Oh they were definitely designed with combat in mind. Would have seen some use in the second Boer War and, more significantly, the Sudan campaign. The open veldt of the Boer War wasn't the ideal environment for a sword but the Sudan was much more up close and personal.
Have you ever read Khartoum by Michael Asher? It's been ages since I have, but I do remember it being an excellent read and hard to put down. (Image removed from quote.)PS. Do you like my bookmark?
Also Soilder Sahibs by Charles Allen. I know it's a different campaign, but a fantastic book and I remember there's quite a good bit about swords in battle during the Afghan wars... It also explains what a smelly was.
Neither of those I have to admit but I'll put them on the embarrassingly long "too read" list.
After thinking about it, and in light of this very embarrassing revelation (on your part) that you've never read Soilder Sahibs, I think I may have a second copy up north somewhere, I think it's a hardback too. I can send it your way if you like? It won't quite make it for Christmas, but soon after... I can still put a bow on it.
Have you read "shooting leave" by John Ure? Very happy to do a book exchange if you haven't.
No I haven't actually and it looks very interesting. Right... have you read Round the World on a Wheel by John Foster Fraser? Three victorian gentlemen go round the world on bicycles and use fists and bad language to get out of any bother, including a dust-up with some Cossacks and an unfortunate diplomatic insident with a Chinese dog. It's a smurfing great read!
Gareth, thank you very much for sharing your Sword collection here. Very interesting read and see Now that sounds like the right book for McStitchy Edit: Found a 1989 edition of it...
Cheers gents. Unfortunately the blade on the tulwar had some active rust hiding under the patina and it can't be left unchecked. I'm not a massive fan of removing patina just for the sake if it but it's better than letting the blade corrode. I'm not aiming for a completely bright blade, just looking to arrest the pitting. (Image removed from quote.)
Gareth, very cool find! I am always curious about Tulwar where the counter balance/pommel at the end being so wide and the handle is relatively short, does it ever hit your forearm/wrist if you move it the 'wrong' way? Though it may look different, I have always think it is quite multi functional and well thought out.Also, how do you discover the rust under the patina? Does it 'rust thru'? I'm asking in case some of my older knives need maintenance without me knowing. Thank you in advance!
OK, this is a BIG question. The really short answer is; the hilt is so closely fitted to the hand there is only one way you can possibly hold it and you really can't do it wrong. The bigger question is; why? I'll do my best to answer. It's all about cutting. So as you can hopefully see the close hilt has locked my wrist in the attack and formed an angle between my forearm and the blade. There is no physical way I can make it straighter (though obviously I can pull is back to make more of a right angle between blade and forearm for defending myself)(Image removed from quote.)Compare this to the second photo of me holding a contemporary British Sabre. At full extension I can form a near straight line from elbow to sword tip. (Image removed from quote.)With me so far? Good. Here's the bit where you might need to use your imagination or a prop (such as a stick) and try it for yourself. So when hitting your target you are looking to strike around 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up the blade with almost any type of sword. However the angled wrist then means the blade is drawn through the target as you swing, making a REALLY deep cut. With a straight wrist it's very easy to land a blow "dead" with no draw. More like chopping with an axe. In Europe we were taught that the draw cut was more effective but it's actually quite hard to do in the middle of a swing, even when you aren't under pressure. The tulwar hilt takes all the thinking out of it 'cos it's almost impossible to do anything else.So why aren't more swords made this way? As with anything, it's a design compromise. For one; you are giving up a little bit of reach so you need to get in a few inches closer to your opponent (who likely isn't happy about the fact you are trying to hit him with a sword and might be inclined to try and do something about it). Secondly, and even more of and issue, is that it's VERY hard to thrust with the point. Nearly impossible in fact. Not without very nearly getting close enough to give the other guy a hug. Hope that helps.
I also have a Tulwar and find the handle too small for my bear paws.
I'm not surprised. I've got small-ish mitts and I can only just about hold it comfortably. There is, obviously, a range of sizes they come in, but very few seem to what anyone would call "large".
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