Slashing with knives vs stabbing

Discussion in 'Horror Stories' started by lonewolf12563, May 30, 2004.

  1. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    I would like to introduce the idea of target selection. Like the ongoing arguement in the firearms community regarding the stopping power of .45 vs. .40 vs. 9mm. A .22 through the eye will kill you just as dead. Slash/cut or stab, its going to depend on what your attacking.
     
  2. OULobo

    OULobo Senior Master

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    A bit of an OT note, but if you had the power of a charging horse behind it, just about anything "could chop a man in half from shoulder to hip". Even an dull iron bar. That particular example is less about blade construction and more about power transmission.
     
  3. Stick Dummy

    Stick Dummy Guest

    Yeppers, The caliber comparison is a VERY good one, we're talking KNIVES here and not swords, military group tactics, sword fencing......
    A high powered rifle is great on the battlefield, but at kissing distance loses some advantage in mobility. A handgun suddenly becomes the "better" choice, and if one is not available, then an edged weapon.

    Think something you can carry in your pocket daily - Every Day Carry knife.

    It really comes down to the fighting mindset, Real time strategy, finesse, and the grace of God, or whatever you believe in spiritually.
     
  4. hardheadjarhead

    hardheadjarhead Senior Master

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    For that period, apparently not. The Brits had had a bit of a tough time with it, and wounds delivered might be painful, but not necessarily lethal. Some of the blades could be somewhat light...good for a thrust perhaps...but not all that good for cutting through a man.

    Note, too, that a horse charges forward. A downward slash as described is on a more vertical plane. The horse transmits energy to a thrust, not a slash.

    I think it was Christopher Amberger's "The Secret History of the Sword" that discusses this. I have it upstairs...and were I more mobile I'd run up and get it for you and look up the reference. If you're in a bookstore I'd advocate checking out this book. He goes into the slash versus thrust argument quite deeply...("A pun sir! Oh, touche!")...and he's an advocate of the slash, and a sabre exponent.

    An instant stop, then as now, is desireable. Not all people will lie down when receiving a heavy wound, as we've learned in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq with the ammo we're using in the M-16/M-4 family of weapons. Should you be fighting with a blade and NOT stop the guy, he could deliver an "AD" technique...i.e., "after death" wherin he is mortally wounded and yet takes you to the grave with him.

    Of course we all know people, too, who would get a nick and faint.

    As to slash versus stab...I advocate both. Know what will be most likely to drop a guy instantly and go for it. Use whatever is necessary to get to that point as quickly as possible.

    Regards,


    Steve
     
  5. OULobo

    OULobo Senior Master

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    True on a verticle plane which negates the power of the animal, but not on a horzontal planel perp. to a thrust, ie: a clothesline type slash/hack. This still encompasses the power of the horse. The mongels used it for centuries.

    I've heard many a good thing about this book. I may have to pick it up this week.
     
  6. hardheadjarhead

    hardheadjarhead Senior Master

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    Good point.

    Its a much safer attack, too. Thrusts delivered from a horse can injure the arm of the swordsman. It'll run the opponent through, but could then break the wrist/arm/shoulder or unhorse the swordsman. Its a rather comical visual, but it makes sense as to how that could happen.


    Regards,


    Steve
     
  7. someguy

    someguy Master Black Belt

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    One thought here if a horse is going in one direction and you thrust then you are probably going to have trouble getting you blade outright? Could be mistaken though.
    One more thing. The type of knife you have also makes a differnce. If a blade is curved isnt i usually made more for cutting than thrusting. If you have a Machette then you will use it more for cutting rather than trusting. (nearl put that backwards)
     
  8. hardheadjarhead

    hardheadjarhead Senior Master

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    I believe extraction of the blade was done with a twist of the wrist, supinating it and pulling the blade out as you passed him. I'm not really sure.

    Regards,


    Steve
     
  9. Bod

    Bod Purple Belt

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    About a month ago I visited Arundel Castle (in Sussex I think) where they had a jousting display, including a game where the horsemen had to slash a cabbage on a pole in half then spear a paper heart on a hanging straw sack. I think it was called 'cut and thrust'.

    During the 'spearing' bit, they thrust into the sack and then, as they went past, let their arm move behind them, and pulled the trailing sword out as they went. As for anything more technical than that, I cannot say.

    It was a great display though, with bits of break-away lance-tips flying everywhere in the final display.

    I'd guess that thrusting with a sword was more effective against other swordsmen, who could be thrust at at shoulder height. It was difficult enough as it was, with these professional stuntmen and ex-show jumpers missing the straw sack some of the time. The slash seemed easier to execute, especially against a lower down target.

    Don't forget that in the Napoleonic wars, the light cavalry were all about charging cannons. For that you'd want to charge in quick and then mill about (behind the cannon) chopping through great coats and Frenchmen. Once you'd scared them off you'd 'spike' the cannons with headless nails through the touch holes. Then run away before the enemy heavy cavalry arrived.

    When Ney's cavalry attacked the British cannons at Waterloo, all the guys with the nails got shot on the charge in. The British retook the cannons and shot on the retreating French cavalry. Oops.
     
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Extraction of the blade has always been a problem. People don't realize how easily a sharp blade can become 'stuck' in a body, and how hard it can be to get it out.
     
  11. OULobo

    OULobo Senior Master

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    Supposedly the F-S style SF dagger in its later versions was designed with a finger pad near the hilt on the side of the blade, so that the thumb could be placed on it to assure the orientation of the blade in the dark. This made it easier to slide the blade into a lung with out hitting and getting caught in the ribs.
     

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