British Army Infantry & Rifles Sergeants' Swords From Napoleon to WW1

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British Army infantry sergeants were at various points equipped with swords. In general they went on active service with the same or similar firearms to the …

41 thoughts on “British Army Infantry & Rifles Sergeants' Swords From Napoleon to WW1

  1. Dennis Lloyd says:

    Happy Boxing Day Matt. Ah! to live in a time when swords were more common and tastes would change and subtle changes would be reflected in what one would carry in a sword. The folding hilt; was it for easier carry and I noticed it didn't lock to the scabbard as in the Navy weapon, was the hinge a weak point that could fail in a clash and lose your thumb?

  2. Keith Allardice says:

    I really like these Sergeants' swords – the plainer, more utilitarian "fighting man's sword" speaks more to my soul I guess…

    Another fascinating, fact-filled video for us to feast upon .. Many thanks for sharing Matt!

  3. Kevin Malone says:

    I posted this on the FB page, but I'll reiterate here; when you talk about the "checkered" part of the backstrap, is that the term used by sword collectors/experts? I know that in tooling it's called "knurled".

  4. greerops says:

    Why the 1905? Well my guess is that the the guy in charge of swords at the ordinance office had and uncle who just happened to own a sword refurbishing business. 🙂

  5. Thunder Warrior says:

    How about a a follow on video about the Sergeants themselves and the history of the rank?
    How they started out in Medieval times as professional soldiers "worth half a Knight" and how the title is thought to be translated from "Servant."
    How they were said to serve as the Kings bodyguard, what a "Serjeant at Arms" was and is.
    How it evolved into the rank it is today.
    How some Cavalry Regiments don't have them.

    Lots of interesting history there!

  6. F1ghteR says:

    6:29 Isn't this type of blade rather complex and expensive to make?
    10:37 By the way, and it's an off-topic question, were there any examples of comissioned officers using standard issue muskets alongside their men in the British army, or is it more of a WW2 and afterwards practice? I know that in Austrian and Russian armies in the XVIII century grenadier junior officers were issued with muskets in addition to their smallswords.
    20:36 By the way, why weren't full width tangs introduced in sergeant's swords earlier than that? Given its robustness, it's an obvious choice for a weapon that should serve regiments, not individual officers, and for a very long time at that.

  7. Dennis says:

    The 1905 is one of, if not the, best British sword pattern – it combines a highly protective guard with a useful cut and thrust blade. And one I'm lucky enough to have in my small collection.

    I'm also partial to the 1821 heavy cavalry sword and it's derivatives, as they too combine a protective hilt with a cut and thrust blade.

  8. Charles Phillips says:

    The 1905 sergeant's sword has got to be a cost saving measure, they had surplus 1899 cavalry swords and converted them rather than buying new swords. The question is why were there surplus 1899 cavalry swords? If it had been 1908 then the cavalry would have been getting a new sword.

  9. Chance Parker says:

    Hey Matt can you do a fight review for the spear vs dual swords fight in Mandalorian S2 E5 between Ahsoka Tano and Morgan Elsbeth? I've seen the episode twice now and Elsbeth's fighting with the spear just doesn't seem…logical to me? I'd really like to hear an expert opinion on this fight because it really failed to impress me.

    In addition any discussion about Ahsoka's general icepick grip and fighting style would be great too. I love her character but I've always felt like her style unnecessary crippled her for the sake of being "cool".

  10. D Shepard says:

    Would love to have one of those 1905"s just because my grandfather had one, it's too bad his is gone but the family needed the money in the great depression and us western dirt farmers in Canada were in bad shape lol.

  11. IamOutOfNames says:

    Hey Matt, why are you making so many videos on british swords now? If you want to lure Ian out to do collab on Forgotten Weapons series you need to offer him French sabres or uniforms.

    Unless…
    You're summoning Lindybeige, aren't you?

  12. Brian Nicholas says:

    Here in the US, the Army, infantry, NCO sword has remained relatively the same since the Civil War. It is a straight bladed, spadroon style with the solid brass clamshell guards and an all brass hilt with a faux wire grip molded in. It was worn from the belt in a frog, and I've seen leather sheaths that incorporate both the sword sheath and bayonet sheath as one unit. They were primarily made bye Ames manufacturing out of Massachusetts, however other manufacturers made them as well, presumably under license. The example I have was made by C. Roby and Sons,also from Massachusets, in 1863.
    The modern , ceremonial, Army NCO sword, is basically unchanged in design except it usually more ornate, sometimes gold plated, sometimes with an etched and inscribed blade, (these are private purchase not issued) .
    Interestingly enough, because the design is the same, NCOs are free to carry a Civil War period antique sword, but with a new scabbard, presumably because the scabbard must look pristine for parade purposes. I was a "big brother" to 3 boys and the eldest joined the US Army. When he was promoted to Staff Sergeant then Sergeant First Class, I purchased an antique NCO sword made by Ames in 1861, and purchased both a nickel plated metal scabbard and a leather scabbard (which I had engraved for him) and. Gave it to him as a gift. His officers and senior sergeants thought it was so cool that he was carrying a sword that had in all probability been carried by a Sergeant in the Union Army during our Civil War. Although the sword is very seldom worn except in full dress parades, and not nearly as prevalent as in the British Army, swords are still much appreciated in the modern US Army.

  13. C Thibault says:

    I bought an 1822 British officer sword with another sword I haven’t been able to identify. Not in the best condition. The story I was told is that they where found in the wall of a Victorian house being renovated behind lats and horsehair plaster.

  14. Thomas Wallace says:

    Mr Easton, would it be possible for you to briefly go into the likely Sgt sword types to be carried by British NCOs in the Revolutionary War period? There doesn't seem to be much information about that era. Thanks.

  15. Matthew Doye says:

    Two possible reasons for remanufacturing the cavalry swords as sargeants' swords: firstly, to save money on making brand new blades (typical of the War Department ), secondly because sargeants didn't like the 1880s & 1890s thrust centric swords. Sargeants didn't have the opportunity to practice that officers had nor would they have been as able to afford private instruction, a sword that was a better cutter and handled better might have suited them.

    A third possibility is that the scabbard of the straight blade messed up their parade uniforms and tgat was unacceptable.

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