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

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Cutlasses II. [conclusion]

This is coolbert:

"cut·lass - –noun - - a short, heavy, slightly curved sword with a single cutting edge, formerly used by sailors."

Thanks here to Al Nofi, # 148, through StrategyPage.

Read this incredible stuff. This would - - NOT - - happen today!!??

"British Fair Play . . . and Pluck"

"In October of 1779 a British expedition from Jamaica invested the recently constructed Spanish fortress of San Fernando de Omoa in what is now Honduras. On the fourth day of the siege a party composed of soldiers, marines, and seamen managed to storm the fortress walls in a surprise attack. One member of the storming party was [a] common sailor who mounted the walls with a cutlass in each hand."

[this is a perfect example of naval infantry, as opposed to Marines, as was employed in the day of sail!!]

The first opponent the two-fisted swordsman encountered was a Spanish officer who had responded to the alarm without first arming himself. This infuriated the British tar, who could hardly demonstrate his courage and skill by cutting down an unarmed man."

"Thinking quickly, the sailor called out 'I scorn any advantage,' or words to that effect. Presenting one of his cutlasses to the astonished Spaniard, the sailor went on to say 'You are now upon an equal footing with me,' and the two promptly fell to fighting. Perhaps still a mite stunned by his opponent’s chivalrous act, the Spaniard, was soon overcome by the Briton, who was soon celebrated throughout the fleet."

In the old time silent movies, Douglas Fairbanks was renowned for his sword fighting ability. So good, in fact, that in most of his movies Douglas invariably had a sword fight scene where he would take away his opponents sword - - and then return same - - gallantly and with a flourish - - so the fight could continue!!!

NOT something - - totally fictional - - NOT - - relegated simply to the movies!!




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