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Thread: M1913 Springfield Armory Patton

  1. #1
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    M1913 Springfield Armory Patton

    Tired old Springfield Armory Patton m1913 less grip and a bath. I have wanted one of these for some time but even though not rare they can be pricy. Gave it the minimal clean up and a made a new set of grips for it. Eric

    Somewhere between a broad sword and a rapier certainly not a saber as they are called "Patton Saber". I do not know why and can only hope one of you Gentlemen do. Patented solid hilt and the sword itself possibly copied from our cousins across the water.
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    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 07-02-2017 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Add question
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Eric: The first design was a saber, after much wrangling, it was decided to make it a straight blade...I think there are some of the prototypes offered for sale from time to time, but at big bucks...

    It looked just like yours, but had a curved blade and scabbard to match..The informal name stuck, in spite of being straight bladed...???

    Dale

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    Ahh, the ever elusive m1911. It really makes since what you say and was quite a little wrangling by Patton to get it his way. Interesting, thanks Dale. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    I've read that the Patton sword was influenced from the British 1908p. It was common for cavalry greats to communicate with their counterparts.
    No doubt the discussion of what would be the best sword for modern warfare influenced the last patterns of sword.

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    I have read that originally the Army called the M1913 Cavalry a sword, but that the cavalry wanted it called a saber since traditionally that is what cavalry carried. I will have to dig out my Farrington to double check, but I believe he had some internal Army correspondence showing that change of terminology. Although normally the term "saber" is used for a curved single edge sword, you sometimes see the French and some other straight-bladed swords referred to as sabers. I guess the term can be used however we all agree to use it.

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    Thanks Dale, Will and Richard I have not spent enough time on these late US swords. I have tried over the last 3 years or so to add some of these late 19th and early 20th century swords to my collection. The interesting thing about the post CW to Great War swords is the patterns, types and makers are so cut and dried. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Hi to all.

    To add to the confusion (or perhaps to avoid it) the Spanish Puerto-Seguro M1907, straight-bladed but single-edged, was officially called 'espada-sable' (sabre-sword). However, the units kept the tradition and normally was called 'sable'.

    Regarding the US M1911, I've found several reproduction rapiers along my years of collecting, all showing some age, with blades apparently identical to the Patton's one. Of course, no maker marks (of some faked ones). It is good to record exactly how the lines of this blade are, to recognise it at a glance.

    Best,
    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

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    Actually, if one notes the blade form, the influence was more likely to have been the Swedish 1893 and known to him when he was an Olympian at Stockholm. Neither the British or Spanish swords have full length double edges. The bowl and scabbards indeed the 1911 form.

    Cheers

    GC

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    m1913 Patton Saber

    m1893 Swedish cavalry sword, Spanish Puerto-Seguro M1907 calvary saber, British 1908p cavalry sword, US m1911 calvary saber, possibly Patton looked at them all, he was The Master of Sword
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    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Patton Saber

    Possibly even a quick look at this?
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    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  11. #11
    The whole subject, including the 1905 experimental and the M1911 is covered exhaustively in DP Farrington's Swords & Sabers of the US Army.
    It is likely that Patton saw the Swedish saber but his inspiration was largely French. In fact, he brought a French saber "used at Waterloo" back with him and sent it to the armory. The Armory also had (and still has) the M1908 British sabers they consulted.

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    Very interesting JV do you know which model French saber? I have been reading SSoftheUSA but it is incredibly detailed and takes some focus to stay after. Thanks for you information. Regards Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  13. #13
    Interesting, because I can't think of any French swords from the Napoleonic period that have blades that look anything like the M1913.

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    I would think the sword Patton returned with would be an ANX1 cuirassier, which would have been adored as having gone on to fencing with Adjutant Charles Cléry, cavalry fencing instructor.

    Just sayin' the 1913 blade doesn't look like an ANX1 blade either aside from being straight and pointy at one end. If you lay the 1913 next to a Swedish 1893, the blade is quite the most similar aside from other European palassch which are not quite similar but more so than the Spanish or British stickers.

    The French ANX1 (double fuller but not fully double edged) which no doubt was looked at and in my speculative take on the matter too expensive to produce, simply in distal properties and double fuller grind. "George baby, we just can't swing that cost" Hence looking at existing toolings "heck the Swedes are churning out those lighter single fuller jobs". The only virtual difference is the length of the fullers.

    I've no real investment in proving the similarity, simply relating observations over the years.

    Cheers

    GC

    Nice buy by the way, Eric. Maybe in the next life, they are still everywhere.

  15. #15
    I agree, Glen.

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    As for me I have not a clue what Lieutenant Patton was thinking being new to these late swords, but it is an awesome piece durable and well balanced. Interesting during this period the progression to the sheet metal pressed guards and solid tangs. The larger wedge or heavy toward pommel grips. The other curious item is the use of 8-32 screws for the grips a standard size and then M6-1.0 metric for the pommel. Of course it is no mystery all countries seem to blend styles through out history as innovation and styles progressed, including techniques. No doubt although this saber was seldom used in battle because of improvements in fire arms and machine guns, it would have been a favored and deadly sword in previous eras. A very interesting sword indeed. Eric

    Japan black mimics the original grip black very well if dried only and uncooked which makes it shine. A little turpentine and asphalt go a long way and can make a big mess.
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 07-04-2017 at 10:30 PM.
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Not widely known, but Springfield used metric threads and measures for a long time, they simply converted them to inches to cover it up. For some reason, they thought it should be a secret...This applies to the firearms as well. It was not known until the 1960's that this was the reason for the odd threads on the 1903 rifle, for example..

    Dale

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    I suppose that after the outbreak of WWI metric units were suspicious (the Germans used them too, sshhh!)

    JJ
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    NO, NON

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    Perhaps tang nut on Starr sabers as well, they are a 12-28 or there abouts not 12-24 which is standard. I will see if possibly it fits a known metric thread. Very interesting information Gentlemen.
    Vielen Dank mein Deutschlehrer Y muchas gracias mi amigo español.
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Long time lurker, seldom poster, so I thought I'd share some pics of the beat up M1913 in my meager collection:













    It was a relatively inexpensive find at a local sportman's show. Unfortunately, it did not come with a scabbard (if anyone has one they want to get rid of - even a decent repro - shoot me a pm. I'm not looking for rare or pristine)

    My interest is in "practical" military issue swords, and this is probably my favorite so far (of the few swords I own). The grip is a little larger than my other swords and the plastic checkering gives excellent purchase. Nice balance and weight. I think they are more suited to a foot soldier than mounted cavalry, a curved blade would have been better for slashing attacks in a cavalry charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clang View Post
    . I think they are more suited to a foot soldier than mounted cavalry, a curved blade would have been better for slashing attacks in a cavalry charge.
    That was the issue. It was a long-running debate among cavalry theorist whether the thrust or the slash/cut was the more effective tactic for cavalry. By WWI the former had pretty well won the argument and Patton designed what was probably the perfect sword for the thrust. Unfortunately the machine gun made the point moot since it put an effective end to the cavalry charge.

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    Nice sword clang, Landers Frary & Clark saber, I have one I picked up recently and a LF&C pocket knife. Yours looks far better than my Springfield and is all original. Richard and clang I by no means call myself a swordsman and have only read most likely the same articles as you Richard. It seems to be quite a debate over point or slash. Most seem to me based on more skill and training being required for straight blades with the curved slash easier to get troops ready for battle. It would have to be a question for someone with more swordsman experience than me perhaps you Richard, Matt or Juan.
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Schenk View Post
    That was the issue. It was a long-running debate among cavalry theorist whether the thrust or the slash/cut was the more effective tactic for cavalry. By WWI the former had pretty well won the argument and Patton designed what was probably the perfect sword for the thrust. Unfortunately the machine gun made the point moot since it put an effective end to the cavalry charge.
    Yep, it's just a thought experiment for us now, and perhaps I overthink things. The soldier's primary weapon had to function in a number of scenarios and perhaps that is why the straight blade design won out over the curved saber. It might also explain why the sword was preferred to the lance (for the most part), but I could imagine the look on Patton's face if someone suggested he give up his sword for a lance.

    Thanks for the compliment on the sword Eric F. I'm no swordsman either, let alone a mounted cavalry soldier, but I did watch Game or Thrones last night. : )

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen C. View Post
    I would think the sword Patton returned with would be an ANX1 cuirassier, which would have been adored as having gone on to fencing with Adjutant Charles Cléry, cavalry fencing instructor.

    Just sayin' the 1913 blade doesn't look like an ANX1 blade either aside from being straight and pointy at one end. If you lay the 1913 next to a Swedish 1893, the blade is quite the most similar aside from other European palassch which are not quite similar but more so than the Spanish or British stickers.

    The French ANX1 (double fuller but not fully double edged) which no doubt was looked at and in my speculative take on the matter too expensive to produce, simply in distal properties and double fuller grind. "George baby, we just can't swing that cost" Hence looking at existing toolings "heck the Swedes are churning out those lighter single fuller jobs". The only virtual difference is the length of the fullers.

    I've no real investment in proving the similarity, simply relating observations over the years.

    Cheers

    GC

    Nice buy by the way, Eric. Maybe in the next life, they are still everywhere.
    I believe you are correct about the French saber Patton brought home. He also loaned it to the armory but it's influence was in its straight blade. It was the straight blade and the style of French mounted saber use that Patton was attracted to. You should also look at the intermediate designs that led to the development of the M1913... the saber as it was produced was not the first straight-bladed suggested. More to the point, having read a huge amount of the internal correspondence concerning this subject while editing D.P. Farrington's book, I can 't think of a single mention of the Swedish sword nor is there a Swedish example in the Springfield Armory collection although there are two British sabers and most, if not all of the prototypes for the M1913.

  25. #25
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    Interesting insight as to the development of the 1913. I certainly have no hard evidence linking the Swedish 1893 to the development.

    Is there a paper trail regarding the development of the blade itself that distinguishes it from the British and Spanish examples? Are there any German 1889 examples at Springfield? Considering the variety of straight cavalry swords back to the English Civil War, the Patton and the Swedish blades are so similar that a simple coincidence is hard for me to dismiss.

    Cheers

    GC (sorry if I read contentious to a fault)

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