there are some good articles out there on brittle fracture..
and some of the elements that affect it
just my opinion... but i think that swords were rather effective close combat sidearms.... ( spear being no. 1 ) ....
- there has to be some value to it..... or why would so many cultures value such a costly item... ( you can make many spears out of one sword ) ... besides, iron production back then was very small scale compared to today... so your limited interms of materials to which you can use for war..
-- even the northlands valued the sword.. as is evidenced by the viking blades... and the complex patternwelds
- are there any Rc tests done on viking blades...
- from the few museum curators that i emailed ... (Longtime ago) they mentioned that the northern swords had a lower Rc ....somewhere round 40
- but i've never seen those stat's anywhere
steel is such a complicated thing.... uggh