Thread: why sabre ?
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Old 27th March 2005, 11:34 PM   #29
ariel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 4,072

Sometimes in the beginning of the second milennium the European knights faced Central Asian warriors, Turks, Tatars etc.
The European chivalrous style of combat involved heavy lance and straight sword, both essentially thrusting weapons of heavy cavalry. The "Asians" used lightning attacks of the light cavalry, showers of arrows directed primarily against horses and quick slashes of the curved sabers against poorly defended and often retreating infantry.
I would guess that the khights were so impressed (or shocked!) that they have gradually adopted the "Asian" style of combat as well as their weapons. Polish and Hungarian hussars, with their closest contact withe the Turks and the Tatars, became the first and the best European light cavalrymen and the French even called their hussar sabers "a la hongroise" (Hungarian style). The very word Uhlan is Tatar in origin.
So, I do not think there were any scientific studies of the matter: the change in tactics determined the choice of a weapon.
And, Jim, despite Pushkin's bragging about Caucasian kinjals, he was killed by a pistol.... And by a Frenchman, to boot...
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