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Thread: Blade Fighters and Blades in Action

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Blade Fighters and Blades in Action

    Just received in the mail both books. The first about 2/3 of each has illustrations of swords in use. Though I have only glanced through the narratives, titles as "Swords versus bayonets and lances or spears", sound like a great read. One thing I would have wished for is that the illustrations have been titled and referenced . The b&w pictures are good but small enough to fit the page, ( considering some of the original works must be quite large) but one must guess who is envolved and when and where the action takes place. Possibly a printed annotation giving this information with reference to page number would help greatly. Some pictures I quite like and would search for a larger copy suitable to frame if I could find the title and artist name to track it down.
    But all in all, these are the only books that condense all this information without having to read volumes to pick out areas of particular interest.
    As I have found with his other books, important pieces of information can be gained. One being that a cavalrymen should not try to ride by and cut a determined infantryman, rather ride over him. This would have been an interesting point to bring up in a recent post asking just such questions, who would have the upper hand in certain situations such as this.
    These original transcripts bring out how the soldiers actually dealt with certain situations and what worked and what did not.

  2. #2
    Will:
    I suspect that per-page captioning was not possible for all images in a Word document because many of them fill the entire page. Of course, a list of illustrations could have been added, but that would have increased page-count and therefore cost, which is probably why such expected extras as table of contents and index were excluded--to reduce cost. Unless an index is thorough and cross-referenced, which many aren't, it's as good as nothing; and an exhaustive index would have filled numerous pages and made the cost prohibitive except for downloads and ebooks. Anyway, my advice is to take notes while you read for later reference to items of interest.
    Best Regards!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Deleting one page of pictures and replacing it with a page reference and titles of the pictures would help to add meaning to what you are looking at. I'm not that good to recognise the exact uniforms and time periods they are from. If there was a reference list on the web one could pencil in the names of the illustrations.

    Regardless of the pictures, it's the actual text that I enjoy the most and I wish there was more of it, however I have yet to finish reading them, and with four books in all there is a good deal to remember if you can.

    Hopefully there will be more books as you can never exhaust sword enthusiasts!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    After reading Blades in Action, I thought i would share one bit of information, though there are many good bits that explain much because the soldiers were there, witnessed it and did it.
    "One of the (Scots) Greys, whose sword had broken close to the hilt early in the fight, had used the basket of the sword hilt as a steel glove; and every interstice in it was crammed full of human flesh and hair. He had struck so hard that he had sprained his wrist severely enough to make it impossible for him to open his hand. The hand itself was so swollen that he could not get it out of his sword hilt, and it took the Armourer Sergeant of the Ninety-Third (Highlanders) an hour to cut the basket-work clear"
    This was the Crimea War, the only heavy cavalry troopers sword with basket work was the 1853P, the older 1821 had the bowl. I find bits like this answer questions such as were the Greys armed or partially armed with the old 1821or new pattern 1853 sword.
    Either this book or the other mentions the use of hogspears rather than issue lances as they penetrated better and were handier.
    Many other interesting things are described that give better appreciation of the swords used.

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