Help with early 19th C naval swords
Hey everyone. I was talking with my father about British Royal Navy ships, ranks, etc. during the Napoleonic Wars. This isn't my normal area of interest so my knowledge is sub-par on the subject and I hoped my fellow forumites could help with some questions we had.

I'm familiar with the 1805 pattern officers sword but have read a couple places that these were mostly used for dress and that it was more common for an officer to use a cutlass or other, heavier sword while participating in a boarding action. Is this true? If so, would the "battle sword," for lack of a better term, have a pattern hilt or just be whatever the user liked/could get?

Also, I haven't been able to come up with any reliable information regarding Royal Marine officers. Would a marine officer have a naval sword or an infantry sword? I've seen later in the 19th century there were specific marine swords modeled after infantry sabers, but don't know about earlier.

Thanks in advance for any help,
Alan
Perhaps your thinking about something like this? 1804 Pattern British Royal Navy cutlass. Picture and more info found on "thepirateslair.com". Looks like a lot of information on that site. Not my area of interest so I don't know how much is accurate. I do like cutlass type swords though.


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Thanks for the info, Drew, but that's not what I'm looking for. Perhaps my first post wasn't clear.

The 1804 cutlass was issued as part of a ship's armory, to be given to seaman and other non-officers for boarding actions. What I am looking for is information on officers' swords. There is a pattern 1805 sword, which has a straight, spadroon-type blade, and was required equipment for naval officers. From what I've read, officers were required to provide these swords for themselves, so while the overall pattern would be the same for all, each had unique embellishments. I have also read that these swords were not robust enough for actual battle and that officers were likely to use instead a cutlass, perhaps an 1804 like the rest of the crew, or possibly another design.

My first question is whether it is true that many, if not most or all, officers eschewed the use of the 1805 in actual combat in favor of another type of sword.

Secondly, if another sword were used, would it have been a different blade on the same 1805 pattern of hilt, or would it have been something else entirely?

Also, I can find no information regarding Royal Marine officers. Would they have used a naval officer's sword or would they have used an infantry officer's sword? At the end of the 19th century (1897?), there was a sword pattern designed specifically for marines, but I have not seen anything specific to marines before that time.

Again, thanks for any help,
Alan
But seriously I'm interested in an answer to your post also.


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t was not uncommon for officers to provide themselves with a private purchase fighting sword, at least at the beginning of the napoleoni wars,

the royal marines officers swords where of the infantry patterns

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