If longswords weren't primary battlefield weapons, why did they continue getting bigger over time?

If longswords weren't primary battlefield weapons, why did they continue getting bigger over time?

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    carcinization but for spears
    >ah shit i lost my polearm
    >frick okay at least i have this sword
    >shit i wish this was longer
    >get a longer sword next time
    repeat

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >why did they continue getting bigger over time
    Since when is having more reach a bad thing? Modern handguns can shoot farther away than their black powder ancestors. Does that qualify them as primary battlefield weapons?

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >be knight in the late medieval period
    >already use a two-handed axe, lance/spear or polearm
    >might as well use a two-handed sword as a backup
    it really isn’t complicated. renaissance zweiihanders are a different matter

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    That'a just memes and morons applying modern/firearms terminology to the pre-firearms era.
    Swords weren't usually the primary weapon, but they were a routinely used and practical secondary weapon.
    Whereas the 'Swords were a sidearm' meme implies that swords were the equivalent of pistols on the battlefield, e.g. effectively useless.
    Obviously swords weren't useless, and they were very often the weapon of choice after initial contact (initial contact being with spears or javelins). Swords/sabres were also a very effective cavalry weapon.
    They just weren't usually the first weapon.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Because secondary weapons actually got used back then. It's not like today where you might pull out your sidearm if you somehow managed to blow through 210+ rounds (surely you brought extra magazines with you, right?) in a single firefight. Lances breaking wasn't just a meme, it was an expected thing that would happen at some point in every battle.

      Those. The Swords = Pistols analogy is bullshit. There was a much higher change of loosing your "primary" pole arm and thus the need for a capable sidearm.
      This changed when firearms became the primary arm and thus swords were "reduced" to hangers/sabres.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Even then, I wouldn't feel comfortable without a sword until reliable percussion-ignition breechloaders became a thing. Flintlocks take 15-20 seconds to load and may misfire for any number of reasons. A sword in the 19th century is still worth more on a battlefield than a pistol in the 21st.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I've read somewhere that during the prussian invasion of Holland (tl;dr an intervention as the Netherlands had another low intensity civil war between the Orangists and their opponants; Prussia intervened in favor of the Orangists) the prussian musketeers were ordered to forgo their swords in order to lighten their load. They didn't liked it and were apparently very apprehensive to push the dutch rebels in melee - or more so to advance on their positions to take them. No great battles were ultimately conducted though and by the Napoleonic Wars the prussian musketeers had their swords back.
          But this all hinges on a single anecdote I've read a long time ago and can't find anymore.

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Armor got better, which means you could forgo a shield with less risk and wield a sword with two hands. You'll notice in your picture that handle length doubled over time while the blade stays about the same length.

    You see the opposite trend as weapons caught up to armor and as guns started to surpass other weapons.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Shields continued to be used into the rennaisance, it was guns that ended them, not armor.

      Swords got longer because it became easier to build them that way. The quality of steel shot up meaning long and light blades were accessible to more people and the meta of sword fighting became longer and longer first strikes, thats why the longsword gave way to the Estoc which then gave way to the Rapier. The Rapier is average 20-30% longer than the average longsword, only one handed exclusively. Swords would begin shrinking again with the age of sail, and sideswords, cutlasses and basket hilt broadswords were dominant. Then came the cavalry sabers.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Swords got longer because it became easier to build them that way. The quality of steel shot up meaning long and light blades were accessible to more people and the meta of sword fighting became longer and longer first strikes, thats why...
        True, but OP is asking about why long swords got bigger; not why they fell out of fashion.

        >Shields continued to be used into the rennaisance, it was guns that ended them, not armor.
        Also true, but if you could afford plate armor then a shield wouldn't add much more protection and you could have two hands on a longer weapon with more control.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Rapiers took over when armor itself started going away.
        It wasn't a straight evolution of the long-sword. Instead, it was a split-off branch in a context where armor ceased to be worn and most sword-fighting had become one-on-one duels.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Shields continued to be used into the rennaisance, it was guns that ended them, not armor.
        Lots of shields for the battlefield were either large Pavise that were set on the ground and used as cover by ranged troops or shields that were strapped to the arm rather than held with your hand. The guy you replied to was right, Keep in mind we are talking about why swords are getting longer, not what made shields disappear.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Those shields weren't what kept being used. Fully steel made rodelas were used by the Spanish well into the 17th century in their conquest of the Americas, they used them along with full and partial plate armor AND rapiers and other swords you'd assume were only for dueling and not battlefield usage. These weapons were also common in the English civil war.

          Firearms took a long time to truly phase out armor and shields.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Firearms took a long time to truly phase out armor and shields.
            Again, you are trying to change the subject. The thread was about OP asking, "why did swords continue to grow over time if they weren't primary weapons?"

            If you want to have a thread on, "what ended shield use?" then make another thread.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              the point is that they didn't because only some weapons grew because they were niche uses with very specialized fighting styles meanwhile most combat was not taking place using them and the theory that armor necessarily meant two handed weapons or that two handed weapons were always prefered when you had armor is wrong.

              Swords are also never good anti armor weapons. The existence of Mordhau and half swording techniques shows them having emergency improvised methods of dealing with it, not that they were the choice weapon.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Swords are one of the better anti-armor choices.
                A good halbred or glaive is better, but from what I've seen in people that do full contact fighting, swords are better than warhammers and maces and the like.
                Half-swording is part of what makes a long sword good for armored fighting. Because it converts your sword into a short spear. Although when you're doing that, you're no longer able to use a shield, which is a big trade-off.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >but from what I've seen in people that do full contact fighting, swords are better than warhammers and maces and the like.
                People doing full contact fighting can't actually use warhammer/maces that are like the real mccoy or people would get injured.

                >Half-swording is part of what makes a long sword good for armored fighting.
                Halfswording/mordhau is a technique of expediency. It's what you do if a sword is all you've got and have to make do, not something that's good enough to forgo a dedicated option if you can help it.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Swords are one of the better anti-armor choices.
                A good halbred or glaive is better, but from what I've seen in people that do full contact fighting, swords are better than warhammers and maces and the like.
                Half-swording is part of what makes a long sword good for armored fighting. Because it converts your sword into a short spear. Although when you're doing that, you're no longer able to use a shield, which is a big trade-off.

                Halfswording is what you do if you're in grappling distance but you don't want to drop your weapon. It's not an armor penetrating technique like the larpers want you to believe; ideally you'd kill a guy in armor by either using your rondel, or using your sword like a rondel with a really long handle for extra leverage. Wedging the point between gaps is much more effective than trying to punch clear through a plate with your quillons.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Maces aren't going to dent armor like that.
                Even blacksmiths need heat, trying to cold hammer hardened (or even mild) steel out of shape in a fight ain't happening.
                Maces can give someone a concussion, but you really need good aim with them to do it.
                Warhammers are more practical, but still have some of that problem of needing really good aim while also needing a really hard swing.

                Halfswording definitely is a practical way of fighting. You get really good aim with the tip of your blade that way, and more leverage and thrusting power than a conventional dagger.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >People doing full contact fighting can't actually use warhammer/maces that are like the real mccoy or people would get injured.
                In Slav armoured full contact flanged maces with historical weights sometimes were allowed. Three are always allowed falchions and bout "brain sucker" falchions have nothing to do with historical ones (rules and source's loophole), they are essentially maces.
                What is big no no is stabbing. Because stabbing is how can get bettwen armor gaps.
                Largest case of trauma was mass bout that had stabbing with safety spears (stell ball mounted on the tip). One team had big crudge against opponents and they intentionally removed balls and brought sharp spears, they seriously injured like half dozen people, one caught spear into armpit, it went into lung and stopped like inch away from the heart.
                All techniques against armor have mediocre effect, it's not like game rules "blunt ignores armor hurr durr". You need to work hard to damage armored guy and wrestling and half swording tip into gaps is not a bad away comparing to alternatives.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Shields continued to be used into the rennaisance, it was guns that ended them, not armor.
            Lots of shields for the battlefield were either large Pavise that were set on the ground and used as cover by ranged troops or shields that were strapped to the arm rather than held with your hand. The guy you replied to was right, Keep in mind we are talking about why swords are getting longer, not what made shields disappear.

            Shields were still used by common infantry, and knights sometimes used them for siedges

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >the longsword gave way to the Estoc which then gave way to the Rapier
        This is some dungeons and dragons shit. There's not really any way to point out two swords and say "this one is a rapier, that one is an estoc." An estoc is essentially just a type XVa or XVII longsword. I've heard some people describe it almost like a hybrid between a spear or lance and a sword, but as far as I can tell that was never a common design. Swords like that certainly never replaced the longsword. Anyhow, the usage of the long, thrusting longsword types was not related to the rapier; they were intended to be wielded almost exclusively at half-sword, where their effective length is actually less than that of primarily cutting longsword designs, as a lever for grappling and with a sharp and stout tip for prying between plates to finish a grounded opponent.

        Now, as for the rapier, it never "replaced" the longsword, even as it became more common and the longsword less. The rapier was exclusively a civilian weapon designed for duelling. Using one against a proper longsword would put you at a severe disadvantage, but this isn't an issue because dueling is a matter of honor. Imagine agreeing to pistols at dawn from 100 paces and then showing up with an F-class target rifle. Your opponent would just laugh at you, call you a moronic pussy, and walk off, and you would have done the opposite of defending your honor. The same is true as the rapier was subsequently replaced by progressively less capable weapons, the smallsword and singlestick.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >this one is a rapier, that one is an estoc
          this one is a longsword, that one is an estoc*

          Obviously, the rapier is a rather distinctive design.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >There's not really any way to point out two swords and say "this one is a rapier, that one is an estoc."
          Estoc doesn't have an edge and often has a hollowed triangular cross section. A type XV is sharp cause it's a sword.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      those pointy shoes on H look really impractical. Can't believe this was an actual design.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >he doesn't dandymaxx
        No wenches for you

        I imagine they're just for keeping your feet in the stirrups, and that you'd unhook some kind of extensions if you had to actually use your feet for anything like walking.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Better start believing. They're not even that uncommon, they're called poulaines.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Naturally, they followed up the poulaine by going in the exact opposite direction with the duckbill style. Maximum pointy to maximum flat.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            If I recall correctly, there were a bunch of laws and shit passed to limit how pointy of shoes commoners were allowed to wear, and rich merchants kept finding ways around the restrictions, and eventually the pointy shoe culture war bullshit got so out of hand that pointy shoes were banned entirely, for everyone. That's why there was an abrupt shift to square shoes.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I think they came off when the knight got off his horse... which basically confirms exactly what you said

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Sometimes they're detachable, but a lot of times when you see them they're on tournament harnesses. You wouldn't fight on foot in your jousting harness, you'd either have a specially made foot harness or you'd swap out pieces like the pauldrons (jousting harnesses have oversized shield-side pauldrons and much smaller lance-side pauldrons trimmed away from the armpit, foot harnesses are more symmetrical).

          In fact, a lot of foot harnesses wouldn't have any protection at all below the hip because bouts were fought over a wooden gate or barrier to prevent the contestants from grappling.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        They are detachable, for walking tips were taking off

        They are horse riding accessories, they held foot more securely in stirrup, but without actually tying foot to stirrup. If your horse keels over you can free you foot by just dragging it out.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >They are horse riding accessories, they held foot more securely in stirrup
          No, they're fashion accessories. They're worn because of their phallic appearance. Once they fell out of favor, knights found other ways to demonstrate their masculine endowments.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Brutal blackpill: these were for guys with syphilis who found it painful to have their dick compressed

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Prominent codpieces had already been fashionable for over a decade when syphilis was brought back from the Americas by Columbus's crew.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Now imagine one good swing of a morningstar/mace/hammer hitting your codpiece in a ~45 degree angle from below, viciously ramming it up into your pelvis.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Don't threaten me with a good time dubby boy!

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Because metal working advanced.
    It was impossible to make that 215 mm sword in 900 AD.

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    because organized war and big battles was not the norm for violence those days. Think more of blood feuds and cattle raiding.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    basically european high test men conquered and won battles which allowed them to inseminate the vulvas of thousands of vanquished females. this created selection pressure on certain big dick phenotypes as the chad sword knights were able to spread their seeds while the beta horse manure farmers did not get to pass on their genes as their wives were taking the HKP (huge knight penis). as big white wiener continued to expand the swords had to keep up in proportion so the knights could still look ultra masculine and hetero during their naked sauna time with the bros (swords were always back then worn even while naked). gradually the swords like pic related faded out of favor as did the horned wiener sheath in favor of longer more slender blades with a skinny tip to account for female preferences.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You seem to be obsessed with dicks and men. You wanna tell us about something, anon?

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Sword expert here (NOT James Elsmlie).

    Consider swords as "objects" in the broadest sense, not what D&D and videogames and movies consider swords today (a specific category with specific stats etc...). In this sense, a sword was like a firearm today, or as a type of firearm. How broad is this range? incredibly broad. You have swords for many purposes, for many different folks, with different attributes, to use for different things. Some are for war, some for display, some heirlooms and rolex-tier investments and displays of wealth... the biggest swords we have are parade swords, made to be paraded around and shown on events, not actual weapons. Imagine the US army builds a 30kg six feet long rifle to show around.. its the same.

    Also, word of advice, you can't judge the weight and feel of a sword by its apparent size. Some of the heaviest war swords have needle like blades, which in turn are thick af. You have anti-armor swords of this kind, one, 1/2, and two handed swords that are not necessarily longer or bigger than many others but weight upwards of 2kg, which is massive for a sword.

    You also have, for any given period, swords that look the same but are completely different. One is 800g and one is 1.7 kg. Why? well maybe because they were made in the same fashion but for two very different purposes, or two different people with different physiques and different needs.

    Anything goes with swords and you can't generalize. If we were however, your statement isnt correct in any case. Swords have been widespread secondaries always , and only specifically primaries in specific configurations, and quite rare, like a specific niche they filled within the military organization.

    Second, if we overgeneralize to the max, swords actually got smaller and lighter, seeing how the saber, quite a ways lighter from an arming sword or a rapier, is the one that survived in violent conflicts. Machetes, if we generalize even more, are even lighter, and still in use.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Second, if we overgeneralize to the max, swords actually got smaller and lighter, seeing how the saber, quite a ways lighter from an arming sword or a rapier, is the one that survived in violent conflicts. Machetes, if we generalize even more, are even lighter, and still in use.
      The saber and smallsword (the only swords to remain in mass use after the bayonet was invented) are more of a return to form after 400+ years of sword enlargement.

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Inherenting a sword was a big deal, people liked to carry and retrofit that sort of thing. It seems like you're confusing when people would ride a horse to dismount in a battle to where they could ride a horse into a pike charge. The armor advances between then you'd maybe risk your horse breaking your leg and getting speared if you could make it behave that way. It's how the scotts reinvented pike warfare. An idiot will charge into it and it doesn't work so well for them so they reinvented the wheel creating a pike again. People don't like that, it's like how people showed up let chariots make their field and fricked em. I think people underestimate what kind of iron most shit was made of most days, a good sword probably could cleave a person in half. But then you'd get a picture from the bible about how that happened they had a shit smith. That time in your picture is bog iron chain to plate. If it's excpectional plate they'll knock themselves running into a solid wood pike. Tip don't matter much. Anyone could beat them over the eat with a good axe after.

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Longswords
    >Rapiers
    >Zweihandera
    MY GLADIUS IS THE ONLY BLADE THATS WON TWO PUNIC WARS!!!

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Because secondary weapons actually got used back then. It's not like today where you might pull out your sidearm if you somehow managed to blow through 210+ rounds (surely you brought extra magazines with you, right?) in a single firefight. Lances breaking wasn't just a meme, it was an expected thing that would happen at some point in every battle.

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    my guess is the metallurgy got better to the point a longer sword was actually practical instead of a noodle that would permanently bend as soon as you hit something

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There were a million different types of "swords" and the categorizations we have of them today are mostly nonsensical, or classify them only by their approximate construction and not by their role. People only a few hundred miles apart in Europe could be using two completely different families of swords, or extremely similar swords for very dissimilar roles, etc.

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    i guess they were
    learning to argue is not really a virtue it's a bad habit

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