Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Fighting with the Klewang

  1. Fighting with the Klewang

    The klewang is a cutlass that was introduced to the Dutch troops in the Aceh War (1873 – 1913) via local troops. In 1898 it was officially added to the armament of the marechaussée units fighting in counter-insurgency warfare, which included a lot of man-to-man fighting. In this form of warfare, mobile troops armed with a klewang and a shorter carbine with bayonet were found to be more effective than traditional troops armed with a heavy rifle with bayonet.

    In 1911, the klewang reached its (near-)final form, with a sabre-like hilt made of spring steel, and a short, curved, single-edged blade with clipped point. Though the Dutch klewang was named after the indigenous Indonesian klewang, it did not have much in common with these weapons. The klewang was used in its final form by the Dutch military until the 1950s, and is still part of the ceremonial armament of some units today.

    Interestingly, the Dutch M1911 klewang is very similar to the American M1917 Naval Cutlass, which appears to have been derived from it.


    The following document presents a partial translation of a Dutch military treatise that was published in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1937 on the use of bladed weapons in combat. (http://www.bruchius.com/docs/VOVBW%2...20by%20RvN.pdf) It is a translation of Chapter II, which deals with fencing with the combination of klewang and carbine.

    http://www.bruchius.com/docs/Fightin...20by%20RvN.pdf

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    North East USA
    Posts
    3,056
    Blog Entries
    1
    Reinier, this is excellent! I'll copy this post over to the A&M Forum, since the collectors will be familiar with this weapon and will no doubt find the manual and it's illustrations to be of great interest! Btw, I wonder where all the mid-20th century surplus klewangs went?...
    mark@swordforum.com

    ~ Hostem Hastarum Cuspidibus Salutemus ~

    "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who don't."
    Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    91
    I love the Klewang. I first noticed it when I bought the Cold Steel Cutlass/Machete version. I then bought the Cold Steel 1917 Cutlass which was high quality but handled like a wet brick. Finally I obtained two m1940 versions, a 1930's Hembrug Dutch Army version, and the best one a Late 1930's Hembrug version with a brass plate on the hilt indicating it was sword number 51, 3rd Company, of the Dutch East India Army 2nd Infantry Division, and then bought the book "Klewang". I found that all the real cutlasses weighed about 200 grams less than the Cold Steel version, had significant distal taper, and were a delight to handle. What a pity the whole document wasn't translated into English but thank you for what is a very interesting document.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Madrid, Spain
    Posts
    1,407
    Very, very interesting... it even comes with real pictures from a model-soldier, showing the stances, cuts and parries!

    Thanks for translating and sharing it, Reinier.

    Juan J.
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    185
    Reinier,

    Wow, what a wonderful translation! I really enjoy the photos, too. I think the use of the rifle to defend the left side of the body is great! I love these 20th century fencing manuals. Sort of the dusk of the sword age in the age of firearms and now robot drones!

    Best regards,
    Chris
    Last edited by Christopher Ron Covington; 06-17-2013 at 06:49 PM.

  6. Thanks for the kind comments!


    The following should (and will soon) be included in the intro to my translation.

    Earlier in the treatise, in the general section the following is mentioned:

    7. Of those armed with the marechaussée sabre and those with marechaussée sabre and pistol, the left hand, either unarmed or provided with the pistol, is kept behind the body.
    Last edited by Reinier van Noort; 06-19-2013 at 02:48 AM.

  7. As requested:

    An English translation (almost) the entire treatise (I got bored):

    http://www.bruchius.com/docs/VOVBW%2...20by%20RvN.pdf
    …en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

    http://www.bruchius.com/
    List of publications

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    91
    Now for your next job Reinier.......... only joking. What a wonderful translation and thank you very much for your efforts.

  9. Bit busy at the moment, but I am always open for suggestions, and short jobs tend to get finished rapidly between breaks

    Here's a list of stuff I have already put out there:
    http://www.bruchius.com/Eng/publist.html
    …en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

    http://www.bruchius.com/
    List of publications

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •