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Rapier Dueling (Period Drawings)

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  • Rapier Dueling (Period Drawings)

    Found some pretty gruesome period drawings. First saw these in a YouTube movie "History of the Sword".

    I believe this is from an European swordsmanship textbook from the Renaissance period.

    History of the Sword says experience with cavalry swords has demonstrated stabbing swords such as the rapier are much more effective at killing people than slashing swords, and after the Napoleonic period the British cavalry switched to a straight stabbing sword.

    Slashing swords create gaping gashes that are not necessarily incapacitating, while a stabbing weapon makes a neat little hole that is likely to kill the opponent instantly.

    Last edited by MonsterZero; 01 Nov 12, 13:25.

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

  • #2
    Throughout the last half of the 19th century dueling was in resurgence in Germany and Austria-Hungary.
    In 1900 the Minister of War defended the practice in the Reichstag on the grounds that without it there was no way to deter immediate bloodshed when insults were exchanged. Unwillingness to fight was considered cowardice. Count Ledrowski of the Austria-Hungary General Staff was asked to resign his commission when he advised a Lt. to not fight a duel. By this time the epee had become the dueling weapon of the country, but in army circles and throughout Austria the Saber was the weapon of choice.
    Naval officers stuck to the cutlass.
    In Germany in this period, about 20% of duels resulted in death. Often, what appeared as a minor blood-letting ended in death. Even if no internal organs were injured, the ragged wound would result in a fatal infection. Duelists typically would be sure to drain their bladders befor a fight and not eat before, in an effort to limit infection. Nevertheless, most died long after the fight.
    Loss of blood was perhaps the greatest fatal danger. Deep cuts to the head or torso were difficult to treat. Embolism, suffocation and collapsed lungs were formidable consequences.

    El Duce was a duelist...
    Mussolini had code he used when going for a duel. "Have Spaghetti". he would tell his wife, to avoid scaring their children. He used to coat his fencing glove with pitch so that he would not be disarmed while dueling. His most famous duel was in 1921, against Francesco Ciccotti-Scozzese. Mussolini, in his diary wrote:
    "I had a duel of some consequence with Ciccotti-Scozzese, a mean figure of a journalist...Among other imperfections, one might say he had that of physical cowardice. Our duel was proof of it. After several assaults the physicians were obliged to stop the encounter because of the claim that my opponent had a heart attack. In other words, fear had set him all aflutter."
    In actuality, the fight had lasted an hour and a quarter with Ciccotti suffering several wounds.

    "A common thug can kill someone, but it takes the talents of an intelligence service to make a murder appear to be a suicide or accident death." -- James Angleton, CIA, Chief of Counterintelligence.


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