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The Medival European Knight vs a Japanese Samurai

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  • I did have one question - I recall reading how bronze and Roman pattern-welded swords were limited in length due to the metal and forging technique and bronze weapons quickly dulled. Could you shed light on that?
    TTFN

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    • Katanas were not made from the best steel in the world. They were made from fairly crappy steel.

      Their legend comes from the incredible amount of work and artistry that went into making that crappy steel into an excellent sword. They were the best metal in Japan.

      "Weapons That Made Britain" came to the conclusion that even a veteran Man-at-Arms would be exhausted in five minutes in full plate. Even though you can move easily in plate, you're still moving a lot of weight with each movement, tiring yourself quickly.

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      • Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
        I did have one question - I recall reading how bronze and Roman pattern-welded swords were limited in length due to the metal and forging technique and bronze weapons quickly dulled. Could you shed light on that?
        Hmm, I'm not so sure about the latter, Bronze was very hard and is much more corrosion and wear resistant than steel. As for the length of Roman swords I'm guessing it was just relative to what was needed, the spatha and later gladius were much longer.

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        • Originally posted by AThousandYoung View Post
          Katanas were not made from the best steel in the world. They were made from fairly crappy steel.

          Their legend comes from the incredible amount of work and artistry that went into making that crappy steel into an excellent sword. They were the best metal in Japan.

          "Weapons That Made Britain" came to the conclusion that even a veteran Man-at-Arms would be exhausted in five minutes in full plate. Even though you can move easily in plate, you're still moving a lot of weight with each movement, tiring yourself quickly.
          Indeed, blade breakage was common in the era before the 1200's. Forging techniques perfected by Masamune and his disciples brought having two types of steel into the blade which made for strength, durability, and cutting edge.
          TTFN

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          • Originally posted by RepublicanGuard View Post
            Hmm, I'm not so sure about the latter, Bronze was very hard and is much more corrosion and wear resistant than steel. As for the length of Roman swords I'm guessing it was just relative to what was needed, the spatha and later gladius were much longer.
            I had read that in Egyptian and early Greek battles using bronze weapons that the edges quickly dulled and the sword became a bronze club, which can still do damage, but was no longer being used in the way that it was intended.
            TTFN

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            • I would have to go with Samurai.

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              • I have a friend, who is a koryu instructor in Australia and he was telling me that samurai and warrior monks also used a war hammer and a battle axe in combat, which, like their European counterparts, were good against armor. Of course, their use was not as extensive as the yari or katana.

                Also, one very wonderful weapon to use against armor was the kusarigama or sickle and chain. A famous samurai named Baiken was very good with it...until he met Miyamoto Musashi, who lured him into a bamboo grove.



                Here's an excellent demo of the art.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPy8RCf9mKc
                TTFN

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                • Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
                  I had read that in Egyptian and early Greek battles using bronze weapons that the edges quickly dulled and the sword became a bronze club, which can still do damage, but was no longer being used in the way that it was intended.
                  Which is why they were smart enough to use spears as their primary weapons

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                  • Now, I don't mean to resurrect a dead thread, but I was reading through this thread and I've noticed a lot being made of the katana's legendary cutting abilities. Now, I won't doubt that the katana is a vicious weapon, one of the best cutting swords in history. But European blades did not slouch in this department either!

                    Observe: A reproduction European longsword (also known as a bastard or hand-and-a-half sword) vs a fresh mule deer carcass. Gutted, yes, but with all the bones left intact.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v4j3mvrDyQ

                    That, ladies and gentlemen, assuming they are both at an equal skill level in their respective styles of swordsmanship, the knight would win. His armour is better, his swordsmanship is just as potent, his endurance is superior, and his sword is in no way inferior. I can go over all of this in much greater detail, but I think people are already annoyed at me for this thread necromancy, hehehe.
                    Last edited by EricD; 12 Oct 09, 13:49.

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                    • I have usually seen those claims everywhere that most european knight's swords ver heavy and clumsy weapons, but that simply is not truth. That is simply misconception due to most surviving swords of that era in museums are parade and seremonial weapons never intended for real combat. Most combat weapons were relatively light from 1,5 kilo's to 2-2,5 kilos. Their effectiveness is due to long blade. Tip of that kind of blade travels quite fast and hits with large force, giving it good possibility to maim opponent even if blow does not penetrate armor. Espcially so if armor is flexible and mainly meant against cutting and slashing.

                      So that's my 5 cents to this discussion

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                      • Originally posted by EricD View Post
                        Now, I don't mean to resurrect a dead thread, but I was reading through this thread and I've noticed a lot being made of the katana's legendary cutting abilities. Now, I won't doubt that the katana is a vicious weapon, one of the best cutting swords in history. But European blades did not slouch in this department either!

                        Observe: A reproduction European longsword (also known as a bastard or hand-and-a-half sword) vs a fresh mule deer carcass. Gutted, yes, but with all the bones left intact.

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v4j3mvrDyQ

                        That, ladies and gentlemen, assuming they are both at an equal skill level in their respective styles of swordsmanship, the knight would win. His armour is better, his swordsmanship is just as potent, his endurance is superior, and his sword is in no way inferior. I can go over all of this in much greater detail, but I think people are already annoyed at me for this thread necromancy, hehehe.
                        As KendokaGirl has pointed out, the Samurai did have a wider range of weapons available.

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                        • Originally posted by AThousandYoung View Post
                          As KendokaGirl has pointed out, the Samurai did have a wider range of weapons available.
                          Yes, but so did the knight. They both had a number of weapons of different length and utility.

                          For me, the biggest difference stems from the simple imbalance in armor available to the two warriors. The Knight's finely crafted plate armor was superior to the samurai's - although both sides were protected, the european's had really mastered their craft by the 1500s.

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                          • Originally posted by EricD View Post
                            Now, I don't mean to resurrect a dead thread, but I was reading through this thread and I've noticed a lot being made of the katana's legendary cutting abilities.
                            Don't worry about it. This thread never dies. It's been flaring up and then flickering out for awhile now. I've been here almost 3 years and still keep coming back to it.
                            Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                            • Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
                              Don't worry about it. This thread never dies. It's been flaring up and then flickering out for awhile now. I've been here almost 3 years and still keep coming back to it.
                              Much better this thread than a certain other thread . . .

                              Starts with a "C", ends with a "-lion".

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                              • Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                                Much better this thread than a certain other thread . . .

                                Starts with a "C", ends with a "-lion".


                                That is never to be mentioned again.
                                Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

                                Comment

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