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  1. - Top - End - #1051
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by D&D_Fan View Post
    Ceramics for use in Arms and Armor?
    I have heard they can be used to line bulletproof vests, presumably because it absorbs shock when it shatters.

    Since it it is also sharp, it can be used for weapons I assume. Probably not bludgeoning, since it would shatter do to its brittle nature. Since it can be sharp like glass, it should be good at piercing and slashing.

    If any of these statements are wrong, and you know the truth please respond.
    Ceramics are heavily used in both personal and vehicle armor. Most modern tanks use layers of ceramics, plastics, and metals to form a composite armor that is far stronger than simple hardened steel, while medium-rating body armor relies heavily on ceramic strike plates.

    Ceramic has the advantage of being very strong and for a given level of weight, although they are also fairly bulky for said weight. The extreme hardness (significantly harder than hardened steel) can shatter or deflect an incoming bullet, which signficantly reduces the transfer of kinetic energy (because much of the KE goes back into the bullet and rips it apart, or is maintained by the bullet as it careens off into nowhere), which helps reduce concussive injuries from a stopped round.

    The main disadvantage is that ceramics do tend to be more brittle, so they're only good for one or two hits at their rating, where a metal plate can shrug off hits below a certain threshold all day.

    From what I understand, personal armor is generally too thin to benefit from composites, and single-material armor (with a spall liner, where appropriate) is best.

  2. - Top - End - #1052
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Ceramics are heavily used in both personal and vehicle armor. Most modern tanks use layers of ceramics, plastics, and metals to form a composite armor that is far stronger than simple hardened steel, while medium-rating body armor relies heavily on ceramic strike plates.

    Ceramic has the advantage of being very strong and for a given level of weight, although they are also fairly bulky for said weight. The extreme hardness (significantly harder than hardened steel) can shatter or deflect an incoming bullet, which signficantly reduces the transfer of kinetic energy (because much of the KE goes back into the bullet and rips it apart, or is maintained by the bullet as it careens off into nowhere), which helps reduce concussive injuries from a stopped round.

    The main disadvantage is that ceramics do tend to be more brittle, so they're only good for one or two hits at their rating, where a metal plate can shrug off hits below a certain threshold all day.

    From what I understand, personal armor is generally too thin to benefit from composites, and single-material armor (with a spall liner, where appropriate) is best.
    The multihit-resistance has been improving lately, as people develop more effective ceramic types and production techniques to allow for the damage to be more localized (ie, forming a pit rather than a crack in the plate). And with high-hardness penetrators becoming commonplace, the multihit protection of steel has also eroded somewhat (though it's still certainly very good in comparison, and overall everything previously said is true enough for these purposes)
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  3. - Top - End - #1053
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    The main disadvantage is that ceramics do tend to be more brittle, so they're only good for one or two hits at their rating, where a metal plate can shrug off hits below a certain threshold all day.
    While true for resistance against firearms, NATO ballistic plates are coated to help their durability and longevity outside of protection, so are surprisingly tough against melee strikes.

    JustSomeGuy put up a video a while back where he had a go at some old NATO plates he had left over with his khukri. While his form wasn't great, he's a big lad and definitely put some welly behind his strikes - he just about managed to mark the plates, but didn't penetrate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    From what I understand, personal armor is generally too thin to benefit from composites, and single-material armor (with a spall liner, where appropriate) is best.
    Surely a kevlar plate carrier is a composite armour? You've got the kevlar (a synthetic fibre), with the critical areas reinforced with steel or ceramic plates with an anti-spalling layer on the inside.


    Looking around on youtube, here's a test of a Level IIA rated stab proof vest front panel (kevlar with a mail front layer) against various swords: link.

    It seems to me that it would be fine for quite a few hits, although obviously not as durable as a steel cuirass.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post



    Surely a kevlar plate carrier is a composite armour? You've got the kevlar (a synthetic fibre), with the critical areas reinforced with steel or ceramic plates with an anti-spalling layer on the inside.
    I am not familiar with the formal terminology, but for me "composite" implies that the plates itself are manufactured from the disparate materials. And AFAIK advanced vehicular armor indeed has better multi-hit resistance than ceramic plates used in ballistic vests. Ceramic + kevlar I would call layered armor, nort composite.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    I am not familiar with the formal terminology, but for me "composite" implies that the plates itself are manufactured from the disparate materials. And AFAIK advanced vehicular armor indeed has better multi-hit resistance than ceramic plates used in ballistic vests. Ceramic + kevlar I would call layered armor, nort composite.
    True; I guess it depends on how you're introduced to the topic. For me, composite implies some sort of synthetic material, which means a multiple layered kevlar vest without plates counts.

    I'm more than happy to defer to someone more experienced with the terminology.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    "Composite" in relation to armour, just means "made out of more than one thing", like a Composite Bow is

    For a tank it distinguishes it from traditional armour which was steel all the way though.

    The most famous Composite Armour, Chobham, has ceramic in it, but it's not necessary for there to be ceramic there for it to be composite

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    So ... if you staple ablative armor to the outside of your tank, does it become layered, or composite?

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    So ... if you staple ablative armor to the outside of your tank, does it become layered, or composite?
    Most of these sorts of definitions can be hazy (also ablative armor is not really a thing in modern times. Many types of armor are designed, or at least expected, to be destroyed or damaged in the process of stopping a threat, but none that I'm currently aware of directly utilize ablation as part of its protective mechanism, excluding of course ablation of the projectile. I am also ignoring ablative heat shields on spacecraft, since that's a different kind of armor). It could be described as add-on armor, or the outermost layer of a composite that's designed to be easily interchanged. It would always be layered, but whether it qualifies as a composite is largely down to how it was originally laid out by the designers and politicians, and how it was used in the field.

    Basically all modern tanks have been designed from the ground up to use composite armor (typically some combination of ceramics, heavy metals, and good ol' steel in varying configurations and shapes). And it's almost always backed up by a kevlar or similar spall liner to catch fragments that punch through or are knocked off the inside face of the armor, which could be argued to be another layer to the composite. Then you've got add-on armor, which can be all kinds of things, from simple extra steel to spaced metal slats to explosive and non-explosive reactive tiles... It gets messy real quick to differentiate which parts are "part" of the vehicle and which aren't, especially when factoring in that most tanks are designed so that even the primary armor can be easily replaced.

    As a general rule, if you're wondering what the exact scientific definition for any military term is, there isn't one.
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2020-04-01 at 02:55 AM.
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  9. - Top - End - #1059
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    Most of these sorts of definitions can be hazy (also ablative armor is not really a thing in modern times. Many types of armor are designed, or at least expected, to be destroyed or damaged in the process of stopping a threat, but none that I'm currently aware of directly utilize ablation as part of its protective mechanism, excluding of course ablation of the projectile. I am also ignoring ablative heat shields on spacecraft, since that's a different kind of armor). It could be described as add-on armor, or the outermost layer of a composite that's designed to be easily interchanged. It would always be layered, but whether it qualifies as a composite is largely down to how it was originally laid out by the designers and politicians, and how it was used in the field.

    Basically all modern tanks have been designed from the ground up to use composite armor (typically some combination of ceramics, heavy metals, and good ol' steel in varying configurations and shapes). And it's almost always backed up by a kevlar or similar spall liner to catch fragments that punch through or are knocked off the inside face of the armor, which could be argued to be another layer to the composite. Then you've got add-on armor, which can be all kinds of things, from simple extra steel to spaced metal slats to explosive and non-explosive reactive tiles... It gets messy real quick to differentiate which parts are "part" of the vehicle and which aren't, especially when factoring in that most tanks are designed so that even the primary armor can be easily replaced.

    As a general rule, if you're wondering what the exact scientific definition for any military term is, there isn't one.
    Really?

    I seem to see ablative armor bolted on every single active service armored vehicle that's ever shown. Maybe it's decoration.

    Reactive armor? Is that the term I'm looking for? That might be the term I'm looking for. Never mind, carry on =D

  10. - Top - End - #1060
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    As a general rule, if you're wondering what the exact scientific definition for any military term is, there isn't one.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    About obsidian, apparently early iron age Greece was still using it to make arrows. It's notable, because mainland Greece shouldn't have natural deposits of it, so it had to be imported.
    From David Abulafia's The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean: "The obsidian quarries of Melos, which were exploited for about 12,000 years, reached their peak of popularity in the early Bronze Age, when one might expect metal tools to have become more fashionable. But obsidian was appreciated precisely because of its low value: in the early Bronze Age, metals were scarce and the technology to produce copper and bronze was not widely available, and difficult to set in place."

    Melos (or Milos) didn't really have settlements before the Bronze Age, people just would sail over, hack pieces of obsidian off, grab them and leave. Mainland Greece and Crete and other islands were close enough. They could also get obsidian from Sicily, and maybe from Malta. (I'm not sure if we have evidence for Malta.)
    Last edited by HeadlessMermaid; 2020-04-01 at 12:57 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #1062
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Things I've been watching while not going out:

    Weights of swords and other weapons -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38q-Ts0A8Yw

    Why are movie weapons so often wrong? -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF1VFlCnLQ4 (Don't always agree that the reasons are entirely valid, but worth a watch.)

    Wootz -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP8PCkcBZU4

    Longbow vs Crossbow -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w8yHeF4KRk
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2020-04-05 at 02:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    In the Danish 1864 TV series Danish line infantry seems to be armed with a musket, a socket bayonet and... a shortsword? Quick googling give a few contemporary pictures like this one



    showing that this is not some fevered fantasy of the filmmakers. And the blade definitely looks like a shortsword - any sort of utility blade should be either shorter or wider.

    Do we have any other example where shooters/musketeers/riflemen/line infantry of the gunpowder era were issued two separate melee weapons?

    And would anyone care to speculate about the thought process behind this loadout? It seems to run contrary to many of the military ideals of the time: economy (even in industrial era the blades are not cheap), neatness (two scabbards on the same hip are aesthetically displeasing), simplicity (some fool in the heat of the battle would inevitably try to attach the shortsword to the musket).
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 2020-04-07 at 11:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    I can find unbelievably detailed information on every aspect of uniform - but basically none on weaponry. Oh, one detail is mentioned: Only two people in the danish army were specialists without a rifle - the adjudant, and the hornblower.

    Oh, found it: The gear includes a bullet pouch, a bayonet and a sabre. Also a seal skin 'backpack' (I'm not sure how to translate tornyster, but backpack will do).

    Soldiers were expected to purchase their own snaps, on command.
    Last edited by Kaptin Keen; 2020-04-08 at 01:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Oh, found it: The gear includes a bullet pouch, a bayonet and a sabre. Also a seal skin 'backpack' (I'm not sure how to translate tornyster, but backpack will do).

    Soldiers were expected to purchase their own snaps, on command.
    Thank you very much! Could you please provide the original word for "sabre" (no, I do not know Danish, but it still would make it possible to understand what they have meant)?

    And even after getting the confirmation, I am still baffled. I can't imagine that a situation where a sabre would be preferable to a bayonet for infantryman would come more often than once in a century.
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 2020-04-08 at 02:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Thank you very much! Could you please provide the original word for "sabre" (no, I do not know Danish, but it still would make it possible to understand what they have meant)?

    And even after getting the confirmation, I am still baffled. I can't imagine that a situation where a sabre would be preferable to a bayonet for infantryman would come more often than once in a century.
    Sabre, in danish, is sabel.

    I too am somewhat surprised. I'm not a weapons buff, but ... well, it looks like a cavalry sabre to me =)

    I've handled a few. My uncle was a collector, and had two, and I've carried one on parade once (I held the banner, and that comes with a sabre, even if it was just borrowed for the occasion).

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    I'd guess that those are neither short swords nor sabers but fascine knifes. They were used to cut the large quantities of light wood needed to stabilize earthworks, fill ditches and to stockpile campfire fuel. The primary melee weapon of the soldiers in the picture is the bayonets, note that no one unsheathed the sword-like weapon for close combat.

    (I'm not sure how to translate tornyster, but backpack will do).
    In german, a Tornister is just a word for a distinct type of backback mostly used by the military (square, originally made from leather and covered in fur). According to wikipedia, it seems to be much the same in danish.
    Last edited by Berenger; 2020-04-08 at 06:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Infantry being officially issued a sword during gunpowder era is pretty common, but they weren't used very much.

    French Napoleonic infantry were supposed to be issued a short sabre (and it looks just like a cavalry sabre, but shorter) but this eventually was changed to just certain units, and probably not carried just to save weight.

    British infantry of the mid 18th century (Jacobite rebellion era, at least) in theory carried swords, but sources have called them hangers or sabres, so terminology is muddy.

    I think (without any real research, just applied logic) that this is a holdover from pre-bayonet and maybe even plug bayonet days. Add to that some basic military bureaucratic resistance to change, and I can see why many armies officially retained the sword, even though it probably saw little use, and soldiers probably tended to leave them behind. We know that the US Cavalry troopers tended to leave their sabres behind during the Indian Wars, at laast once breechloaders and revolvers were standard for every man.

    So I would guess the Danish troops were probably issued short sabres on the official TOE, but I doubt many were used in melee.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Swords are often a sidearm, they can be carried with a gun, but also with a lance or a pike. A bayonet is nice to have a melee option alongside your ranged musket, but it doesn't work if you lose or break your musket (depending on how you break it). By the 1600's a good battlefield sword only weights about a kilogram, that's manageable as a backup.

    Modern soldiers who have a bayonet on their rifle will usually carry a pistol as well. The main point of a sidearm is to have a separate backup weapon, not a secondary usage mode for your primary weapon.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    This is a Pinterst board, but you can see a lot of the regular infantry have what looks like a short sabre.

    https://www.pinterest.com/zouave5new...ntry-uniforms/
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Berenger View Post
    In german, a Tornister is just a word for a distinct type of backback mostly used by the military (square, originally made from leather and covered in fur). According to wikipedia, it seems to be much the same in danish.
    Absolutely. I didn't know the word existed in german too - in all likelyhood we imported it from you guys.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    French Napoleonic infantry were supposed to be issued a short sabre (and it looks just like a cavalry sabre, but shorter) but this eventually was changed to just certain units, and probably not carried just to save weight.
    I believe the sword is called a "briquet", and is basically the same as a "hanger". However, only the elite companies and regiments carried the sword, the line fusilier companies did not. Nevertheless, infantry carrying a short sword of some sort was pretty common well into the mid-19th century. In the 1840s the French started to issue the artillery short sword to all their infantry, you will see it in depictions of French infantry during the Crimean War (this sword is similar to the US heavy artillery short sword).

    Is this the Danish infantry sword?
    https://www.champagnesabling.dk/1864

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    I believe the sword is called a "briquet", and is basically the same as a "hanger". However, only the elite companies and regiments carried the sword, the line fusilier companies did not. Nevertheless, infantry carrying a short sword of some sort was pretty common well into the mid-19th century. In the 1840s the French started to issue the artillery short sword to all their infantry, you will see it in depictions of French infantry during the Crimean War (this sword is similar to the US heavy artillery short sword).

    Is this the Danish infantry sword?
    https://www.champagnesabling.dk/1864
    Well, that's exactly how sword handles looked in the series (I cannot say about the rest of the sword because they never unsheathed them)

    What is interesting is that if IMFDB is to be believed they just used Springfield replicas instead of Danish percussion muskets, but the swords they replicated right.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    Is this the Danish infantry sword?
    https://www.champagnesabling.dk/1864

    This looks nearly identical to the french "Sabre de troupes a pied Mle 1831" displayed in the german Wiki. Only the sheath and the lowest part of the blade look a bit different. Is it possible that they come from the same manufacturer?

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    Last edited by Berenger; 2020-04-08 at 05:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Berenger View Post
    This looks nearly identical to the french "Sabre de troupes a pied Mle 1831" displayed in the german Wiki. Only the sheath and the lowest part of the blade look a bit different. Is it possible that they come from the same manufacturer?

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    The US army issued a similar sword to infantry and foot artillery.

    Reportedly it was junk for actual combat, but did a decent job as a brush clearing tool.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    I am almost sure that I once saw the photograph of an artillery sword that was much thinner and had notches and numbers on the blade to be used for measurement and calculation. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw it, or to what European army it would have belonged.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    What is interesting is that if IMFDB is to be believed they just used Springfield replicas instead of Danish percussion muskets, but the swords they replicated right.
    Hardly surprising. Anything used in the American Civil War is extremely popular with ACW re-enactors, which is by far the largest single re-enacting community. Looking things up, quality replica Springfields cost half what it would cost for a medocre Danish replica.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    The US army issued a similar sword to infantry and foot artillery.

    Reportedly it was junk for actual combat, but did a decent job as a brush clearing tool.
    Yeah, the US foot artillery sword was a copy of an earlier version: the French M1816 sword. The overall dimensions are similar to the M1831, but the 1816 had fullers on the blade, and different texture to the grip.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Berenger View Post
    This looks nearly identical to the french "Sabre de troupes a pied Mle 1831" displayed in the german Wiki. Only the sheath and the lowest part of the blade look a bit different. Is it possible that they come from the same manufacturer?

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    The handle is the same, but the blade on the Danish weapon looks more slender to me.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Generally speaking, I don't think swords had much place in combat among the infantry at this time. The French Army in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars used them as a badge or mark of honor for the elite infantry units. In theory, bayonets can become stuck or be rendered impractical, and a sword may come in handy -- but as many armies dispensed with them, they probably weren't considered a necessity.

    I have heard that in some cultures, a sword was the mark of a soldier, and therefore was a kind of status symbol. Certainly these swords don't seem to be very high quality, and the series of French short swords do seem to have a practical, machete-like, appearance, more suited for clearing brush than combat. Even infantry officer's swords were rarely used in combat by this time, although they often took the form of cavalry swords, and cavalry were more likely to use their swords in combat.

    Keep in mind, during WW1, sharpened entrenching tools made useful and effective hand-to-hand weapons in the close confines of the trenches. So even a weapon, or tool, which seems to have low combat potential can be useful.

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