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Old 13th August 2018, 10:39 AM   #1
Selohr
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Default Italian M-1888 officer's sword info

I have been looking to buy this sword but there seems to be very little info available online. What I did hear it that this type of pipe back blades were extremely flexible and practically useless at thrust.
I would be very grateful for any additional info about this pattern.
Here are some photos of the sword I was looking to buy.
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Old 14th August 2018, 09:10 AM   #2
kronckew
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The thumb guard recess looks distressed/broken.

My 1888 Mounted Artillery Officer version: Forum Link
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Old 1st April 2019, 12:37 PM   #3
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Your M1888 is likely to be from the early 1900s and you're correct about this particular pipe-backed blade being rather flimsy. Obviously, the sword as a fighting weapon was obsolete by then, and I theorise that many Italian officers chose the pipe-backed design simply because it provided a conveniently flat surface for the etching.



(I hope it's okay to bump an older thread.)
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Old 1st April 2019, 03:59 PM   #4
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I also have a similar cavalry 1871 version with a more robust and stiffer partially fullered blade, the forte IS pipe backed, the foible is not. The British 1821 sabres initially had pipe back blades, but during Crimea, they found they did not penetrate the Russian greatcoats on thrusting, simply bending. They weren't terribly good cutters either. the piped back acts to block further progress of a cut. I have thrust my very sharp pipe back into cardboard and thru light clothing, where it performed adequately. The thumb rest aids a lot in proper indexing for Italian swords in general and is pretty much unique to Italy. Other countries tend to favour the leather finger strap method.

actually, it's better to wound an opponent and put him out of action rather than killing them... A dead man costs one, a wounded man costs 5, the wounded man and the infrastructure required to treat, care and feed him while he recovers, if he does.

Anyway, the 11796LC is still probably the best of British cutters. Admired by the Prussians after Waterloo and terrifying to the French, the Germans stuck to the Blucher sabre, and almost exact copy of the brit sword for decades and those after were just thinner versions after they became less used in battle. The Polish and Hungarians tended to favour these heavier 'hussar' styles long after everyone else, well into the 20c and even in WW2, they were occasionally found useful.

The 1871 below actually has a bullet strike about halfway down the blade that has dimpled and cracked the blade edge but hasn't affected the piped spine any, it is still quite unaffected by test cutting, where I expected it to break in half. It hasn't (yet - but is now retired from such acts). The person who carried it must have had a great story to tell if he survived.
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Last edited by kronckew; 1st April 2019 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 1st April 2019, 06:28 PM   #5
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Here some fotos out of an Italian book "Alfredo Bartocci/Luciano Salvatici, Armamento Individuale dell' esercito piemontese e Italiano". Maybe it is of some use. At least it might be the challenge to learn some Italian language
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Old 2nd April 2019, 12:20 PM   #6
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Corrado26, I don't suppose you have the cavalry volume of Bartocci's and Salvatici's book at all?
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Old 2nd April 2019, 01:04 PM   #7
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Yes I have the whole volume of that book but because of its size it is very difficult to make scans.
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