messers and falcions
I have recently gained an interest in messer fighting techniques thanks to Talhoffer and the wonderful guys of MEMAG. in my looking around for a good messer I have come across a lot of Falchion reproductions which to me look an aweful lot like a messer and I found myself thinking they might be interchangeable. funny thing: when researching falchion just a little I am surprised to find that falchions are strictly English/French and the Germans had no interest in them supposedly.

huh? ok then what is a messer? what is the different between a falchion and a messer? Arms and Armor has a very nice reproduction Falchion the guard of which looks to me to be shaped very much like those in Talhoffer's book (even having a side scallop) and ATrim and Albion both have falchions with blades that look very much like the messer blades in Talhoffer and I recal one falchion somewhere that had a side ring to serve the same purpose as the messer's side tab or scallop.

so what's the difference between these two weapons? were they from different time periods perhaps?

forgive me for not having thoroughly searched the forums here but I am currently in the middle of the ocean on patrol and our internet connection is S. L. O. W.!

thanks in advance for all the help and info.
Ok... If you like messer two things:

First, a messer is made like a big knife with a riveted slab handle . They could be made like a nice sword or just a oversized knife and a lot of styles in between.They co-existed at the same time as the falchion.

Falchions blades can be shaped like a big knife, but they have a arming sword type handle and pommel . The big thing they are missing is the side guard (war nail) of the messer to protect the hand.

Second, buy the Ochs DVD on the messer, it will help get you started down the right path.


The biggest difference that I see is in the form of the hilt. The falcion has a traditional stick tange, cross guard, and pommel. The messer has a full tang with the scales sandwitched on in the style of a knife and a more knife like pemmel. The messer is also a newer weapon from the late middle ages or early renaisance. I also have not seen any examples of a machette or "chopper" style blades in the messer, just very long knife type blades. Falcions lack the spur on the crossguard that protects the hand though they are not 100% present in messers. Funtionally the were pretty much the same weapon.
Please see our Spotight Topic on the subject:

The Difference Between a Messer and a Falchion?
Re: messers and falcions
Tom Kinder wrote:
I am surprised to find that falchions are strictly English/French and the Germans had no interest in them supposedly.
Just nitpicking, but at least in the Netherlands (technically within Germany at that time) the falchion was in fact used. I'm not so sure about the messer (I don't think I've ever seen one in a Dutch museum) but Bauernwehrs were popular (see the paintings by the Breughel's).
Hi there!

I attach some pictures, I am sure, you can see the difference between them:

1 is falchion, check outh the haft, the pommel, or even the crossguard, they look more like a 'normal' sword. The blade is squab and straight, it's like a hybrid :)
The messer' pommel and haft are more look like a sabre or a knife. The blade is usually more graceful, like a huge sabre. Of course, there were many types of it.

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messer (4).jpg

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messer (2).jpg
another messer

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messer (3).jpg
a close look

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another close look
thanks for all the great replies guys. I really appreciate the pictures and the link to the spotlight topic which I did not see somehow, even still it's great to hear all the opinion and see the pictures.

since I was asked in a PM I'd like to clarify that my mention the the MEMAG group did not mean that I had met them, I've had no such pleasure, but rather that I have watched all their Youtube videos multiple times and have really injoyed them, especially the messer videos.

I'm going to read the spot light article now but I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.

thank you, all.

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