Arms since the conquest of the New world

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It is believed that New World was conquered by gunpowder. So, okay, so — without it, the Europeans could obtain in the face of the Indians, hundreds of years and did just that chewed Coca leaves. However, the triumph would not have been so undeniable, if not phenomenal possession of the sword, which was the companion of any self-respecting man, whether Conquistador, an aristocrat or a common thug, who earned doubloons hunting for people.

The relationship between a man and a blade older than you think. Even today, we unconsciously are drawn to this, steel and deadly pleasures of life. To be able to blame genetic memory, and can really we are fooling fantasy sagas like «the Lord of the Rings» or «Game of Thrones». But the fact remains — we love the cold steel, especially if it is in our hands, ready to cut the air flow before my eyes.

If at the sight of the shiny sword you don’t want to take it in hand, it seems to us that something is wrong.

But just to swing a blade, not knowing its history — it is plebeian. So we decided to continue our «steel series», which, this time, I’ll introduce you with swords of the Late middle Ages and New Time.

This is the era of change, which turned the wheel of history back, pulled people from the clutches of the dark ages and made us who we now are. Swords of this time — the crown of smithing. Today we will tell you about the cold weapon era and the decline of the steel armor, but will leave a link where you can order their natural copies, directly from the mouth of the Russian forge.

1. Flamberge

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It is often called the flaming sword and it’s not just a pretty nickname — blade flamberge is reminiscent of a flame, how to punish sinners. At least such was the view of many researchers who believed this legendary sword is only a ritual toy. But the truth was much more colorful than everyone thought. Flamberge — is a fusion of two opposing cultures, two different worlds — Muslim and Christian. In the first Crusades the Europeans discovered that the curved sabre used by the Arabs, have a number of interesting features, like more than the classic sword of the crusaders, killing power. Why not learn the sword of the Arabs? The answer is simple — the armor that bore the Europeans were virtually invulnerable to cavalry. Therefore, European gunsmiths were trying to cross the penetrating power of straight sword with a striking feature of the sabres, but they did not succeed, because the strength of the blade is invariably diminished. Which warrior needs a blade that has broken into small pieces by a violent shock? Correctly, no.

It’s funny, but flamberge owes its appearance of progress. It is the development of metallurgy in the XIV-XVI sent into retirement a classic form of medieval blades. The fact that knight’s armor was resistant to slashing attacks, and gunsmiths had to get out of the situation. And there was a flaming sword that in its design the blade meant not curved, not a straight line, namely the wave type. Bends were a few, and they were all razor sharp. It is possible to increase the cutting surface, which in turn makes it possible to cause serious lacerations. Such wounds are almost healed, quickly festered due to their «fragmentary nature» and became the source of legend about the flamberge smeared with poison.

In the end, even in the cruel time, flamberge and the people who used them, was in disgrace. It got to the point that warriors with such swords was sentenced to a mandatory death, if they found themselves in captivity. And just for the reason that they carried a weapon. So far so good — the Catholic Church condemns this weapon, but to use it do not stop until the XVII century.

See all features flamberge →

2. Zweihander

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Another vicious two-handed sword, which became famous as a weapon of landsknechts, German mercenaries of the Renaissance era. These units can safely be called a transitional link between the knight’s condition and the regular army. Their weapons included not only zweihander, but the above flamberge, and such steel of joy, as the peak halberd and katzbalger. It is clear, then it was a powder gun, but it was so imperfect that to give up the sword would be folly.

So, zweihander differed double hilt. A small Garda called «boar tusks» — she was separated nestaocano of the blade from the ground. Statoconia part — this sort of engineering trick that is used to repel attacks. Could not be afraid that the blade would be damaged. In other words, zweihander served longer in design than any sword with extremely sharpened blade. However, to wield such a heavy weight wasn’t easy, because the owners zweihander, as a rule, was an elite mercenary troops, which received, among other things, double pay. The work is really hell — he was supposed to be a real battering RAM, breaking through the enemy line, while in the first series. They cut the enemy’s spears, and create passages through which broke soldiers with lighter weapons.

Can hardly imagine how you have to be man enough to swing this the Michelin man (180 cm, of which the blade has 120-150 cm) and hack the enemies. Combat weight zweihander could reach 3.2 pounds, but a ceremonial sword could be weighing as much as 7 pounds. A bloodthirsty monster that glorified mercenaries throughout Europe, especially during the Thirty years war.

See all features zweihander →

3. Saber

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The word «sword» comes from the Hungarian language, and indeed the proliferation of these weapons in Europe, we owe to Hungarians, poles and even to our ancestors, although, without a doubt, this blade was not invented by Slavic peoples. Had the sword in Turkic tribes, when they roamed Central Asia and Eastern Europe in the Early middle Ages. The ancestor of the saber is considered an ordinary broadsword, which the nomads were actively used in combat. So, in other words the sword is a modified broadsword, which was a huge advantage over sharp swords due to its ease.

A big promoter of swords made by medieval Arab world, in the XII century the Arabs everywhere have used the weapon, forgetting about the usual swords and broadsword. They not only created these swords for themselves, but also taken out production at such a level that the Arab swords were sold even in the Russian lands. Of course, not without the Mongols, who showed the entire civilized world the superiority of their weapons. Western Europe in this respect lagged behind Russia, but the decline of the middle ages everything in place.

It is understood that the development of the sword took place under the strong influence of the Arabs, but the European market is the weapons went after in Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary) was established hussar saber She was different in that it had a closed hilt, which is defended hands. The intersection was purposely added a ring for the thumb, which helped to quickly change the direction of impact. Gradually, the saber school, first in Poland, then in other countries. Used this weapon, as in the times of Turkic nomads, mostly cavalry.

In the XVIII century the whole of Europe, under the influence of its Eastern part, used the sword as the main weapon of the cavalry. Strange, but the sword lasted until the First world war, where he was still trying to use cavalry, but firearms changed war. Edged weapons retired, and the sword became a kind award, which is awarded even in modern Russia.

To see all the characteristics of the Hungarian-Polish saber →

4. Sword

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The sword is a noble weapon, surrounded in an atmosphere of gentility, honor, and courage. And this idea is supported by not only the modern cinema, where each d’artagnan is accompanied by a true sword with a beautiful patterned hilt.

Of course, the first appearance of the sword required pragmatism. The fact is that to cut steel armor was not very comfortable. Chopping blows, are familiar to the dark time, began to be used less frequently, because the weapon in place were not — they became stronger. However, the jabbing has not lost its charm. Besides, battle sword weighed a lot, and razdobrevshaya nobleman every year abundance was harder to carry, the steel I wear. Here and there a sword — a weapon that is perfect for everyday wear. She even called roperas espadas (Spanish), which means a sword for clothes. Not for the armor, namely for clothes.

How did you know come up with this the Spaniards, not surprisingly — in the XV century they ruled the world, roughly speaking. Subsequently, the rapier spread throughout Europe, but their heyday was not so powerful. All of our old friends of the cavalry, which in a military sense was more efficient.

As civilian weapons sword lasted until the end of the Napoleonic era. She was a attribute of nobility, a kind of hallmark of an aristocrat. Without a doubt, the fencing was not just fun, which was given to the powerful people of the Renaissance. Despite the fact that we all believe this time is kindness in human history, the world is still dangerous. And masterly sword needed any nobleman. The danger could wait, even in such cities like Madrid. This weapon was so closely connected with the aristocracy that it was a major participant in their «civil penalty», which was a deprivation of a title of nobility through public broken sword over the head of an aristocrat.

Today swords are used extensively for sporting purposes, as the tradition of civil fencing absorbed its roots in the art of handling a sword, and not with any other weapon.

See all features of the Spanish swords →

5. Checker

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And finally, the sword — the weapon that pushed even the sword, which was introduced in the lands of the Russian Empire and, in particular, on the lands of the Circassians in the North Caucasus. And let the sword was not a weapon of noble birth, but it has proven its suitability to the moment when the metal armor vanished to the dustbin of history. But before that happened, the sword was a cheap sidearm equestrian warrior. Her first samples referred by historians to the XII-XIII centuries. She was a companion sword, but, as we said above, the sword firmly took her place.

Happened first in the ranks of the Circassians and other Caucasian peoples. After the checker has adopted troops of the Russian Empire. However, he made it more massive and curved.

Already in the XIX century, the sword received the status of authorized weapons cavalry units of Russia. In General, our history is closely interwoven with those cold weapons, mainly because of the Cossacks, who now, though for ceremonial purposes, uses a sword, along with other attributes of their culture. The Cossacks took an active part in the Civil war and the great Patriotic war. It is very difficult to imagine how the cavalry troops fought with his sword unsheathed to the German tanks, but such heroic episodes in our history has. That is, if we ignore all the ceremonial swords that were used everywhere and is now used as the sword was really the last cold weapon that is massively used directly in battle, not on parade. Now, by the way, manufacture of checkers again goes uphill. This is mainly due to the fact that the Cossacks gradually begins to rise from the ashes.

See all features checkers sample 1881-1910 years →

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