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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2007 2:24 am    Post subject: Infantry and Artillery Briquets         Reply with quote

Does anybody know that some swords have been copied from infantry briquets used during the 18th-19th centuries? These swords also have brass handles and short blades.


Last edited by Shahril Dzulkifli on Sun 30 Dec, 2007 2:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are you asking if there are replicas of infantry briquets, if people know that they existed with all brass hilts, or something else?
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Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2007 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The so called briquet was widely copied through all of eurpe including russia.

Thousands of these where captured after the defeat of napoleon and a lot of armies used the plunder to equip their men.
The briquet was not only used by regular armies but as sidehanger for militia and police.

Same to much lesser extend is true for cavalry weapons-just check mid 19th cavalary sabers in europe-most look very much like the french ANXI/XIII.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2007 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Infantry and Artillery Briquets         Reply with quote

One example of a sword copied from the infantry briquet is this boarding cutlass which is used by Napoleon's navy. Its handle is similar to the briquet's but its blade differs.
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Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

if i recall correctly the french boardung saber looks different then the pic you posted.
It has a very large bowl-like hilt-thats why it was named soupbowl-and a very heavy blade-if i find a pic ill post one.
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Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Got one-not the original but good repro


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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Sun 30 Dec, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: Infantry and Artillery Briquets         Reply with quote

Peter,
Here's an original French Navy cutlass from 1833. Your reproduction is based upon it.


Also, here is a reproduced buccaneer sword. As you can see, the sword's handle and scabbard are similar to a briquet's.

Suggestions are welcome.
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Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 31 Dec, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

yep-as said-hilt is form like a bowl.

To pic 2--there is no such thing like a "buccaneer-sword"
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2008 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Infantry and Artillery Briquets         Reply with quote

So, there's no such thing as a buccaneer sword? I accept that.
Alright, none of you guys have seen a Turkish briquet before. Here is one, undated. It was patterned after the French 1816 Infantry Briquet. The 23 blade is stamped with a Tuğra, the stamp of the Sultan of Turkey along with another unidentified stamp. A faint stamp appears on the knuckle guard which was probably a French proof. This briquet was made by France to Turkey.







Any suggestions?
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Ian Hutchison




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: Infantry and Artillery Briquets         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:
So, there's no such thing as a buccaneer sword? I accept that.
Alright, none of you guys have seen a Turkish briquet before. Here is one, undated. It was patterned after the French 1816 Infantry Briquet. The 23 blade is stamped with a Tuğra, the stamp of the Sultan of Turkey along with another unidentified stamp. A faint stamp appears on the knuckle guard which was probably a French proof. This briquet was made by France to Turkey.







Any suggestions?


Thanks, thats an interesting piece.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Infantry and Artillery Briquets         Reply with quote

I wonder if anyone can post photos of Spanish, German or other European infantry or artillery briquets.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got to handle a restored orginal briquete at this years Swordfish.
It's a real neat little sword, with a definite up-close-and-personal feel. With the short, curved blade, you would probably not even feel it slice through soft targets.
Defenitely a weapon for the close up chaos following a bayonet charge.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Jan, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got 2 of them, one original french in relic condition and one from mid 19.cent.-probably police-sidearm.
They feel both ok, but very heavy for such a short blade.
It would have been great for close combat-but this never really happened (apart the onboard fighting with the naval cutlass)-because bayonettcharges that really hit home and degraded to close combat never happened so often most people think.
Usually one side did break and run before the charge hit home-so the attackers stabbed the last men in the back and that was it.
In all the coalition wars against the french 1789-1815 there are less then 5 "real" bayonett charges reported-2 times by chance because a french and british unit met without warning at a hilltop and at a corner-so they just charged the last 5m.

But even in such a situation it wouldnt be a good idea to drop your gun and fight with the short briquet because you lose about 5f reach.

The briquet was considered as useless for fighting-only good to hack wood, make fire and cut food-thats why it was called briquet=firestone.
A similar sidearm had the nickname cabbage-cutter-because that was the one thing it was good for according the men that had to carry it around..
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Jan, 2008 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where these only the instances where english troops where involved?
Surely there where other instances on other fronts.

If they where used in roughly the same way as a spearman or helbardiers backup weapon, you would not drop your musket and attack with the britquete in any case; You pull your weapon AFTER binding with the foe.
Thus the short curved blade.
A short blade means that you can draw even if the foe is quite close to you; the curvature means you can draw cut smoothly even if being toe to toe, where a straight blade would snag.

But, if you have a loaded musket or pistol, that would be preferable. Against a single foe with a discharged musket and bayonett, about 60/40 to the briquette. Against a light cavalry sabre, 60/40 to the sabre.
In a general melee, musket with briquete for backup would probably be best.
Or dismounted hussar loadout, with carabine, two pistols in the sash, and you Fathers Light Sabre....

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Jan, 2008 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Im just moving to a new appartement, so all my books are allready packed-ill check for sources as soon i got the time.

But generally a real bayonettfight just did not happen on regular base in the coalition wars-the usual method was volley fire till one side was close to break, then charge in with bayonett to force the break.
Something like pictured in the film braveheart-both sides charging in and prolonged meleefight was the absolute exception-why charging if you stil can outshoot the ennemy?

Close quarterfight did happen at the battle in fuentes (boarder spain/portugal) but the soldiers used mostly musket/bayonett or did hit with the butt of the gun-and in a singlefight briquet against empty musket/bayonet i would bet on the gun--longer reach-you can stab and parry at a range where the briquet cant harm you.

As said above-the briquet was considered as absolutly useless in combat- "the perfect encumbrance".
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Jan, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Soldiers are not known for thinking highly of their equipment, in any case.
The weapons uselessness would be due to it seldom being needed, not that it would not do the job.
As such, it is rather well designed, but close combat simply did not happen enough for it to be appreciated.

A bayonetted musket is still to short to give a real advantage against blades. A simple parry and step would let you strike the front hand, a grab of the muzzle likewise. In my experience, polearms need to be at least two meters to keep swordsmen at bay.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Jan, 2008 6:27 am    Post subject: Infantry and Artillery Briquets         Reply with quote

Here is a 1st Empire Elite Infantry Briquet. This one has a longer blade and a clip back point and is used by both the Infantry of the Garde Consulaire and the Marines of the Guard.
Elling, I heard that you got to hold a briquet. Whose briquet is it? Yours or anyone else?



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1st Empire Elite Infantry Briquet.jpg



Last edited by Shahril Dzulkifli on Tue 08 Jan, 2008 3:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Jan, 2008 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It belongs to one of the instructors at the sabre workshop i attended at Swordfish 07 in Sweden, which is a instructor at a fencing school in Stockholm.
"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Peter G.




Location: Bad Kreuznach/Germany
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PostPosted: Sun 06 Jan, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@Elling Polden

When ive unpacked my books ill check for reference-but im quite sure ive never read anything about somebody actually fencing with a briquet.
It may have happen-but the tactics used in teh coalition wars speak against it-as said above, the usual tactic was changing volleyfire till one side was breaking and the a charge to quicken things.

Allmost every time, one side did break and run before the charge hit home.

But lets change history and imagine both sides did choose to use bayonetts for fighting instead firepower.
Why change from musket/bayonett to sidearm and lose about 5f of reach?? The brown bess was 62"long, the bayonett 17" iirc-the briquet about 20" (cant check, mine are packed away). If you decide to parry and take a step your adversary can retract and stab again-and you are still out of reach and have a difficult target to hit-his moving hand.
He has a huge target-whereever he stabs you, you are dead meat-remember-you dont wear any armour at all.
The idea of grabing the muzzle--hmmm--you have to pass the bayonett and try and hold the muzzle with bare hands while he tries to kill you.
If you grab the bayonett instead he simple retracts, cuts your hand twice and is still out of reach-in all the scenarios we ignore his fellow soldiers who are supposed to ignore a sighting duck in bayonett-reach.
Besides this-what do you do with YOUR gun after binding?? droping at your feet? slinging over your shoulder?

It may work, but i would bet on it-and if you try you bet your life on it--not my cup of tea..
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Jan, 2008 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A bayoneted musket is roughly equalient of a spear, but shorter.
I have quite a lot of skirmishing experience with spears and polearms, and based on this, the briquet is just the kind of back up weapon you want.
Personally I carry a long dagger, with a 40cm blade, for the same purposes.

In a melee, you often end up with foes at very close range, as they run into you, or you into them. At this point, your long weapon is not very effective, so you whip out your backup.
To answer your question, you would usually keep hold of you long weapon in the left hand, while attacking with the right. When the imediate situation is resolved, you can either go back to the long weapon, or keep fighting with it in the left hand.

With the "single" briquet, one should remember that most pole/musket defences involve taking the point of target to block, and that you can move faster forward than you can backward. And once the you have a musket user on the defensive, he will have to work real hard to get back on point as long as you keep the pressure up.
However, if the musket user gains the offensive, he will be able to push quite effectively.

A full size sabre would be to long for such on/off use, AND could not be used as a tool, so as a such, if musket armed troops should carry a sword at all, the briquet would be a good choice.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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