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Forum LockedThe Axe vs. The Sword

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2008 at 19:12
no it is not supposed, whats your soruce and don't come with re-enactor bullshit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2008 at 19:15
I repeat look em' up on wikipediaSmile and by the way you of all people shouldn't use that word your a Moderator for God's sake, act like one 
Cry


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2008 at 19:20
there's nothing at wikipedia other than a link to another site that claims somethign based on personal experience at a re-enactment. i could create such a site in 10 minutes and claim Indiands use to throw their elephants at their enemies and i did it myelf at an re-eanctment. heck i could edit wikipedia itself and claim it. wikipedia is not a source for anything.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2008 at 19:22

Did you type in francisca?



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2008 at 19:27
Here's an external link:
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2008 at 19:31
Sorry I got the link wrong and my edit button won't workAngry here it is:
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 00:03
Don't you think that there might be a reason why the spear and sword are pretty much universal tools of pre-gunpowder armies (and later if you include the bayonet), whereas the axe is more specialist and appears less often in the annals?

Although there are many versions of all three weapons, the battlefield is a darwinian environment par excellence which selects its successful weapons system by the simple method of killing off the fellow who makes the poorer choice.

For almost any infantry force, stabbing beats the hell out of slashing or swinging - which is why almost all truly longterm successful heavy infantry forces tend towards stabbing weapons - whether its the hoplite, the legionnaire, the conquistador, the zulu warrier, the redcoat or whatever. Apart from any other reason, its a lot easier to maintain defensive cohesion stabbing than swinging.

The axe has tended to be either a weapon of necessity (its cheap, and better than a club) or a specialist choice at certain times in history when the armoured knight required something special to bring him down. Even in that respect, an arrow in the horse, or a sword across the hamstring was a much more efficacious solution than trying to get close enough to brain him with an axe.

Operating from an unstable platform (which makes accurate thrusts difficult)  causes the cavalryman and the sailor to prefer edged weapons, like the sabre or the cutlass, but not many took up the axe as a long term thing.

If the axe had been truly effective, more armies would have used it, and it would have persisted longer.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 01:02
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

no it is not supposed, whats your soruce and don't come with re-enactor bullshit.


You are really ignorant.


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 31-Aug-2008 at 03:38
What is the officer problem?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 01:35
You two should be ashamed of your selves swearing is aginst the code of conduct and one fo you is a moderatorCry and it is a sign of someone that can't express themselves now there are certain situation's where only those kind's of word's will do but it's not this forum and we're geting off topic.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 02:48
Originally posted by Count Belisarius Count Belisarius wrote:

You two should be ashamed of your selves swearing is aginst the code of conduct and one fo you is a moderatorCry and it is a sign of someone that can't express themselves now there are certain situation's where only those kind's of word's will do but it's not this forum and we're geting off topic.  


And what a horrible choice of a moderator.


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 31-Aug-2008 at 02:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sergeant113 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 09:25
Originally posted by Baldric Baldric wrote:



For almost any infantry force, stabbing beats the hell out of slashing or swinging - which is why almost all truly longterm successful heavy infantry forces tend towards stabbing weapons - whether its the hoplite, the legionnaire, the conquistador, the zulu warrier, the redcoat or whatever. Apart from any other reason, its a lot easier to maintain defensive cohesion stabbing than swinging.



In fact, as described in the battle of Hasting, spears and long axes were used in the saxon shield wall to create a very effective defensive formation in which  the spears were used to stab enemies' feet and legs and the long axes were to chop off their heads and  bring down the enemy cavalry men. Seeing the terrifying power of the Dannish style long axes ( used by the Huskarls and) as well as their devastating effects on cavalry men, William ( the Conqueror) even ordered a ban of them on his entire kingdom.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 19:50
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:



And what a horrible choice of a moderator.


not respecting members of the staff is also a violation of the CoC. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 19:53
Then you should respect my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 19:58
what opinion? there's no proove of what you claim. there was never a tactic that included bouncing axes and even if how would that work? that does "ground" mean? snow? brocken ground, hilly ground, forests? oh hey sorry guys, we can't fight today because our axes won't bounce around on this ground, can we make this battle here a stalemate? LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 20:15
My opinion of you being a horrible moderator.




Edited by Darius of Parsa - 31-Aug-2008 at 20:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2008 at 20:21
i didn't acted as moderator in this thread at all and unless you provide any factual basis for your accusations you'd better rest your case or find yourself warned. you can disagree and argue with me about this topic all the way you want but don't cross the line.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2008 at 01:52
Originally posted by Sergeant113 Sergeant113 wrote:

Originally posted by Baldric Baldric wrote:



For almost any infantry force, stabbing beats the hell out of slashing or swinging - which is why almost all truly longterm successful heavy infantry forces tend towards stabbing weapons - whether its the hoplite, the legionnaire, the conquistador, the zulu warrier, the redcoat or whatever. Apart from any other reason, its a lot easier to maintain defensive cohesion stabbing than swinging.



In fact, as described in the battle of Hasting, spears and long axes were used in the saxon shield wall to create a very effective defensive formation in which  the spears were used to stab enemies' feet and legs and the long axes were to chop off their heads and  bring down the enemy cavalry men. Seeing the terrifying power of the Dannish style long axes ( used by the Huskarls and) as well as their devastating effects on cavalry men, William ( the Conqueror) even ordered a ban of them on his entire kingdom.


While I am sure you are right about the individual circumstances, with the greatest respect to the Saxon housecarls, a) they lost  and b) in any event, this was not a defining moment in the evolution of military hardware.

We could find a anecdote here or there to support any weapons system. In individual combat, I could be persuaded that an axe is a credible, even sometimes a dominant weapon.

However, if studying military history has taught me anything, it is that organisation and cohesion ALWAYS triumphs in the long term over individual effort, and that (over time) good technologies win out. Swords did and axes didn't. There is a reason for this!

As I mentioned in my original post - the battlefield is a Darwinian environment par excellence. If the axe was so great, it would be listed along with the Gladius, Javelin, Composite bow, long-bow, lance, assegai, bayonet etc as one of the definitive weapon systems - and it just isn't!

Overall, stabbing = good result, slashing, swinging etc = bad result.

QED


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2008 at 02:04
Slashing has more kinetic energy and momentum. It also distributes the hit over a larger area. Stabbing has less kinetic energy and only effects on area. One is not better than the other, it comes down to variables.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sergeant113 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2008 at 08:13
@ Baldric, my point was not to dismiss your belief in the superiority of stabbing weapons to the slashing ones. I was only saying that a good combination of stabbing weapons and slashing ones can be very formidable. Take the Swiss pike formation as an example as within the pike men ranks were dotted with scattered  halberdiers (i have forgotten the ratio). The same thing happened to  the German Landsknechts and perhaps the Spanish tercios( i'm not quite sure). As a military historian, you probably know the effectiveness of these formations. Other than that and just to contribute, the Saxon shield wall was quite capable against the norman army; the loss of Harold's saxon army was a result of many factors, not because the "obsolete" shieldwall formation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penelope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2008 at 00:38

There is a lot of valuable information being posted and discussed in this thread, however, it will all become spoiled if we continue to resort to name-calling and or disrespecting of any kind. So to those who are having trouble keeping their composure, i suggest you try a little harder.

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
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