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Old 26th September 2017, 12:00 AM   #33
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Again, allowing the detour, I came across this statement made by Henry Wilkinson c.1850 with regard to the thrust as opposed to the cut (I have to say that surely from horse-back there is only the cut, but that aside):
"An old officer of the 11th Dragoons told me that it was proverbial through all the Peninsular War, that our Dragoons who were mostly brought into the hospital with slight punctured wounds in the chest or abdomen almost invariably died. The French Dragoons on the contrary had mostly cut or incised wounds and almost all recovered."

Through the entire century the argument between cut and thrust went on, and invariably the effort was for a sword blade which could deliver both effectively. The first British regulation sword was the M1796 light cavalry sabre, which was considered most effective at cuts resulting in ghastly wounds, and which the French considered barbaric. However in any cases they were survivable, where the thrust favored by the French was virtually always fatal, and in usually a long very painful way.

The heavy, chopping blades of the M1796 were ultimately replaced by the M1821 cavalry sabre with a 'spear' point' which could be used in a thrust with the sword held in high tierce, then used in slashing cuts as well.
There were of course issues in production, design and as always blade quality, which had plagued English sword making for the previous centuries.
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