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Thread: WEAPON by DK Publishing

  1. #1
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    WEAPON by DK Publishing

    Weapon: A Visual History of Arms and Armor by DK Publishing.

    I've only had a chance to glance at this so far, but I've been pleasantly surprised, even a little shocked. It's better than I expected for a general reader book on arms & armor. It refers several times to mail armor, not chainmail (haven't found that last one yet). It doesn't give weights for all weapons, but it does have several Viking and knightly swords listed as weighing 2 lbs, a couple two-handed swords at 6 1/2 & 7 and rapiers at 2 1/4 to 3.

    The only quibble I have so far is that it doesn't list weight for a suit of plate armor intended for battle (nor for jousting armor). Still, it's another step in helping to dispell myths about the weight of European swords. I suppose that's only to be expected since half-a-dozen of the staff at the Royal Armouries are listed as consultants.

    Now if only some of those who think European swords were heavy and awkward compared to Japanese ones, weighing 10 lbs or more would read this book...
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."--Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
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    I've had this book for a while, and (as seems to be the course in my life) have only had the time to browse through it. But what I've seen has been fairly impressive (for instance, the listed weights for the swords). Nice, drool-worthy pics as well. If you want an eye-candy book about all sorts of historical weapons that is a bit more than mere eye-candy, this is the book for you!
    David K. Wilson, Jr., Laird of Glencoe
    The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, gang aft agley... -- Robert Burns

    See, it is I who created the blacksmith
    who fans the coals into flame
    and forges a weapon fit for its work.

    -- Isaiah 54:16

  3. #3
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    Hmm, I have been less than impressed with this book. I gave the book a quick flick through and while reading the Japanese section the swords and mounts of some of the swords were of very poor quality and one of them looks like a stainless steel slo. ( the one with a red crackle saya ). The book also states that sword A is a wakizashi, then on the next page says its a katana? Perhaps a bit rushed?

    Will

  4. #4
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    The consultants listed are with the Royal Armouries. Perhaps their knowledge of Japanese swords is weak (I know very little about them myself). Still, it's more than a cut above the standard general reader book on weapons just for listing the weights for some of the swords, thereby helping to dispell the myth of how heavy European swords of the Middle Ages were.
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."--Gen. George S. Patton

  5. #5
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    I've had a quick flick through also and find some things good - such as weights - and some bad thing such as the perpetuation of old myths. One I found is the outdated theory that the Lateran Council banned crossbows because of its devastating effect on armoured knights. Another is the false statement that Assyrians wore lamellar armour. What is even worse is the photo on p33 of some scale armour dodgily laced together to pretend that it is lamellar.
    Last edited by Dan Howard; 12-28-2006 at 12:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hi Guys
    this is the usual mixture of good and bad, nice pictures(for the most part) but a stilted, outdated text with errors and mis-information. On the whole a good entry point, at least, visually, although I will have to have a closer look at the points raised by the earlier posters.
    Phil

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