Thanks all for the informative responses. Many interesting points shared.
Rivkin- is it possible for you to describe those tests?
I agree with you on the point that wootz might have been overrated and made mythical in the minds of some over the years, yet a well tempered european military saber blade might have been alot better.
Joshua, Jeff, and Chris- Ive been hearing a fair number of people say what you say, that the rockwell test isnt really well applied on wootz blades, and as a matrix they are actually much harder than 37HRC. What I am wondering is, how would a wootz blade, compare to lets say a french 1822 LC blade? Of the same curve and equal width and thickness? In parrying, edge retention, and cutting.
Alex- please do not drop anymore wootz blades
Andrew- Ive been waiting for Dr.Ann's reply eagerly too
Ariel- My view of japanese blades, is that they're esily bent, all they're good for, is keeping an edge, that would easily be chipped. If wootz blades were designed to be hard, then they wouldnt bend that easily am I right? According to Alex's experience, those are some very hard blades. I would be interested to see how a wootz blade would stand up against parrying a well made european blade. As to those testing conditions, those must have been some tough blades! I agree with you, whats the use of cutting silk handkerchiefs, who ever was attacked by a handkerchief!?