Japanese swords made in the era before the Sengoku period are considered superior to later swords produced throughout the Edo Period as many of the old, cryptic methods that were passed down orally from smith to apprentice were lost in the Sengoku Era as the demand for weapons of all kinds caused the steel production for swords to be taken up by mills rather than by the smith himself. While, of course, modern metallurgy methods are able to now make stronger and purer steel than the tamahagne steel of the olden days, if you compare a Nambokucho blade of the 14th century to a shinsakuto sword made yesterday, the steel grain of the Nambokucho will appear to be much smoother and less coarse than the new blade likely because the nambo blade was manufactured with the superior forging techniques of the classical age of swordsmithing in Japan
>Modern day swords Nope. Japs had piss poor iron so they had to use that folding technique to make them somewhat worthwhile. But still the swords were very weak and unreliable compared to an European sword.
I love how people think that this gif seems to prove that European swords are superior to japanese swords when this is probably the most improper way to use a Japanese sword. The construction of Japanese swords is a very hard tempered edge to hold its sharpness when cutting soft targets while the back of the blade is much softer and thicker to block sword strikes. Edge of edge contact was avoided unless absolutely neccesary in Japanese Swordsmanship.
Ancient metal working can not remove all the impurities, in fact it was impuritys like vanadium and such that gave certain mines a reputation for superior metal. Whach the full Heidi that goes to this gif, you will learn a lot. >>27787224
>>27787491 >Ancient metal working can not remove all the impurities You're right, including those from batches in Europe. You think they just pulled a bunch of iron sand from the ground and started melting and folding it? Topfugginkek man.
>this gif Oi boi, I'm going to smack a thicker piece of metal, being secured at two points, and see what happens!
Watch the video, he makes and tests two blades the secured one is a stand in, he takes a German broadsword then hits the same secured blade, the secured blade breaks in two and the broadswd is slightly nicked. WACH THE FULL VIDEO!!!
Not neccesarily, if youre not using an object for its intended purpose, its hard to say it is inferior when you break it. The bottom line is that we have this thread almost every night and it really just comes down to what application the sword is being used for. If I was fighting a guy decked out in 16gauge plate armor, I would take a European bastard sword over a katana as the bastard sword will have a much greater shock resistance due to the wider surface of the blade and not being as heavily tempered as a Japanese blade. If I was fighting an unarmored or lightly armored opponent, I would choose a Japanese long sword for its lighter weight and manueverability.
>>27787630 >As long as you don't go on about katana superiority I am okay. Not him, the other dude, I really don't think either of us are going for mystical katana nippon steel folding bullshit, and it IS bullshit. But the backlash that the European sword is just leaps and bounds better is also bullshit, different swords, different places, different purposes. Not even the nips used katana as primary weapons, polearms and bows, just like in Europe.
>>27787650 That's why I hate TV tests, they're largely unscientific because if people get bored during listening to weights, states the steel are in, design advantages etc, they'd stop watching.
>lighter weight They generally weighed the same as European longswords, despite being shorter.
With a longsword you get more reach, which is fucking everything, a better point, the ability to halfsword and stab a bitch or mordhau and smash a bitch with your pommel or guard. Further I don't really agree with the bit about armor. A European sword isn't designed to go through armor any more than a katana is. That's just not what swords are good at. Later European longswords were even blunted oftentimes, because the only part useful to have sharp was the tip.
>That's why I hate TV tests, they're largely unscientific because if people get bored during listening to weights, states the steel are in, design advantages etc, they'd stop watching. Yep, it's really unfortunate.
Yes, a sword designed for use against unarmored opponents is only useful for killing civillians. Nevermind the warm, humid climate that no motherfucker is going to be walking around in armor in unless going into a large scale battle. In which case, the katana would not even be used as it was rarely ever a primary weapon in japanese warfare.
>>27787711 >With a longsword you get more reach, which is fucking everything I would still say it depends. Reach is an advantage so long as your strikes are in that sweet spot, inside your guard things change up. A dagger inside your guard is going to mess you up bad if you got a sword, and this is why lots and lots of dudes carry smaller knives even to this day.
>>27787715 >only useful for killing civillians Or you know, assassins, ninja (not even shitting) that wear plain clothes because they don't want to draw attention to themselves. It has legitimate purpose.
>>27787715 >Nevermind the warm, humid climate that no motherfucker is going to be walking around in armor in
Clearly you don't know anything about what you're talking about.
Japan had plenty of armor. And it was quite heavy. O-Yoroi weighed around 60 lbs. Armor was incredibly fucking important because they were tards who didn't use shields.
Further, you're pretty wrong on the weather, Japan's climate is temperate.
>no motherfucker is going to be walking around in armor in unless going into a large scale battle When else would you be wearing armor, goddamn. You think those motherfuckers just put on 60lbs of iron for fun?
>>27787630 as far as i know Japanese swordsmanship was mostly practice for nobles. Samurai tended to go to war with spears or bows/arrows. swords were for personal protection and enforcing the status quo similar to what >>27787613 said.
now this is just my uneducated view, but I like to think of swords being the social equivalent to handguns, while spears are similar to rifles for line infantry. Not that swords had no role in warfare.
I just weighed my Bizen Osafuna Sukesada dated to 1542. Cutting edge is pretty standard length for a Katana at 26.5 inches It came out at 2.32lbs in the scabbard. I also weighed my Cold Steel Italian Longsword at it came out at 47.9 ounces without the scabbard.
>>27787797 >now this is just my uneducated view, but I like to think of swords being the social equivalent to handguns, while spears are similar to rifles for line infantry. You're essentially right, the sword was actually a sidearm in most cases.
>>27787849 >anon: No one is going to be walking around wearing armor in Japan unless they're going to a battle in which case swords are secondary weapons and therefore irrelevant >you: Nuh-uh! Japan had armor and it was HEAVY
Do you see now where you missed his point entirely?
>>27787922 aw nikka you blastin' my sword-pistol analogy that aint cool. I don't know the differences in training throughout japanese ages historically, but would not the vast majority of infantry be armed with only a spear (and minimal armor) with only officers (samurai) possessing swords?
Absolutely. However there were quite a few samurai. Their first weapons of choice for most of history would be bows and spears, used on horseback. (although later swords gained more prominence on the battlefield).
>>27788035 >You're on foot. Nigga with a spear is coming at you. Your best friend is a two-handed sword. >You're on foot, 50 niggas with spears are coming at you. Your best friend is bows No one goes one on one with a spear lol. Have fun deflecting a polearm into the guy next to you though, bet he'd appreciate that.
>Have fun deflecting a polearm into the guy next to you though, bet he'd appreciate that. It seems they figured out a way to do it, since that's how they did it. If it was just Japan you might convince me they were just crazy chinks, but Europe came to the same conclusion.
>>27788082 >It seems they figured out a way to do it, since that's how they did it. If it was just Japan you might convince me they were just crazy chinks, but Europe came to the same conclusion. Cite it.
>>27788035 >You're on foot. Nigga with a spear is coming at you. Your best friend is a two-handed sword.
No, it isnt. A trained spearman will know that he will lose his reach advantage if he lets a guy with a sword in too close. Hes going to do everything he can to make surE he keeps you well out of striking distance poking holes in you from 6ft away.
>>27788095 Two handed swords had mass and could hack though the shaft of polearms. The response was to add iron strapping down the length of the shaft to prevent the sword from hitting the wood. The japanese also used large rivets along the shaft for the same purpose.
>>27788115 Actually, getting in his guard with a sword, and in a swords guard with a dagger, can and will fuck people up. The problem is the fact that you need to get IN that guard first, and lets face it, unless you have nowhere else to go, moving forward into a spear and risking getting piked the fuck up by something that can change faster than you can move on your feet in armor, is a last ditch effort.
>>27788128 >Two handed swords had mass and could hack though the shaft of polearms. Kay, you realize polearms have give right?
>No, it isnt. A trained spearman will know that he will lose his reach advantage if he lets a guy with a sword in too close. Hes going to do everything he can to make surE he keeps you well out of striking distance poking holes in you from 6ft away.
Except that is very, very difficult to do. The sword has a serious advantage here in that it's much easier for the swordsman to block the spear and deliver strikes. If the spearman keeps backing up he's gonna have a real bad time, since as people already pointed out, there's never just one guy with a spear.
>>27788082 >In Europe it took the form of great swords of various types like the Zweihander. "Zweihander" is a meme weapon. Landsknechts were primarily pikemen just like everyone else at the time and the great two handed swords they are famous for were not the hard-counter to pike formations that colloquial wisdom would have you believe.
>>27788161 >"Zweihander" is a meme weapon. Yeah pretty much, I agree honestly. If there ever were a meme weapon, it is one.
>great two handed swords they are famous for were not the hard-counter to pike formations that colloquial wisdom would have you believe. Course not, hard counters didn't exist in the medieval world. When you have dudes poking eachother with sharp bits of metal all kinds of shit can happen. Further the actual weapons are hardly the most important part of warfare anyway, strategy, supplies, numbers, morale, those count for a lot more.
>>27788189 As I already said, I did cite it. You just didn't read it the first time, so I won't bother jumping through hoops for you just so you can waste my time. I have much more important shitposting to do. All you want is a link to not read.
>>27788190 Yeah, a problem that can kill the fuck out of you. Everyone likes to say, hey man, just deflect that shit, but we're talking about wearing armor, you're tired, you need to time your parry, your weapon is feeling heavy in your hand, the terrain is uneven.
It's not JUST deflecting an attack and moving in for a quick kill, I would back the fuck off that spear wall if at all possible, look for targets of opportunity.
>>27788206 >As I already said, I did cite it Where?
>>27788231 Point it out, I go forward mate, if you really did cite it it should not be that hard and I will ackowledge it, but I'm not searching around for something that #1, I never asked for like you claimed I did, and #2 doesn't readily stand out.
>>27788211 >Everyone likes to say, hey man, just deflect that shit,
I think the problem is so many modern enthusiasts are stuck thinking in the context of sport-combat. It's EASY to blitz and overwhelm a spear guy when you know the worst that will happen to you is a bruised shin. Live steel is a completely different scenario that forces entirely different considerations.
Literally all the transitions in japanese sword, armor, and spearmaking from the late 1300s to the 1600s had to do with optimization of fighting on foot against spears. Lighter armor vs the heavy ass O-Yoroi, new spears, new swords.
>>27788300 Reminds me of the little experiment Matt Easton did, I forget the exact details, can link the video, but he was talking about some dude who held a doorway with a lone spear against a relatively large group of people.
When the experiment was recreated at his HEMA club, they just piled in on top of each other which forced the spearman to give up the door and eventually get surrounded. What's interesting is generally, the first dude always "died", second dude got fucked up if not died, and the third guy certainly wasn't combat effective until the whole group eventually pushed into the larger room.
In real life, those people would be dead if they rushed in, and in real life if you saw your friend just get speared, and you have no idea what's behind that spearman in the room, you're going to tactically reconsider throwing yourself into the inevitable.
Unless you're a goblin from LOTR or some shit.
>>27788323 We're you expecting me to not actually read this or something? I'm only seeing one major point where spears influenced the creation of uchigatana, part of the reason being they were dismounted and tachi were optimized for horseback. That doesn't mean they used the sword as a primary weapon against spears, it means they recognized the shortcomings of the current sword arms and tweaked them to give better results.
>The tachi became the primary weapon on the battlefield during the Kamakura period, used by cavalry. The sword was mostly considered as a secondary weapon until then, used in the battlefield only after the bow and polearm were no longer feasible. During the Edo period samurai went about on foot unarmored, and with much less combat being fought on horseback in open battlefields the need for an effective close quarter weapon resulted in samurai being armed with daisho.
Another major influence was the fact that they needed a better on foot, close quarter weapon where spears were too long to be used as effectively. Stop cherry picking.
But I'm not anon, different swords for different jobs. It's not cherrypicking to say hammers are for smacking nails and screwdrivers are for screwing screws. They might do pretty much the same thing in the end, but they are not the same. We were discussing the uchigatana if you remember, nothing I said was wrong there.
>>27788477 We're discussing sword vs spear tactics, nowhere have you actually cited what I wanted, which was that the best way to defeat a formation of spears was with two handed swords deflecting them.
Which is fucking retarded, and which is why you can't actually cite it.
That's because what you want doesn't exist. No one flat out said "hey guys use swords against spears". I'm sorry /k/ didn't exist in the middle ages to dumb shit down for you.
Optimizations of swords and armor for foot combat coinciding with new use of mass spear formations, and men wearing those newly optimized swords and armor fighting the men in spear formations is the best you're gonna get.
>>27788555 >That's because what you want doesn't exist Precisely, thank you.
>No one flat out said "hey guys use swords against spears" >You're on foot. Nigga with a spear is coming at you. Your best friend is a two-handed sword. Oookay.
>Optimizations of swords and armor for foot combat coinciding with new use of mass spear formations, and men wearing those newly optimized swords and armor fighting the men in spear formations is the best you're gonna get. Okay then, your argument is officially dissolved and you are unable to provide any real supporting evidence, moving on.
Not the guy you are arguing with, but there is an actual surviving sword style for doing just that. Charge into spears or sword formations in open fields with a Nodachi.
It is called Satsuma Nodachi Jigen Ryu. Surprisingly, it is very successful and feared during the Sengoku Jidai. Their mindset is kill as many as possible in the charge. Second strikes aren't even considered.
>Which is something you're just making up lol, hence why it isn't stated or observed in history. Of course, all the samurai fighting on foot at this time against massed spears were merely hugging their opponents to death, hence why they needed new swords and armor more suited to the new conditions of warfare.
>>27788708 >i lack evidence >time to act retarded Remember that luckily you're not tripfagging, you don't have to hold onto your pride when you're wrong lol.
Yes, dudes with swords fought dudes with spears, no, it was not ideal. This all stems from you saying your best friend was a two handed sword against a spear, you then changed your statement saying no one blatantly said use swords against spears. You have to get into the guard of the spearman, full force, the only way you're going to do it with any semblance of effectiveness would be something like >>27788618 showed, and it wasn't all that effective. It was just a rush tactic to try to break a formation with brute force.
A much more effective tactic was outmaneuvering, flanking and using ranged weapons, you know, like almost every professional army ever.
Alright before I bed let me point out, since the fucking gif was already posted. A Knight with a Longsword would decimate a Samurai with the best katana from the best Period in Japan. It was not a fair fight to begin with though, the katana was made in an isolated island and more thought of as half weapon and half artwork; equaling various but limited martial arts in which samurai trained with strictly. A knight on the other hand, his sword was made by the dozen, strong and sharp, 100% weapon. Though one could argue that there was HEMA style martial arts that did spawn during that time, the knights objective was if the first attack... if that didnt get through, Hit FUCKING HARDER, attacking from all angles until the opponent is honestly shrivels of shredded meat that bleeds profusely. The Samurai and Katana were meant to be used in specific accordance to their martial art while the longsword in medieval times was the everyman tool of the knight, just send it in to the blacksmith to get major chips out and back to hacking and slashing, literally.
>>27789106 To add to this, I still very much respect the katana and longsword for what it is. The main difference between modern and ancient is almost everything. The only modern one your going to find is a more tactical approach to it, using most likely stock removal and G-10/Micarta grips with a Kydex sheath. The ones still made like old fashion timey style are purely meant for decoration. Though the japanese knew craftsmanship thats for sure, cuz there is only a slight marginal difference if any between the sword made in todays time versus ancient times using the forging technique. The only way you can get the 'Original' type steel is forge welding tamahagane, which if done like that, thats a REAL katana, although time consuming considering the whole process of just getting tamahagane. Now a days its getting wrought iron, or some other forgable steel with one another and forge welding that, and then folding it over as usual. Other than that, its the same techniques used in ancient times for todays modern katana forger.
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