Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

This is coolbert: More on horsemanship and swords. The science writer Michael Burke had a program on PBS years ago now called "Connections". During one program, Michael, a middle-aged, sedentary person, demonstrated the lethality of a broadsword. Took two strokes to cut a side of beef in two. And this from an untrained man!! Evidently there were several versions of the broadsword. One had dull edges and was used for breaking bones and skulls. The other had a sharp edges and was used for cleaving. Now, the Spanish knight was able to perfect a certain maneuver with the horse that greatly enhanced the cutting ability of the sharpened broadsword. This maneuver was to spur the horse in a certain particular way. The horse was trained to jump so that all four hoofs were off the ground when spurred this way. The knight would time the downward swing of his broadsword to coincide with the downward motion of the horse, adding the full weight of the horse to the sword stroke. A man could be cut in two pieces with one swing of the broadsword with ease using this method.



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