EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Really interesting discussion, and picking up where we left off some seven years ago. There is no doubt that there is an unfortunate truth in the deliberate disabling of a horseman by attacking his mount. One I found some years ago involved striking at the reins or bridle, thus the rider lost control of his horse.
I also recall a painting by Meissonier of a Napoleonic French officer on rearing horse looking to the rear with his sword raised, and it was referred to as 'rear guard', thus defending his horse being attacked (hind legs?).
I do not have that material presently, but thought it pertinent.
However, it is hard to imagine a sword designed specifically for such a distasteful action, yet virtually useless and awkward in NORMAL cavalry combat. Was this perhaps a special cadre of the unit with just this purpose?
Or was this weapon carried for such use, then the rider switched to the normal sabre for action otherwise engaged in the melee?
In 9 years, we have seen only two of these curious 'weapons', and the only reference we have as to their use is a specious display tag on one of them. One is rather austere in character, while the other is more elaborately mounted as if for an officer.
Even the action of disabling horses in battle is seldom addressed as a specific tactic, let alone given a specifically designed tool/weapon for this purpose. I am most curious about the interesting reference noted on the Spanish 1st Empire instance. Perhaps that might provide clues or a cited reference.
As has been noted, actions such as disabling horses, whether reins, bridle, hamstringing, cinch or whatever....these were achieved using the conventional weapons, not specially designed ones which would be awkward in the rest of the action.
On the other hand, tools cannot be discounted in combative use as many forms have been used as weapons, particularly polearms such as bill hooks and others such as machetes and implements like knives.
Interesting questions here, and looking forward to seeing if we can discover more.
* Fascinating entry on those Samurai police 'tools' Mark!!!!!