Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I agree with Greg: of course, spear is very effective, but swords utilise an additional element of motion, ie, circular arm movement as opposed to the linear one of the spear. An example is Chaka's transformation of the throwing/stabbing Zulu spear with a smallish head into a massive sword-like weapon.
This thread is astonishing: in one fell swoop we started to demolish the mythology of the 2 greatest blademaking traditions: Japanese and Persian.
It appears that good mass-produced European blades were at the very least as good and perhaps even better than legendary "Masamunes and Assadollahs". And for less effort and money, too! Overall, the effort:result ratio was orders of magnitude in favor of Europe. Unquestionably, it was the result of scientific revolutions in Europe to which Japanese or Middle-Easterns were very late-comers or just passive consumers. No individual tradition, no matter how refined, can compete with a massive and systematic onslaught of Scientific Technology. Un-romantic, but true.....
Ironically, of course, the great European blades became widely available when they were no longer needed..... But then, the same technology gave Europe another edge:
we have got,
the Gatling gun
and they have not."
- Hillaire Belloc