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Interestingly high percentage of lower leg wounds.

I would assume most of those folks were mounted going against infantry.
 

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Interestingly high percentage of lower leg wounds.

I would assume most of those folks were mounted going against infantry.
It's actually because the lower leg is extremely vulnerable in foot combat. Particularly the left on for right handed people.

Its' one of the reasons that greaves, shin armor, was usually a high priority as cultures started developing armor. Even hot weather people who wore very little armor, would wear greaves simply because it was a high vulnerability target.


I don't know if everyone here knows about the battle of Visby mass grave but the short version is that archeological finds of armor are very rare. A set of armor was very valuable, something like 30 or 40 thousand dollars in today's money so after a battle armor was almost always stripped from the dead and there are very few complete sets of early medieval armor in existence. Almost all the armor you ever see in museums is not real armor but rather 'dress armor' and not representative of what people would wear in battle.


Visby was different, because of various factors, the battlefield was not looted for several days after the battle and the bodies putrified in warm weather. Because of this many of them were not stripped of armor and simply dumped en masse.

Visby was also during the so called 'Transitional period' when armor was moving from primarily chainmail and simple conical helmets, to plate armor and as such is very interesting as its a combination of the old and the new and a period where mass production of 'cheap' armor was just starting, so for re-enactors, its a very approachable loadout compared to either chainmail or head to toe plate.

 

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Discussion Starter #183
Interestingly high percentage of lower leg wounds.

I would assume most of those folks were mounted going against infantry.
Seems logical.

Upper body was armored, has mobility to dodge, and had shields to defend. Legs, particularly unarmored or very lightly armored if at all, have no mobility or shields and they are in fact a great target. "Sweep the leg, Johnny...".

Even as a kid studying fighting and particularly with a ball bat, I always figured the shin an ideal target. Take that out and the opponent is finished.

Even now, our war fighters and LEO wear zero leg armor. But today, unlike then, a leg injury probably isn't going to be lethal. Then, taking you down with a bad leg injury would probably mean immediate death in combat; and if not it meant probably a long painful death from infection or an amputation later.
 

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Well, in modern combat, your legs are usually down, below cover and are relatively small targets. Also modern soldiers carry more weight than medieval ones are are expected to hike a lot more. Something we know is that if your carrying weight, you want that weight to be on the parts of your body that move the least so there isn't much in it for the modern solider to weigh down his limbs.

But yeah...if you carry a shield, and are good, you can almost ignore body armor when swordfighting, but your head, arms, and legs are always in danger....with the head being the worst since no matter what, you have to be able to see so you can't ever fully keep it behind the shield.

Which is why if your a medieval warrior and you can only afford two pieces of plate armor, you would have a greaves and helmet.

Interestingly enough, even though a breasplate covers vital organs...its fairly moot as if you get your leg cut half off in 1366 its just about as bad as getting your liver stabbed and the leg is more likely to get hit.
 

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At the rate things are going, infantry is going to be replaced by AI robots pretty soon.

People, at least their bodies, are becoming obsolete.

The 2nd half of this video is interesting.


https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...th-gen-fighters-to-dominate-future-air-combat

The Q-58 Valkyrie combat drone. Capable of being rocket launched as a group of "loyal wingmen" to accompany a manned fighter.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...ental-combat-drone-emerges-after-first-flight

In aircraft the advantages are obvious.
- You can eliminate the cockpit and all human support equipment. (Ejection seat, oxygen, temperature control, display terminals, buck rogers space helmets, water, snacks, urinal, G Suit, etc).

- No longer limited to a man's G force tolerance. 21 G turns will outmaneuver any manned jet.

- You can employ them on extremely hazardous missions without worry of a downed, captured pilot on the news
No egos, no disobedience

- They can analyze lots of data and act according to an optimized program. Instantly. No personal bias. No arguments with other data sources. No miscommunications, because the other guy on the radio has a bad regional speech dialect.

- No fear, No cowardice, no bravado. Just making the right moves at the right times to achieve the objective.

- capable of long loiter times while keeping 100% alert.

On the ground, swarms of robotic miniature air drones, and larger land robots will annihilate humans on the battlefield.

Then all you have to worry about are backdoors in the computer programs that can let the enemy hijack your drones.
 

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Discussion Starter #186
Well, in modern combat, your legs are usually down, below cover and are relatively small targets. Also modern soldiers carry more weight than medieval ones are are expected to hike a lot more. Something we know is that if your carrying weight, you want that weight to be on the parts of your body that move the least so there isn't much in it for the modern solider to weigh down his limbs.

But yeah...if you carry a shield, and are good, you can almost ignore body armor when swordfighting, but your head, arms, and legs are always in danger....with the head being the worst since no matter what, you have to be able to see so you can't ever fully keep it behind the shield.

Which is why if your a medieval warrior and you can only afford two pieces of plate armor, you would have a greaves and helmet.

Interestingly enough, even though a breasplate covers vital organs...its fairly moot as if you get your leg cut half off in 1366 its just about as bad as getting your liver stabbed and the leg is more likely to get hit.
As a point of order, medieval Soldiers were expected to carry significant weight, akin to modern Soldiers. This site states the typical weight of equipment (armor, weapons) was 44 pounds, plus a backpack full of supplies, food, tools, etc. And they routinely marched for a day into battle, often over 20 miles. The site further suggests 'retirement' came at 25 years of service, which was seemingly rare. https://www.wearethemighty.com/dail...ancient troops, a,to serve the Roman officers.

My basic combat loadout was in that similar range (armor, helmet, mags+ammo, water, weapons, etc.).

But you make a good point for consideration about a bad leg injury. If it wasn't a death sentence, it was almost certainly enough to remove you from the fight and exhaust resources afterward in tending to the wounded - which meant probably an amputation.

Now that ballistic armors are getting lighter and cheaper, I think it won't be long before leggings are more common. The problem with the shin is that even if the bullet is stopped by soft armor (current limitations of soft armor are pistol calibers), the shin may still be shattered rendering the armor less effective. But I can see a near future where very light weight hard materials can be implemented...

Just not "storm trooper armor." Never understood why Storm Troopers wore armor. It never stopped blasters, light sabers, or even Ewok rock-throwing attacks... so what was the point??
 

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Aerindel: It's actually because the lower leg is extremely vulnerable in foot combat.
That was my initial take, but upon further reflection, the presence of horse cavalry weighed into my estimate of those high numbers of lower leg wounds. Also the presence/use of pole arms (pikes, bills, halberds, agricultural tools) by massed peasantry ground combatants.

If that same ratio applied (worldwide) to every other historical battlefield forensically examined... then I'd be inclined to accept the over 50% prevalence of leg wounds as due to foot fighters executing slashing attacks to legs, knees, Achilles tendons.

It just struck me as something that made possible sense in a horse vs foot engagement.

On the other hand, my understanding is that the victorious side fielded the vast preponderance of horsemen on that day. Unlikely that they'd allow their fallen mounted men at arms/nobility to be mass interred with the losers.
 

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Never understood why Storm Troopers wore armor. It never stopped blasters, light sabers, or even Ewok rock-throwing attacks... so what was the point??
It looked good in formations... and gave CSMs/SGMs something to chew on during in-ranks inspections. Like terriers shaking rats.

"Trooper! Is that an unauthorized smudge on your nice white armor? Think you're some kinda catch-me frack-me special Mandalorian? Who is your Platoon Sergeant? Where's your Squad Leader? I'm gonna choke you the frack out out before Lord Vader has to!! Passes are cancelled! Berthing inspection at 0430 instead! The rest of you worthless blaster-fodder oxygen thieves have this non-hacker pus module to thank for that. Everyone assume the front leaning rest position! Hit the deck Maggots!!"
 

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As a point of order, medieval Soldiers were expected to carry significant weight, akin to modern Soldiers. This site states the typical weight of equipment (armor, weapons) was 44 pounds, plus a backpack full of supplies, food, tools, etc. And they routinely marched for a day into battle, often over 20 miles. The site further suggests 'retirement' came at 25 years of service, which was seemingly rare. https://www.wearethemighty.com/dail...ancient troops, a,to serve the Roman officers.

My basic combat loadout was in that similar range (armor, helmet, mags+ammo, water, weapons, etc.).

t??
Mine was ~100

No pack, some pogie bait in my dump pouch.
 

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Mine was ~100

No pack, some pogie bait in my dump pouch.
I was going to say, from what I have read, any modern soldier would be glad to only have to carry 44lbs.

And of course a constant problem we are going to have is that 'swordsmen' or 'medieval' are about like saying 'Africa'

There are huge differences in how things are done in regions, and time periods.
 

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Wait... You carried a dump pouch... and had pogie bait?

I had my gear & tools carried along in a golf cart. Driven by my ever faithful, dreadlocked former-Taliban, Pashtu mercenary valet.

"Gahzan my Fine Pathan Fellow... what do you make of that bunker shot?"
"Ahhh my Infidel Friend... it is surely 250 meters, but possible, Inshallah.
"So... no chance with a sword?"
"Sadly not possible for such a Christian Camel Dropping as yourself."
"Drat... Be a Good Man and hand me my #4 gun. No, not that one you Bloody Kafir! The M79 man... the M79!"

Sometimes I had to carry my own gin & tonic in addition to the swagger stick. In Group, we tried to work Smarter not Harder.
 

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It’s funny when people think sword fighting looks like the pirate movies of the 1940’s.
Apparently historians are not very sure HOW actual sword combat worked. There isn’t a lot of written evidence and of course no photos or videos.

There was a whole documentary made about trying to figure out how sword fighting was really done historically.
 

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Apparently historians are not very sure HOW actual sword combat worked. There isn’t a lot of written evidence and of course no photos or videos.

There was a whole documentary made about trying to figure out how sword fighting was really done historically.
A while back i was on one of my history kicks and reading up on England just before and through the time of the Viking invasions.
I can't recall the guys names but I came across a couple historian/reenactor/instructor peopkes videos. It was very interesting to see sword and shield fighting the way they interpret that it was done.
And i still hold to my lifelong belief that it's not a method of fighting that i ever want to experience.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I was going to say, from what I have read, any modern soldier would be glad to only have to carry 44lbs.

And of course a constant problem we are going to have is that 'swordsmen' or 'medieval' are about like saying 'Africa'

There are huge differences in how things are done in regions, and time periods.
Front and back plates are just under 15lbs.
I don't remember the weights of things like the helmet and soft armor/carrier, but over 20 just right there.

Of course the people who didn't fight for a living typically had a single 2 magazine mag pouch on their webbing.

We had no room on ours.

I will grant you as a SAW gunner (part of the time) mine was slightly heavier.
But I know of none <~75lbs.
Particularly once AT4'S etc were added.

When we had to add a pack....
In winter we either cuddled nutt to butt, or took hajj blankets for the night (if an option.) Too overloaded to carry warming gear.
 

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Infantry loads remained remarkably uniform throughout history with regards to professional armies. At least those fielding State produced uniforms, armor, weapons, field kit.

Whether Roman Legionnaire, French Napoleonic Infantry, or Vietnam Grunt. Weights on the march were very similar across the centuries. Average ~70 lbs. Sometimes less. Often a lot more.

That classic combat load has significantly increased over the last 20 years with the advent of ubiquitous individual items carried: night vision devices, individual optics and electronics (especially individual radios and their batteries), personal trauma med kits, breaching tools, and a lot more individually issued "man portable" munitions (mines, rockets, missiles, grenades, demolitions, pyrotechnics). Plus crew served weapons.

Add to that an historically re-birthed concept of universally worn personal body armor (vests & helmets), and modern infantry are carrying more weight than at any time in military history.

This with average modern forces comprised of arguably bigger/stronger guys with scientifically crafted physical training programs. Average US troops are ~5.5 inches taller and ~50 pounds heavier than their ancestors back in the mid 1800s. Richer sustained diets in childhood meaning bigger/taller/stronger boys produced by most societies.

Before the mandatory addition of armor during the GWOT era, my typical LBE alone weighed ~32 pounds with ammo and water. Before I ever put on a non-winter mission rucksack (typically another 60-70 pounds). Never mind rifle weight, uniform, boots, etc. Add in another 30+ pounds of today's body armor and you'd be well over 100 pounds of gear every time you went out the door as a rifleman. I've jumped rucks weighing 130 pounds. So did everyone around me. Crew served weapons only make it worse.

Grunts just get saddled with more and more crap. To the point that practical exoskeletons are just around the corner to help deal with all the additional weight. No longer vapor ware...just not quite ready for prime time. But it's coming. Soon.

After the world's militaries wring it through beta testing, it'll become common in work places. And eventually for everyone. From home yard work settings to out on the recreational hiking trail.

Imagine a sword wielded by someone wearing exoskeleton augmentation & support... who decides to crazy out on the street.

Turning him into a nearly tireless blade slinging Conan the Barbarian. Wearing personal body armor. Yikes.
 
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Assuming you can own and have the resources to own the best firearms (ARs, AKs, top tier handguns, shotguns, etc.), is a good sword a relevant self defense tool/weapon?

I now have many nice useful swords, and was handling and admiring them the other day and wondered if there's any situation where I would take a katana with me ...

In other words, is there any realistic setting in which you'd grab your longsword or katana in lieu of or in addition to your AR/AK/shotgun/pistol for any scenario where you had to defend yourself?
Moving back to OP's question: Yes, a sword is a perfectly relevant self-defense tool (IMHO), provided the following criteria are met:

1) Do you know how to use it properly?
2) what kind of steel is it made out of?

I trained in the Japanese sword arts and briefly ran my own dojo for awhile (too much of a legal nightmare & hustling students for fees). I hold a 3rd degree "black belt" (sandan) in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu...so, yes...I know how to use a sword. A katana is a slicing & thrusting weapon...not a hacking weapon like a machete. The most common problem I spent correcting with students was the tendency to swing it like a baseball bat. Basically, there is a specific technique to cutting. Otherwise, you're just hacking and not inflicting as much damage. Analogy: next time you eat a steak, hack it apart instead of slicing it...you'll see my point (no pun intended:D:).

If the katana is made out of stainless steel...it's junk and can be as dangerous to you as to your enemy. SS is very brittle and cannot withstand impact. High carbon steel (at least 1060), spring steel or preferably tool steel (T10), if you can afford it. Basically: if your Chinese-made katana cost less that $300...it's complete junk and I certainly wouldn't trust my life with it.

Not unless / until the legal system totally collapses.

Lugging a sword around would show plenty of intent that your opponent's atty would use to skewer you.
My sentiments exactly.
 

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If the katana is made out of stainless steel...it's junk and can be as dangerous to you as to your enemy. SS is very brittle and cannot withstand impact. High carbon steel (at least 1060), spring steel or preferably tool steel (T10), if you can afford it. Basically: if your Chinese-made katana cost less that $300...it's complete junk and I certainly wouldn't trust my life with it.
I keep hearing this, but Ive got 30+ years of using/abusing two cheap ($100or so) katana's with SS blades, one for about 20 years (I lost it and replaced it, it didnt break), and while I may have broke and repaired the grips and tsuba, I never broke a blade, and I was abusing it the whole time.

They always kept a decent "brush/green wood" cutting edge, which was easily kept up with a draw through sharpener, and often cut rusted barbed wire, with no trouble at all.

A horror Im sure to to true connoisseur, but I wouldnt sell them short until you actually try and abuse one.
 

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...Then, taking you down with a bad leg injury would probably mean immediate death in combat; and if not it meant probably a long painful death from infection or an amputation later.
Same thing with small caliber handguns way back upon a time before good medicine practices and antibiotics or even sterilants.
 

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I keep hearing this, but Ive got 30+ years of using/abusing two cheap ($100or so) katana's with SS blades, one for about 20 years (I lost it and replaced it, it didnt break), and while I may have broke and repaired the grips and tsuba, I never broke a blade, and I was abusing it the whole time.

They always kept a decent "brush/green wood" cutting edge, which was easily kept up with a draw through sharpener, and often cut rusted barbed wire, with no trouble at all.

A horror Im sure to to true connoisseur, but I wouldnt sell them short until you actually try and abuse one.
You were fortunate.

My Dad went to Japan (lived there for ~4 years IIRC.) In the 60's just so he could study martial arts.

I learned from him and a friend of his who was a former Vietnam Ranger/hand to hand instructor. (His son also trained with us) starting ~the age of 6.

Dad couldn't afford much, and we broke several sparing (edge to flat) or practicing strikes on a wooden post. (I spent quite a bit of money as an adult getting him a 'real' sword for a fathers day.)
 

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I keep hearing this, but Ive got 30+ years of using/abusing two cheap ($100or so) katana's with SS blades, one for about 20 years (I lost it and replaced it, it didnt break), and while I may have broke and repaired the grips and tsuba, I never broke a blade, and I was abusing it the whole time.
I hear you. Yes, some SS blades may survive abuse like you've put them through, but it's entirely dependent upon the forge that made them. QC in Chinese forges differ dramatically. HOWEVER, you admit that the tsuba & tsuka fell apart. That's what I meant in my original post: the cheap swords are unreliable and can fall apart and/or break at any moment. I wouldn't trust my life with them. In finding better quality: it's often not the blade you pay for...but rather the koshirae/tsuba/tsuka you pay for.

You were fortunate.
Yes, he was. I personally witnessed cheap swords falling apart mid-flight.:eek:
 
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