The Physical Reality of Forceful Edge-to-Edge Impacts - Historical Examples

By Kevin Cashen

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Surviving specimens of historical fighting swords, such as this 19th century one above, often show tell-tale signs of edge damage from hard material impacts but the causes and origin of such trauma, as well as the time and conditions under which they actually occurred, are now very difficult to determine.  As with many real cutting swords, the piece above shows noticeable wear from impacts on its flat side, but only minute damage to its edge along spots associated with its natural center of percussion, indicating these may very well have been from striking at targets, not from being parried by the edge of another sword. -ed.


The wide curved slashing sword below, also from the 19th century, is an example of one showing more significant trauma along most of its edge, including minute nicks and gouges, particularly at the optimal cutting portion. However, none of these are indicative of forcible edge-to-edge impacts, nor are they significant enough that they could not be ground down. Surprisingly, as with the above sword, neither shows noticeable edge trauma near the hilt, where most edge-to-edge contact would be expected to occur in defensive actions. -ed.



See also:

The Physical Reality of Impacts and Edges

Some Edge-on-Edge Cutting Experiments

On Damaged Edge


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