for battle field use, while finer edges were made for civilian settings.

I think that this is more a result of the modern mind seeking neat groups and categorizations.

Details in the design of a sword will bring out different kind of characters depending on how these are balanced against each other. Different swordsmen seek different things in swords. Ten type XVII swords might be "like peas in a pod" as Oakeshott said, but still be ten very different swords with their own individual character: different emphasis in their function and design.
And yet, all may be made for knights to be used in battle.

When we talk about civilian swords we really need to think about when swords started to being worn by civilians. This is a fairly late occurrence in history. It is something that belongs to the very late medieval period and the renaissance.

When I describe one sword as having fine and acute edges and another as having a more robust character, it does not mean that one was a civilian sword and the other a battle field weapon.
Many battle field weapons were made with very acute and sharp edges while others stressed robustness and perhaps made a priority of the point over the edge.

The Crecy of Albion Next Generation line can absolutely be understood as a sword made for battle field use. This still leaves a wide margin of interpretation of just how it is best used in battle field conditions.
All swords for the battle field are not armour bashers.

There is something in the function of the sword that we perhaps overlook:
It is very lethal when used against lightly armoured oponents, but not very lethal in use against heavly armoured opponents.
This means that an armoured knight can fairly easily kill or disable foot soldiers with little or no armour, but will rather have to resort to wrestling/subduing an opponent in full armour and kill with the point or take the opponent prisoner for ransom.
-This makes the sword a *perfect* knightly weapon.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Feb, 2014 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thought provoking as always Peter.
Éirinn go Brách
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Feb, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as length goes, in the early seventeenth century Joseph Swetnam thought it perfect reasonably to go about with a four-foot rapier and two-foot dagger. Civilian swords strike me as far less common in the fourteenth century, but Crecy's length shouldn't make it unduly burdensome compared with later civilian weapons.
Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Feb, 2014 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hm, most often when people talk about civilian use of for example 15th century longswords, they think about self defence and unarmoured duelling. Some swords certainly look like they are more useful for that (fighting unarmoured opponents) than for use against people in some kind of armour. But as Peter said, battlefield use might not necessarily mean use against armour. Sword might well have been used on battlefield against lightly armoured or unarmoured opponents and other weapons, (polearms or impact weapons) for dealing with armoured opponents.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Jul, 2014 5:53 pm    Post subject: Albion Crécy - battlefield or civil sword ?         Reply with quote

During medieval times, as far as I know, only knights and royalty can bear swords but not civilians.
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 23 Jul, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion Crécy - battlefield or civil sword ?         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:
During medieval times, as far as I know, only knights and royalty can bear swords but not civilians.


This isn't universally true. By the later Middle Ages, it was not unheard of for free men and some of the wealthier peasants to purchase swords, and it was not prohibited to do so. I believe at certain times and places this prohibition existed (I can't recall where at the moment), but it's not universally true by a long shot.
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