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blackhole
02 Jun 04,, 03:55
Who would win fight ,samurai or 15-century knight like this one?My bet is on knight.

Praxus
02 Jun 04,, 04:01
Samuria would nail him in the crotch with his Samuria sword;)

blackhole
02 Jun 04,, 04:25
Samuria would nail him in the crotch with his Samuria sword;)
I guess in this Armour replica they forgot to put some kind of protection ,hey man but this armour looks just fantastic anyway.I have couple more pics. chek them out.

Lunatock
02 Jun 04,, 04:47
Basing this on a samurai being better trained with a sword, and faster than a knight who has the armor slowing him down and a more cumbersome weapon than a Katana.

Officer of Engineers
02 Jun 04,, 05:32
1 against 1, the samuari. Openned battle, the knights.

Bill
02 Jun 04,, 21:10
A Katana will punch right through ancient plate armor.

It has a piercing tip unparralled for penetrating armor.

Praxus
02 Jun 04,, 21:22
I thought Samurais used Samurai swords, not Katanas. I was under the impression that the Katana had a shorter blade and was of simpler design.

Bill
02 Jun 04,, 21:24
Katana is the proper name for 'samurai sword'.

The Katana is the long bladed sword, the Wakazushi is the shorter bladed sword.

Praxus
02 Jun 04,, 21:24
Katana is the proper name for 'samurai sword'.

The Katana is the long bladed sword, the Wakazushi is the shorter bladed sword.

Oh Ok thanks.

eMGee
02 Jun 04,, 23:27
Knights.

Bill
03 Jun 04,, 00:00
Personally, i say the Samurai would whoop the knights asses.

Here's why- the Crusades.

The heavy mounted Knights of Europe ran into tremendous difficulties against the unarmored Moors and their lightning fast sabres.

Against trained Samurai, who were faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more skilled warriors than the Moors were.....ouch.

Officer of Engineers
03 Jun 04,, 00:07
The Samuari were skilled at individual combat but were cut down like grass the first time the Mongols invaded their home islands. The second time, they fared better but could not stop them until the storm sunk the Mongol fleet.

Lunatock
03 Jun 04,, 00:13
Personally, i say the Samurai would whoop the knights asses.

Here's why- the Crusades.

The heavy mounted Knights of Europe ran into tremendous difficulties against the unarmored Moors and their lightning fast sabres.

Against trained Samurai, who were faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more skilled warriors than the Moors were.....ouch.

There are also variables i.e. shit happens that would be more likely to play into the samurai's hands.

Huge battle, Samurai that lose thier swords would be able to pick up and use Knight swords. Whereas the KNights don't know the biggest rule about fighting with a Katana if they lose thier swords. Always block with the side of it, not with the edge of the blade. A Katana is too thin to parry a sword strike that way.

Indoor fighting. Majority of Knights have thier one general purpose sword, samurai could tip the odds in their favor be having a Katana and a Wakizashi at thier disposal. Wakizashi being much easier to wield inside a Japanese or European castle than the most weapons the knights would use.

But how about Samurai vs Roman Legionares? The Romans got very close to invading the Norseman's home turf. And not quite so close to Japan.

eMGee
03 Jun 04,, 00:19
Personally, i say the Samurai would whoop the knights asses.

Here's why- the Crusades.

The heavy mounted Knights of Europe ran into tremendous difficulties against the unarmored Moors and their lightning fast sabres.

Against trained Samurai, who were faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more skilled warriors than the Moors were.....ouch.

But the crusadors were victorious!

blackhole
03 Jun 04,, 00:57
Actually this type of armour is the 15-century made in Germany for combat ,and those were relativelly light and not cumbersome,only tournament armours were very heavy.Weight of this one I guess is no more than 15-20kg.But the most important thing ,are the ridges and fluting which makes the steel quite strong and does not have to be very thick like in Crusaders plate armour.
Notice one more thing ;all surfaces are rounded so even samuraii sword would have hard time to penetrate.

Bill
03 Jun 04,, 01:15
Sir, who ever stopped the Mongols the first time round?

The Mongols would've kicked the snot out of Euro knights too. ;)

Bill
03 Jun 04,, 01:16
"But the crusadors were victorious!"

Ummm, no they weren't.

blackhole
03 Jun 04,, 03:02
Mongols invaded in about 1250 Russia , E.Europe but then Khan died and retreated back to the far east.
I agree Mongols defeated Polish, Silesian,Moravian armees but mainly in my view by the sheer numbers of their soldiers and in fact they had good tactic "Mongol Blitz" I would call.
But that happened in early 12-century,later on European metallurgy surpassed and weaponry was simply the best in the world.Knights were just unbeaten in the field,they conquered whole of Iberian peninsula from lightly armoured and fast Arabs.
Look at the Teutonic order in early 15-century with their couple of thousand heavy cavalry.They blackmailed and defeated many times powerfull Kings of Poland and Lithauenia.
Teutonic order was mainly German and as I mentioned before German armour was the best and also discipline and tactics.Knights rule!

Bill
03 Jun 04,, 03:08
The Scots under Wallace trashed a huge British heavy armored cavalry charge at the battle of Falkirk, and the Moors cleaned the crusaders clocks on many occasions, knights are hardly invincible.

blackhole
03 Jun 04,, 03:40
The Scots under Wallace trashed a huge British heavy armored cavalry charge at the battle of Falkirk, and the Moors cleaned the crusaders clocks on many occasions, knights are hardly invincible.That must have been suprisse to the English .Scotts did not have any cavallry but only peasants with swords.Wow.!
It happened many times when for example Swiss Pikemen won on many ocassions against Much bigger Austrians or Burgundians armies.But those victories were exceptions to the rule.
I have read that Crusaders had only few hundred Knights and the rest consistet of lightly armed peasants when they took Jerusalem-impresive when you consider how far they were from the home base and supplies were very sporadic.

Bill
03 Jun 04,, 04:06
And how long did the Crusaders hold Jeruselum against the Muslims?

Not very long.

Officer of Engineers
03 Jun 04,, 04:18
The problem with the Samuari against the Knights is that the Japanese had no experience with formation warfare until the Mongols. Formation warfare is the one element in which you can use less skilled warriors against more skilled ones. I cannot picture individual Samuari warriors being able to withstand a mounted calvary charge in which the mounted knight doesn't need skill - just be able to hold the lance right.

The Samauri never discovered the pike formation which again doesn't require skill, just be able to anchor the pike properly.

I can see the first line of the knight charge being cut down but after that, the Samuari are meat.

Bill
03 Jun 04,, 20:55
The Samurai used a long spear with a sword blade affixed to the end of it that would've been quite suitable for unseating mounted warriors. That's what they designed it for in the first place.

Lunatock
03 Jun 04,, 21:39
The Samurai used a long spear with a sword blade affixed to the end of it that would've been quite suitable for unseating mounted warriors. That's what they designed it for in the first place.

Forgot about the Naginata. And if it had been Ninja vs 15th century Knight, who knows how many weapons the Ninja would utilise, and how dirty they'd fight. They certainly wouldn't resort to a Braveheart battle.

Ironduke
03 Jun 04,, 22:56
And how long did the Crusaders hold Jeruselum against the Muslims?

Not very long.
Nearly a century.

roshan
16 Jun 04,, 21:40
Basing this on a samurai being better trained with a sword, and faster than a knight who has the armor slowing him down and a more cumbersome weapon than a Katana.

Lunatock, what would the Knight be using? The Katana was quite a heavy sword. In fact the katana was in fact slightly heavier then your typical european swords, assuming the blade lenght was the same.


Personally, i say the Samurai would whoop the knights asses.

Here's why- the Crusades.

The heavy mounted Knights of Europe ran into tremendous difficulties against the unarmored Moors and their lightning fast sabres.

Against trained Samurai, who were faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more skilled warriors than the Moors were.....ouch.


M21 I really doubt that most of the moors were unarmored. Chain mail was quite common in arabia/india/persia, and sometimes plate was also used.


A Katana will punch right through ancient plate armor.

It has a piercing tip unparralled for penetrating armor.

Slashing and piercing weapons were quite ineffective against plate armor. If you are going up against plate armor it would make much more sense to have a mace or even an axe rather then a katana. In this situation a Knight would have a MUCH larger advantage over the samurai because medieval europe had a much larger variety of maces. clubs and axes and the samurais had little training in the use of such weapons.

During the time that plate armor was common in Europe, most swords had very thin tips for piercing through armor, and the most common swords were 2 handed and bastard swords which were the most suited to fighting other plate wearing opponents.

The Katana was basically a slashing weapon, its tip could be used for thrusting by modifying your thrusts to account for the curve, but it was by no means a great thruster. The best thrusting tips would be those of rapiers. European cut and thrust swords could also thrust better then the katana.

roshan
16 Jun 04,, 21:50
But that happened in early 12-century,later on European metallurgy surpassed and weaponry was simply the best in the world.Knights were just unbeaten in the field,they conquered whole of Iberian peninsula from lightly armoured and fast Arabs.

I would argue that the best weaponry in the world was Indian and Persian weaponry. This is because they were made of the best steel in the world - wootz(damascus)! Wootz was some of the best steel because it was largely mined in places like India which has great deposits of pure steel. During the making of the steel ingots, wood was used to insert carbon into the blades. The carbon made the steel unusually strong and sharp amongst giving it other properties. Wootz had around 2% carbon, sometimes even higher, while carbon content in steels from other parts of the world was nowhere even near 1%.


The Samurai used a long spear with a sword blade affixed to the end of it that would've been quite suitable for unseating mounted warriors. That's what they designed it for in the first place.

Yes, but Europeans also had pikes, halberds, lucern hammers and all sorts of other polearms that they could use.

Hawk_eye
17 Jun 04,, 04:10
There is no doubt that a knight has a certian disadvantage against a samuari, however the plate on some of the later armours was greatly improved and the later knights espically from middle europe were very well trained at atacking ground untis espically the broadswordsmen and hence it is difficult to determine, besides the kind of attack depolyed by knights would be overwhealming for anyone if they were on ground.

Have you vere seen a riot police officers horse? A pure war horse is twice as large and almost just as fast, they dominated the field they rode on, not forgetting armoured horses were also a norm in those days.

roshan
17 Jun 04,, 05:52
True, the Japanese may have been able to dismount people from their horses, but that was only against local horses which were extremely small. How they would fair against european war horses is a differrent story.

One problem with the samurai was that they were great fighters but all their weapons and armor and also their skills and training were only for fighting against each other. In europe, the warriors fought a myriad of opponents including huns, mongols, turks, arabs as well as fighting between all the differrent nations of europe. Thus european warriors and soldiers were very versatile and could adapt much more than the samurai. An example is that a knight would be able to use a mace against a samurai to get through the samurais plate armor very easily, but the samurai would be stuch using katanas and other edged weapons which would be nowhere near as effective. The lack of adaptability of the samurai is probably why they disappeared so fast after Japans conact with Europe began.

The problem with talking about this subject is that there is so much misinformation about the subject due to the portrayal of the katana in movies and anime, which is mostly garbage. For example a lot of people think that the katana was really light and flexible but the fact is that a katana was heavier then a european bastard sword and also less flexible(it can be easily bent if you parry with the blade due to the lack of flexibility). Of course, the katana is an EXCELLENT weapon, but NOT because of lightness and flexibility!

Lunatock
17 Jun 04,, 15:10
True, the Japanese may have been able to dismount people from their horses, but that was only against local horses which were extremely small. How they would fair against european war horses is a differrent story.

One problem with the samurai was that they were great fighters but all their weapons and armor and also their skills and training were only for fighting against each other. In europe, the warriors fought a myriad of opponents including huns, mongols, turks, arabs as well as fighting between all the differrent nations of europe. Thus european warriors and soldiers were very versatile and could adapt much more than the samurai. An example is that a knight would be able to use a mace against a samurai to get through the samurais plate armor very easily, but the samurai would be stuch using katanas and other edged weapons which would be nowhere near as effective. The lack of adaptability of the samurai is probably why they disappeared so fast after Japans conact with Europe began.

That was the appearence of the rifle an the gatling gun. Knights disappeared from European warfare after the introduction of the Musket and the Cannon.


The problem with talking about this subject is that there is so much misinformation about the subject due to the portrayal of the katana in movies and anime, which is mostly garbage. For example a lot of people think that the katana was really light and flexible but the fact is that a katana was heavier then a european bastard sword and also less flexible(it can be easily bent if you parry with the blade due to the lack of flexibility). Of course, the katana is an EXCELLENT weapon, but NOT because of lightness and flexibility!

Personal experience, I've handled a replica of Mel Gibson's sword from Braveheart, and a Katana. In that case the Katana was lighter than that beefed up Scottish Claymore. :)

roshan
17 Jun 04,, 15:35
Lunatock, you cannot compare a two handed sword such as the claymore with a katana, which was a hand and a half sword. If you compare the Katana with European bastard swords, the bastard swords were lighter. If you take a Katana and a European sword of the same lenght, the katana will be heavier.

Modern day katanas which are replicas of the real thing might be light. But an actual Katana would weigh somewhere between 10-15 pounds which is quite heavy.

Lunatock
19 Jun 04,, 03:47
I would argue that the best weaponry in the world was Indian and Persian weaponry. This is because they were made of the best steel in the world - wootz(damascus)! Wootz was some of the best steel because it was largely mined in places like India which has great deposits of pure steel. During the making of the steel ingots, wood was used to insert carbon into the blades. The carbon made the steel unusually strong and sharp amongst giving it other properties. Wootz had around 2% carbon, sometimes even higher, while carbon content in steels from other parts of the world was nowhere even near 1%.

It's argueable that the swords crafted in Toledo, Spain. Or Toledo steel, if you will, is better than Damascus Steel. In that time period, Toledo made the best swords in Europe.

Lunatock
19 Jun 04,, 03:57
Lunatock, you cannot compare a two handed sword such as the claymore with a katana, which was a hand and a half sword. If you compare the Katana with European bastard swords, the bastard swords were lighter. If you take a Katana and a European sword of the same lenght, the katana will be heavier.

Modern day katanas which are replicas of the real thing might be light. But an actual Katana would weigh somewhere between 10-15 pounds which is quite heavy.

Lots more to consider than just the Katana and the European Bastard Sword. Knight Swords and Knight Armor for example. They depended on brute strength since the swords and armor were so heavy. And when knights fought the objective was to knock your opponent flat on his back.

And the different types of weapons & tactics. Let's say castle or house warfare. Unlike Knights, samurai would use bows & arrows at medium to close range.
And you ever been inside any Japanese buildings? Not quite as spacious as buildings in other countries. Which would suck for fully suited knights and most of thier weapons. Samurai could just unsheath some Wakazashi's, which were made for indoor fighting. And odds are the knights would have to use daggers, as most of thier other weapons would be too big & clumsy, considering the limited space they'd have in a Japanese fortress.

roshan
19 Jun 04,, 20:54
It's argueable that the swords crafted in Toledo, Spain. Or Toledo steel, if you will, is better than Damascus Steel. In that time period, Toledo made the best swords in Europe.
Do you know the carbon content of toledo blades?

roshan
19 Jun 04,, 20:59
Lots more to consider than just the Katana and the European Bastard Sword. Knight Swords and Knight Armor for example. They depended on brute strength since the swords and armor were so heavy. And when knights fought the objective was to knock your opponent flat on his back.

And the different types of weapons & tactics. Let's say castle or house warfare. Unlike Knights, samurai would use bows & arrows at medium to close range.
And you ever been inside any Japanese buildings? Not quite as spacious as buildings in other countries. Which would suck for fully suited knights and most of thier weapons. Samurai could just unsheath some Wakazashi's, which were made for indoor fighting. And odds are the knights would have to use daggers, as most of thier other weapons would be too big & clumsy, considering the limited space they'd have in a Japanese fortress.

1. I am not sure what you mean by knight swords. Knights typically used bastard swords or two handed swords. The katana is basically the japanese version of the bastard sword.

2. Knights not only had bows but crossbows too, which were simpler to use.

3. What exactly makes a fully suited knight more clumsy then a fully suited samurai? Both knights and samurai used plate armor.

4. If samurais could use wakizashis, the knight could also use a short sword.

Lunatock
19 Jun 04,, 23:59
1. I am not sure what you mean by knight swords. Knights typically used bastard swords or two handed swords. The katana is basically the japanese version of the bastard sword.

2. Knights not only had bows but crossbows too, which were simpler to use.

3. What exactly makes a fully suited knight more clumsy then a fully suited samurai? Both knights and samurai used plate armor.

4. If samurais could use wakizashis, the knight could also use a short sword.

1. Big & heavy, was the norm. They built up thier strength bigtime early in thier training. To compensate for the weight of thier armor and swords.

2. Yes or no: They had them in the fifteenth century? That was the time period stated in the first post.

3. Samurai Armor covered a lot less than Knights armor. And no, Samurai armor wasn't as thick, thus was lighter than 15th century knights plate armor.

4. Well now that's not a stretch is it? Don't recall knights historically carrying two swords. On long sword, one short sword for indoor fighting.

To be honest..that last line made me think of a little kid playing war and looking for an excuse to get out of being "killed".

roshan
20 Jun 04,, 16:09
1. The Katana was just as heavy and large as these european swords, but less versatile. For example, the curve of the katana made it less efficient for thrusting then the european swords with their thin points and straight blades. Furthermore, the katanas curve meant that in order to thrust with it you need to use two hands which means decreased range, amongst others. The european swords being double edged were also more adaptable then the katana in combat. All in all, sword wise, the european knights had the upper edge.

2. YES! All the way back to roman times when they used the manuballista which was basically an archaic version of the crossbow. The modern crossbow originated in Italy during the 10th century. During the 12th century due to the devastating power of the crossbow the Lateran council declared that it was illegal to use the crossbow against christians! The crossbow kept evolving to become more deadly. In the 11th century crossbows began to be made of composite materials, and during the 13th they began to make crossbows out of steel. By the 14th century european crossbows could produce draw forces in excess of 1000 pounds.

And of course, there was also the english longbow which was much better in range, speed and accuracy then the crossbow, but less force and requiring much more time to master. The longbow could easily shoot through armor at medium range which was from 150-300 yards, but archers also carried lighter arrows which they could use to shoot upto 500 yards.

3. A battlefield european armor would weight around 60 pounds. Japanese armors ranged from 55 to 77 pounds. European armors were also stronger then Japanese ones. In fact during the 16th century the Japanese noted quality of Italian and Flemish armors which they imported from the spanish and the portuguese. European breastplates and helms were incorporated into Japanese armors and these were called nanban gosuko.

4. Knights did not carry two swords. But your missing the fact that knights could basically wield anything. They had mauls, war hammers, lucern hammers, glaives, halberds, long swords, short swords, cut and thrust swords, bastard swords, two handed swords, battle axes, spears, pikes, javelins, lances and many others. They did not only use the bastard sword. If knights were going to enter a small bulding they would most likely carry what weapons were more practical for the job.

Your comments on this topic make it seem that you have been watching too much anime.

Lunatock
20 Jun 04,, 17:31
1. The Katana was just as heavy and large as these european swords, but less versatile. For example, the curve of the katana made it less efficient for thrusting then the european swords with their thin points and straight blades. Furthermore, the katanas curve meant that in order to thrust with it you need to use two hands which means decreased range, amongst others. The european swords being double edged were also more adaptable then the katana in combat. All in all, sword wise, the european knights had the upper edge.

2. YES! All the way back to roman times when they used the manuballista which was basically an archaic version of the crossbow. The modern crossbow originated in Italy during the 10th century. During the 12th century due to the devastating power of the crossbow the Lateran council declared that it was illegal to use the crossbow against christians! The crossbow kept evolving to become more deadly. In the 11th century crossbows began to be made of composite materials, and during the 13th they began to make crossbows out of steel. By the 14th century european crossbows could produce draw forces in excess of 1000 pounds.

And of course, there was also the english longbow which was much better in range, speed and accuracy then the crossbow, but less force and requiring much more time to master. The longbow could easily shoot through armor at medium range which was from 150-300 yards, but archers also carried lighter arrows which they could use to shoot upto 500 yards.

3. Where are you getting this information from?

4. Knights did not carry two swords. But your missing the fact that knights could basically wield anything. They had mauls, war hammers, lucern hammers, glaives, halberds, long swords, short swords, cut and thrust swords, bastard swords, two handed swords, battle axes, spears, pikes, javelins, lances and many others. They did not only use the bastard sword. If knights were going to enter a small bulding they would most likely carry what weapons were more practical for the job.

Your comments on this topic make it seem that you have been watching too much anime.

1. Go back and read what Snipe said. That Katana's are indeed very good at punching through something when thrusted. It'd more or less depend on how well trained the user is. Back in WW2 the USMC was instucted to use thier rifles to block a Katana wielded by a Japanese Soldier. And was revised after too many cases of the rifles being cut in half.

But since they are known more for slashing than stabbing. You could always go with a Japanese long sword or Tai Chi sword. Which were even better stabbers. Or a Ninja's version of the katana, which was straight.

2. So they'd almost be even at shooting arrows at close range. The Japanese Archers would have better accuracy, and a faster rate of fire than your beloved archaic crossbows. And they were used within a hundred, or even fifty feet. That'd be a nice crash course for European archers at adapt & survive.

3. Ummmmmmm...seeing actual pieces of European Knight and Samurai Armor inside a Museum?! And also being a medieval historian buff? I.e. research

4. All of which except a few short swords and daggers they could muster from their ranks would be equally useless inside the hyopthetical Japanese fortress or castle. Especially the lances & pikes. Moving them into position would be like moving furniture up or down at least one flight of stairs.

And let's say they had a captured stash of Wakizashi's. Let's see them try to beat the samurai with their own weapons with little or no training.

Still stretching. And now making baseless comments that Anime taught me everything I know. :rolleyes:

roshan
21 Jun 04,, 13:17
1. The katanas could thrust no doubt, but were the katanas better then european cut and thrusts or rapiers? The answer is clearly NO, due to the katanas point and curve.

2. Again, read my post. Europeans did not only use crowssbows but they also had great longbows.

3. Please read my edited post. This is what I said: "A battlefield european armor would weight around 60 pounds. Japanese armors ranged from 55 to 77 pounds. European armors were also stronger then Japanese ones. In fact during the 16th century the Japanese noted quality of Italian and Flemish armors which they imported from the spanish and the portuguese. European breastplates and helms were incorporated into Japanese armors and these were called nanban gosuko." European armors were good enough that the Japanese actually began to use european made parts and incorporate these into their native armors. If you want to know more aout this then read "classical fighting arts of japan" by Serge Mol. It is you who needs to do some reasearch and get some actual knowledge of history. European armors were not bulky. In fact due to their sleek design(the armors tended to stick close to the skin and follow the curves of the body unlike japanese suits), they hardly inhibited the mobility of the knights.

4. My point was that if the Japanese had their short wakizashis, then the Europeans also had their short swords. I am not stretching anything, I am pointing out the facts.

bigross86
21 Jun 04,, 14:45
But that happened in early 12-century,later on European metallurgy surpassed and weaponry was simply the best in the world.Knights were just unbeaten in the field,they conquered whole of Iberian peninsula from lightly armoured and fast Arabs.

What about the 14-15th centuries when the Ottoman's attacked and conquered most of Europe, including Constantinople? They used newly invented/improved cannons, and I'd say their mettalurgy and weaponry was far better than the Europeans at the time. One of the main reason they survived as en Empire over such a large land mass for 500 years

eMGee
21 Jun 04,, 17:41
What is "most of Europe" according to you? The Ottomans were barbaric, that was their weapon.

Lunatock
21 Jun 04,, 18:16
1. The katanas could thrust no doubt, but were the katanas better then european cut and thrusts or rapiers? The answer is clearly NO, due to the katanas point and curve.

2. Again, read my post. Europeans did not only use crowssbows but they also had great longbows.

3. Please read my edited post. This is what I said: "A battlefield european armor would weight around 60 pounds. Japanese armors ranged from 55 to 77 pounds. European armors were also stronger then Japanese ones. In fact during the 16th century the Japanese noted quality of Italian and Flemish armors which they imported from the spanish and the portuguese. European breastplates and helms were incorporated into Japanese armors and these were called nanban gosuko." European armors were good enough that the Japanese actually began to use european made parts and incorporate these into their native armors. If you want to know more aout this then read "classical fighting arts of japan" by Serge Mol. It is you who needs to do some reasearch and get some actual knowledge of history. European armors were not bulky. In fact due to their sleek design(the armors tended to stick close to the skin and follow the curves of the body unlike japanese suits), they hardly inhibited the mobility of the knights.

4. My point was that if the Japanese had their short wakizashis, then the Europeans also had their short swords. I am not stretching anything, I am pointing out the facts.

1. That's why I mentioned the ninja version of the Katana, which is straight, and the Tai Chi sword.

2. As great as they were they still weren't used at close range unlike the samurai that used their bows & arrows even if the enemy was up close & personal.

Edited post is the key word. You don't see me going back and changing my posts to better suit anything I've said.

And I guess your going to say that the fact that the Knights Templar wore an extra suit of cloth under their armor to keep the metal from burning them during the day is wrong since I said it. Or maybe you'll edit a previous post to discredit me with something that's "fact" because you say it's so. :rolleyes:

Lunatock
21 Jun 04,, 18:19
What is "most of Europe" according to you? The Ottomans were barbaric, that was their weapon.

The Ottomans were not a barbaric empire (and don't drag islam into this either.) Right up until Constantinople was razed the Ottoman Empire was far more advanced than Europe was. It was after all the educated people left Constantinople and relocated to Europe that the dark ages ended.

bigross86
21 Jun 04,, 20:42
And while religion did have a main part in it, the Ottomans were courtous to their captoves and citizens, especially the Jews and Christians who according to the Koran are "People of the Book"

eMGee
21 Jun 04,, 23:43
(and don't drag islam into this either.)

I didn't originally mention it, but since you do...

roshan
22 Jun 04,, 12:42
1. That's why I mentioned the ninja version of the Katana, which is straight, and the Tai Chi sword.

I thought we were talking about samurais and knights here, not ninjas. Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art, not a Japanese one!


As great as they were they still weren't used at close range unlike the samurai that used their bows & arrows even if the enemy was up close & personal.

Can you please explain how bows and arrows were used up close and personal? That does not make any sense whatsoever. Bows and crossbows are made for fighting from long ranges.


Edited post is the key word. You don't see me going back and changing my posts to better suit anything I've said.

Lunatock, I edited my post because I felt that I needed to explain more and provide more facts. Again, here are my arguments in favor of European armor:

"A battlefield european armor would weight around 60 pounds. European armors were not bulky. In fact due to their sleek design(the armors tended to stick close to the skin and follow the curves of the body unlike japanese suits), they hardly inhibited the mobility of the knights. Japanese armors ranged from 55 to 77 pounds. European armors were also stronger then Japanese ones. In fact during the 16th century the Japanese noted quality of Italian and Flemish armors which they imported from the spanish and the portuguese. European breastplates and helms were incorporated into Japanese armors and these were called nanban gosuko. If you want to know more aout this then read "classical fighting arts of japan" by Serge Mol."

Instead of refuting these arguments you are refusing to challenge them because I edited my post. That simply shows that you are not capable of replying to the points I raised.


And I guess your going to say that the fact that the Knights Templar wore an extra suit of cloth under their armor to keep the metal from burning them during the day is wrong since I said it. Or maybe you'll edit a previous post to discredit me with something that's "fact" because you say it's so

This is from Encyclopaedia Britannica:

"Pitying the plight of such pilgrims, eight or nine French knights, led by Hugues de Payens, vowed in late 1119 or early 1120 to devote themselves to their protection and to form a religious community for that purpose...... Moreover, by 1304 rumours (probably false) of irreligious practices and blasphemies committed by the Templars during their secret rites of initiation had begun to circulate through Europe. At this juncture, King Philip IV the Fair of Francehad every Templar in France arrested on Oct. 13, 1307, and sequestered all the Templars' property in France."

"The first suits of full plate armour date from the first decades of the 15th century. By 1440 the Gothic style of plate armour was well developed, representing the ultimate development of personal armour protection"

Pay attention to the dates. European full plate was developed almost ONE HUNDRED FIFTY YEARS after the Knights Templar ceased to exist!

Padding was worn below the armor in order to absorb shock.

bigross86
22 Jun 04,, 14:19
Correction. The Templars, and by extension the Priory of Sion, as represented by te Freemasons and various other groups still exist.

Read books such as the Da Vinci Code, The Templar Revelation, The Secret Code of Leonardo Da Vinci Revelaed, etc...

roshan
22 Jun 04,, 16:37
Correction. The Templars, and by extension the Priory of Sion, as represented by te Freemasons and various other groups still exist.

Read books such as the Da Vinci Code, The Templar Revelation, The Secret Code of Leonardo Da Vinci Revelaed, etc...
Bigross, Im aware of these theories, but what I meant was after the Templars were officially disbanded and persecuted by the French.

Lunatock
22 Jun 04,, 21:58
Can you please explain how bows and arrows were used up close and personal? That does not make any sense whatsoever. Bows and crossbows are made for fighting from long ranges.

Not everyone had the same style of fighting in every part of the world at any given time.




Lunatock, I edited my post because I felt that I needed to explain more and provide more facts. Again, here are my arguments in favor of European armor:

"A battlefield european armor would weight around 60 pounds. European armors were not bulky. In fact due to their sleek design(the armors tended to stick close to the skin and follow the curves of the body unlike japanese suits), they hardly inhibited the mobility of the knights. Japanese armors ranged from 55 to 77 pounds. European armors were also stronger then Japanese ones. In fact during the 16th century the Japanese noted quality of Italian and Flemish armors which they imported from the spanish and the portuguese. European breastplates and helms were incorporated into Japanese armors and these were called nanban gosuko. If you want to know more aout this then read "classical fighting arts of japan" by Serge Mol."

That means that some were indeed lighter. But guessing by your ego, you'd just have me believe 55 pounds is heavier than 60 pounds.




Instead of refuting these arguments you are refusing to challenge them because I edited my post. That simply shows that you are not capable of replying to the points I raised.

No just not going to get suckered into letting you make up "facts" as you go along.



This is from Encyclopaedia Britannica:

"Pitying the plight of such pilgrims, eight or nine French knights, led by Hugues de Payens, vowed in late 1119 or early 1120 to devote themselves to their protection and to form a religious community for that purpose...... Moreover, by 1304 rumours (probably false) of irreligious practices and blasphemies committed by the Templars during their secret rites of initiation had begun to circulate through Europe. At this juncture, King Philip IV the Fair of Francehad every Templar in France arrested on Oct. 13, 1307, and sequestered all the Templars' property in France."

"The first suits of full plate armour date from the first decades of the 15th century. By 1440 the Gothic style of plate armour was well developed, representing the ultimate development of personal armour protection"

Pay attention to the dates. European full plate was developed almost ONE HUNDRED FIFTY YEARS after the Knights Templar ceased to exist!

Padding was worn below the armor in order to absorb shock.

(Well that sucks...kicked out of france<spit>) it wasn't just france<spit> that the Knights Templar were based in. They were based in other European Countries..and even you wouldn't doubt there was quite a few of them in the Middle East.

Bet you those Rumors were false by the way. Somewhere in history the Church villified the Knights Templar to rob them of thier influence and do away with them.

And of course I never said that they wore plate armor. Just that they wore armor period. And they put cloth underneath thier armor due to being under the Middle Eastern sun and wearing chain mail.

roshan
23 Jun 04,, 13:14
Not everyone had the same style of fighting in every part of the world at any given time

Bows and crossbows were RANGED weapons, they were not used in melee combat.


That means that some were indeed lighter. But guessing by your ego, you'd just have me believe 55 pounds is heavier than 60 pounds.

You cant compare an average figure to a range. 55-77 means an average of 66 pounds which is 6 pounds heavier then the European average of 60. This is all simple addition, subtraction and division.

Japanese armors were heavier, bulkier, incomplete and weaker then European ones. This was why the Japanese started importing armor from Europe.


And of course I never said that they wore plate armor. Just that they wore armor period. And they put cloth underneath thier armor due to being under the Middle Eastern sun and wearing chain mail.

Yes but we were comparing medieval knights. Was it not you who was insisting on discussing the 15th century? 15th century knights wore gothic plate armor. During the times of the Knights Templar the gothic full plate had not yet evolved. Why did you bring up the Knights Templar which was irrelevant to the discussion?

Regarding padding: Yes its true that padding protected from the heat. Any metal when exposed to the hot dessert sun is going to heat up. But even in cold countries padding was worn in order to absord shock from blows. Otherwise you would be hurt by your own armor if an enemy was to hit you.

bodybag
29 Jun 04,, 23:52
If samuraii were to meet those few well?

roshan
01 Jul 04,, 10:06
BTW I have done some reading and found out that the Toledo blades mentioned earlier were actually made of true Damascus(wootz) steel, when Spain was ruled by Muslims. So this does not contradict what Ive said about Damascus steel being the strongest ancient steel. The type of wootz made in Spain was Sham wootz which was made by Arabs, and this was inferior to Persian and Indian wootz.

roman dude
05 Aug 04,, 20:18
ive been reading these last several posts, and it drove me crazy to think that ppl actually think that the samurai were superior to the european knight. talk about BS- samurai-lovers out there, just read the last several posts and actually LOOK at the facts that the others are posting. i dont know much about history but i do kno one thing- the samurai were not superior to the knighs. just get over it already

Ironduke
05 Aug 04,, 21:18
And of course I never said that they wore plate armor. Just that they wore armor period. And they put cloth underneath thier armor due to being under the Middle Eastern sun and wearing chain mail.
I thought they wore white cloth over their armor to reflect the sun.

Ironduke
05 Aug 04,, 21:22
And while religion did have a main part in it, the Ottomans were courtous to their captoves and citizens, especially the Jews and Christians who according to the Koran are "People of the Book"
You mean the Seljuks?

Ironduke
05 Aug 04,, 21:26
Yes, but Europeans also had pikes, halberds, lucern hammers and all sorts of other polearms that they could use.
Maces, morning stars :)

Ironduke
05 Aug 04,, 21:30
The best thrusting tips would be those of rapiers. European cut and thrust swords could also thrust better then the katana.
Rapiers didn't appear in use in Europe until just before 1500.

Bill
05 Aug 04,, 21:37
I don't think there is a better thrusting sword around than a Katana- if used properly.

A real Katana will pierce a class IIIA Ballistic vest(rated to stop .44 magnum). I've seen it done to a vest strapped to an iron-man.

I do not believe that an encumbered European knight in full plate armor, and wielding a heavy European weapon, could ever hope to match the speed or agility of a samurai warrior.

I also believe that a true samurai would be able to strike with the precision neccesary to find the seams in the knights armor. And again, i believe a katana thrust from a samurai(which would probably develop triple the KE from a thrust by any of us) would penetrate most points on a European full plate suit, though probably not the reinforced breast plate itself.

Finally, i do not believe that a European knight would be able to land many blows against a lightly encumbered Japanese Samurai. I own several authentic European ancient weapons, they all have one thing in common. They are all heavy, and they are all slow to recover after a miss. The bastard sword is the epitome of those problems. What a stupid weapon.

The European Rapiers were tremendous weapons, strong yet light, but they were not used by medievil knights. They mainly used long swords, battle axes, and bastard swords.

Ironduke
05 Aug 04,, 21:39
And how long did the Crusaders hold Jeruselum against the Muslims?

Not very long.
88 years the first time, 15 years the second, and 34 years the third.

Bill
05 Aug 04,, 21:41
Considering how long the Muslims have held it, and considering the sorts of time tables for major operations in the ancient world, i'd say that's not very long.

Ironduke
05 Aug 04,, 21:56
Considering how long the Muslims have held it, and considering the sorts of time tables for major operations in the ancient world, i'd say that's not very long.
Pope Urban made his speech on November 27, 1095, and the Crusaders laid siege to Jerusalem on June 7th, 1099. 3 years, 7 months, 10 days to gather soldiers and knights from the corners of Europe, transport them to Palestine, and lay siege to Jerusalem. The Crusaders captured Jerusalem on July 15th, 1099, 38 days after the siege had begun.

And I wanted to reply to this from awhile back as well:

The Scots under Wallace trashed a huge British heavy armored cavalry charge at the battle of Falkirk, and the Moors cleaned the crusaders clocks on many occasions, knights are hardly invincible.
If by Moors you mean Moors battling Spanish crusaders, you'd be correct, at least in the usage of the word. Moors are used only in reference to the Arab/Berber people from Morocco, and formerly of Spain. Arabs elsewhere were referred to as Saracens.

Fury
05 Aug 04,, 22:17
Did the samurai's ever wielded a shield? if not how would they ever hope to deflect a strike from a claymore, warhammer or battleaxe with a thin bladed katana, I have never even held an ancient weapon like that in my hands nothing but a baseball bat with 10 inch nail struck into it :biggrin:
Another thing, if you dont have shield then how do deflect a blow from a flail, you know the wooden stick with metalchain and spiked ball that thing is wicked and try using two flails at the same time :)

Bill
05 Aug 04,, 22:40
You don't have to deflect a blow from a weapon, any weapon, if you're not there when it goes flashing by.

Bill
05 Aug 04,, 22:42
"If by Moors you mean Moors battling Spanish crusaders, you'd be correct, at least in the usage of the word. Moors are used only in reference to the Arab/Berber people from Morocco, and formerly of Spain. Arabs elsewhere were referred to as Saracens."

Thanx for the clarification on the proper usage of the terms.

In any case, the crusade knights had many problems facing saber armed unarmored SARACENS, lol.

For comparison purposes to the time the Crusaders held Jeruselum, how long did the muslims hold it?

Until 1947 i believe...

Ironduke
06 Aug 04,, 03:45
For comparison purposes to the time the Crusaders held Jeruselum, how long did the muslims hold it?

Until 1947 i believe...

63 B.C.-636 Romans/Byzantines
636-1071 Arabs
1071-1099 Seljuk Turks
1099-1187 Crusaders
1187-1229 Arabs led by Kurd, Saladin
1229-1244 Crusaders
1244-1517 Mamluks
1517-1917 Ottomans
1917-1948 British
1948-2004 Israelis

Bill
06 Aug 04,, 05:30
LOL, that is one popular strip of desert.

Gotta love religion.

Thanx for the history lesson Ironduke, i'm certainly not above a lesson myself at times. :)

Aryan
06 Aug 04,, 20:42
63 B.C.-636 Romans/Byzantines
636-1071 Arabs
1071-1099 Seljuk Turks
1099-1187 Crusaders
1187-1229 Arabs led by Kurd, Saladin
1229-1244 Crusaders
1244-1517 Mamluks
1517-1917 Ottomans
1917-1948 British
1948-2004 Israelis

Technically, it was under the control of the Egyptians 1832-1840

Ray
07 Aug 04,, 21:50
Ironduke,

What a storehouse of knowledge.

Do contribute more.

roshan
12 Aug 04,, 01:39
Rapiers didn't appear in use in Europe until just before 1500.

Youre right, I only brought up rapiers because of the claim that Katanas had the best thrusting tip of all weapons.

roshan
12 Aug 04,, 01:54
I don't think there is a better thrusting sword around than a Katana- if used properly.

A real Katana will pierce a class IIIA Ballistic vest(rated to stop .44 magnum). I've seen it done to a vest strapped to an iron-man.

I do not believe that an encumbered European knight in full plate armor, and wielding a heavy European weapon, could ever hope to match the speed or agility of a samurai warrior.

I also believe that a true samurai would be able to strike with the precision neccesary to find the seams in the knights armor. And again, i believe a katana thrust from a samurai(which would probably develop triple the KE from a thrust by any of us) would penetrate most points on a European full plate suit, though probably not the reinforced breast plate itself.

Finally, i do not believe that a European knight would be able to land many blows against a lightly encumbered Japanese Samurai. I own several authentic European ancient weapons, they all have one thing in common. They are all heavy, and they are all slow to recover after a miss. The bastard sword is the epitome of those problems. What a stupid weapon.

The European Rapiers were tremendous weapons, strong yet light, but they were not used by medievil knights. They mainly used long swords, battle axes, and bastard swords.

You cannot compare vests strapped to iron men with vest on a real person. A real person would move back if hit thus decreasing force on the armor, with an iron man, the full force is concentrated on one point. There have been lots of such tests, Ive seen pictures of a katana cutting 2 inches into a european helmet. However this study, like your iron man study, was done with the helmet fixed on a table. Had the helmet been on a real person the katana might not have cut deep enough.

Who said samurais were fast and unencumbered? Samurai armor was 6 pounds heavier than European full plate(and designed to be worn by smaller people). It was huge and bulky unlike the sleek and body fitting armors of the europeans, and did not provide as much protection.

Bastard swords were made heavy in order to cut through full plate. An authentic medieval katana weighs just about the same as a bastard sword. Boh katanas and bastard swords were designed to be used either with 1 or 2 hands.

Bill
12 Aug 04,, 02:48
"You cannot compare vests strapped to iron men with vest on a real person. A real person would move back if hit thus decreasing force on the armor, with an iron man, the full force is concentrated on one point. There have been lots of such tests, Ive seen pictures of a katana cutting 2 inches into a european helmet. However this study, like your iron man study, was done with the helmet fixed on a table. Had the helmet been on a real person the katana might not have cut deep enough."

The vest on the iron man moved several inches from the thrust. It was strapped to the iron man, but it still moved within the limits of the straps. It's not like it was glued right to the frame of the thing.

"Who said samurais were fast and unencumbered?"

I did.

"Samurai armor was 6 pounds heavier than European full plate(and designed to be worn by smaller people)."

Ummm, full plate armor weighed up to 80lbs. There is no way in hell wooden armor weighs that much. Got links to back your claims?


"It was huge and bulky unlike the sleek and body fitting armors of the europeans, and did not provide as much protection."

I will agree with 'not as much protection', but it was definitely less restrictive to movement. How many spinning kicks or sword attacks did European knights have in their repitoire? LOL.

"Bastard swords were made heavy in order to cut through full plate. An authentic medieval katana weighs just about the same as a bastard sword."

Dude, it's not even close. What are you smoking? I have a bastard sword. It weighs over 30 pounds. A genuine Katana weighs about 1/6 that amount.

"Boh katanas and bastard swords were designed to be used either with 1 or 2 hands."

Yeah, if you're arnold schwarzenegger...maybe.

Aryan
12 Aug 04,, 04:08
"However this study, like your iron man study, was done with the helmet fixed on a table. Had the helmet been on a real person the katana might not have cut deep enough."
It doesn't always matter if the weapon pierces the armour or not. A powerful enough impact on armour, while not piecing it or damaging it can cause a traumatic injury, killing the person.

"Ummm, full plate armor weighed up to 80lbs. "

I saw a documentary about the evolution of armour, and armour was relatively light, it only weighed 40lb, and most of that was concentrated aroudn the torso. the armour protecting limbs was thinner and so lighter.

Bill
12 Aug 04,, 07:03
Full plate battle armor weighed up to 80lbs. Some armor was lighter than others. These things weren't built on an assembly line. They were individually handmade by thousands of different blacksmiths, and there were wide variances in the quality, protection, philosophy, and weight of each suit.

griftadan
12 Aug 04,, 07:25
lol, ive seen kill bill way to many times not to go with samurai. when my grandad died, in his will he gave away his samurai sword he got on okinawa (my grandad was a beast.. drove amphibious tanks onto pelilu and okinawa) and i gotta say, samurai swords are definately the greatest swords of all time. i could spend hours in my back yard just cutting stuff in half. but realisticly, the knight would win because he is plated in steal.

roshan
15 Aug 04,, 12:07
Full plate battle armor weighed up to 80lbs. Some armor was lighter than others. These things weren't built on an assembly line. They were individually handmade by thousands of different blacksmiths, and there were wide variances in the quality, protection, philosophy, and weight of each suit.

Samurais, at least for battles, wore METAL armor, not wooden armor.

A battlefield european armor would weight around 60 pounds(this is for 15th century gothic full plate). Japanese armors ranged from 55 to 77 pounds. Thus, on the average, Japanese armors were heavier than European armors by 6 pounds. European armors were also stronger then Japanese ones. In fact during the 16th century the Japanese noted quality of Italian and Flemish armors which they imported from the spanish and the portuguese. European breastplates and helms were incorporated into Japanese armors and these were called nanban gosuko. For reference, please read "Classical Fighting Arts of Japan" by Serge Mol.

roshan
15 Aug 04,, 12:12
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/images/AH2144.jpg
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/images/AH2015.jpg

These are authentic replicas of Japanese armor. Notice that they are made of metal, and unlike European armors, are incredibly bulky. Also notice that the armors dont seem to cover as much as european armor.

Both these suits weigh 60 pounds, around the same as gothic full plate.

roshan
15 Aug 04,, 12:26
More Japanese Armor:

http://swordstore.com/02/armor-h/H1sm.jpg
http://swordstore.com/02/armor-h/H3sm.jpg
http://swordstore.com/02/armor-h/H8sm.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/reguler/y_hao_l.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/reguler/n_kinkozane.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/reguler/y_iroiro_l.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/reguler/n_330.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/reguler/Yoroi_601.JPG
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/reguler/n_603.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/sekigahara/ieyasu/naihu_r4_c1.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/busho/n_kenshin.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/busho/n_shingen.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/busho/Yoroi_nanban.JPG
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/busho/new_ashikaga.JPG
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/sekigahara/hukusima/hukushima_r4_c1.jpg
http://www.kozando.co.jp/catarog/sekigahara/hidetada/hidetada_r4_c1.jpg
http://www.asahi-jc.com/images/yoroi2.jpg
http://www.asahi-jc.com/images/yoroi4.jpg
http://www.asahi-jc.com/images/yoroi8.jpg
http://www.asahi-jc.com/images/yri8b.jpg

Notice the typical features of Japanese armor: Metal, Huge, Heavy, Bulky, Inflexible, Impractical, Incomplete and Stupid Looking. Its a miracle that the Japanese could actually move around in these things. Whats an even greater miracle is the amount of people who believe nonsense about how Japanese armor was very light and flexible and that Samurais were incredibly fast!

roshan
15 Aug 04,, 12:43
Now after seeing the Samurai armor, look at the European Full Plate posted earlier:

http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=513&stc=1

Notice how each and every part of the body was fully protected.
Notice how the armor stuck to the body, thus allowing the maximum range of movement.
Notice how the armor was crafted to fit each and every joint of the human body - down to the fingers! Can you imagine the advanced metallurgical skills were needed for this?
Notice the practicality of European armor. There are no stupid things like horns, beads and other nonsense on the armor. Its just plain, simple, efficient and practical.

The quality and design of european armor is much, much superior to that of the japanese and is an a whole diff league. There is no comparison between japanese and european armor.

Bill
16 Aug 04,, 02:19
The japanese armor does not look bulky, but looks like you can move quite well. Look how big the openings for the arms and legs are. Allows for excellent flexibility.

I've seen the guys at the renaisance fair in Euro plate, they can barely even walk around, lol.

I always though that japanese armor(such as you posted), was wooden...not metal. Interesting. Thanx for the clarification.

However, i'm completely right about the weights of the swords. A Katana weighs a fraction of what a typical 2 handed Euro weapon does.

Another thing i'd also point out...is that i wouldn't even want any armor at all unless it's a straight up battlefield fight with archers, cavalry, the whole 9 yards.

I prefer speed and elusiveness over brute force. Just my style i guess.

PS....i still believe a Samurai would be the more dangerous opponent because of his superior skills and much faster in action weapon, but since none of us can find either to line up for a fight...we'll just have to agree to disagree. ;)

Was watching a show on the battle of marathon the other day, the armor of the hoplites was 70lbs. Amazing that steel full plate armor would weigh so much less than partial bronze armor.

Bill
16 Aug 04,, 02:22
One other thing here, it'd be useful to know if we were discussing a large battle of Euro forces vs Japanese forces, with full compliments of archers, infantry, and cavalry.

I'd give the nod to the Euro archers, the Japanese Infantry, and the Euro Cavalry in such a case. Who won would have an awful lot to do with leadership and tactics.

Be neat to match a Greek Phalanx against a Japanese army, or a Roman legion against a Renaissance Euro army. Be neat to see how the tactics of the two forces interacted.

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 09:22
Personally, i say the Samurai would whoop the knights asses.

Here's why- the Crusades.

The heavy mounted Knights of Europe ran into tremendous difficulties against the unarmored Moors and their lightning fast sabres.

Against trained Samurai, who were faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more skilled warriors than the Moors were.....ouch.

Nothing to do with scimitars (not sabres - a european cavalry sword) but heat exaustion in heavy armour and piss poor logistics.

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 09:54
There are also variables i.e. shit happens that would be more likely to play into the samurai's hands.

Huge battle, Samurai that lose thier swords would be able to pick up and use Knight swords. Whereas the KNights don't know the biggest rule about fighting with a Katana if they lose thier swords. Always block with the side of it, not with the edge of the blade. A Katana is too thin to parry a sword strike that way.

Indoor fighting. Majority of Knights have thier one general purpose sword, samurai could tip the odds in their favor be having a Katana and a Wakizashi at thier disposal. Wakizashi being much easier to wield inside a Japanese or European castle than the most weapons the knights would use.

But how about Samurai vs Roman Legionares? The Romans got very close to invading the Norseman's home turf. And not quite so close to Japan.

Good points. I'd like to know if we're talking mounted or foot. Mounted, a knight on a destrier (closest modern equiv. a shire or plough horse 7' at the shoulder) and in plate with pony in plate barding would smash our unfortunate nihonjin to shite. Destrier were only employed when stalion and trained to attack on their own account, being shod forword with sharpenned shoe. A Katana, a No Dachi, a Naginata or indeed any of the Japanese pole arms would not cut plate mail. Katana aren't meant for thrusting attack anyway. For the knight think of these possibilities: heavy lance, sword, broadsword, bastardsword, SHIELD, mace, flail, Irish flail, pick, morning star, halberd, axe, double headed axe, poleaxe. For starters. In the time period under discusion most chivalric fatalities in western battles were caused by internal rupture as opposed to bladed penetration of armour. For those that were, see above list. The plate on Knights was THICK. Samurai's only chance might be an asymetric bow. Besides at the time Western knights were well fed and, due to training, built like WWF wrestlers. Samurai, despite martial prowess were still short arsed. And only wearing shit armour.

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 10:09
The Ottomans were not a barbaric empire (and don't drag islam into this either.) Right up until Constantinople was razed the Ottoman Empire was far more advanced than Europe was. It was after all the educated people left Constantinople and relocated to Europe that the dark ages ended.

Historical pecadillo: The Byzantine elite were the Vangarian Guard made up of asorted norse saxon and celt mercs. The Ottoman (read muslim) front line elite were christian slaves raised from birth. The spearhead unit, Jannisari.

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 10:14
Rapiers didn't appear in use in Europe until just before 1500.

Which were a civilian dueling weapon anyway.

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 10:17
I don't think there is a better thrusting sword around than a Katana- if used properly.

A real Katana will pierce a class IIIA Ballistic vest(rated to stop .44 magnum). I've seen it done to a vest strapped to an iron-man.

I do not believe that an encumbered European knight in full plate armor, and wielding a heavy European weapon, could ever hope to match the speed or agility of a samurai warrior.

I also believe that a true samurai would be able to strike with the precision neccesary to find the seams in the knights armor. And again, i believe a katana thrust from a samurai(which would probably develop triple the KE from a thrust by any of us) would penetrate most points on a European full plate suit, though probably not the reinforced breast plate itself.

Finally, i do not believe that a European knight would be able to land many blows against a lightly encumbered Japanese Samurai. I own several authentic European ancient weapons, they all have one thing in common. They are all heavy, and they are all slow to recover after a miss. The bastard sword is the epitome of those problems. What a stupid weapon.

The European Rapiers were tremendous weapons, strong yet light, but they were not used by medievil knights. They mainly used long swords, battle axes, and bastard swords.


Ballistic Vest. They stop bullets, NOT knives and swords. Can't land many blows? Only takes the knight one eh?

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 10:22
"If by Moors you mean Moors battling Spanish crusaders, you'd be correct, at least in the usage of the word. Moors are used only in reference to the Arab/Berber people from Morocco, and formerly of Spain. Arabs elsewhere were referred to as Saracens."

Thanx for the clarification on the proper usage of the terms.

In any case, the crusade knights had many problems facing saber armed unarmored SARACENS, lol.

For comparison purposes to the time the Crusaders held Jeruselum, how long did the muslims hold it?

Until 1947 i believe...

1947? Sir, I respecfully refer you to my comments on the biggest and best Empire Ever. Muslim? British.

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 10:28
You cannot compare vests strapped to iron men with vest on a real person. A real person would move back if hit thus decreasing force on the armor, with an iron man, the full force is concentrated on one point. There have been lots of such tests, Ive seen pictures of a katana cutting 2 inches into a european helmet. However this study, like your iron man study, was done with the helmet fixed on a table. Had the helmet been on a real person the katana might not have cut deep enough.

Who said samurais were fast and unencumbered? Samurai armor was 6 pounds heavier than European full plate(and designed to be worn by smaller people). It was huge and bulky unlike the sleek and body fitting armors of the europeans, and did not provide as much protection.

Bastard swords were made heavy in order to cut through full plate. An authentic medieval katana weighs just about the same as a bastard sword. Boh katanas and bastard swords were designed to be used either with 1 or 2 hands.
Bastard swords were used for killing lower ranks and for stunning chivalric foe for ransom. That they wern't "katana sharp" had no bearing against moderately armoured troups. Hack peasent, stun noble.

The Chap
20 Aug 04,, 10:34
Now after seeing the Samurai armor, look at the European Full Plate posted earlier:

http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=513&stc=1

Notice how each and every part of the body was fully protected.
Notice how the armor stuck to the body, thus allowing the maximum range of movement.
Notice how the armor was crafted to fit each and every joint of the human body - down to the fingers! Can you imagine the advanced metallurgical skills were needed for this?
Notice the practicality of European armor. There are no stupid things like horns, beads and other nonsense on the armor. Its just plain, simple, efficient and practical.

The quality and design of european armor is much, much superior to that of the japanese and is an a whole diff league. There is no comparison between japanese and european armor.

Sorry, but whilst on yur side, have to say you're so wrong on the horns etc. European helms of the period can be just as elaborate and indeed bizare as Japanese.

Kelu
21 Aug 04,, 14:52
Try to remember, 75% a knight in armour was never killed, Only knocked down and unable to get back up :D , Without aid from his good friends or with a little luck, If any of you have actually had to wear a full suit of 14th century gothic plate mail, Its really quite heavy :p But at the same times its hard to be knocked down in the first place.

When you say a fight, you need to be more specific .

A fully trained and geared european knight would best a samurai each and every time, If not for the different in weapons and art of fighting,

There were rules of fighting that wouldnt apply to a samurai and vice verse
And who said some knight cant take his opponents weapon? thats crap :tongue:

Bearing in mind many knights didnt use swords, they used more "heavy" and powerfull weapons ... Like a mace for example .. changes things alot!

Samurai did not believe in making attempts to . . "move" from your opponents strike .. only parry it ... Knights how ever .. fought to win .. And fought dirty ... Its a simple matter that a Kantana is very unlucky to get through the superior Spainish Iron which most Dark Age European armies gear was crafted from, The real Kantana is a tiny weapon compared to most swords, Only swifly shaped for a cutting purpose,

I would say the Knight would dominate any battlefield against their Eastern rivals, They very nearly conquered "and held" a good portion of the middle east, If not for climate problems and shortage of supplies .. Most European "much to popular belief" were NOT made up of peasents .. Maybe Militia, But even they had some weeks or months training with their weapons ..

xxxxx
28 Sep 04,, 14:59
Katana is the proper name for 'samurai sword'.

The Katana is the long bladed sword, the Wakazushi is the shorter bladed sword.

Every samurai had to wear (and use) both of them.

xxxxx
28 Sep 04,, 15:51
1 against 1, the samuari. Openned battle, the knights.

if you think about battle you could consider another point. Japanese armies were usually a lot larger than european ones. Just due to the fact that e.g. in the 17th century (that's the only fact I have, but I think it reflects the whole thing) the japanese population was bigger than the population of whole Europe!

xxxxx
28 Sep 04,, 16:23
Good points. I'd like to know if we're talking mounted or foot. Mounted, a knight on a destrier (closest modern equiv. a shire or plough horse 7' at the shoulder) and in plate with pony in plate barding would smash our unfortunate nihonjin to shite. Destrier were only employed when stalion and trained to attack on their own account, being shod forword with sharpenned shoe. A Katana, a No Dachi, a Naginata or indeed any of the Japanese pole arms would not cut plate mail. Katana aren't meant for thrusting attack anyway. For the knight think of these possibilities: heavy lance, sword, broadsword, bastardsword, SHIELD, mace, flail, Irish flail, pick, morning star, halberd, axe, double headed axe, poleaxe. For starters. In the time period under discusion most chivalric fatalities in western battles were caused by internal rupture as opposed to bladed penetration of armour. For those that were, see above list. The plate on Knights was THICK. Samurai's only chance might be an asymetric bow. Besides at the time Western knights were well fed and, due to training, built like WWF wrestlers. Samurai, despite martial prowess were still short arsed. And only wearing shit armour.

yes, many european nights were very well fed! maybe too well. Whereas in Japan it was regarded as a virtue to eat only as much as necessary.

concerning the training, I think both did hard training. the euros had their priorities in force whereas the Samurais had theirs in agility.

eMGee
28 Sep 04,, 22:25
If samuraii were to meet those few well?
Great picture! :)

Ziska
30 Sep 04,, 02:07
Meh, nothing could stop a charge by kights. If the samurai could survive the initial charge, it'd be even stevens I think.

This sortof thing comes up a lot when you have the 'small asian kung-fu dude vs big white rugby player' argument. People say that the Martial artist with all his kicks and leaps will win... I dunno. if you get hit by a half-decent tackle and get put onto the pavement, you've in trouble.

And I'm not sure how much training a samurai would have against guys swinging big things. Try blocking a claymore. Or a battle axe. Or a mace. Its bloody hard.

anyway. The whole thing has always emphasised different styles to me. The japanese put in a lot of training. The europeans go for size and commitment.

AussieSoldier
30 Sep 04,, 02:56
I believe the knight would win if he lost some of his non essential armour. He has a shield, something samurais generally do not carry and therefore has the ability to block and parry.

Praxus
30 Sep 04,, 03:55
What about Roman Legionars vs. Knight?

roshan
30 Sep 04,, 04:59
Nothing to do with scimitars (not sabres - a european cavalry sword) but heat exaustion in heavy armour and piss poor logistics.


European cavalry sabers were based on middle eastern curved swords, particularly the persian shamshir.

The Chap
01 Oct 04,, 04:23
European cavalry sabers were based on middle eastern curved swords, particularly the persian shamshir.

I'm tempted to defer, but ...
It was a much heavier weapon and I gather that the cutlass developrd in parallel.

Perhaps we have a case of convergent evolution ie. a curved blade is simply better for a slashing attack? Although having said that there are straight bladed napoleonic heavy cav. swords, but they are more of a piecicing weapon and better used to wound/stun/disable after an initial charge and overrun. :) :confused:

Watcher
08 Nov 04,, 23:31
Well, here are several missconceptions, far too many actually. From both sides, but worse from the "samurai side".

1. A samurai is more mobile than a knight
No, he isn't. A knight, even in plate armor, was still highly mobile (sure, not as much as an unarmored guy, but suprisingly agil), as the armor was designed for both protection and agility.

The myth about knights unable to mount a horse without help or to get up after falling down are exaclty this: myth

A battle field plate armor was no way near 70 pounds and more. The source of all the missconceptions mostly originates from special parade and jousting armor, which could indeed reach up to 80 pounds, but was never meant to be worn in real battle

2. A samurai is better trained and fights better than a knight
Well, here it's important to note the time period, as the european knights "decayed" a lot as during late times anyone with enough money could buy the title of knight, whether he knew which end of a sword is the tip :rolleyes:

Note that not all samurai were master swordsmen either, but the discipline among them was better than during the knights (at least if we take the sad last period of medieval knights)

Knights, for centuries, were elite warriors. They trained for battle all their lives, from early childhood.

European martial arts were as highly devoloped as their eastern counterparts. Masters and schools of european (sword) fighting emerged and developed for centuries, only the be cast aside and become all but forgotten as europeans proceeded into the next age (that's why the eastern arts are better known, since people keept them alive, while no one bothered to do the same with european martial arts)

After all, Elton John is a knight, and to set him against a japanese samurai would meet the "samurai vs. knight" criteria, but hardly be fair, and a lot different of setting a highly trained knight templar (from the height of the fighting order) against the same samuai

Setting The Record Straight: The Art of the Sword in Medieval Europe

A Short Introduction to Historical European Martial Arts (http://www.thearma.org/HEMA.htm)

3. Katanas were the best swords in the world
Katanas were nice swords, they had their strenghts and their weaknesses. They were not the uber swords they often said to be today. They were far from this.

Katanas were neither faster nor lighter than similar european swords. Katanas were indeed a little harder, but this was not only an advantage.

Most important: folding steel is no secret to create "uber swords", it's a way to get bad ore into a useable sword, when easier ways don't work (as the ore is to bad). The end result is a blade just as strong, not amazingly stronger but just as strong, as a sword made with working the iron with easier ways (and better ore avaible)

Europeans knew how to fold steel and they did it, just not as much as the japanese. But not because they were not able, but because they had better ore avaible and did not need it to the same extend but could use easier ways to work their iron.

Katanas were harder, but that doesn't equal being stronger. In fact, the differences in hardness are a deliberate choice.

With the harder blades, a katana did hold an edge better, but was more prone to breaking.

Yes! A katana breaks more often than an european blade !!! :eek:

A blow which a softer european blade can survive, will shatter a katana.

On the other side, being harder and sharper gives the katana a better cutting power -> as far as soft targets are concerned

Against hard targest, e.g. metal armor, an european blade is actually superior to a katana!

A katana won't cut plate armor (that's a myth, it won't happen, but neither would an european sword, at least one handed swords), and while it would cut chainmail, an european sword would cut the same chainmail better.

A katana can thrust, but because of it's curved blade, it doesn't thrust as well as an straight european blade.

Here's a nive article about katanas and the myths around them: Hype ... As Ancient An Art As Sword Making (http://www.thearma.org/essays/hype.htm)


Anyway, a nice article about this very topic: The Medieval European Knight vs. The Feudal Japanese Samurai? (http://www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm)

Thunar
10 Apr 05,, 14:24
"You cannot compare vests strapped to iron men with vest on a real person. A real person would move back if hit thus decreasing force on the armor, with an iron man, the full force is concentrated on one point. There have been lots of such tests, Ive seen pictures of a katana cutting 2 inches into a european helmet. However this study, like your iron man study, was done with the helmet fixed on a table. Had the helmet been on a real person the katana might not have cut deep enough."

The vest on the iron man moved several inches from the thrust. It was strapped to the iron man, but it still moved within the limits of the straps. It's not like it was glued right to the frame of the thing.

"Who said samurais were fast and unencumbered?"

I did.

"Samurai armor was 6 pounds heavier than European full plate(and designed to be worn by smaller people)."

Ummm, full plate armor weighed up to 80lbs. There is no way in hell wooden armor weighs that much. Got links to back your claims?


"It was huge and bulky unlike the sleek and body fitting armors of the europeans, and did not provide as much protection."

I will agree with 'not as much protection', but it was definitely less restrictive to movement. How many spinning kicks or sword attacks did European knights have in their repitoire? LOL.

"Bastard swords were made heavy in order to cut through full plate. An authentic medieval katana weighs just about the same as a bastard sword."

Thunar: Hi, I'm a newbie and I was doing research on the hype of the katana. Bastard swords were not made to cut mail, no sword was thats why other weapons were made or used such as an axe, hammer, pole axe

Dude, it's not even close. What are you smoking? I have a bastard sword. It weighs over 30 pounds. A genuine Katana weighs about 1/6 that amount.

Thunar: so where did you get the bastard sword? which museum? auction? how much did it cost? either case what are you smoking a bastard sword doesn't weigh that much more like 2-3 pounds. Sounds like you got a arming or parade sword which is not use for war. I've been reading your post and you are way mistaken on european weapons and armor and fighting techniques. In recent news the Wallace Claymore is on the way to the states for a exibit and the article said it weighed at 6 pounds in which remember its 5 feet long and well balanced so the weight wouldn't be promblem for a trained swordsman to wield.

"Boh katanas and bastard swords were designed to be used either with 1 or 2 hands."

Thunar: This is true about the bastard sword

Yeah, if you're arnold schwarzenegger...maybe.

Thunar: Not true.

Bill
10 Apr 05,, 18:47
"And I'm not sure how much training a samurai would have against guys swinging big things. Try blocking a claymore. Or a battle axe. Or a mace. Its bloody hard."

Try blocking a Naganata.

Bill
10 Apr 05,, 18:50
I have a bastard sword.

It weighs about 30lbs.

Using that effectively one handed would be neigh on impossible.

Metak
10 Apr 05,, 19:22
I now this isn't about knights but I found this quite interesting:
Every once in awhile it's not uncommon to hear people speculate on what result might occur in a duel between a Japanese samurai armed with his katana and a European Renaissance swordsman with a rapier. It's a worthwhile question to consider.

As someone who has some small experience in both traditional Japanese swordsmanship and fencing (Kenjutsu & Kendo) and who has been a long-time renaissance swordsman and Western fencer, I can offer an opinion on this question. From my own experience sparring with cutting against thrusting swords, I have a few insights. While there are certainly no historically recorded accounts (other than unsubstantiated myth and rumor) as to encounters between European swordsmen and Japanese samurai, I think we can make a few very general suppositions about such a fight.

First, while typical samurai warriors were highly trained soldiers, the average samurai was not an expert swordsman, perhaps only 5% or so were its been suggested. Of this 5%, maybe 5% of those were "master" level swordsmen. Whereas the average European rapier swordsman, would more or less be an ordinary urban citizen with or without military experience. He would likely have received some (if any) professional instruction from a master in a private school of fence and then would of course have some degree of street fighting experience. The weapon he is using would be one of personal self-defence and duel as opposed to a battlefield sword.

For sake of argument though, let's assume mastery level by each hypothetical fighter. Let us also assume armor is a non-factor in the encounter, as are any missile weapons or terrain factors. Further, lets assume that each swordsman is equally ignorant of the other's style of fight.

An immediate question that occurs then, is would the samurai's notorious resolute contempt for death and self-disregard lead to an audacious and immediate offensive attack? Would the rapier fighter's presumably cautious, cool-headed counter-thrusting style of fight provoke a simple stop-thrust? The samurai might well hold disdain for his "barbarian" foreigner's seemingly "flimsy" blade. This could prove fatal against a weapon with the speed and reach of a rapier. The rapier fighter himself may also erroneously hold his "pagan" adversary's cutting style equally in contempt. Underestimating both the speed and the force of a katana's deflecting counter-cuts can be disastrous. Even a small snipping cut could often dismember an arm. Simply stepping to evade an initial cut can even place you in the path of a powerful second and third one. For the most part though, since all the psychological factors, although important, are notoriously hard to quantify, we'll have to avoid them for now.

Personally, from my own experience, I think the outcome of such a fight would fall in one of either two directions. The samurai would move directly to make a devastating cut, becoming punctured through the head or lung as a result, but still having his cut cleave through the rapier fighter's headand torso (or at least his arm). Else, the rapier fighter would over time, make multiple shallow punctures to the samurai's hands, arms, and face until able to deliver an incapacitating thrust. But at this same time, the samurai would be carefully closing the distance and waiting until the split second he could dash the rapier aside and step in with a slice clean across his opponent's abdomen or face. Typically, the sword user won't risk stepping into a stop-thrust and the rapier fighter won't risk taking a swiping cut. The heavier blade can usually beat the rapier aside but can't respond in time. While the rapier, often could attack but afterwards couldn't recover or parry once it connects. I have seen both forms of outcomes in my mock-fighting practices, but more often the Japanese stylist underestimates the rapier rather than vice-versa.

As is becoming increasing well known, the rapier is not the flimsy tool of the modern sport version, nor is it used in the same flicking manner. It is longer, stronger, heavier, and involves a greater range of techniques and moves. The rapier's penetrating stabs have great reach and are very quick, particularly on the disengage. But it can still be grabbed and lacks cutting offense. The katana has a well-rounded offence to defence, and is much more symmetrical in its handling. It can make great close-in draw cuts and is an agile weapon with quick footwork of its own. It can be wielded well enough one-handed if need be, too. Obviously, a katana can't match the rapier thrust for thrust. What a rapier does best is fight point-on with linear stabs, and no heavier, wider blade will possibly out maneuver it. Playing to the rapier's strength by using a katana horizontally is a losing game.

The katana itself is not a slow sword. It has a good deal of agility as well as being able to thrust some. Kenjutsu cuts are delivered in quick succession using a flowing manner. Its two-hand grip can generate great power by using a sort of "torqueing" method with additional force added from the hips. The katana's cutting power and edge sharpness is also legendary (although often the subject of exaggeration). It is a sword of war after all, and faced a variety of arms and armors. While not every puncture with a rapier would be lethal, to be sure, virtually every cut by a katana was intended to kill instantly.

Although occasionally argued by some, I do not believe for an instant that the rapier would be "cut" or broken by a katana. Although katanas were (more or less) capable of cutting through metal, slicing an adversary's very sword, especially one as agile as a rapier, is improbable at best. The rapier really just doesn't offer the opportunity or the necessary resistance to even attempt it.

In thinking about all this, I have to admit to a certain bias. Being somewhat familiar with both Eastern and Western systems, I have a good feel I think for the strengths and weaknesses of each. So I may have a slightly skewed opinion. When I have sparred with each weapon against each style of fighter, I know generally what they can and can't do and adjust myself accordingly. Then again, maybe that makes me more objective than biased. My own experiences contrasting the two forms has been in using a variety of implements, including: non-contact steel blunts, semi-contact bokken (wooden sword) vs. replica rapier, and full-contact padded sword vs. schlager (rapier simulator). Attempting a simulation of sport epee vs. bokken though, is a futile exercise as the super light epee, more often than it can flash in with a poke, can be easily knocked around and even end up being bent. As well, shinai vs. a foil or epee is just as futile. The virtually weightless bamboo shinai distorts a katana's handling far more so than even a foil or epee misrepresents the performance of a rapier or small-sword.

Very often it has seemed to me, that sport fencers are quite often much too quick to assume that their own speedy feints, disengages, and long reach will easily overwhelm a cutting sword. Frequently, what passes for the kenjutsu that Western fencers have previously encountered was far from competent. Thus, they are habitually unprepared for a katana's agile strength and defensive counter-cuts. The worst thing the rapier fighter can do is to allow his weapon to be bound up with the point off to the side. He must avoid fighting close-in where the katana's force and slicing ability will instantly dominate. On the other hand, Asian stylists unfamiliar with what a rapier really is and what it can do, severely underestimate it. They too readily believe what they see in sport epee and foil is the "real thing". The rapier's deceptive speed combined with its excellent reach and fast, efficient footwork make it a formidable weapon to face in single (unarmored) combat. Essentially, underestimating either weapon is a fatal misperception.*

It is worth mentioning that the rapier was used more often with a companion dagger. But employing a dagger against a fast katana is extremely challenging as well as possibly self-defeating. Trying to trap or block a sword held in two-hands with a light dagger held in one is not advisable. The samurai might always release one hand from his weapon and grab his opponent's blade. However, some dagger techniques against a sword actually resemble those effectively used with the Okinawan sai. Also, the respected two-sword Nito-ryu style of Musashi seems to be much less relevant against the rapier. In this case, using one hand on two separate swords reduces the katana's own speed and strength advantages while playing to the rapier's. The two swords end up being too slow to employ their combination parry/cut against the rapier's greater speed and stabbing reach.

So, after all this I am reluctant to form an opinion of one over another, but I have to say I really don't know one way or the other. I have tremendous respect for kenjutsu's excellent technique and its ferocious cutting ability, yet I favor the rapier's innovative fence and vicious mechanics. Though it's very fun to speculate on, I think "who would win" between a rapier swordsman and a samurai is a moot question and unanswerable. Thus, what it eventually gets down to is not the weapon or even the art, but the individual (their conditioning and attitude) and the circumstances. Bottom line, it's about personal skill.

*Footnote: Interestingly, the Renaissance cut & thrust method (as practiced by the Elizabethan master George Silver or described in various early Italian manuals) naturally has qualities of each weapon. It's not unlike that of Kenjutsu with many fundamental principles being the same. It differs significantly of course, in its footwork and in the application of certain techniques and moves (particularly thrusts) which were later adapted to its similar "cousin", the rapier. Cut & thrust swords were also commonly used along with a buckler or dagger and the flexibility of this two-weapon combination can have some advantages against a single sword in held two hands

Bill
10 Apr 05,, 19:33
"While there are certainly no historically recorded accounts (other than unsubstantiated myth and rumor) as to encounters between European swordsmen and Japanese samurai, I think we can make a few very general suppositions about such a fight."

Ever heard of Marco Polo? ;)

Thunar
10 Apr 05,, 19:35
Then I think you got taken because I real bastard sword wouldn't weigh that much. Why make a weapon that weighs that much and wouldn't be good in combat and tire the warrior using it before the fight is even half way done? Both sides of the thread have great comments but really comes down like everything in life 50/50 chance. I think you need to read Hank Rheinharts and Jim Hrhoulis (sp?) comments on swords and haca and Arma comments of such fighting techniques of Knight vs Samurai.

Bill
10 Apr 05,, 19:48
Oh it's a real bastard sword alright.

Thunar
11 Apr 05,, 02:37
Okay is it authentic medeviel weapon? if so who authenticated it? did you get at an auction or museum? how much did it cost? like the other gentlemen who recently chimed in I to have taken various martial arts eastern and western and I have faithful reproductions of various blades and none of them are that much in weight and my uncle in Austria was the curator at Forktenstein castle and he was telling me about the weapons in the armory including bastard swords and weapons of the turks and those swords didn't weigh that much.

deadkenny
11 Apr 05,, 03:58
My wa guess - they kill each other. The Samurai makes a lightning fast downward diagonal slashing blow aimed at the European swordsman's neck / shoulder area. The European makes an equally lightning fast thrust towards the Samurai's heart. The thrust has a slightly shorter distance to go, so the thrust goes home first. However, the Samurai has by that time generated enough momentum to carry the slash home and decapitate the European. That's how I saw it go down anyway. :tongue:

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 04:11
I have also taken about 10 years of martial arts(Kung Fu, both Northern and Southern flavors), i know my weapons too lad.(My favorite sword is actually the Tai Chi sword- but it requires an extremely high level of training to use it proficiently)

My bastard sword cost the guy that bought it $1000.00. It is a 'faithful reproduction'. It was custom made by a vendor who works at the Pennsylvania rennaisance fair, who is also a master blacksmith, and a good friend of the original owner, hence the low price tag. When the owner 'went away', i inherited about a dozen high quality melee weapons from him. :)

The sword has a straight, wide blade about 40" long by 6" wide, double-edged, with a blood gutter running down the length of the richly engraved gold inlaid blade. The blade is a good high-carbon steel, with a full tang. The hilt is brass, about 8" long, with an extremely wide brass crossguard, about 10" across. The sword weighs approx. 30lbs. I would never dream of attempting to use it in a fight, it is entirely too unwieldy, but it is the classic 'hand and a half sword'. If you did ever manage to connect with a slash the damage would be catastrophic to the recipient.

I also have a two handed long sword(exact replica of the sword from the movie Conan the Barbarian), an authentic Native American Spear(Apache), two authentic Cherokee Tomahawks, 5 Katanas of varying quality(the best being a WWII Japanese officers sword), about a dozen daggers of various kinds, and a handmade Tai Chi sword of exquisite(by my standards) quality.

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 04:18
DK: A samurai would likely attack from the draw with an upward slash as his first attack. It is an extremely powerful and fast attack. Katanas are also very effective thrusting weapons too though.

That's probably why i like it so much...it has a complete repitiore, it is light enough to use with one hand, but the long hilt allows it to be used with both hands for increased power, if so desired. One could easily thrust a quality Katana clear through an unarmored humans midsection.

korppi76
11 Apr 05,, 09:33
This is always so interresting. I have read about this many times and stil I am not sure which would win. Nowadays I think if everything else is even (skills, fatique, etc) It would go to one who got more lucky. I like samurais better tho but anyway it still could go either way.



Was this posted allready
http://www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 05,, 12:58
DK: A samurai would likely attack from the draw with an upward slash as his first attack. It is an extremely powerful and fast attack. Katanas are also very effective thrusting weapons too though.

You know as I read through this thread. No one mentioned the shield. The Japanese never developed one. Wonder what kind of effect that would have.

korppi76
11 Apr 05,, 13:34
You know as I read through this thread. No one mentioned the shield. The Japanese never developed one. Wonder what kind of effect that would have.
I think they did fight against opponets with shield but not much.
In Okinava they did have shield (Timbei or Tembe or something else) which was made from the shell of a giant sea turtle.
But this really isnt as good as european shield that knights used.

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 15:45
The Katana is intended as a two handed weapon, so they never felt a need for shields i guess.

deadkenny
11 Apr 05,, 18:54
DK: A samurai would likely attack from the draw with an upward slash as his first attack. It is an extremely powerful and fast attack. Katanas are also very effective thrusting weapons too though.

That's probably why i like it so much...it has a complete repitiore, it is light enough to use with one hand, but the long hilt allows it to be used with both hands for increased power, if so desired. One could easily thrust a quality Katana clear through an unarmored humans midsection.

I was assuming that both weapons were already drawn prior to the fight beginning. If not the I agree with your comment, and in which case the Samurai wins - European scabbards not being known for their 'fast draw' capability.

The Katana may be effective in a thrusting attack, but clearly less so than a weapon designed for thrusting. The blade is curved, and it's designed for 2 hands - clearly not desirable characteristics for a thrusting weapon. Against the 'unknown' I assumed each warrior would play into their own strengths - which is the 2 handed slash aimed at decap for the Samurai and the abdominal pierce for the European.

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 19:18
A two handed thrust is an effective and extremely powerful attack(particularly for piercing armor), and can quickly be transitioned to from a slash. Also, not all Katanas have curved blades.

deadkenny
11 Apr 05,, 19:51
One handed thrust with a lighter thrusting weapon is both faster and has longer reach. I agree the 2 handed thrust can be powerful, but you have to get in a lot closer to deliver it. I honestly didn't realize that some Katanas were straight - how common were those compared to the curved bladed variety (which is all I've ever seen)? In any case, in terms of biomechanics, the one handed thrust clearly has the advantage, at least in terms of early delivery of the blow (if not force of the blow).

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 20:08
http://www.kultofathena.com/images/PC1071.jpg

Agreed, a one handed thrust has greater reach, but i really prefer close fighting anyway(most people do not know how to fight when you really crowd in on them). If you transition from a slash to a two handed thrust as you 'burst' in at your opponent it is an extremely powerful attack. It's just a matter of quickly and reflexively identifying when- and when not- to use such an attack.

If you disrupt your opponents center(knock him off balance), or hit him with a good cutting slash a good two handed bursting thrust is a viable option.

The straight bladed Katanas were rumored to have been used by Ninjas, and are referred to as Ninja-To(no known authentic examples have survived into the modern era). They were also referred to as Choku-to(english translation 'straight sword', of which many historical blades still exist, but that period pre-dates the actual existance of Ninjas).
Regardless, they are in effect no more than a straight bladed, single edged Katana, complete with a 2 handed hilt. Choku-To's share the exact same piercing tip as the Tanto(as can be clearly seen in the above image), and are extremely proificient for thrusting as well as slashing attacks. The Choku-To is probably the most powerful thrusting sword ever devised.

They were most commonly used in the Kotu period, in Japan.(approx. 200-700AD).

deadkenny
11 Apr 05,, 20:29
Wow, fascinating stuff. At least I don't feel quite so stupid for not having heard about a straight bladed Katana. Would this have been used for a one-handed thrust? In other words, was the sword designed for a different fighting style?

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 21:00
I'd imagine it was designed to penetrate contemporary Japanese battle armor of the era, a task which it no doubt was extremely effective at accomplishing.
I know i'd certainly love to get a chance to try some two handed bursting thrusts against good quality euro plate armor with a Choku-To. If any sword can penetrate euro heavy plate, the Choku-To is probably the one.

The fighting style employed with the Choku-TO would be very similar to that of Kenjistu, but with a greater emphasis on powerful thrusting attacks.

Ironicly, the existance of the Choku-To may very well explain why the Japanese never developed better armor. It would be very expensive to make plate armor that could stop a two handed bursting thrust executed by a skilled warrior.

When i said earlier in the thread that the Katana could likley penetrate most Euro plate, the Choku-To was the version of the Katana i was referring to in the first place.

One of my five Katanas is a solid tang short Choku-To(16" blade with an 8" hilt and very small crossguard). I used to carry it in the infantry for up close and personal encounters...it was also great for acting in the role of the machete too. :)

Thunar
11 Apr 05,, 22:13
I have also taken about 10 years of martial arts(Kung Fu, both Northern and Southern flavors), i know my weapons too lad.(My favorite sword is actually the Tai Chi sword- but it requires an extremely high level of training to use it proficiently)

Thunar: I have taken Ninjutsu from Robert Bussey here in Omaha for 2 years, Tae Kwon do for 6 years, fencing for 2 , Kung fu as well and now training BJJ and catch wresltling I know my weapons as well especially germanic/norse and northern european

My bastard sword cost the guy that bought it $1000.00. It is a 'faithful reproduction'. It was custom made by a vendor who works at the Pennsylvania rennaisance fair, who is also a master blacksmith, and a good friend of the original owner, hence the low price tag. When the owner 'went away', i inherited about a dozen high quality melee weapons from him. :)

The sword has a straight, wide blade about 40" long by 6" wide, double-edged, with a blood gutter running down the length of the richly engraved gold inlaid blade. The blade is a good high-carbon steel, with a full tang. The hilt is brass, about 8" long, with an extremely wide brass crossguard, about 10" across. The sword weighs approx. 30lbs. I would never dream of attempting to use it in a fight, it is entirely too unwieldy, but it is the classic 'hand and a half sword'. If you did ever manage to connect with a slash the damage would be catastrophic to the recipient.

Thunar: Yep like I said its a parade arming sword dude not an actual fighting sword they made it that way for looks never for fighting. For one the blade is to wide. I'm sure its a good buy for a wallhanger but never for fighting. I busy for the moment but I will respond to the other posts probably later tonight or tomorrow but I hate to say it dude that is not a real bastard sword in sense of what a knight would actually carry into battle.

I also have a two handed long sword(exact replica of the sword from the movie Conan the Barbarian), an authentic Native American Spear(Apache), two authentic Cherokee Tomahawks, 5 Katanas of varying quality(the best being a WWII Japanese officers sword), about a dozen daggers of various kinds, and a handmade Tai Chi sword of exquisite(by my standards) quality.

Thunar: Lets see off the top of my head 4 viking swords, 2 scrams, 1 seax, 2 spears one being a boar spear, 1 claymore, 2 basket hilts claymore, 2 vedel period germanic broadsword,1 katana, 1 Ninja-ken, 1 swepthilt rapier and its main gauche, now my fantasy weapons I to have a conan replica sword, connor's and duncan's katana and from the comic book Thor his hammer Mjolnir, now my armor 2 maile ring shirts, 2 spangenhelms splint armor that I made myself like the varangian guard wore, or I forgot 3 long bows 2 for my reeacting 20 lbs and 1 of actual yew and that is 65 lbs. well I'll answer the other posts later.

Veni Vidi Vici
11 Apr 05,, 23:36
Samurai...Knight, I don't want to piss either off. :eek:

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 23:44
"Thunar: Yep like I said its a parade arming sword dude not an actual fighting sword they made it that way for looks never for fighting. For one the blade is to wide. I'm sure its a good buy for a wallhanger but never for fighting. I busy for the moment but I will respond to the other posts probably later tonight or tomorrow but I hate to say it dude that is not a real bastard sword in sense of what a knight would actually carry into battle."

Nope, it is a full tanged fully functional battle worthy sword.
It is NOT a wallhanger by any means.

It was made that way(engraved and gold inlaid) because the dude that had it made has ridiculous amounts of cash, and he was very good friends with the blacksmith that made it. For a stranger to have got that sword made it would've cost at least $4000 US dollars.

Bill
11 Apr 05,, 23:46
"I to have a conan replica sword"

ebay, about 50 bucks(the same thing at a rennaisance fair would be about 300 bucks or so).

That one is a wall hanger though.

FlyingCaddy
11 Apr 05,, 23:52
The Scots under Wallace trashed a huge British heavy armored cavalry charge at the battle of Falkirk, and the Moors cleaned the crusaders clocks on many occasions, knights are hardly invincible.
But that was in the 13th or 14th century, the question was 1 15th century knight v 1 15th century samurai, who goes home standing who goes home in the pine box? IMO, I feel the knight would have a slight advantage because his plate armor, the curved katana blade would have some difficulty in a thrust, however since most japanese armor was made of laquor, the sheer weight of the Western sword, if it struck would badly injure the Samurai if not pierce his armor. However, I do agree the Samurai would have the speed advantage and perhaps chould out maneuver the Knight, find the weak spots (the joints) and one good slash to the inner thigh or a thrust under the arm and its game over for our western warrior.

FlyingCaddy
12 Apr 05,, 00:00
Lots more to consider than just the Katana and the European Bastard Sword. Knight Swords and Knight Armor for example. They depended on brute strength since the swords and armor were so heavy. And when knights fought the objective was to knock your opponent flat on his back.

And the different types of weapons & tactics. Let's say castle or house warfare. Unlike Knights, samurai would use bows & arrows at medium to close range.
And you ever been inside any Japanese buildings? Not quite as spacious as buildings in other countries. Which would suck for fully suited knights and most of thier weapons. Samurai could just unsheath some Wakazashi's, which were made for indoor fighting. And odds are the knights would have to use daggers, as most of thier other weapons would be too big & clumsy, considering the limited space they'd have in a Japanese fortress.
Or you know a right hook with a gauntlet on your hand; what about a mace, those things are slightly longer than a hammer and twice as bad assed.

FlyingCaddy
12 Apr 05,, 00:07
4. All of which except a few short swords and daggers they could muster from their ranks would be equally useless inside the hyopthetical Japanese fortress or castle. Especially the lances & pikes. Moving them into position would be like moving furniture up or down at least one flight of stairs.

HEll if the Samurais will hold out in the castle why waste your time storming it, call in the Trebuchets and have a few ales while the walls come crashing down.

FlyingCaddy
12 Apr 05,, 00:10
What about the 14-15th centuries when the Ottoman's attacked and conquered most of Europe, including Constantinople? They used newly invented/improved cannons, and I'd say their mettalurgy and weaponry was far better than the Europeans at the time. One of the main reason they survived as en Empire over such a large land mass for 500 years
WRONG, the turks hired German and Hungarian Connoners to do thier bombarding of Constantinople. Further saying Eastern Ruope in the same breath Western Europe is a blurring of the differences in tactics and equipment of both parts of europe.

Bill
12 Apr 05,, 00:43
F.Caddy: "But that was in the 13th or 14th century, the question was 1 15th century knight v 1 15th century samurai"

I am in no way convinced that a 15th century plate would stop a bursting doublehanded Choku-To Katana thrust by a well trained Samurai warrior.

It might...it also might not.

That is of course if a Samurai was using a Choku-To or Ninja-To sword. A curved Wakazashi Katana is still a very powerful thrusting blade, but not nearly as optimized for piercing attacks as the straight bladed Choku-To and Ninja-To Katanas are.


Someone send this into mythbusters! lol. ;)

yatri
12 Apr 05,, 04:15
an introduction.. i just signed up because i came across this thread just now and i love it.



a while ago, someone mentioned how it is possible to use bows and arrows at close range. as an avid archer, it's quite simple.

samurai bows were made to be drawn on horseback. a yumi, as it is called, is asymmetrical in design and it allows the samurai to draw very quickly over armor and allows him to easily weild it in battle.

a note here.. the length of the bow does not matter in the strength of it directly. the longer a bow is, the longer the draw length is, which allows for more force on the bow (assuming the bow can handle it.) the key points are the curves. the apex of the curves act as key stones in an arch, holding the force until the arrow is "loosed" or let fly.

yumi's have a fundamental design that combines the hunnish double-recurve bow to that of the long bow. yumi's are (and were) at least 82" long, with the same 3 key curves that the hunnish bow had (though less exaggerated). this allowed them a potential of raw power equivalent to that of the steppe warriors.

why did i go on about that? to state that the power of a yumi exceeded that of the longbow, and we all know that longbows pierced plate armor, and even chain mail. actually, i'm looking for a citation that states that a 100-pound mongolian bow can pierce triple layered chain mail from about 300 yards.

but yeah, in the Last Samurai (freaking awesome movie), the archery (at the very least) is portrayed almost completely accurately. the sheer speed that a good archer has is insane. at the least, the samurai could get the knight off of his horse with his bow.

oh, and crossbows of the era were not only grossly large themselves (the stocks were huge), they were slow to reload. a decent archer of the era in even europe could nock, aim, loose, and renock 7 arrows per minute, assuming a 100 yard target. it takes considerable less time to aim, and a single shot to the face, back of the head, or to other key areas could finish a knight.

just my thoughts..

yatri
12 Apr 05,, 04:31
oh, i also forgot to mention that ya, or a yumi's arrows, were longer, and so more mass went into each shot. also, the draw was more complete, adding more force to the shot.

yeah, once on the ground, the samurai would finish off a desperately wounded knight easily.

also, knights didn't use crossbows, as bows and crossbows were yeomen weapons.

on a side note, for quite a while, crossbows were said to be anti-christian as well, though i don't know if that was during the 15th century. i'll have to look that up...

TexasOutlaw
12 Apr 05,, 05:58
First off...I can't believe I sat here and read 7 pages of this...lol
but what the hell...I'll put my 2 cents in..

It'd be a close battle..both bloodied and tired, but after seeing full plated guys walking around the local renaissance fair...I'd have to go with the samurai on sheer agility.

Everyone has given excellent points and counter points...so I say agree to disagree until proven otherwise.. :rolleyes:

Stuart Mackey
12 Apr 05,, 09:51
Oh it's a real bastard sword alright.

Oh it might look like one, but I think you have been had, conned and suckered.
A hand and a half would weigh in at 4.5 lbs or less.

Officer of Engineers
12 Apr 05,, 11:11
It was made that way(engraved and gold inlaid) because the dude that had it made has ridiculous amounts of cash, and he was very good friends with the blacksmith that made it. For a stranger to have got that sword made it would've cost at least $4000 US dollars.

Just out of curiousity, was the blade ever blooded?

korppi76
12 Apr 05,, 12:26
I have a bastard sword.
It weighs about 30lbs.
Using that effectively one handed would be neigh on impossible.

Hmm thas weird, all medieval swords I have seen in museums weight max 12 lbs, but then again I am not expert with swords I know only how to handle Katana but not european versions.
But I remember reading that Great Sword weighted 20 lbs.... (isnt lbs about 0,46 kg or something like that?)

Stuart Mackey
12 Apr 05,, 15:28
Hmm thas weird, all medieval swords I have seen in museums weight max 12 lbs, but then again I am not expert with swords I know only how to handle Katana but not european versions.
But I remember reading that Great Sword weighted 20 lbs.... (isnt lbs about 0,46 kg or something like that?)

These things would be around 2.3-3.6 kg or 5-8 lbs

http://www.thearma.org/essays/3hnds.jpeg


Talk of european swords being large, heavy, blunt elongated bits of iron is just that, talk. Its like saying that an m16 rifle weighs 30kg. Such a weight would be impractical as a personal weapon now, and it was impractical in medieval and rennaisance times as well.

Bill
12 Apr 05,, 17:13
"Oh it might look like one, but I think you have been had, conned and suckered.
A hand and a half would weigh in at 4.5 lbs or less."

What you think is really rather irrelevant friend. I've had the hilt off. It has a 1" steel tang running the length of the hilt.

It's real alright.

It is so heavy beacause of the sheer mass of the blade. The blade is at least three times wider than those pictured in Stuarts post(the blade is 40"x6". I challenge you to find a piece of 40x6 steel bar stock that weighs 5lbs...lol). Almost the entire weight of a sword is in the blade. Triple the width of the blade...you're obviously going to roughly triple the weight of the weapon.

If my damned digital camera hadn't broke i'd take some pictures of it with the hilt off. It's as real as a sword gets.

PS: Considering that i paid exactly nothing for the blade, i'd say it would be quite hard for me to have been 'conned, had, or suckered'.

Bill
12 Apr 05,, 17:14
"Just out of curiousity, was the blade ever blooded?"

Used on a person?

LOL...not that i know of...

Bill
12 Apr 05,, 17:24
OK, i just put the weapon on my bathroom scale.

It weighs in at approx 23lbs.

My best Katana(WWII Japanese officers sword) weighs just under 6lbs, in comparison.

Thunar
12 Apr 05,, 23:28
"Oh it might look like one, but I think you have been had, conned and suckered.
A hand and a half would weigh in at 4.5 lbs or less."

What you think is really rather irrelevant friend. I've had the hilt off. It has a 1" steel tang running the length of the hilt.

It's real alright.

It is so heavy beacause of the sheer mass of the blade. The blade is at least three times wider than those pictured in Stuarts post(the blade is 40"x6". I challenge you to find a piece of 40x6 steel bar stock that weighs 5lbs...lol). Almost the entire weight of a sword is in the blade. Triple the width of the blade...you're obviously going to roughly triple the weight of the weapon.

If my damned digital camera hadn't broke i'd take some pictures of it with the hilt off. It's as real as a sword gets.

PS: Considering that i paid exactly nothing for the blade, i'd say it would be quite hard for me to have been 'conned, had, or suckered'.

Thunar: be lucky then lets start off the description of the sword 40 inches are correct lenght but 6 inches wide is to wide and the blood gutter I think you called its actual terms is fuller. Its purpose is the lighten and strengthing the blade and you said it was gold inlaid? If so it also proves my point no knight in his right mind would bring that to battle because of its weight and gold inlay in the blade would make it to expensive to damage and as you said unwielding.
My parents were born and raised in germany and the last time I visited over there I went to alot of museums and castles from my dad's home village Wombach to Rottenburg and then I visited my aunts in Austria and I visited Salzburg, Vienna and finally Rust and all the swords on display and the descriptions not one sword went above 8 pounds and that was the great two handers such as the flamberge.
My friend has most of my european swordsmanship boods but I have one on me
Medieval swordsmanship by John Clements and on page40 under bastard sword (or hand and half) 3 to 31/2 pounds and max out maybe to 4- 5 depending on the cross guard.
My point is I don't doubt you have faithful repoduction of a medieval sword, its not a repoduction of a medieval sword a knight would use in battle. Like I said more like a parade sword in which they too have a full tang but the would be exaggerted like the one you have. Please don't use that sword as a reference point of european swords being heavy as 30 lbs when its simply not true.

Parihaka
13 Apr 05,, 00:00
I know i'd certainly love to get a chance to try some two handed bursting thrusts against good quality euro plate armor with a Choku-To. If any sword can penetrate euro heavy plate, the Choku-To is probably the one.

The English longbow is estimated from surviving examples to have had 50 - 60lbs draw weight and was unable to penetrate the french knights armour at Agincourt. Partly of course this was due to the poor quality of of the iron in the English arrowheads but you'd still have to have an extremely powerful thrust to penetrate quality armour from this time.

yatri
13 Apr 05,, 00:57
yeah, but the arrowspeed of something shot from a yumi far exceeds that of the english longbow. it's quite possible, and i'd personally argue that it's probable.

Parihaka
13 Apr 05,, 01:07
Hmm, quite possibly. The average draw seems to be 30 -40 lbs which is less than the english longbow but apparently some were made with a draw of 110lbs!! I'd like to see the guy who could draw that!

deadkenny
13 Apr 05,, 02:13
A one handed 'row' motion with 110 lbs. resistance!?! I do NOT want to meet that guy! :eek:

Bill
13 Apr 05,, 02:34
"The English longbow is estimated from surviving examples to have had 50 - 60lbs draw weight and was unable to penetrate the french knights armour at Agincourt. Partly of course this was due to the poor quality of of the iron in the English arrowheads but you'd still have to have an extremely powerful thrust to penetrate quality armour from this time."

Bows are irrelevant, and act in a completely different manner to penetrate armor. And the Armor the Italian mercenary cavalry were wearing was the very best in the world.

With a sword, if the tip penetrates(as the arrows did mind you), you have the full weight of your body and all your muscle strength continuing to push it home.
Once the KE from an arrow is expended, it's gone. A melee thrust does not suffer from that limitation.

Regardless, the Choku-Tu has about as good a piercing tip as you'll ever find on a sword.

TexasOutlaw
13 Apr 05,, 05:04
Hey...aren't we getting off-track here? Thought this was supposed to be about a duel between a Samurai and a Medieval knight.... ;)



The following is taken directly from Sword Forum Magazine, in regards to a Gothic Bastard Sword...read more about it here (http://swordforum.com/swords/historical/gbs.html)

There are swords that catch the eye of sword enthusiasts because they have "it" - the combination of graceful lines and lethal practicality combined into a piece of cold steel. One type of sword that has these traits is the long-sword. These swords were intended for use with both hands, allowing thrusts, cuts and parries. A sword of this type is kept in the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, UK. It is often glimpsed in books on medieval arms and armor, as it is included in one of the displays in the Royal Armouries. This display itself consists of a late 15th century Gothic armor together with horse armor, both of German origin, with the sword on the mounted knight's left side. Replicas of the sword are available, and it has become a favorite with many sword enthusiasts. What few people know is the true story behind the sword.


The Sword

The total length is 52.9" (134.5 cm) and the weight is said to be 3 lbs. 3 oz (1.45 kg). The inventory # of the sword is XXI.31 (not to be confused with the Roman numerals used in Oakeshott's typology). At the Royal Armouries, the XXI class designation is used for items that are considered "modern imitations." So, how did a reproduction end up in one of the most well known collections in the world? Before answering that, we'll take a closer look at the sword itself.


The Blade

The blade is a type XVIIIb according to Oakeshott's typology. Having a diamond cross-section, it tapers to a narrow point. It has a length of 42.5" (108 cm), a width at the hilt of 2" (5.1 cm), a width at point before curve of point of 0.7" (18 mm), and a thickness at the top of blade of 0.225" (5.7 mm). This type appeared around 1450, and seems to have been around for some 70 years before being replaced by other forms. It is designed to be both armor-piercing and able to deliver good cuts. The blade is believed by some to be genuine, but according to one of the curators at the Royal Armouries, it is somewhat roughly finished.


The Cross

The 10.8" (27.5 cm) wide spatulate cross is a style 5 according to Oakeshott's typology. The style is more common with swords of earlier types, but it isn't impossible that a type XVIIIb blade could have been fitted with it. The slight horizontal S-curve of the cross appears in period art around 1430, making it look like the blade and cross are contemporary with each other. The perforations are also very rare - another factor to weigh in when determining the authenticity of the sword. Perforations were usually less elaborate - often just a small, simple cross-shaped hole. Curiously enough, the very thing that lends the hilt elegance is what is probably not in style with period crosses.


The Grip

The 8.3" (21.2 cm) grip is slightly waisted, easily accommodating both hands. The lower half is leather-covered wood, where cord (?) shapes a distinct "X" under the leather, while the upper half is wood wound with metal wire. The style is one seen in many swords after 1350, which corresponds with the rest of the hilt. A similar grip can be seen on the effigy of Johan Georg von Waldburg, who died c. 1470. Few, if any, are preserved.


The Pommel

This is a 1.16" (29.6 mm) thick disc-shaped iron pommel with chamfered edges (thickness of the edge 0.5" (12 mm) and with a diameter of 2" (5.1 cm). This is clearly a type I according to Oakeshott's typology. The style was popular all through the Middle Ages, being common from the middle of the 13th century onwards. The pommel alone cannot be used to narrow down the time frame.


Wielding the Sword

The only information I have on the handling characteristics of this sword is that it is slightly blade-heavy. The point of balance isn't known, nor is the center of percussion. To learn more about it, it would have to be removed from the current display, something the curators are reluctant to do.


Could the Sword be Authentic?

So, could it be authentic or not? Based on the facts above, while it's possible that a sword looking like this could have been made in the 1400's, the curators at the Royal Armouries seem certain that it isn't genuine. The whole thing is simplified by the fact that the seller of the sword was most probably Ernst Schmidt, active in Munich (München), Germany. The sword was probably made in the 1890's in the atelier of Mr. Schmidt (quite possibly by Schmidt himself) and similar swords can be seen in his pre-WW1 (c. 1910) catalog. An interesting thing is the fact that there was an older sword, apparently kept in the National Museum in Munich, which was the inspiration for the sword. The older sword, or a copy thereof, might have been made in the 17th century (a most interesting feature of this sword is the crystal pommel), but the whereabouts of it isn't known today. The scabbard was made at the Tower Armouries, London, and the whole thing is used to embellish the Gothic knight display.

Ernst Schmidt - Maker of Fine Reproductions

Ernst Schmidt was the proprietor of a highly respectable firm (situated in Pfandstrasse 5, Munich), dealing in antique arms and armor (both reproductions and originals), and other fine arts items. He bought the atelier in the late 1870's and was active until about 1930. He employed several skilled artisans, whose skills were needed in repairing antiques as well as producing copies of attractive items. Everything was sold as reproductions, but it is possible that consecutive transactions were made by less honest dealers who claimed that the stuff was genuine. Schmidt's wares were popular, and found their way into many collections both in Germany and abroad, like the Higgins Armory Museum (http://www.higgins.org/) in Worcester, Massachusetts.


Fakes, Forgeries and Reproductions

So, if the sword was made in the 1890's, why was that? During the 19th century, there was an increased demand for medieval and renaissance arms and armor due to the renewed interest in the Middle Ages (of which Sir Walter Scott's novel "Ivanhoe" from 1819 is but an example). The supply wasn't as great, though, so a replica production as well as a flourishing fake business started. The fakes could be all new or put together from original parts of different provenance, with an original hilt fitted to a new-made blade or vise versa. The new parts were often treated with acid to achieve an antique finish, making it harder to tell the age of the piece. While the replicas were sold as just that, unscrupulous dealers passed off the fakes as genuine. Expert craftsmen made some of the fakes; restorers who had access to the great collections and who made a fast buck from producing a copy of the piece they were restoring. Much of this trade was based in the traditional sword-making areas in Germany. Today, many hundreds of fakes are around in museums and private collections. Some of them are recognized for what they are, but many are still believed to be genuine. As the 19th and early 20th century fakes have a tendency to crop up at auctions and antique dealers, the buyer should indeed beware. The fake business is still about, today mostly in areas of great collectability like Japanese swords and Third Reich swords and daggers.


Conclusion

The sword is very elegant, and it can be regarded as an impression of what a late 15th century sword could look like. There is no known preserved sword that looks quite like it, but Schmidt had a sure eye for the stuff, unlike many fakes that are too elaborate or clumsy. In his catalog, there are two swords that are similar to it. #346 have the aforementioned crystal pommel, and appear to have a longer blade than the Royal Armouries sword, while the other sword (#351) is shorter and has a metal pommel. The "Gothic Bastard Sword" stands as a fine example of the 19th century's idea of the medieval sword, and judging by its popularity today, that idea is still very much alive.

Sources and bibliography

Correspondence with Mr. P. J. Lankester graciously provided by Mr. Counts
Letter from Mr. P. J. Lankester, dated 25 January 1999
Clements, John: Medieval Swordsmanship, Paladin Press 1998
Cope, Anne (editor): Swords and Hilt Weapons, Multimedia Books 1989
Edge, David and John M. Paddock: Arms & Armor of the Medieval Knight, Bison Books 1988
Grancsay, Stephen (ed.): Arms + Armor From the Atelier of Ernst Schmidt Munich, Mowbray Company, 1967
Oakeshott, Ewart: The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, Boydell & Brewer 1964, 1994
Oakeshott, Ewart: Records of the Medieval Sword, Boydell & Brewer 1991

Bill
13 Apr 05,, 08:20
"The English longbow is estimated from surviving examples to have had 50 - 60lbs draw weight and was unable to penetrate the french knights armour at Agincourt. Partly of course this was due to the poor quality of of the iron in the English arrowheads but you'd still have to have an extremely powerful thrust to penetrate quality armour from this time."

Bows are irrelevant, and act in a completely different manner to penetrate armor. And the Armor the Italian mercenary cavalry were wearing was the very best in the world.

With a sword, if the tip penetrates(as the arrows did mind you), you have the full weight of your body and all your muscle strength continuing to push it home.
Once the KE from an arrow is expended, it's gone. A melee thrust does not suffer from that limitation. And remember, with a double handed bursting thrust attack every ounce of your body mass is in forward motion, delivering a massive KE impact when compared to an arrow. Do the math on a 170lb warrior bursting in at 15fps(a lion attacks at 18fps, so 15 fps seems reasonable to me for a highly trained Samurai, or whoever).

That's 557 foot-pounds of energy bro(more than a .357 magnum at the muzzle), all focused on the very fine point of the tanto tipped Choku-To.

Bill
13 Apr 05,, 08:24
He's talking about a longsword, and to be honest, for that length, i highly doubt those weight claims unless the friggin' thing is made of titanium.

Hard to believe any 52" steel sword could weigh 3lbs. Very hard.(many daggers weigh that much).

Stuart Mackey
13 Apr 05,, 09:13
"Oh it might look like one, but I think you have been had, conned and suckered.
A hand and a half would weigh in at 4.5 lbs or less."

What you think is really rather irrelevant friend. I've had the hilt off. It has a 1" steel tang running the length of the hilt.

It's real alright.

It is so heavy beacause of the sheer mass of the blade. The blade is at least three times wider than those pictured in Stuarts post(the blade is 40"x6". I challenge you to find a piece of 40x6 steel bar stock that weighs 5lbs...lol). Almost the entire weight of a sword is in the blade. Triple the width of the blade...you're obviously going to roughly triple the weight of the weapon.

If my damned digital camera hadn't broke i'd take some pictures of it with the hilt off. It's as real as a sword gets.

PS: Considering that i paid exactly nothing for the blade, i'd say it would be quite hard for me to have been 'conned, had, or suckered'.


I see, perhaps I phrased myself poorly. I am sure your sword is real, in that it looks like what is ment to be, but that does not mean it is a genuine combat sword. A genuine combat sword does not weigh 23 ibs let alone 30. That you seem to think that your 'weapon' is an accurate reflection of medieval bastrd swords tells me that you have indeed been 'conned, had and suckered'

But dont take my word for it, lets see what the current curator of European edged weapons, Robert C. Woosnam-Savage has to say shall we?



"The fighting two-handed sword, weighed (on average) between 5-7 lbs. I give the following three examples, randomly chosen from our own collections, which I hope are adequate to make the point:

Two-handed sword, German, c.1550 (IX.926). Weight: 7 lb 6oz.

Two-handed sword, German, dated 1529 (IX.991). Weight: 5 lb 1oz.

Two-handed sword, Scottish, mid 16th century, (IX.926). Weight: 5 lb 10o

found here, +http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html .

My concern in this thread is that you dont have you facts correct about what 'knights' were capable of, and have come to a grossly unimformed conclution in this thread as a result.


Finally, i do not believe that a European knight would be able to land many blows against a lightly encumbered Japanese Samurai. I own several authentic European ancient weapons, they all have one thing in common. They are all heavy, and they are all slow to recover after a miss. The bastard sword is the epitome of those problems. What a stupid weapon.


Here you show no evidence to back up your claim whatsoever, and demonstrate beyoned a shadow of a doubt that you do not own any authentic medieval European combat weapons at all. How can you come to any kind conclution with respect of Samurai vs Knight when you havent a clue about the actual capabilities of one of the combatants?

Bill
13 Apr 05,, 09:29
And you are a vastly well trained master of the European arts yourself?

LOL.

I was operating on assumptions that have apparently been shown to be quite flawed. It happens to everyone at times. I surely can't be expected to know everything, now can i?

My knowledge base is primarily Eastern wrt ancient warrior types and weaponry, but i've read a quite a bit about Euro history as well. And i do have several Euro weapons, from the sword(which even if not authentic to any one style has an obvious European design theme), to several daggers. My cousin also has a really cool Morning Star.

I think what i've got going on more than anything is a terminology problem. Because of the girth of the blade, despite it's 'hand and a half' hilt, i think upon further reflection i would more term my sword a broad sword, i suppose. The previous owner gave it me under the term 'two handed sword', but it was obviously not a 2 handed sword, so i classed it a bastard sword.

To me, i had always differentiated a bastard and a longsword as two separate weapons. It now appears that in fact they are often referred to as the same thing. You may note, i never said a negative word about the longsword in this thread, anywhere. I like longswords just fine.

What are the weights of Euro broad swords? I always have avoided the term WRT Euro weaponry so as not to confuse it with the Chinese Broad sword, which is a vastly different weapon.

And from your link:

"No major historical teachings detailing fencing with these specific weapons are known. "

So it seems to me that it's not possible for any of us to form any solid hypothesis wrt a winner, as none of us know precisely how a knight would've employed said weapon. Of course, i allow that a large amount of conjecture and opinion must be interjected into the debate. ;)

Tinkertoys
13 Apr 05,, 10:10
Mongols invaded in about 1250 Russia , E.Europe but then Khan died and retreated back to the far east.
I agree Mongols defeated Polish, Silesian,Moravian armees but mainly in my view by the sheer numbers of their soldiers and in fact they had good tactic "Mongol Blitz" I would call.
But that happened in early 12-century,later on European metallurgy surpassed and weaponry was simply the best in the world.Knights were just unbeaten in the field,they conquered whole of Iberian peninsula from lightly armoured and fast Arabs.
Look at the Teutonic order in early 15-century with their couple of thousand heavy cavalry.They blackmailed and defeated many times powerfull Kings of Poland and Lithauenia.
Teutonic order was mainly German and as I mentioned before German armour was the best and also discipline and tactics.Knights rule!

A band of blundering Mongols got their asses kicked by Hungarian knights, absolutely destroyed.

-Tink

Officer of Engineers
13 Apr 05,, 18:47
A band of blundering Mongols got their asses kicked by Hungarian knights, absolutely destroyed.

-Tink

You want to give us some details because the Hungarians sufferred massive defeats at the hands of the Mongols who only withdrew after the death of Ogadi.

Stuart Mackey
14 Apr 05,, 09:31
And you are a vastly well trained master of the European arts yourself?

LOL.

Hell no :biggrin: But I do beleive that time spent in reconnisance is seldom wasted



I was operating on assumptions that have apparently been shown to be quite flawed. It happens to everyone at times. I surely can't be expected to know everything, now can i?


Of cource not, but you did show some elementry errors that basic google-fu would have cleared up, but then my own predjudices have tripped me on more than one instance.



snip

To me, i had always differentiated a bastard and a longsword as two separate weapons. It now appears that in fact they are often referred to as the same thing. You may note, i never said a negative word about the longsword in this thread, anywhere. I like longswords just fine.

What are the weights of Euro broad swords? I always have avoided the term WRT Euro weaponry so as not to confuse it with the Chinese Broad sword, which is a vastly different weapon.


Lol..from what century? 10th to 15th centuries the average weight was apparently 1.3kg and dropping to .9kg in the 16th. These weapons were fast, well balanced, and completly leathal in the hands of a fit and skilled swordsman.



And from your link:

"No major historical teachings detailing fencing with these specific weapons are known. "

So it seems to me that it's not possible for any of us to form any solid hypothesis wrt a winner, as none of us know precisely how a knight would've employed said weapon. Of course, i allow that a large amount of conjecture and opinion must be interjected into the debate. ;)

That quote refers to fencing, as in duels and not to combat, but there is enough surviving evidence from manuals that indicate broad methods of a two handed weapons employment. But I would argue that such a weapon was more of an infantry weapon and used within a 15/16th century pike square rather than what would have been used by knightly combatants.

Bill
14 Apr 05,, 14:20
"But I would argue that such a weapon was more of an infantry weapon and used within a 15/16th century pike square rather than what would have been used by knightly combatants."

Agreed. Wouldn't a duel have been executed with a rapier as earlier suggested?

yatri
15 Apr 05,, 05:39
Bows are irrelevant, and act in a completely different manner to penetrate armor. And the Armor the Italian mercenary cavalry were wearing was the very best in the world.

With a sword, if the tip penetrates(as the arrows did mind you), you have the full weight of your body and all your muscle strength continuing to push it home.
Once the KE from an arrow is expended, it's gone. A melee thrust does not suffer from that limitation.


bows may be irrelevant to the knights, but samurai were well trained in archery. the samurai would have the bow at his disposal. i mean hey, if we've brought horses in this, why not the whole sha-bang?

the blade of an arrow has the acceleration of gravity on it's side as well, and the sword can as well, but it's tough to work pragmatically and get the angles right and still have gravity working with the blade... force (from physics) equals mass times acceleration. i doubt a knight can give the same acceleration with that much mass on him. even then, you have the acceleration of the horse that the samurai would be on.


and actually, what i've noticed is that samurai, though diverse amongst clans, aren't as diverse as knights are. i think the original question favors the knight because it's very broad in terms of what kind of knight. samurai have definitely evolved over time, yes, but they've mainly perfected what they worked on; they haven't branched out with their war skills like the knights of europe have.

based on what's been said, i'd say a knight would win, just because he's got everything at his disposal. although, i'm a hardcore samurai supporter. the sword is the soul. ;-)

Tinkertoys
15 Apr 05,, 06:04
"The English longbow is estimated from surviving examples to have had 50 - 60lbs draw weight and was unable to penetrate the french knights armour at Agincourt. Partly of course this was due to the poor quality of of the iron in the English arrowheads but you'd still have to have an extremely powerful thrust to penetrate quality armour from this time."

Bows are irrelevant, and act in a completely different manner to penetrate armor. And the Armor the Italian mercenary cavalry were wearing was the very best in the world.

With a sword, if the tip penetrates(as the arrows did mind you), you have the full weight of your body and all your muscle strength continuing to push it home.
Once the KE from an arrow is expended, it's gone. A melee thrust does not suffer from that limitation. And remember, with a double handed bursting thrust attack every ounce of your body mass is in forward motion, delivering a massive KE impact when compared to an arrow. Do the math on a 170lb warrior bursting in at 15fps(a lion attacks at 18fps, so 15 fps seems reasonable to me for a highly trained Samurai, or whoever).

That's 557 foot-pounds of energy bro(more than a .357 magnum at the muzzle), all focused on the very fine point of the tanto tipped Choku-To.

I always thought that the draw strength was 110+ pounds.

-Tink

Bill
15 Apr 05,, 07:19
"bows may be irrelevant to the knights, but samurai were well trained in archery. the samurai would have the bow at his disposal. i mean hey, if we've brought horses in this, why not the whole sha-bang?"

I'm not trying to dismiss the Samurais effectiveness with a bow(which you seem to be much better aware of than i was), i was just trying to keep the discussion on the original point, which was, i believe, a melee duel.

FlyingCaddy
15 Apr 05,, 19:03
Well its totally regardless, 15th Century european armor could only be pierced by Arquebus Sabots, not even thier led balls had the mussle velocity to punch the armor. Further Croassbows, Longbows, with far less velocity bounced off the plate. As early as Poiters, in the 14th century the Longbow proved ineffective against piercing plate armor.

Parihaka
17 Apr 05,, 19:38
Well its totally regardless, 15th Century european armor could only be pierced by Arquebus Sabots, not even thier led balls had the mussle velocity to punch the armor. Further Croassbows, Longbows, with far less velocity bounced off the plate. As early as Poiters, in the 14th century the Longbow proved ineffective against piercing plate armor.
The only reason I bring up bows was because Agincourt is the only decent account I've read about how to kill a knight. The bows were as you say unable to penetrate the armour, they were only good for dismounting the knight, they then knocked them over, (or they fell over & couldn't get up), and used pig stickers to finish them off.

ASG
17 Apr 05,, 21:18
A lot depends on the armor that is worn by the knights. Plate mail armor is much much harder to penetrate than Chain Mail armor.

British Longbows were a very well trained force. During the hundred years' war, english longbows decimated the charge of french knights several times, even before they could get close. It is said that the sky darkened with such number of arrows flying through the air.

At Agincourt, the only reason why British won, despite being outnumbered, is because, the French Knights had to charge uphill, into a terrain that was muddy, and the way uphill was getting narrow by every foot, like a funnel. This helped the British Longbows in targetting every Knight individually.

As far as I think, the best way to get rid of a charging knight would have been using two or three men weilding a halberd, and swords.

Praxus
17 Apr 05,, 21:37
I'd take a single Spartan of the 5th Century over a Knight anyday. All he would have to do is force the knight to tire himself, and then when he is weak to the point where he can no longer block a stab of the pike, the spartan slams it into his face:biggrin:

yatri
18 Apr 05,, 02:32
I'd take a single Spartan of the 5th Century over a Knight anyday.

ahh, i see we have a fan of the older than old days here. although i was a fan of the spartans at thermopylae, i prefer persians overall. :cool:

Praxus
18 Apr 05,, 03:36
I'm no fan of the Spartans, they were Communists in the true sense of the word. They enslaved an entire people so they could train for war.

I'm a fan of the Thebens under Epaminondas and to some extent the Athenians (however they were a tyranical form of Democracy).

Absolute favorite is the Roman Republic up to the end of the second punic war.

Why Persians though? They had an absolute Monarch. Militarily they were inept and had to rely on massive military forces. They got their asses beat by rivaling city states, not once but twice, and got absolutely riped apart by Alexander.

Stuart Mackey
18 Apr 05,, 10:28
"But I would argue that such a weapon was more of an infantry weapon and used within a 15/16th century pike square rather than what would have been used by knightly combatants."

Agreed. Wouldn't a duel have been executed with a rapier as earlier suggested?

*shrugs* Whatever weapon both parties agreed apon, I would imagine or even whatever weapon was to hand at the given point in time.

Jonathan Locke
18 Apr 05,, 20:59
I think the samurai, even though the knight has an extremely well-protected body, that ultimately becomes his downfall. The knight is basically moving slower than the agile samurai, and even more slow if his weapon of choice is a pike. Sure, the samurai would have to get a very precise and well-aimed slash to even gash the knight's flesh, through the armor's thin (but opened) spots (such as between the helm and the neck-cover).
The knight would probably win the battle if it was in a closed space, since he wileds a long weapon (pike or greatsword), while the samurai would obviously win if it was in opened space.
Japanese samurai from the Meiji Era, afterr the revolution, were very hard-working, trained by veterans in swordfighting and in martial arts, also they were devout worshippers of the Bushido Code, which is very strict and disciplined. The knights also had to go through their own hardships of course, like first being stableboys, then helping real knights, and sometimes evenm go to the Crusades while still relatively young. Yet, i believe that Japanese samurai had to endure more, specially after the revolution, when almost no-one could carry, and i think that we can all agree that enduring any type of pain, and surviving makes you stronger.

Stuart Mackey
19 Apr 05,, 05:02
I think the samurai, even though the knight has an extremely well-protected body, that ultimately becomes his downfall. The knight is basically moving slower than the agile samurai, and even more slow if his weapon of choice is a pike. Sure, the samurai would have to get a very precise and well-aimed slash to even gash the knight's flesh, through the armor's thin (but opened) spots (such as between the helm and the neck-cover).
The knight would probably win the battle if it was in a closed space, since he wileds a long weapon (pike or greatsword), while the samurai would obviously win if it was in opened space.

snip.

And your evidence for the above is???

yatri
20 Apr 05,, 04:28
Why Persians though? They had an absolute Monarch. Militarily they were inept and had to rely on massive military forces. They got their asses beat by rivaling city states, not once but twice, and got absolutely riped apart by Alexander.


their culture is still lasting. the culture itself is amazing. same reason i LOVE samurai. it's much, much deeper than the actions, and beliefs.. it's a "way of life."

yes, very cliché, but it's true..
:)

PhilosopherJohn
20 Apr 05,, 04:53
Due to the different transportation methods of the time, leading to knowledge not being shared, both sides would not have understood the way of war that their opponent practiced. The engagement between European knights and Samurai would likely have ended in a lengthy draw.

Regards, John Higgins

Bill
20 Apr 05,, 05:24
Or a very quick victory for one of them.

PhilosopherJohn
20 Apr 05,, 05:30
My friend is a military historian, I will have him look into the scenario.

Regards, John Higgins

bull
20 Apr 05,, 13:14
if you can fight like this,then armour is a waste............

bull
20 Apr 05,, 13:17
like this and like that u can fight.....

Jonathan Locke
20 Apr 05,, 21:04
And your evidence for the above is???


what part has to be supported?


I think it's obvious that the knight is going to move slower that the samurai. It is also obvious that a pike-wileding knight would definetly win a battle in a closed space, sinc ethe samuari cannot move around to find the weakest spots in the knight's armor therefore the knight would only have to jab at the samurai utnil he gets a hit. Yet, like the posted pictures of samurai show, if it was opened-space, the samurai would just "hop" or move around, avoiding the knights slashes and jabs, until he finds the weak spot and the right timing.

deadkenny
21 Apr 05,, 05:01
A pike was a 'formation' weapon, not a good choice for a one-on-one dueling weapon. I suppose it's possible that the knight might 'catch' the samurai with the pike at range. However, the most likely result would be that the samurai would get 'inside' the pike and then the knight is dead.

Stuart Mackey
21 Apr 05,, 05:41
what part has to be supported?

All of it, see below.



I think it's obvious that the knight is going to move slower that the samurai. It is also obvious that a pike-wileding knight would definetly win a battle in a closed space, sinc ethe samuari cannot move around to find the weakest spots in the knight's armor therefore the knight would only have to jab at the samurai utnil he gets a hit. Yet, like the posted pictures of samurai show, if it was opened-space, the samurai would just "hop" or move around, avoiding the knights slashes and jabs, until he finds the weak spot and the right timing.

Your opinion is not fact, sorry. Having an opinion is fine, but dont post it as if it were fact. Above you have not shown how you arrived at your opinion and what information formed your opinion.

How is it obvious that a man in plate armour is slower than a samurai ?

How is it obvious that a man in plate armour is better in an enclosed space?

What evidence leads you to think a samuai can simply avoid the knights blows?

What evidence makes you think the samurai's weapon can penitrate plate armour?

Stuart Mackey
21 Apr 05,, 05:47
A pike was a 'formation' weapon, not a good choice for a one-on-one dueling weapon. I suppose it's possible that the knight might 'catch' the samurai with the pike at range. However, the most likely result would be that the samurai would get 'inside' the pike and then the knight is dead.

'Knights' would fight dismounted, English ones at least, with their lances as pikes.
Your responce above, feel free to show why a properly trained man at arms or a knight, someone who was trained from age 6 or so to fight, would be so incompetent with a weapon ith which he would be familiar?
Moreover please show how the Knight would some how 'be dead' should he screw up so spectacularly and let the Samurai get past his guard? Did he forget his armour and sidearm perhaps?

Officer of Engineers
21 Apr 05,, 06:00
The strange thing I've found about all of this is that both sides are argueing for failed systems. Both the Knights and the Samuari got their asses trounced by the Mongols.

Bill
21 Apr 05,, 17:18
"What evidence makes you think the samurai's weapon can penitrate plate armour?"

It seems pretty obvious to me that a Choku-To Katana would have a pretty good chance of penetrating plate armor. My reasons are explained about a page back in the thread.

Bill
21 Apr 05,, 17:19
"Moreover please show how the Knight would some how 'be dead' should he screw up so spectacularly and let the Samurai get past his guard? Did he forget his armour and sidearm perhaps?"

If the Samurai gets inside the knights pike it's over. If i got inside the knights pike it would be over for that matter.

Officer of Engineers
21 Apr 05,, 17:21
M21,

Meant to ask you. The Chinese always had this inferiority complex vis-a-vi Japanese sword arts. What's your view since you've practised the Tai Chi sword.

Bill
21 Apr 05,, 17:21
"How is it obvious that a man in plate armour is slower than a samurai ?"

That one seems pretty obvious(assuming the Samurai is not in armor as i had previously stated). Certainly top end Euro plate armor was only mildly restrictive, but it's still got mass which will slow attacks and recoveries, and your vision is highly restricted to boot. Also, while a good level of flexibility can be maintained, a swordsman without armor is still going to be much more agile IMO.

Bill
21 Apr 05,, 17:29
"Meant to ask you. The Chinese always had this inferiority complex vis-a-vi Japanese sword arts. What's your view since you've practised the Tai Chi sword."

I am HARDLY a tai chi master(though my cousin is probably not far from that level), but IMO against an unarmored opponent the Tai Chi sword possesses a level of speed, agility, and sensitivity that no other bladed weapon can match.
The Tai Chi sword is not intended for direct parrys and blocks, rather the user strives to not be where the strike is coming. With a tai chi sword one endeavors to maintain blade contact, such as the 'sticky hands' drills that are prevelant in the internal Chinese styles(tai chi, pa qua, yin yang). The reasoning is that the tai chi sword transmits the movement of your opponent into your wrist, so that a master tai chi practitioner knows what the opponents next strike will be the instant he begins to launch it.
Unfortunately for the Chinese, the Tai Chi sword is probably the most difficult sword of all to master(as is the fighting art of tai chi one of the most difficult systems to master), so true master tai chi swordsmen were always going to be very rare.

When compared to the Japanese martial arts, Tai chi(or any of the Chinese internal systems) is on an ENTIRELY different level of complexity and subtlety...and power.

Jonathan Locke
21 Apr 05,, 21:35
"How is it obvious that a man in plate armour is slower than a samurai ?"

That one seems pretty obvious(assuming the Samurai is not in armor as i had previously stated). Certainly top end Euro plate armor was only mildly restrictive, but it's still got mass which will slow attacks and recoveries, and your vision is highly restricted to boot. Also, while a good level of flexibility can be maintained, a swordsman without armor is still going to be much more agile IMO.



Thank you Snipe for answering my questions while i was occupied.

Yes, i do believe that most samurai did not wear armor, instead they opted for the comfortable silk tunic and wide-legged pants. Thougth some did wear light leather armors in the chest and abdomen areas. I think that the only "warriors" that wore metal armor in Japanese culture were, fighting shogun (which were extremely rare), guards, and what you migth call warlords/generals.

Bill
21 Apr 05,, 21:37
Samurai would wear armor in full scale battles, but not in a duel, or as part of their daily wardrobe.

Odds are if you ran up against a Samurai he would be un-armored.

Jonathan Locke
21 Apr 05,, 21:41
All of it, see below.



Your opinion is not fact, sorry. Having an opinion is fine, but dont post it as if it were fact. Above you have not shown how you arrived at your opinion and what information formed your opinion.

How is it obvious that a man in plate armour is slower than a samurai ?

How is it obvious that a man in plate armour is better in an enclosed space?

What evidence leads you to think a samuai can simply avoid the knights blows?

What evidence makes you think the samurai's weapon can penitrate plate armour?


Answer to first question: I believ Snipe has already answered that one

Question 2: I did not conclude that he was better in an enclosed space because of the fact that he has a plate armor, i did so, because he has a pike and because the samurai may not use most of his techniques, which involve large amounts of space both on air and on land.

Question #3: If it is an open space, a trained Japanese samurai will most likely be able to either predict the slow knight's attack or use his keen reflexes and lack of heavy armor to dodge or parry the blow.

Question Four: Again, Snipe has answered that one.

Bill
21 Apr 05,, 21:51
As for #2, i do not think there is any evidence to support the claim that the Knight would have any significant advantadge in a confined space, nor is their any evidence to suggest the Samurai would either.

A Chinese Win Chung martial artist in a confined space would kick either of their asses. ;)

As for #3, the Samurais style would be to parry with his sword, as would the knights(though a knight could also have a shield). A tai chi swordsman on the other hand would definitely attempt to evade his opponents strikes entirely.

deadkenny
21 Apr 05,, 23:00
'Knights' would fight dismounted, English ones at least, with their lances as pikes.
Your responce above, feel free to show why a properly trained man at arms or a knight, someone who was trained from age 6 or so to fight, would be so incompetent with a weapon ith which he would be familiar?
Moreover please show how the Knight would some how 'be dead' should he screw up so spectacularly and let the Samurai get past his guard? Did he forget his armour and sidearm perhaps?

Well, I'm not sure how I'm going to 'show' that, any more than you can 'show' any of your speculations. The fact is a 'pike', or any of the longer heavier pole weapons were intended for fighting in formation. One on one, they are not as effective. The Romans routinely 'got inside' spear carrying opponents and did them in with their short swords. When you ask if the knight forgot his 'sidearm', are you suggesting that the 'pike' wielding knight, having allowed the Samurai to get 'inside' his pike would then have time to drop it and draw another weapon? Not a chance. Finally, you ask why I say he would be dead - does the knight's armour have a visor? or the usual 'openings' (groin, underarm, neck etc.)

Jonathan Locke
22 Apr 05,, 01:10
As for #2, i do not think there is any evidence to support the claim that the Knight would have any significant advantadge in a confined space, nor is their any evidence to suggest the Samurai would either.

A Chinese Win Chung martial artist in a confined space would kick either of their asses. ;)

As for #3, the Samurais style would be to parry with his sword, as would the knights(though a knight could also have a shield). A tai chi swordsman on the other hand would definitely attempt to evade his opponents strikes entirely.



You are right the samurai could also win in a closed space, especially if he was trained in nay of these: Atemi, Battojitsu, Daito-ryu, Hakuda (the Japanese form of the Chinese Ch'uan Fa), Hojojitsu (which would be extremely helpful if the knight wields a pike), Iaido, Iaijitsu (a more perfectionized form of Battojitsu), Jodo, Simple Jujitsu, and of course the natural Kempo and Kenjitsu.

Actually i am not so sure about a "Beautiful Springtime" martial artist could beat a samurai, since such martial art is based on blocking using the opponents movement's, and avoids hard techniques. So pretty much, unless the martial artist had created a hybrid between "Beautiful Springtime" and some kind of Jitsu, i think he would be parrying and blocking most of the time. Plus "Beautiful Springtime" is mostly done unarmed, so the martial artist would be in a disadvantage.

As for your comment on question 3, that depends on the Samurai's techniques and fighting styles. If he chose a from Jujitsu, then he would not be blocking, and would be attacking instead. Not to mention if he chose Iaijitsu, then the knight would be in quite a lot of trouble.

PS: Isn't "sticky hands" a Win Chung move?

Bill
22 Apr 05,, 04:58
"Sticky hands" is a Pa Qua kung fu drill designed to boost your sensitivity to your opponents movements.

It involves close-in sparring where your forearms are in contact with your opponent at all times(unless of course one of you is striking).

Win Chung is a southern short style, with a lot of close combat moves. It's perfect for close-in confined space fighting.

Jonathan Locke
22 Apr 05,, 20:48
"Sticky hands" is a Pa Qua kung fu drill designed to boost your sensitivity to your opponents movements.

It involves close-in sparring where your forearms are in contact with your opponent at all times(unless of course one of you is striking).

Win Chung is a southern short style, with a lot of close combat moves. It's perfect for close-in confined space fighting.


I think that Sticky Hands is a Win Chung move, since Pa Qua is basicly based on circling around your opponent, adjusting and balancing yourself to gain an advantage, so it basicly does not need much predicting of the opponent's next attack. Meanwhile, Win Chung is all about predicting you opponents next move.

Agent VE
23 Apr 05,, 01:19
Do not foget: Japan has guns back then too! The knights didn't, guns vs. metal sticks... well, you figure it out.

Now how about ninja vs. vikings? Completly diffrent, but worth it to see what is better, stealth or raw strength.

Bill
23 Apr 05,, 01:39
" think that Sticky Hands is a Win Chung move, since Pa Qua is basicly based on circling around your opponent, adjusting and balancing yourself to gain an advantage, so it basicly does not need much predicting of the opponent's next attack. Meanwhile, Win Chung is all about predicting you opponents next move."

Nope, sticky hands is a internal style drill(and is often practiced while 'walking the circle').

Win Chung is a 'hard' style of kung fu.

Jonathan Locke
23 Apr 05,, 17:58
" think that Sticky Hands is a Win Chung move, since Pa Qua is basicly based on circling around your opponent, adjusting and balancing yourself to gain an advantage, so it basicly does not need much predicting of the opponent's next attack. Meanwhile, Win Chung is all about predicting you opponents next move."

Nope, sticky hands is a internal style drill(and is often practiced while 'walking the circle').

Win Chung is a 'hard' style of kung fu.

oh well, Win Chung and Pa Qua aren't my especialty anyways, i am more engulfed and trained in the art of Iajitsu and Battojitsu. I love a good hybrid of martial arts, dancing, and swordplay.

FlyingCaddy
23 Apr 05,, 19:22
I did some thinking, (amazing no???), and I just want to emphasize that the samurai is more based on the one heavy blow, as best charaterized in the Japaense bow staff tactics, however, the two handed sword tactics are based on mometum, once you start swinging you keep it flowing, late medieval manuscripts constantly emphasize this. Further, perhaps the most feared warriors in history were the vikings and thier bearded axes, which, by weight standards were totally unweildy, however using momentum the axe becomes a near instoppable weapon of death that no amount of parry and block can halt, one can only aviod the axe and most likely retreat.

Jonathan Locke
23 Apr 05,, 21:50
[QUOTE=FlyingCaddy]samurai is more based on the one heavy blow, as best charaterized in the Japaense bow staff tactics, however, the two handed sword tactics are based on mometum, once you start swinging you keep it flowing, late medieval manuscripts constantly emphasize this. QUOTE]


Depends on what art of swordfighting the samurai was trained in. He could have been trained in a Jujitsu art, in which case you would be right abou the flowing motions, but there are many other arts in Japanese culture that involve swordfighting and that are not related to Jujitsu.

Bill
23 Apr 05,, 21:55
Samurai Military Training

Associate Professor of History at the University of Georgia, Karl Friday, Ph.D. wrote the following in response to a question about samurai military training posted on the Budo conversation site, E-Budo.com. The original and much more can be seen at http://www.e-budo.com. Dr. Friday can be reached through his office:

Karl Friday
Dept. of History
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
ph. (706) 542-2537
kfriday@arches.uga.edu

Samurai military training differed from era to era. During the late medieval period, the "Age of the Country at War," military training for most samurai was not all that elaborate. Most warriors, especially rank-and-file samurai and ashigaru, probably learned just the basics of weapons handling from their fathers and/or their peers, and then acquired most of their skills through experience and practice--kind of the way American inner-city kids learn to street-fight today. Some took this sort of thing more seriously than others and went looking for teachers or had access to real bugei experts nearby--or passing through. Most didn't need or seek out extensive formal instruction. There were, of course, a handful of men who really dedicated themselves to perfecting the arts of blade-to-blade combat, but the fact that so many ryuha trace themselves to the same people strongly suggests that this wasn't all that widespread a phenomenon. There are a few dozen really famous martial artists from the late 15th and 16th centuries, and there probably weren't more than a few hundred teachers around at any given time, even in medieval times.

During the Tokugawa era, when bugei ryuha evolved into the kind of organizations we know today, the vast majority of samurai probably did little or no training. Tokugawa samurai were sword-bearing bureaucrats mostly, not sword-wielding warriors--because there were no wars. In fact, it's likely that the total number of real experts, and possibly even the total number of serious students, in the bugei wasn't significantly higher in Tokugawa Japan than it is today.

Please don't, BTW, confuse ryuha with "clans." The tie-in between the two isn't direct.

Most medieval and Tokugawa era daimyo had personal bugei teachers for themselves and their families, and these teachers all belonged to one ryuha or another. But the same ryuha could and did provide this sort of teacher for more than one daimyo. And daimyo could and did employ teachers from more than one ryuha. Many daimyo, especially during the Tokugawa era, also operated domain schools staffed by teachers from one or more ryuha for their samurai retainers. Policies as to who could--or must--attend this sort of instruction varied from domain to domain and daimyo to daimyo. And, of course, there were also a great many ryuha that were entirely or almost entirely localized in a single domain. Many domains had several of these, including some, like the Kunii house's Kashima-Shinryu, that were purely family traditions. Other ryuha were more national in scope, headquartered in major cities like Edo or Kyoto and offering instruction to samurai from numerous domains. (This was why bugei schools became focal points of the anti-shogunate movements during the late 1800s: they were places where samurai from different domains could legally meet and interact, without immediately drawing the suspicions of domain and shogunal officials.)

One more thing--a pet peeve: the word "clan," in reference to political/military organizations of medieval and Tokugawa era daimyo, is one that should be thrown out. The guys who write the subtitles for samurai movies seem to love it, but it's a lousy word for describing what Japanese warlords headed up. Daimyo did make use of familial-sounding terms and titles for their subordinates, but daimyo armies and polities weren't really built around kinship ties. "Domain" is the word most historians use for these things.

The following was written by Dr. Friday in response to a further question about clans and bugei training prompted by what he wrote above.

"Clan" has basically zero relevance to warrior history, and little meaning at all in Japanese history after the 8th century or so. The main familial unit for warriors and non-warriors alike was the household. Kinship ties, both real and fictitious, were exploited in various ways by would-be warlords attempting to establish "feudal" (for lack of a better word) control over large areas of lands and peoples, but the bonds that were formed were actually based on financial and military dependency, not kinship. What late medieval and early modern samurai controlled were essentially autonomous countries (in medieval times) and semi-autonomous satrapies (in Tokugawa times). "Domain" is the term most historians writing in English use to refer to these entities. In both the early modern and medieval eras, these domains could be defined by geographic boundaries, but in the Sengoku period they were really defined as the sum of the lands held by the lord and his vassals, whose lands were in turn defined by those held by themselves and their vassals, and so on down the line. Which meant that domain shapes were fluid and contingent on vassal loyalty, which was itself highly fluid and contingent, until warlords began to find ways to change this, in the late 1500s and beyond.

http://www.budogu.com/html/samurai_military_training.htm

Jonathan Locke
23 Apr 05,, 22:11
Nice article

Stuart Mackey
03 May 05,, 16:09
"What evidence makes you think the samurai's weapon can penitrate plate armour?"

It seems pretty obvious to me that a Choku-To Katana would have a pretty good chance of penetrating plate armor. My reasons are explained about a page back in the thread.

Sorry about the long delay in responces. Work is such a drag at times.

Reasons backed up by what evidence?
European edged weapons virtualy could not do so, hence the use of mace's, war hammers etc. I fail to see why katana would be different, after all they are just steel and hardly magical nor possesing the characeristics of lightsabres

Stuart Mackey
03 May 05,, 16:14
"Moreover please show how the Knight would some how 'be dead' should he screw up so spectacularly and let the Samurai get past his guard? Did he forget his armour and sidearm perhaps?"

If the Samurai gets inside the knights pike it's over. If i got inside the knights pike it would be over for that matter.

So show it. You are talking a lot of 'if's' seemingly with an expectation that the knight would simply stand there like a shop dummy. How does the samurai do so, what is the knight response.

Stuart Mackey
03 May 05,, 16:19
"How is it obvious that a man in plate armour is slower than a samurai ?"

That one seems pretty obvious(assuming the Samurai is not in armor as i had previously stated). Certainly top end Euro plate armor was only mildly restrictive, but it's still got mass which will slow attacks and recoveries, and your vision is highly restricted to boot. Also, while a good level of flexibility can be maintained, a swordsman without armor is still going to be much more agile IMO.

With out..certainly you are more agile,but its for nought if you cannot get att he man inside. But when in battle they would hardly be with out.
The thing is do you actually know what european armour weighs?, how it is distributed over the person? how they fought in said armor? In short back up you claims with evidence.

Stuart Mackey
03 May 05,, 16:28
Answer to first question: I believ Snipe has already answered that one

Not really no.



Question 2: I did not conclude that he was better in an enclosed space because of the fact that he has a plate armor, i did so, because he has a pike and because the samurai may not use most of his techniques, which involve large amounts of space both on air and on land.


Ahh, I see. So once again you think one is better than the other in given circumstances without a shred of evidence.



Question #3: If it is an open space, a trained Japanese samurai will most likely be able to either predict the slow knight's attack or use his keen reflexes and lack of heavy armor to dodge or parry the blow.


Slow? heavy? By all means show some evidence to back this up.



Question Four: Again, Snipe has answered that one.

Not really, no

Stuart Mackey
03 May 05,, 16:38
Well, I'm not sure how I'm going to 'show' that,

May I reccomend research?


any more than you can 'show' any of your speculations.

What speculation? I have asked people to back up claims, and that is not speculation.



The fact is a 'pike', or any of the longer heavier pole weapons were intended for fighting in formation. One on one, they are not as effective.[quote]

Correct, and they were used with other weapons mixed in as well.

[quote] The Romans routinely 'got inside' spear carrying opponents and did them in with their short swords.

Irellivant, the discussion is not about Romans


When you ask if the knight forgot his 'sidearm', are you suggesting that the 'pike' wielding knight, having allowed the Samurai to get 'inside' his pike would then have time to drop it and draw another weapon? Not a chance.

Prove it.



Finally, you ask why I say he would be dead - does the knight's armour have a visor? or the usual 'openings' (groin, underarm, neck etc.)

Thats nice, and perhaps he will sit still so the samurai can have a cup of tea before finishing him?

Bill
03 May 05,, 20:52
Short of dressing you up as a pike wielding knight and i as a Choku-To wielding Samurai the only thing we have to go by is common sense.

Common sense clearly dictates that a man with two hands on a pike that misses and finds his target rapidly bursting in at him is not going to have time to drop the Pike, draw his weapon, and deflect the incoming thrust.

Your best bet in that situation would be to attempt to evade the incoming thrust entirely, but that of course is easier said than done against a well trained opponent armed with a sword noted for it's speed in action.

I would definitely go so far as to say that the warrior that found himself in that situation would be in the most serious of trouble.

Can i prove it absolutely?

Sure, i'm sure i could if i felt like spending 4 hours reasearching Pike vs Sword on Google to find god only knows how many citations of that happening in battle throughout history.

However since it is such a self evident situation, i really see no need.

Bill
03 May 05,, 20:57
"Thats nice, and perhaps he will sit still so the samurai can have a cup of tea before finishing him?"

Once inside the Samurai can just cut-leg or otherwise sweep the Euro Knight as one of many options(to include thrusting his Choku-To Katana clean through a weakpoint in the knights armor).

They call it a 'guard' for a reason you know. Once someone is inside your guard, you are um....significantly less 'guarded', and therefore very vulnerable.

And i find it ironic that you opine the Samurai wont have time to deliver a killing, stunning, or de-feeting blow(the 'sipping tea' comment), but yet you have this illogical belief that the Samurai will indeed sip tea once inside the Knights guard while the Euro changes weapons and regains a good defensive or offensive posture.

If someone gets inside your guard, and they know what they're doing...you have serious problems.

Jonathan Locke
03 May 05,, 21:03
With out..certainly you are more agile,but its for nought if you cannot get att he man inside. But when in battle they would hardly be with out.
The thing is do you actually know what european armour weighs?, how it is distributed over the person? how they fought in said armor? In short back up you claims with evidence.



Look, the average European knight was equally, if not less, as strong as the feudal Japanese samurai. The weight of a plate/chain mail armor drags your movements, therefore creating a slower reaction, with that said, the knight "could" still be moving fast, but slower than the samurai, who regularly wore leather armors only.

Jonathan Locke
03 May 05,, 21:08
So show it. You are talking a lot of 'if's' seemingly with an expectation that the knight would simply stand there like a shop dummy. How does the samurai do so, what is the knight response.


It really shows you have never been in a swordfight. :biggrin:

The samurai's blade is basically made from the steel mines in the mountains of Japan, which i believe you can tell that Japan is not the same as Europe. The metal found in these mines is then folded into sheets over and over again, to reinforce the blade's strength, then most skilled swordsmiths layer the blade with a minute coating of a different steel, to create a contrast. Then as a last touch, the richest and most advanced smiths apply a thin layer of a variation of titanium in the blade's edges, making the blade able to cut throgh pretty much anything.


as for your comment regarding if the knight would stand there like a shop dummy... Well, Snipe gave us the scenario of the samurai puncturing the knights armor, which means the blade has gone through it, so once the weapon has gone throuhg he armor and reaching the unprotected flesh, the knight is dead. Sure he could move around all he wants, but the sword is still gonna be trhought the armor, and even if he gets it off, now the samurai knows that he can break the armor and kill him, even if it takes another stab or hack.

Bill
03 May 05,, 21:14
There was a show on the history channel where a guy had an authentic Italian plate armor suit made by one of the very few men left alive who can actually build one.

He put it through all kinds of paces, and indeed, it was surprisingly well designed and gave excellent load distribution.

Some of the drills he ran were duels, a mock battle against several opponents armed with a variety of weaponry, and mounted exercises. For instance, he was able to throw himself off a trotting horse and get right back to his feet, as well as mount the horse to begin with unassisted. Overall he praised the armor as being the equivelant to the modern day tank.

However, he had three complaints.

1) While nowhere near as encumbering as he'd thought it would be, it did slow him down more than he'd have liked.

2) He tired significantly more quickly in the Armor than out of it.

3) The vision was extremely restricted. When dueling he took to lifting his visor to gain peripheral vision.

Wish i could remember what the name of the show was, it was very informative, entertaining, and he stated numerous times as historically accurate as possible.

He also struck the armor with several common weapons of the medievil to rennaisance era, and few had any real chance of penetrating the helm or the chestplate, but again, he noted that once he was grappled a knight could still be knocked to the ground, and that indeed, there were many parts in the armor where even a powerful dagger thrust could deliver a killing blow.

Then, as now, there is no such thing as invulnerable armor.

FlyingCaddy
03 May 05,, 21:56
Some of the drills he ran were duels, a mock battle against several opponents armed with a variety of weaponry, and mounted exercises. For instance, he was able to throw himself off a trotting horse and get right back to his feet, as well as mount the horse to begin with unassisted. Overall he praised the armor as being the equivelant to the modern day tank.

However, he had three complaints.

1) While nowhere near as encumbering as he'd thought it would be, it did slow him down more than he'd have liked.

2) He tired significantly more quickly in the Armor than out of it.

3) The vision was extremely restricted. When dueling he took to lifting his visor to gain peripheral vision.

He also struck the armor with several common weapons of the medievil to rennaisance era, and few had any real chance of penetrating the helm or the chestplate, but again, he noted that once he was grappled a knight could still be knocked to the ground, and that indeed, there were many parts in the armor where even a powerful dagger thrust could deliver a killing blow.

Then, as now, there is no such thing as invulnerable armor.

Ok what you said does not suprise me in the least however it also did not convince me that the Samurai is not inherently superior at swordplay than the Knight. Of course armor is emcumbering, putting on football or hokcey, or any other sport equipment is encumbering to some degree. Its not a total suprise that he tired more with the armor on than not, I doubt any armor does not tire out its user. Should I apprehend that the face mask the samurai wears has no effect on peripheral vision? Finally, like you said, no armor is invulnerable, therfore the samurai is equally vulnerable to a swordblow, perhaps more so if he is using laquer armor.

I think this debate is much like the Me109E and the Spitfire MkI, its the man, not the machine.

Jonathan Locke
04 May 05,, 00:18
Should I apprehend that the face mask the samurai wears has no effect on peripheral vision?


i explained this before, in a previous post.

I asume that you are talking about the red, iron masks that they show in museums/historic shows/movies/etc..., where the mask has sort of a human resemblance, but the image is blended in with some type of animal, most likely a dragon or eagle. If so, i will say it again, most samurais did not wear masks or iron armor, shogun and warlords wore those things, the samurais wore wide legged pants and robe-like shirts made out of cotton or another cloth, and if they knew they were going to battl, they would probably wear a light leather armor or something of similar confortability and weight.

deadkenny
04 May 05,, 00:47
May I reccomend research??

I suggest you do some, since you've contributed nothing to the discussion.




Irellivant, the discussion is not about Romans



Prove it.



Thats nice, and perhaps he will sit still so the samurai can have a cup of tea before finishing him?

Since it pertains to a sword weilding fighter vs. an opponent with a pole weapon, it's clearly relevant.

Not interested in 'proving' anything to trolls.

FlyingCaddy
04 May 05,, 22:10
i explained this before, in a previous post.

I asume that you are talking about the red, iron masks that they show in museums/historic shows/movies/etc..., where the mask has sort of a human resemblance, but the image is blended in with some type of animal, most likely a dragon or eagle. If so, i will say it again, most samurais did not wear masks or iron armor, shogun and warlords wore those things, the samurais wore wide legged pants and robe-like shirts made out of cotton or another cloth, and if they knew they were going to battl, they would probably wear a light leather armor or something of similar confortability and weight.
Wait, if we are arguing the common European Man at Arms vs.the common Japanese Foot Soldier, thats a different argument and I dont think the author of this post intentded that.

Watcher
05 May 05,, 20:46
The sword has a straight, wide blade about 40" long by 6" wide, double-edged, with a blood gutter running down the length of the richly engraved gold inlaid blade. The blade is a good high-carbon steel, with a full tang. The hilt is brass, about 8" long, with an extremely wide brass crossguard, about 10" across. The sword weighs approx. 30lbs. I would never dream of attempting to use it in a fight, it is entirely too unwieldy, but it is the classic 'hand and a half sword'. If you did ever manage to connect with a slash the damage would be catastrophic to the recipient..

Don't know what kind of sword you have there, but no real medieval fighting-sword did weight even near as much as your sword.

Not even a great sword is thus heavy.

A 40-Pound Sword?

By C. Jarko

One of the most outrageous (and wildly incorrect) statements made about Medieval swords is that they were heavy and weighed as much as 40 pounds. While the fact that this statement even came once from a respected scholar and expert on Medieval warfare is surprising, it's not at all an uncommon claim. Let's take a look at just how large a sword would have to be to weigh that much or anywhere close to it.

Simple Science (with a little algebra thrown in): How do we know Medieval swords weren't 40 pounds (or for that matter, even 15 or 20 pounds)? The answer is density. Density is a way of expressing how much an object (of a certain size and of a given material) weighs. The size of the object is expressed in terms of its volume. Volume is the size of an object as measured by its length, width and thickness (or height) and is expressed in cubic inches. Written as a mathematical equation, it looks like this:

V = L x W x H.

One cubic inch is one inch long by one inch wide by one inch thick.

For the purpose of this discussion, we can use a simple three-dimensional rectangle to represent our sword. Let's pick a typical longsword with an overall length of 48 inches and a general width of 2 inches (the widest part of the blade). We'll get to the height later.

Swords were made of carbon steel, which has a known density of roughly 0.284 pounds per cubic inch (lbs/per cubic inch). If we know how much weight we have (in this case "40" pounds), we can figure out how many cubic inches the object would have:

40 pounds divided by 0.284 (the density of steel) = 140.85 cubic inches (the volume or "V" of a 40 pound sword).

Our sword is 48 inches long, 2 inches wide and "H" inches thick, thus: V = 48 x 2 x H. Using our volume of 140.85, we can solve for H for which we get:

140.85 = 48 x 2 x H

140.85 = 96 x H

H= 1.47 inches (140.85 divided by 96)

This means our steel sword is 48 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1.47 inches thick along its entire length. This would definitely be a blunt object and not a sharp cutting instrument like a sword.

Just for fun, let's see what we get when we say a sword (again 48 inches long and 2 inches wide) weighs 15 pounds or 10 pounds:

15 pounds divided by 0.284 (the density of steel) = 52.82 cubic inches (the volume "V" of a 15 pound sword).

Using our volume of 52.82, we can solve for H:

52.82 = 48 x 2 x H

52.82 = 96 x H

H = 0.55 inches (52.82 divided by 96)

That's over half an inch thick, still a blunt object. Let's try one more time for 10 pounds.

10 pounds divided by 0.284 (the density of steel) = 35.21 cubic inches (the volume "V" of a 15 pound sword).

Again, we can solve for H:

35.21 = 48 x 2 x H

35.21 = 96 x H

H = 0.37 inches

That's almost three eighths of an inch thick. If you look at three eighths of an inch on a ruler, you'll see we are now starting to get "sword-like" but we're still not there.

If we do the math using the thickness of a real sword (say an average 1/8th inch thick across a roughly 48" by 2" rectangle) it turns out such it weighs a reasonable 3.408 pounds. Which, when you take into account things like differential cross-section, distal taper, edge bevel and overall taper of the blade geometry, as well as the weight of the pommel and cross, then an average weight of 2.5 - 3.5 pounds works out just about right. So, the next time

When someone says "a longsword weighs 15 pounds", you can reply, "Oh, like this?" as you hand them 15 pounds of a half-inch thick steel slab four feet long and two inches wide. There's nothing like holding the truth in your hands. If there were really battle swords that actually weighed 40 pounds, or even just 15 or 20 pounds, then where are they? Why don't we have a single historical example as proof? It would be such an easy thing to prove. So, if you have a modern made sword which you bought and it weighs far more than the real life working versions of history, no matter what the manufacture claims, that sword is just not made correctly.

When we use the mathematical proof, we need to understand that there are variables which we aren't taking into account here, but this line of argument works well enough to debunk the more outrageous claims about sword weight. The next time you're arguing with someone who refuses to budge off their claim that swords were very heavy and unwieldy, you can tell them: "Hey, you do the math!"

Bill
05 May 05,, 20:49
A lovely dissertation, but the matter was already settled in previous posts.

PS: The sword weighed in at about 25lbs(don't remember exactly) when i weighed it a few weeks ago.

Watcher
05 May 05,, 21:03
A lovely dissertation, but the matter was already settled in previous posts.

PS: The sword weighed in at about 25lbs(don't remember exactly) when i weighed it a few weeks ago.

Which at the end only proves the bottom line of the article above: "So, if you have a modern made sword which you bought and it weighs far more than the real life working versions of history, no matter what the manufacture claims, that sword is just not made correctly."

Only because something is very expensive that does not mean that it is also very good or very accurate.


For the fight between knight and samurai and the argument about getting close:

Don't forget that medieval fighting included a lot of graple/wrestling moves for close combats. Sword fighting likewise include a lot of close-combat attacks with the hilt and the cross-guard.

While not at his best fighting distance, a knight is anything but defenseless at close range.

Bill
05 May 05,, 21:37
Of course grappling is an issue, and i pointed that out already in several previous posts.

And of course, a japanese Samurai would know several grappling techniques himself. Grappling is about sensitivity to your opponents movements, and retaining your 'center'(ie balance).

A suit of full plate armor would be a disadvantadge for the wearer in such cases because you obviously have no sensitivity to your opponents grasp while encased in a suit of steel, and you'd also be a bit more top heavy, making you easier to knock over.

Thunar
08 May 05,, 14:43
It really shows you have never been in a swordfight. :biggrin:

Thunar: It also really shows you haven't either :tongue:

The samurai's blade is basically made from the steel mines in the mountains of Japan, which i believe you can tell that Japan is not the same as Europe. The metal found in these mines is then folded into sheets over and over again, to reinforce the blade's strength, then most skilled swordsmiths layer the blade with a minute coating of a different steel, to create a contrast. Then as a last touch, the richest and most advanced smiths apply a thin layer of a variation of titanium in the blade's edges, making the blade able to cut throgh pretty much anything.

Thunar: Are you talking today or back then? because if you are talking back then that is full of bull, the katana had a soft iron core ( like the europeans) that was incased in harden steel ( like the europeans) different styles of forging but same results and no it couldn't cut through anything either in fact the first Ninja-kens were broken and discarded Katana's but don't take my word for it take these quotes from Jim Hrisoulas on the subject on another board Claymore vs Katana

Jims quotes.But before I go any further let me make one thing clear...I do not really
care for the Japanese style of blade as all the hype, misconceptions and
other misinformation that is out there about them just drives me
nuts..Rather I prefer Mid-Eastern and Northern European pattern welded
blades over the Japanses blades...same techniques, same level of skills
involved...)

Another one:There is nothing mystical about any blade, Japanese, Danish, German or
American..Steel is steel, and it will behave like steel.. There are no
secret processes, no dark, arcane mysteries about forging a good blade.
Advances in techniques and technology? Yes...almost constantly in
metallurgy and metallography..but "secrets"? I do not think so.....Does
skill play a part in this? Yes, does experience play a part in
this..yes...Does it take decades to get this? in most cases, not really

Yet another one:Some will try to say that everyone must start out the same way, long
apprenticeships that take years and years to advance in this art...I do
not feel that this is fair if you wish the art to advance overall. Case
in point since this all started with the Claymore/Katana thread...Japanese
blades..


This is a classic example of non advancement. The Japanese smiths found
something that worked and then they just went more or less stagnant. No
evolution of materials, very limited exchange of information between
smiths, no real experimentations on design or function... Does this make
the Japanese blades any lesser in quality? Not really but it also doesn't
allow for "free thinking", as the "masters" will say "You do it this way
as this is the way I learned it, or else you won't be doing it"...


Now tradition is one thing, but to strangle the desire to expand and
experiment that is in the hearts of most artisians is to me a crime
against the creative spirit...One that I hope I am never guilty of...


In all the years I have been teaching, in all the writings that I have
penned I have never limited the people involved by saying "This is the
only way to do this"....In fact I have expoused the exact
opposite...trying to encourage others to try new things, to allow this
dying art to expand, to revive and to advance.


If everyone followed the same "guild like" structures that some people say
are required to be able to make a decent blade, this world would still be
in the Dark Ages as far as many aspects of modern life...


Fact: traditional Japanese construction is in a simple way composite
pattern welding. The same techniques were used by nearly every iron
working culture at one time or another, for various reasons...The Japanese
did not usually etch the blades to reveal the patterns more boldly, but
they used the various grades of ferrous materials to enhance the strength
and cutting ability of the blades...The Vikings, Danes. Germans, Poles,
Franks, Finns and others did the same, but they also appreciated the
beauty of this material and etched the surface to reveal the patterns..(I
am not saying that the Japanese did not appreciate the beauty of even the
unetched steel, as you can still see some patterning and the Japanese
looked at that as a desirable trait in a higher quality blade....they just
didn't "get into" the bolder contrasts that the rest of the world
did..this could be the "less is more" aspect.)


And now a comment from Hank Rheinhart a on of the leading experts in swords today.

Quote:Hype . . .
As Ancient An Art As Sword Making

Hank Reinhardt
Senior ARMA Advisor


Hype is part of the American scene, maybe even the culture, and most
of us have learned this and are ready to discount a lot of hype we
hear. In some areas, however, it appears that hype is becoming true,
and many people take as facts stories that are, at beast, outrageous.
This seems to be particularly true with the Japanese sword. In the
early 1950s, with the release of the movie Bad Day at Black Rock, in
which one-armed Spencer Tracy uses karate/judo to tear up villain
Ernest Borgnine, the U.S. went on a kick glorifying the Oriental
martial arts. Since that time we have been treated to increasingly
impossible feats of derring-do -- heroes who leap straight up over 10
feet, who unarmed and single-handedly take 15-20 villains and destroy
them without working up a sweat or getting a bloody nose, who can hurl
a knife 50 feet into the trigger guard of a pistol. Ridiculous.


If the unarmed impossibilities are not bad enough, we are also treated
to the armed impossibilities: Mac 10 submachine guns that fire 300
rounds from one magazine, swords that shear plate and concrete columns
and then are struck edge to edge and never take a nick, and knives
that cut barbwire with a mysterious twist of the blade. Most of this
people see as hype, but for some reason, when the Japanese sword is
hyped, everyone believes it.


As a student of arms and armor for many years, I find this both
distressing and amusing. When I mention that a Viking sword,
"Quernbiter" by name, was called this because it was supposed to have
cut a millstone in half, everyone laughs and considers it a tall tale,
which it undoubtedly was. Then the same audience will gravely assure
me that the Japanese Katana has been known to cut a machine gun barrel
in half.


This stunt must have happened several times, because when I tried to
track the source, it seems to have occurred on Guadalcanal,
Bougainville, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, and several other islands. I have to
believe Japanese soldiers have some sort of pathological hatred for
machine gun barrels. I have also wondered why they never tried to cut
down the gunner.


Not only are Japanese blades exalted by such folks to the point of
sheer absurdity, but European blades are downgraded until they become
mere bars of iron, incapable of cutting hot butter. This just isn't
true.


Students of arms and armor have always regarded the Japanese sword as
a very fine weapon. It has good balance, may be well constructed, and
it does what it was designed to do pretty well. But it is made out of
steel, and has all the limitations of other steel swords. It isn't
magic.


The earliest Japanese swords were direct descendents of the Chinese
swords of the same period-straight, single-edged blades. These swords
were poorly made, and may not have been tempered. Around 300 to 400
AD the Japanese learned how to temper the swords to produce a steely
iron. Even after this, the sword was not highly regarded, and the bow
was considered much superior. Soon, straight double-edged swords
began to appear, but did not remain on the scene very long, possibly
because tempering a double-edged sword offers problems. Legend has it
that a single smith, Amakuni, designed the first single-edged and
curved sword. The exact shape of this blade is not known, but it was
not until roughly 1100 AD that the sword reached the final shape. By
1300, it was a truly good sword and very well made. These early
blades all seemed to be slightly larger and longer than blades made
after the end of the 16th century. There have been volumes written on
the methods of constructing a Japanese sword, and it is not my purpose
here to elaborate on them. The method was complex and involved
layering the steel to produce a blade very nearly homogenous in its
various elements. On top of this, a very hard steel was used for the
edge, and a softer, more shock resistant type was used for the rest of
the blade. Sometimes the edge was covered by the softer metal,
sometimes the hard steel covered a softer body.


The end result was a blade that had a very hard edge, and a resilient
body. However, even with the resiliency, the Japanese sword was not
very flexible. One school of swordsmiths, the Soshu, was noted for
producing blades that were very tough because they possessed a slight
degree of flexibility. A look at European theories in the same time
frames shows different approaches.


As early as 700 BC, the Celts were forging weapons, both spears and
swords, by piling on layers of iron and forging the whole mess. This
process continually improved until by 500 AD excellent pattern-welded
swords were being made. In this process, bundles of carburized iron
bars were welded together, and then a hard steel edge was welded on.
This produced a sword, usually double-edged, with a soft, resilient
body and a hard edge. The sword was flat, rather thin, quite light
and flexible. Weight was in the area of 28 to 40 ounces.


These swords remained quite popular until about 900 AD when a new
sword appeared. This sword was somewhat slimmer in the area of the
point, tapering more sharply from the hilt, and was composed of
steel-not iron that had been carburized, but steel all the way
through. They were easier to make and, for all intents and purposes,
just as strong as the earlier blades.


Two very important factors should be noted here. The European smiths
were constantly trying out slight variations and whole new shapes.
There were single-edged swords, slightly curved blades, and short
swords like the Roman gladius as well as wide-bladed chopping weapons.


The Japanese, once they had decided on a basic shape, never made any
attempts to improve on it. Many would like to say that having found
the perfect shape, there was no reason to improve on it. I don't
think that's true at all.


The Japanese culture has always been quite rigid, heavily bound by
tradition. This highly controlled society did not encourage
experimentation. The plus side is that it did leave us with a large
number of very fine swords that are quite old and in excellent shape.


Let's take a look at cutting powers. The European blade was light,
fast, with a hard edge (carbon content ranges from .75% to 1.2%) and
capable of delivering a terrible, shearing blow. It was also a
one-handed weapon, usually used in conjunction with a wooden shield.
Flexibility was a definite necessity. When cutting into a shield or
the body of a foeman, the blade had to be able to twist and bend and
not break or distort. A man with a sword cutting him does not stand
still. Opposed by the armor in use at the time -- mail, leather or
heavy padding -- a sword can cut much deeper if it is thin and wide at
the striking point because a thin blade does not have to push a great
deal of material aside. These swords will cut mail when a hard blow
is struck and the mail hit squarely. I've spent a lot of time and
money testing the cut on hams covered with mail. If the blow is not
hit squarely, the edge will skate and not bite. When the mail is
fairly hit, even with force, there is very little, if any, damage to
the edge of a good sword.


The Japanese sword is a superb draw-cutting weapon. This is the
method that has been taught for the past several hundred years, and
the evidence seems to indicate that it was always used in a similar
fashion. In a draw cut, the blade is pulled as it cuts, and therefore
not only shears, but slices as well. In soft tissue such as flesh or
bone, it delivers a truly fearsome cut, being easily capable of
cutting a torso in half. The draw back is that it doesn't cut armor,
even mail, very well. A draw cut is very ineffective against hard
armor. Changing the cut, and delivering a shearing blow does not work
either. The blade of the katana is thick, with a sharp cutting bevel.
The edge is strong, but the wedge it presents has to move aside more
material. When cutting into metal, this is very difficult to do.


There are two additional points that should be considered. The
Japanese sword was a two-handed weapon. Using both hands, a much
harder blow can be delivered. Earlier swords, which were slightly
heavier and longer, would add even additional force to the blow. But
even with these advantages, the sword was not very good at penetrating
armor.


The Japanese made good swords, but they also made very good armor.
Many of the suits have plates of the same steel as the sword blades.
The front of the plates was just as hard as the sword edge, while the
back was soft and springy.


In order to have a good chance against the armor there are three
weapons that are much better than the sword. They are the bow, the
yari (spear) and the naginata. That explains why in battle, the three
principal weapons used were the bow, the yari and the naginata.


In Europe, when practical firearms made armor obsolete, it was quickly
abandoned. The same thing is true of Japan. One thing the Japanese
are not is stupid.


That is true with all warrior societies. The sword was never the
principal battle weapon. It has always been the weapon of last
resort. The Roman relied on his pilum, the Greek his spear, the
knight his lance, the Mongol his bow, and the Landsnecht his pike or
halberd. In Japan it was just more so. The sword was used on the
battlefield for the last bit of hand-to-hand combat, to finish off the
wounded, and for the last forlorn stand, when the warrior chooses to
kill and die.


All of the above refers to fully armored warriors. Never forget that
in both Europe and Japan there were many warriors on the field who
were not fully armored.


Another "fact" about Japanese swords is that the point, which is
distinct and unique, is an armor-piercing point. It isn't. Shoving a
knife or sword through a car door isn't that hard and many blades can
do it. The Japanese point is harder to pierce with than many other
designs. However that point is one of the best cutting points ever
designed. Generally a sword point involved in a cut produces a lot of
drag and reduces the efficiency of the cut. However, the Japanese
point with its sharply angled "edge" portion, actually aids the cut.
This would be quite important, as many standard cuts with Japanese
swords are made with the first 6 inches of the blade. Europeans simply
ignored the problem, which for them was very minor. Most of their
cuts were made well back of the point. Due to the shape of the sword,
the optimal striking point on most European blades was very well down
the blade. Much later, many European cavalry sabers had points
similar to the Japanese.


I have been assured, frequently in fact, that Japanese blades are so
strong and tough that they never break, nick or bend. Well, they
break, they nick, and they bend. They frequently nick quite badly.
Damascus steel is a superior steel, or it can be when done by a superb
smith. But even a superior steel is still steel and will respond like
steel. One sad fact is that the harder the steel, the more likely it
is to chip and nick. A softer metal will bend, flatten or otherwise
distort. When this happens, it is relatively easy to pound or file a
new cutting edge. When a chip leaves a gap, not much can be done. A
piece can be reforged into the blade, but this also requires that the
blade be retempered."


http://www.thearma.org/essays/*hype.htm





as for your comment regarding if the knight would stand there like a shop dummy... Well, Snipe gave us the scenario of the samurai puncturing the knights armor, which means the blade has gone through it, so once the weapon has gone throuhg he armor and reaching the unprotected flesh, the knight is dead. Sure he could move around all he wants, but the sword is still gonna be trhought the armor, and even if he gets it off, now the samurai knows that he can break the armor and kill him, even if it takes another stab or hack.

Thunar:Yes he did but that sword wouldn't existed anymore for the samurai because that design fell out of favor. Truly this pretend fight is really 50/50 and I notice that the samurai isn't armored and why is the knight? they didn't live in the armor either and there martial skill armed and unarmed was pretty much equal to the samurai as well.

Bill
08 May 05,, 15:19
I couldn't get past the first paragraph in that post.

'Steel is steel' is a patently ridiculous comment.

Anyone who says it is has nothing to offer a debate about different blades.

Bill
08 May 05,, 15:21
"Thunar:Yes he did but that sword wouldn't existed anymore for the samurai because that design fell out of favor."

The Choku-To was still in use, it was just not as common.

I have little doubt that a double handed bursting thrust with a Choku-To would penetrate plate armor...and i would sure love to try.

"Another "fact" about Japanese swords is that the point, which is
distinct and unique, is an armor-piercing point."

The tanto tipped Choku-To is all about penetration.

"It isn't."

Yes....it is. :)

"Shoving a
knife or sword through a car door isn't that hard and many blades can
do it."

Nice bit of hyperbole, but no, most blades WON'T penetrate a car door cleanly.

"The Japanese point is harder to pierce with than many other designs."

That has more to do with the curved blade than the tip, and again, that is not the case with a Choku-To Katana.

"However, the Japanese point with its sharply angled "edge" portion, actually aids the cut.
This would be quite important, as many standard cuts with Japanese
swords are made with the first 6 inches of the blade. Europeans simply
ignored the problem, which for them was very minor. Most of their
cuts were made well back of the point. Due to the shape of the sword,
the optimal striking point on most European blades was very well down
the blade."

Meaning you have to get closer to your opponent. The Katana's optimal cutting point is designed to maximize stand-off range.

"Much later, many European cavalry sabers had points
similar to the Japanese. "

Gee...i wonder why... ;)

"I have been assured, frequently in fact, that Japanese blades are so
strong and tough that they never break, nick or bend. Well, they
break, they nick, and they bend. They frequently nick quite badly.
Damascus steel is a superior steel, or it can be when done by a superb
smith. But even a superior steel is still steel and will respond like
steel. One sad fact is that the harder the steel, the more likely it
is to chip and nick. A softer metal will bend, flatten or otherwise
distort. When this happens, it is relatively easy to pound or file a
new cutting edge. When a chip leaves a gap, not much can be done. A
piece can be reforged into the blade, but this also requires that the
blade be retempered."

The Katana has a very hard edge, and a very soft spine. It is designed to block with the soft spine or side of the blade...NOT the edge itself.

Thunar
08 May 05,, 16:10
I couldn't get past the first paragraph in that post.

'Steel is steel' is a patently ridiculous comment.

Anyone who says it is has nothing to offer a debate about different blades.

Hahaha no he is one of the leading bladesmiths in the world and he knows what he is talking about but obviously you don't know who he is. I own couple of his books and he is VERY knowledgable about swords and metals

Bill
08 May 05,, 16:18
Apparently not....steel is not steel.

There are varying grades and quality of steel, as well as several different forging techniques.

The man may have written a book, but the clown is no expert.

Thunar
08 May 05,, 16:24
"Thunar:Yes he did but that sword wouldn't existed anymore for the samurai because that design fell out of favor."

The Choku-To was still in use, it was just not as common.

Thunar: uh no not really, maybe in role playing games.

I have little doubt that a double handed bursting thrust with a Choku-To would penetrate plate armor...and i would sure love to try.

Thunar: I'm sure it could with enough force but so could european daggers could since that what is made for.

"Another "fact" about Japanese swords is that the point, which is
distinct and unique, is an armor-piercing point."

The tanto tipped Choku-To is all about penetration.

"It isn't."

Yes....it is. :)

Thunar:again wouldn't be in use anymore and again he is talking about the katana mostly

"Shoving a
knife or sword through a car door isn't that hard and many blades can
do it."

Nice bit of hyperbole, but no, most blades WON'T penetrate a car door cleanly.

Thunar: Again its Hank Rheinhart and he is a leading expert of swords and I thinking the hyperbole is the katana that could cut through anthing.

"The Japanese point is harder to pierce with than many other designs."

That has more to do with the curved blade than the tip, and again, that is not the case with a Choku-To Katana.

Thunar: Already comment on that.


"However, the Japanese point with its sharply angled "edge" portion, actually aids the cut.
This would be quite important, as many standard cuts with Japanese
swords are made with the first 6 inches of the blade. Europeans simply
ignored the problem, which for them was very minor. Most of their
cuts were made well back of the point. Due to the shape of the sword,
the optimal striking point on most European blades was very well down
the blade."

Meaning you have to get closer to your opponent. The Katana's optimal cutting point is designed to maximize stand-off range.

Thunar: Different styles and stokes for different folks that is all

"Much later, many European cavalry sabers had points
similar to the Japanese. "

Gee...i wonder why... ;)

Thunar: And don't mention the fact the japanesse where copy european blades styles in the late 1700's early 1800's such as the fuller near the back of the spine.

"I have been assured, frequently in fact, that Japanese blades are so
strong and tough that they never break, nick or bend. Well, they
break, they nick, and they bend. They frequently nick quite badly.
Damascus steel is a superior steel, or it can be when done by a superb
smith. But even a superior steel is still steel and will respond like
steel. One sad fact is that the harder the steel, the more likely it
is to chip and nick. A softer metal will bend, flatten or otherwise
distort. When this happens, it is relatively easy to pound or file a
new cutting edge. When a chip leaves a gap, not much can be done. A
piece can be reforged into the blade, but this also requires that the
blade be retempered."

The Katana has a very hard edge, and a very soft spine. It is designed to block with the soft spine or side of the blade...NOT the edge itself.

Thunar: the european blades also had a hard edge and its block on the flat side of the blade now in a pitch battle between to armys you telling me that a edge to edge strike is not going to happen?

Bill
08 May 05,, 17:30
"Thunar: uh no not really, maybe in role playing games."

Well them i expect you to offer definitive proof that the Choku-To was no longer in use during the 15th century.

I'll be waiting.

"Thunar: I'm sure it could with enough force but so could european daggers could since that what is made for."

Hence disproving the claim made by some on this thread that plate armor was impenetrable.

"Thunar:again wouldn't be in use anymore and again he is talking about the katana mostly"

The Choku-To IS a katana. You don't even know what kind of weapon the sword is, but you expect me to believe you when you claim no one used them any more in the time in question? Swords are passed down from generation to generation among a family. It is entirely reasonable to believe that Choku-Tos fit that pattern.

"Thunar: Again its Hank Rheinhart and he is a leading expert of swords and I thinking the hyperbole is the katana that could cut through anthing."

Ah yes....the leading expert that claims 'steel is steel'.

LOL...the dude is a quack.

"Thunar: Different styles and stokes for different folks that is all"

Well, you take the style that says a weapon with an optimum cutting point midway down the blade is best...i'll take the one that has it's optimum cutting point out near the tip. When i have a solid 12-18" reach advantadge over you, do not be surprised when i cut your spleen out. ;)

"Thunar: the european blades also had a hard edge and its block on the flat side of the blade now in a pitch battle between to armys you telling me that a edge to edge strike is not going to happen?"

In war, anything is possible. That's just life. Edge to edge strikes are a good way to break any sword...

Thunar
08 May 05,, 18:39
"Thunar: uh no not really, maybe in role playing games."

Well them i expect you to offer definitive proof that the Choku-To was no longer in use during the 15th century.

I'll be waiting.

"Thunar: I'm sure it could with enough force but so could european daggers could since that what is made for."

Hence disproving the claim made by some on this thread that plate armor was impenetrable.

"Thunar:again wouldn't be in use anymore and again he is talking about the katana mostly"

The Choku-To IS a katana. You don't even know what kind of weapon the sword is, but you expect me to believe you when you claim no one used them any more in the time in question? Swords are passed down from generation to generation among a family. It is entirely reasonable to believe that Choku-Tos fit that pattern.

"Thunar: Again its Hank Rheinhart and he is a leading expert of swords and I thinking the hyperbole is the katana that could cut through anthing."

Ah yes....the leading expert that claims 'steel is steel'.

LOL...the dude is a quack.

"Thunar: Different styles and stokes for different folks that is all"

Well, you take the style that says a weapon with an optimum cutting point midway down the blade is best...i'll take the one that has it's optimum cutting point out near the tip. When i have a solid 12-18" reach advantadge over you, do not be surprised when i cut your spleen out. ;)

"Thunar: the european blades also had a hard edge and its block on the flat side of the blade now in a pitch battle between to armys you telling me that a edge to edge strike is not going to happen?"

In war, anything is possible. That's just life. Edge to edge strikes are a good way to break any sword...


Thunar:Dude the obvioius quack is you and your roleplaying game history, yes a I know what sword you are talking about and the picture you put up again in which is a ninja-to in which is a hollywood invention the proper term is ninja-ken and like I said the original ninja-ken was broken katanas discarded and if you read Grand master Hatsumi's book about the sword that the ninja used. You keep saying its a katana and no it wasn't and that style of blade was long gone by the 15th century its last use probably would of been around ad 900
As for being past down through the generations sure that happens to all warrior cultures but doesn't mean it would of been used for war. Actually the proof should be you to present that it was used in the 15th century.As for the armor I never made such claim but it is you that don't understand that it would be pretty damn hard to do so in a fight especialy the armor it was made in such a way to glance blows but you make it like it wouldn't be a feat.
As for the cut you still have to step inside for he draw cut in which still could be trouble if you did.As for the edge to edge I agree and like I said the warrior's of both countrys would of been taugt not to have edge to edge contact but like you said anything is possible and I'm pretty sure there was edge to edge contact.

Jim H, and Hank R. are very well respected in swordsmanship circles and they have degrees in such areas and have done reserch longer probably you and I combined.

Bill
09 May 05,, 08:18
"Thunar:Dude the obvioius quack is you and your roleplaying game history, yes a I know what sword you are talking about and the picture you put up again in which is a ninja-to in which is a hollywood invention the proper term is ninja-ken and like I said the original ninja-ken was broken katanas discarded and if you read Grand master Hatsumi's book about the sword that the ninja used."

You don't know what you're talking about. Simple as that.

"You keep saying its a katana and no it wasn't and that style of blade was long gone by the 15th century its last use probably would of been around ad 900"

A choku-To is a Katana. The curved katana is called a Wakazushi(sp).


"Jim H, and Hank R. are very well respected in swordsmanship circles and they have degrees in such areas and have done reserch longer probably you and I combined."

Then they certainly ought to know that steel is not steel.

All steel, and indeed all swords made of steel, are not created equally.

Jonathan Locke
09 May 05,, 20:37
/\ /\ /\ /\


I agree

Thunar
19 May 05,, 03:31
"Thunar:Dude the obvioius quack is you and your roleplaying game history, yes a I know what sword you are talking about and the picture you put up again in which is a ninja-to in which is a hollywood invention the proper term is ninja-ken and like I said the original ninja-ken was broken katanas discarded and if you read Grand master Hatsumi's book about the sword that the ninja used."

You don't know what you're talking about. Simple as that.

Thunar: funny it was you that was arguing that your sword that weighied 30lbs was a true medieval weapon its you that don't know what your talking about. I guess you don't know the 34 grandmaster of Togakure Rue Ninjutsu and in the late 70's and early 80's Stephen K. Hayes and Robert Bussey was the only americans to be awarded Shidoshi and could teach Ninjutsu and I took lesson's from Robert Bussey for 2 years. So put down the D&D book and stop watching anime and read a history book.

"You keep saying its a katana and no it wasn't and that style of blade was long gone by the 15th century its last use probably would of been around ad 900"

A choku-To is a Katana. The curved katana is called a Wakazushi(sp).

Thunar: No it means short compainion sword.

"Jim H, and Hank R. are very well respected in swordsmanship circles and they have degrees in such areas and have done reserch longer probably you and I combined."

Then they certainly ought to know that steel is not steel.

Thunar: I would take there word from them than you and the europeans made blades of equal quality of the japanesse. Since you don't know them it furthers my thought you have no idea of swords.

All steel, and indeed all swords made of steel, are not created equally.

Thunar:indeed see above comment and that is what they meant that a good steel blade is going to act like a steel blade when it meets and an equal blade.

Thunar
19 May 05,, 03:34
/\ /\ /\ /\


I agree


Of course you would, so what next a adamantium katana recently discovered in 1000 year old shrine. :tongue:

Thunar
19 May 05,, 04:22
Apparently not....steel is not steel.

There are varying grades and quality of steel, as well as several different forging techniques.

Thunar: if you would read the comments you would see that he says the samething but the japanesse didn't have a uber forging techniques that made their blades. I hate to break it to you but the katana is not the be all end all of swords

The man may have written a book, but the clown is no expert.

Thunar: right.. there is a clown and it isn't Jim H, or Hank R. :rolleyes:

Bill
19 May 05,, 09:02
No, the clown isn't the one that states 'steel is steel'....

:rolleyes: right back at ya.

Steel is most definitely not steel. Even if the same steel is used in two blades, the forging and folding process itself can yield wildly differing levels of quality.

Someone should probably point that out to your 'expert'.

PS: The long bladed curved Katana is called a Daito. I mixed up my terminology. My bad. A choku-To and a Daito are both Katanas however. The only difference is that one has a curved blade, and one has a straight blade. A 'Ninja-To' is a sword of which no historical examples exist(leading one to believe they never existed at all), but there are existing examples of Choku-To Katanas.

FlyingCaddy
19 May 05,, 23:24
I have but one question, what would determine the victor in the fight between a knight and a samurai, the man or the equipment?

Bill
20 May 05,, 03:39
IMO, the man, as always....given roughly equivelant gear.

Thunar
20 May 05,, 23:55
No, the clown isn't the one that states 'steel is steel'....

:rolleyes: right back at ya.

Steel is most definitely not steel. Even if the same steel is used in two blades, the forging and folding process itself can yield wildly differing levels of quality.

Thunar: Well since you said it yourself that you wouldn't read the article I don' know why you comment on it.

Someone should probably point that out to your 'expert'.

Thunar:If you would read the article you would see what he is talking about, and ahh yes what of your "expert" ah yes the local blacksmith at the local Ren. Faire that gave you the 30lbs blade in which you thought was a true repro. of a medevial weapon that would be used by a knight. I find it funny that for someone that is in to swords would not of heard these people.

PS: The long bladed curved Katana is called a Daito. I mixed up my terminology. My bad. A choku-To and a Daito are both Katanas however. The only difference is that one has a curved blade, and one has a straight blade. A 'Ninja-To' is a sword of which no historical examples exist(leading one to believe they never existed at all), but there are existing examples of Choku-To Katanas.

Thunar: Actually Daito means longsword in which the you can call Tachi a Daito too but Choko is not a long sword and its time was way before the 15th century and the correct term for a ninja sword is either Ninja-ken or shinobigatana and the word Katana itself is more recent word and I won't say modern because I can't remember when it came into being but I know its recent.

PS. On your sword collection you said you have a katana from WW2 you better find out what you really have because those blades 98% were stamped steel if you have that its no biggy but if you have one either made the old fashion way or a family heirloom that got lost you could have some major cash.

mentalelemental
23 Sep 05,, 02:23
"No, the clown isn't the one that states 'steel is steel'...."

I may be new here, but here are my two cents anyway. Now there may be replies here to a whole mess of posts, so I hope these points haven't been beaten to death. These replies may not be in any particular order, so sorry if they're hard to sort out.

"Steel is steel" may be somewhat of a truism, and as such is a bit vague. However, I believe that you may want to actually read past the first paragraph, if you feel like objecting to it so strongly. True, steel does widely vary, and there are some combinations of pattern-welding and heat treating that can create very tough blades, but they are far from magical. I suggest you go to this site if you want some additional basic information on Japanese pattern-welding and the relationship of hard edge to soft spine: http://www.sword.ne.jp/learn/sword/inside.html. The folding done to get the hard edge steel was primarily done to spread the impurities in the low-grade Japanese iron ore evenly. Repeat: the Japanese folded their steel to evenly distribute the impurities, not to harden it. While the kawagane was harder than the soft spine, it was so because of higher carbon content, not folding. Not that you necessarily said so, but I'm just tired of people stating that their katanas are folded 1000 times and are thus indestructible, etc, etc. The Japanese did treasure the kawagane steel because of the amount of work needed to spread the impurities, but it was not that special. All in all, heat-treating was probably the trickier process. Improper heat-treating could be quite a headache to a bladesmith, and it was very much a matter of instinct. Now about that hard edge vs. soft spine of the blade: The above site does deal a bit with the dimensional aspects of the steels and the arrangement of them, but just how hard should the edge and spine be, respectively? This is only a passing reference, but Adrian Ko is a respected nihon-to aficionado and scholar, and Christopher Lau was very respected in the Japanese sword-polishing community. http://swordforum.com/swords/nihonto/shintokatana.html
As it shows, the edge of a Katana should have a Rockwell hardness in the high-fifties and the spine a hardness around 45Rc. Now 45 is far from soft; as said in the article, the spine needed to be relatively hard to prevent the blade from taking a set. Softer than the edge, but still hard. Too soft an edge would be harder to temper to a tough spring, and almost every good blade is tempered to a tough spring. Also, as they say, the Katana is not meant for steel-to-steel contact, especially in 15th cent. warfare.

Anyway, about the hot topic of armor: As has been said already, European armor was designed to be moved in, unlike the armor used on stage, on camera, and in Renn Faires, in which the armor is made to represent armor, not be it. Japanese armor was also meant to be moved in. Now the thing that I haven't noticed any attention paid to is how the armor was meant to be moved in! Both of these armors were meant to be used on horseback, in very different scenarios. Admittedly I know a pitiful amount about Japanese feudal warfare, but European armor did not leave the crotch and rear of the legs and butt exposed because it looked cool, but rather because those areas would be protected by the knight's war saddle. There was armor made for infantrymen, too, so why is it that many of these references are to cavalry armor? Why optimize the samurai's arsenal by suggesting that a battle between a 15th cent. knight and a 15th cent. Samurai would have the samurai armed with the most effective possible sword, and the knight armed with a "heavy" sword (don't get me started, it's been said before, but I still will argue with anyone who says that European swords were like clubs with edges), and cumbersome armor? Why use run-on sentences? :) Anyway, my point regarding the straight Choku-To is this: in what is supposed to be a typical melee between two unlikely challengers, why give one contestant an extremely unorthodox weapon? I consider it unorthodox if a: no examples have been found and b: if it was not even used by samurai, if anyone. If we give the samurai a choku-to, why not give the knight a loaded crossbow? Why not give him a gunblade (yes, they did actually exist), Why consider a lance the primary weapon of a dismounted knight rather than a sword or poleaxe? Many situations suggested so far pit the knight or samurai against opponent with a clear equipment advantage: pike-vs-katana, choku-to vs. longsword, naginata-vs- longsword, etc. Wouldn't the typical weapon for a lone knight in infantry armor be something along the lines of a poleaxe with a longsword and roundel dagger? The traditional, typical samurai equipment would be yari, katana, wakizashi, and bow, unless I'm mistaken. Maybe a tanto too? I'm open to corrections. Knights often carried a small armory of weapons on their saddles, but those are the three I would imagine a knight on foot would have.

Point: "Common sense clearly dictates that a man with two hands on a pike that misses and finds his target rapidly bursting in at him is not going to have time to drop the Pike, draw his weapon, and deflect the incoming thrust."

Counterpoint: "Another effective pole-arm technique to be wary of is slipping, or the slip-thrust. To make an even quicker attack, the shaft can be thrown out in a one-hand thrust, slipping through the first hand's grip." -John Clements, Medieval Swordsmanship
This also works the other way; the tip of a pike is about twelve feet away from the wielder’s torso. If the tip is pushed away, the wielder can bring the tip back to be a threat to the swordsman once again.

Anyway, that's all for now.

Aryan
23 Sep 05,, 16:01
Let me throw something else into the equation.

For a blow to be fatal, it doesn't need to necessarily penetrate the armour; if its delivered in a powerful enough manner, the shockwaves generated can easily cause enough internal damage passing through the body to kill a man, with the armour intact.

mentalelemental
24 Sep 05,, 04:09
Let me throw something else into the equation.

For a blow to be fatal, it doesn't need to necessarily penetrate the armour; if its delivered in a powerful enough manner, the shockwaves generated can easily cause enough internal damage passing through the body to kill a man, with the armour intact.

Obviously it depends on where and how the blow is made; a blow to an armoured neck would be potentially more lethal than one to the shin. Still, that's where you really get into the specific design of the armor. European armor was fitted quite close to the body, but was also designed so that vulnerable areas such as the neck and torso were somewhat protected agains shock; many european gothic harnesses(armors) had a firm steel collar called a bevor that was fitted and fixed to the breastplate. This would transfer a lot of that shock to the chest, which can take more punishment than the neck. A key idea in armor is the distribution of weight and impact across the body. Not an answer to your question, but hopefully helpful. I can't say anything for Japanese armor because I admit to not knowing much about it. A footnote: European armor also incorporated a lot of features designed to cause many blows to glance off. Especially the 15th cent. Gothic and Maximillian styles.

Some pictures of a pretty good reproduction Gothic Harness (the top three pictures): http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.whiterosearmoury.co.uk/New%2520Folder/High%2520gothic%2520harness%2520web.JPG&imgrefurl=http://www.whiterosearmoury.co.uk/harness.htm&h=537&w=342&sz=33&tbnid=PQuvRf9BjNgJ:&tbnh=129&tbnw=82&hl=en&start=1&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgothic%2Bharness%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3D en%26lr%3Dlang_en%7Clang_es%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN

Low-tech
12 Oct 06,, 10:22
as far as who would win one on one, it really depends on the people fighting. you can ask "who had better weapons and armor?" or "so and so king vs so-and-so diamyo" but even if we conclude one over the other on those grounds it doesnt really get us anywhere.

if anyone here watches MMA<mixed martial arts>you'll know that there are many different styles of combat and every contender has weaknesses and strengths in these different styles, noone is invinsible, no one style is dominate. alot of fights are won by heart alone,sometimes cardio,a fluke injury,intimidation etc.

when it comes to the best trained warriors, anything can happen. sometimes a hieght and weight advantage,the best training, armor,weapons arent gonna save your ass from one determined SOB.

id say the samurai had better combat training<kendo, hand to hand, japanese ju-jitsu was formed for hand to hand combat against armored foes, hence all the hiptossing,takedowns,grappling and submission holds>and better weapons. duels on the battlefield was very common for samurai. some border wars between territories in japan are famous for the exhibition matches between small numbers of soldiers instead of all out warfare.

heavy armor may not be the best thing going one on one opposed to being on a horse or on a battlefield as an addition to many in the front lines. you can be dressed like a sherman tank but all that wieght you have to carry is wasted energy, how dangerous is a sherman tank if the gastank or the battery is empty?? heavy armor is not the end all be all, it can tire you out.

Parihaka
12 Oct 06,, 11:54
Bugger me, will this thread never die!

Officer of Engineers
12 Oct 06,, 14:15
The samuari were great warriors. They, however, sucked as soldiers. They came out on the worst end of the Mongol battles. Knights, despite the jousting movies, were massed formations, ie, an army. One on one, I gave the Samuari. In an army, the knights win hands down.

Commando
12 Oct 06,, 14:53
The Samuari's are the greatest warriors ever to live and fight until now. With 10 000 Samuari's against 10 000 knights, with the same military formations and tactics. Its the Samuari's easy!!!

Officer of Engineers
12 Oct 06,, 15:01
You do know that the Samuari sucked against the Mongols. There is a difference between good warriors and being good soldiers. The Samuari couldn't hold a formation if their lives depended on it ... and it did when they faced the Mongols.

Bill
12 Oct 06,, 21:28
I consider it unorthodox if a: no examples have been found and b: if it was not even used by samurai, if anyone.
Choku-To's were used by Samurai before the curved blades evolved, and historical examples do exist.

GSpot
13 Oct 06,, 02:20
You do know that the Samuari sucked against the Mongols. There is a difference between good warriors and being good soldiers. The Samuari couldn't hold a formation if their lives depended on it ... and it did when they faced the Mongols.

To be fair, knights sucked against the mongols as well, in a number of different engagements. Just look at the battles of Legnica and Mohi. Furthermore, as gaining respect amongst one's pears is a chief concern for knights, they also had trouble holding a formation/obeying the orders of their commander rather than pursuing personal distinction.

Officer of Engineers
13 Oct 06,, 03:43
EXACTLY!!!!

The point here is that the Samuari was not the end-all, be-all of military warfare and to be frank, neither is the Ninja. You have to examine how both are employed. I don't care how good you are, you cannot stop the laws of physics. There is no way a 250 lb man (with armour) can stop the momentum of a 800lb horse,

Low-tech
13 Oct 06,, 05:26
EXACTLY!!!!

The point here is that the Samuari was not the end-all, be-all of military warfare and to be frank, neither is the Ninja. You have to examine how both are employed. I don't care how good you are, you cannot stop the laws of physics. There is no way a 250 lb man (with armour) can stop the momentum of a 800lb horse,


you are correct, however

1>mongels siezed a fort with small numbers just to access what the resistance would be like for a massive full on invasion. they tactically withdrew deeming that such an invasion is doable. it wasnt like the mongols really tested the japanese.

2>japan never experienced the famed horse-archer calvary, thier first engagements was<a siege, something the mongols were the best at anyway> a complete and utter suprise to the japanese, a completely alien,foriegn invader from which the japanese, inept, BUT were also cautious.

3>when the full scale invasion was mobilized the mongols sent small boats ahead to sight areas for troop landings, these were ambushed and when the samurai boarded these crafts they slaughtered the mongols.<there is alot of art dedicated to these ambushes>

4>the force mobilized had alot of koreans and chinese in thier ranks, the book i read never said if these troops were inferior or mongol-trained "horde style" as horsearchers. either way we all know what happened........they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

5>centuries later the japanese invaded korea and fought the koreans and chinese at the same time to a stalemate<much like our war minus the rusky fighter jets>. it was a disasterous campaign<for the japanese, of course> but the the rulership in china was bankrupt at the end of that war. even tho it was a big waste of time, money and lives, it was impressive what a completely outnumbered japan can do when they put thier mind to it.


if the samurai could get the mongols off thier horses, then they may POSSIBLY be defeated<the vietnamese jungle comes to mind when the mongels were stopped there>. also note that samurai train as horse archers themselves.

the japanese have that uncanny abilitie to assimilate,adapt,immitate etc. they were very much like the romans where, if defeated, they go right back to the drawing board and copy/modify/adapt to the people who kicked thier ass and let them taste either thier own medicine or a slightly modified version of it.

Officer of Engineers
13 Oct 06,, 05:47
The only problem with your scenario is that by the time the Japanese learned enough to deal with the Mongols and to invade the Korean penisula, the Western powers have long adopted the musket.

Rifleman
13 Oct 06,, 06:28
The winner is..........the one who gets there furstest with the mostest! :biggrin:

IDonT
13 Oct 06,, 19:42
The only problem with your scenario is that by the time the Japanese learned enough to deal with the Mongols and to invade the Korean penisula, the Western powers have long adopted the musket.

Ummm. in 1592 Japan was producing more matchlock muskets than the whole of Europe. They even made some improvement from the basic Portuguese design by installing a sheild that made it possible to fire the weapon when raining.

Musket tactics such as the rotating volley fire were in full use at this time.

Don't be fooled by Hollywood. Samurai's abhoring the use of fire arms as not honorable is a myth. The use of fire arms was abolished by the first Shogun.

IDonT
13 Oct 06,, 19:46
The only problem with your scenario is that by the time the Japanese learned enough to deal with the Mongols and to invade the Korean penisula, the Western powers have long adopted the musket.

Ummm. in 1592 Japan was producing more matchlock muskets than the whole of Europe. They even made some improvement from the basic Portuguese design by installing a sheild that made it possible to fire the weapon when raining.

Musket tactics such as the rotating volley fire were in full use at this time.

Don't be fooled by Hollywood. Samurai's abhoring the use of fire arms as not honorable is a myth. The use of fire arms was abolished by the first Shogun.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tempo-p1000697.jpg

jame$thegreat
12 Feb 07,, 02:46
Just thought I would revive the thread that attracted me to WAB in the first place!!!! A good thread indeed anything anyone would like to add?

neilmpenny
12 Feb 07,, 12:12
A Katana will punch right through ancient plate armor.

It has a piercing tip unparralled for penetrating armor.

Bingo! could not have said it better myself.