Claymore Sword: The two handed Scottish Weapon

The Claymore Sword is a Scottish variant of the two handed long sword which appeared in the late medieval period.

The Claymore, or “Claidheamh-mor” (Great Sword) in Gaelic is a two handed broad sword utilised by the Scottish Highlander throughout several centuries.

The Scottish Claymore swords had awesome blades; these blades were often very long and were double edged.

The Claymore was an aggressive infantry weapon which delivered overpowering blows that would sweep aside any efforts to block or parry. For over two hundred years, the Claymore witnessed inter-clan rivalries and was used in wars against the English crown until the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.

Sword

The sword was of a very unique design, with a total length of 140 cm (55in) of which 33 cm (13 in) was the handle and 107 cm (42in) was a blade. It was classed as a medieval long sword in medieval times, and due to its length and weight of 2.5kg (5.5lb) two hands needed to be used to properly wield the sword.

The most famous recorded person in Scottish History to use the Claymore sword was William Wallace, who used this sword in the First War of Scottish Independence. These weapons were the weapons most often brought into battle by the Scottish freedom fighters.

Many soldiers of the time would also include the Scottish Dirk, as a complimentary weapon to the Claymore, on the battlefield. The Claymore is not the only weapon that has a dual sided blade; the Scottish Dirk can be equipped with one or the other.

Based on the early 16th century Claymore, the windlass claymore sword is gracefully engineered as a tough, high-impact, yet impressively balanced weapon.

The blade specifically designed to deliver devastating strikes, is elegant in its simplicity. The Claymore is a weapon evocative of the Scottish highlands, and the fierce clansmen who lived, fought and died there.

Armour and Helmet: A Glorify History

Armour is one of the most important parts of any soldier’s equipment. This holds true today, and has been true throughout history. The technology of Armour has changed, but the principle remains the same; protect the wearer during battle. While modern Armour is mainly centered on protecting against bullets, the Armour of the medieval period was designed to protect mainly against projectiles such as spears or javelins, arrows, swords, or daggers.

During the Medieval period between the 5th and 15th century, army units would wear different types of Medieval Armour depending on their role, but mostly the Armour consisted of Mail or Chain mail and much later Full plate.

Chain mail Armour

Medieval chain mail was a special kind of Armour which consisted of small metal rings joined together to form a closely linked protective mesh.

A knight in medieval times would not last long in battle without any plate Armour due to the advancement in weaponry that was made in later medieval periods. In this respect there was no option but to advance to full plate Armour in battle situations. Without full plate Armour, knights would be quickly killed by Crossbowmen, Long bowmen and Foot soldiers.

Of all medieval Armour, it is the medieval helmet called the helm in those times that has stood the test of time. Although, the materials and the purpose for which it is used has changed over time, the evolution of medieval helmets during the lengthy period of the middle ages underwent gradual changes to keep up with the improvements made to medieval weaponry.

Medieval Armour

It goes without saying that medieval helmets were important for the simple reason that they protected the head from weaponry and which is why a number of models of these helmets evolved during the middle Ages.

A History of the Medieval Sword in the Middle Ages

The word ‘Sword’ came from the Old English word ‘Sweord’, originated from a Proto-Indo-European root *swer- “to wound, to cut”.

A sword is a bladed weapon, consisting in its most fundamental design of a blade and a handle. The blade is usually made from iron or steel, ground to at least one sharp edge and often with a pointed tip for thrusting.

Medieval was the duration of European history from the fifth to the 15th century. Throughout this era, the destruction of countless empires happened. The most common and well known weapons amongst the warriors of the Middle Ages were swords.

There were also daggers and knives which were similar to swords, but used only for stabbing and thrusting.

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The weapons used during the Middle Ages included the Medieval Swords. The Medieval Sword was predominantly used by a Medieval Knight. The weapons, armour and horse of the Knight were extremely expensive – the fighting power of just one knight was worth 10 ordinary soldiers. Medieval Swords were the primary weapons of the Knights. Medieval swords changed as Medieval Warfare and armour changed.

The handle of the Medieval Swords is sometimes of a highly enriched character.

Skill in the use of medieval weapons and understanding the strategy of Medieval Warfare was necessary and played a vital part in medieval life. The training required by a Knight to use Medieval Swords was extremely time consuming – it was necessary for them to become expert Medieval Swordsmen. Special places were assigned to the Medieval Swords training called the Pell.

The Medieval swords remain to this day as the symbols of honour, courage, faith, and religion, which were the pillars of Knighthood itself.

Windlass Sword is pleased to present its Medieval Sword and Historical Replica Collection. Here you will find a variety of medieval swords and replicas of some of history’s most famous blades.

Scottish Highland Dirks

When we talk about the rich variety of the world of knives, few is as distinctive as the Scottish Dirk.

As we know that Daggers and knives have been part of civilian wear and the military dress since the first knives were invented from stone, but only a few remain in cultures, throughout history have taken this utilitarian tool and converted it into an item of most influential cultural significance. The dirk, as developed by the Scots, is one of these weapons..

In the early 1600’s, evolving the first true dirks appeared from the medieval ballock dagger.

Early Scottish dirks were a direct descendant of the medieval ballock dagger. The grip form began to change, probably sometime in the 16th century, but soon developed a form that was purely Scottish. At that time the black dagger was a stabbing weapon, designed to pierce armor with a heavy sharp-pointed blade.

Scottish dirk

The Scots of the middle Ages and Renaissance spent much of their time in conflict, whether war with England for independence or fighting with other clans for local dominance. As such, the Scots were known to go through their daily lives fully or nearly fully armed, more so than other Europeans of the time.

Dirks were influential weapons in war as well as an important tool for everyday tasks, including eating. They were also more affordable than a sword. Taking these things into account, it is easy to see why it was hard to find a Highlander without such a weapon.

The dirk continued to evolve. It became the equivalent of the American Bowie Knife, what today we would call a camp knife.

Dirk is unique in western culture. Although it comes in an infinite variety, it has always been instantly recognizable as a Scottish Dirk. It differs from other large sheath knives; it has been in continuous use and carried by users since the early 1600’s.

The dirk is an important weapon, though its area of popularity was limited to the north of Hadrian’s Wall known as Scotland. Its popularity is the main reason behind its large presence in today’s market.

Damascus Steel, The Stuff of Legends

Do you know that Damascus steel had first originated around two thousand years ago. It is also known as Pattern Weld, Damascene or Damast.  Some historians say that Wootz Damascus steel was made in the Middle East around A.D. 540, possibly even earlier.

There are several theories on the origin of Damascus steel. It can be traced back to India and Sri Lanka (300-100 BC) where it was referred to as wootz steel.

It then found its way to Damascus, Syria, which was the centre of trade in that region for war equipment such as knives, swords and armor.

Damascus swords and knives dominated the weapon industry from the Iron Age to the Viking age.

DAMASCUS VIKING SWORD

French and English armies first faced Damascus steel weapons during the crusades.

During the Crusades, the crusaders first faced Damascus steel near Damascus (this is how it got its name, the steel was not necessarily made in Damascus) and were impressed by the remarkable properties of Damascus swords, even going as far to claim they had magical properties.

However, Damascus steel had been a lost technology from the early 1700’s up until World War II. It again has gained popularity since the mid 1970’s.

But since the techniques for making these swords have been lost for hundreds of years, no one is sure exactly know why these swords are so exceptional.

Today, the term Damascus steel refers to the combination of two different kinds of steels that are welded and forged into a bar or rod with a multitude of layers.

One of the most fascinating aspects of modern day sword making, particularly in regards to medieval swords is without question, Damascus steel.

Nowadays, Damascus steel blades wielded by many movies, serials like Game of Thrones characters have become synonymous with the show itself, and hardcore fans across the world pay a lot of money to get their hands on replicas of the iconic swords, which each have their own special characteristics and names like Blackfyre, Dark Sister and Long claw.

Windlass has produced several Damascus Viking swords over the years. Visit windlasssword.com to get more information.

Significance of Medieval Swords

As we know that The Middle Ages were fraught with many wars and battles and where the weapons were extremely valuable for success on those campaigns.

In this blog we will discuss about medieval swords significance.

The Medieval period of history was extremely violent. The quest for wealth and power was driven by the violent society of the European countries. Massive stone castles were built to act as power bases. Lands were subject to invasion leading to wars, battles and siege situations.

But when someone refers to a medieval sword, they are generally speaking, of a sword that would have been carried by either a knight or a soldier during the Middle Ages. Although the exact start and end dates of the medieval age has been disputed for years, all Strong blade references (unless otherwise noted) refer to the period between 500 A.D. (around the time the Roman Empire was ending) to about 1500 AD (around the time when the Renaissance was beginning).

Medieval swords are usually stereotyped as heavy and cumbersome while rapiers are thought of as feather-light and lightning-fast. But actually it is just the reverse: medieval swords tend to be very light and agile while real rapiers, at least in the 16th century, tended to be quite heavy and, to an untutored hand, often seem very ungainly.

Medieval Swords

Medieval swords almost always have pommels, usually have well defined crosses and typically have long fullers. Of the many medieval swords that have been excavated or found, quite a few have engravings on the blades. Usually, these engravings were of a religious nature, with sacred phrases or sketches etched into the blade and usually filled with another metals, like silver.

Weapons in the medieval period were designed to be as efficient and practical as possible, though personal weapons were often decorated and embellished as symbols of ownership and displays of wealth.

So if you pretend yourself a swordsman or a warrior, then why not take a moment to browse our website: http://www.windlasssword.com/.

 

Cross Sections of a Sword

In order to be both strong and light for striking, powerful cuts or thrusts against either hard or soft targets, different sword blades would not just require but also different cross-sections require. A blade’s cross-section widely over the term of the sword’s use as a one of the important weapons.

To check the cross section of the sword, you have to cut a blade in half crosswise and then look at its cut end and you will see the blade cross-sectional design.

Sword_cross_section

The most common and well known item used by the Roman infantry was the short sword known as the Pompeii Gladius. The Pompeii had parallel edges and a short point. The cross section on the Pompeii was a diamond shape. This consists of four flat faces that are joined to form a diamond with the blade’s central ridge forming the inner juncture and the edges forming the outer. Swords of dedicated thrusting designs could be of a more acute diamond cross-section and while lacking the mass of a cutting blade would be quite ridged. The swords now became more tapering and of diamond cross section.

Iron Age spearheads come in a range of styles and sizes, from small to extremely long, from lenticular cross section. Even medieval European blades tended to have a lenticular cross-section. This cross section has an apple seed type of design that lacks a strong central ridge in the middle of the blade. When coupled with a wide, shallow fuller this resulted in a blade that was both light and flexible.

The blades of this period were capable of attack techniques their main focus was on the cut so flexibility was preferred over hardness.

A hexagonal cross-section simply consists of a blade with six faces. Two broad faces that make up the flat of the blade and four smaller angled faces that form the edge. Military colichemarde blades are flattened hexagonal in cross-section.

There are many factors to be taken while choosing a modern-made sword. Feel free to ask your queries on windlasssword.com.

1897 Pattern British Infantry Officer’s Sword

Did you know the first uniform pattern sword was the British Infantry Officer’s Sword, which was usually a 32.5 inch (825 mm) blade and had been introduced in the late 1780’s.

In modern day, the 1897 Pattern Infantry Officer’s Sword is the current ceremonial sword used by the British Army.

British Infantry Officer's Sword

It was the large-scale modification to the 1845 Infantry Officer Sword. Reasonably, it witnessed limited useful action in the First World War amongst a battlefield of machine guns and artillery, but the blade has made its excellent impact in the close-quarters fighting specially in the recon quest of the Sudan.

In the First World War, Bernard Montgomery is known to have drawn and advanced in a counter-offensive with his 1897 Pattern Infantry sword. It still sticks around in official production for ceremony wear and drills to the present day.

It is considered as one of the best British fighting swords issued till date in the history of the British army. The blade is clearly intended for thrusting and in this it richly excelled. It maintains enough thickness for a parry and is tapered, agile and capable of decent cuts and slashes. The wide guard gives excellent hand protection without encumbering the natural movement of the hand and wrist.

The current 1897 British infantry sword blade is described as being 32½ inches (830 mm) long and 1 inch (25 mm) wide at the shoulder, with the complete sword weighing between 1 lbs 12oz and 1 lb 13 Oz(794-822g).

The blade is straight with a deep central fuller on each side, with the blade becoming double edged towards the tip, and the last 17 inches (430 mm) were sharpened when on active service. The blade ends in a sharp spear point.

At the last this sword is considered by some to be the best fighting sword ever issued to a British Officer. As such, it has never been replaced and is the current issue sword within the British Army.

About Us:

Windlass Sword is the UK’s specialist Military sword manufacturer, Sword refurbishment provider and supplier of British ceremonial military swords. For more information, visit windlasssword.com.

Khukri The Pride of Legendary Gurkhas

Do you know that the spelling of the Kukri has been in hassle for some time? For many years it has been registered as khookree, khukri, khukuri, kukery, kukoori and kukri which are mostly from British historian source. But today’s used spelling is kukri or Khukri. Kukri is also the symbol of national weapon and icon of Nepal.

Gurkha Kukris have been the representative of the British Army’s Brigade of Gurkha since it has started. Regimental marks of nearly all Gurkha regiments, past and present, have incorporated kukris into their design, which is witnessed from the pre-1947 to present.

Each Gurkha considers kukri as a part of his equipment and even though there is little need for a close combat weapon like the kukri in modern warfare, but it had a long history of being put to terrifyingly use by Gurkha in the past.

The Gurkha kukri came to the limelight when the East India Company had war with the Gurkha kingdom. After that Its continued usage right through World War I and World War II, which increased its reputation both among all allied troops and enemy force.

Some interesting quote by famous personalities about Gurkhas:

Former chief of staff of the Indian Army field Marshal Sam Maneskshaw once famously said about Gurkhas :(If a man is not afraid of dying than he is either lying or he is Gurkha

If I had Gurkhas, no armies in the world will defeat me. “-Adolf Hitler

In the world there is only one place is secured that’s when you are between the Gurkhas.” – Prince Charles.

Impact of Gurkha kukri:

The kukri is not just a knife or weapon, but also has religious values it carries and faiths. The shape of the kukri blade carries the trinity symbols of lord “Bramha” ,”Vishnu” and “Shiva” which are the three most famous and influential gods in Hinduism.

It is believed that a kukri when kept at home would give fortune; happiness and a kill evil spirit which continues to exist till today that has been passed from generation to generation. The kukri is believed to have spiritual power to scare off demons, evils and nightmares.

gurkha_khukri

It is a powerful bond of the special relationship between Nepal and the UK.

Gerald Davies explained: “It has stood the test of time for nearly 200 years – representing Gurkhas serving the crown. Wherever that soldier has been, in any part of the world, the kukri has been used. Our enemies know when they are up against a Gurkha because it is the Kukri that has been imprinted on their minds”.

About US:

Windlass Steelcrafts, the official Government Contractor for the kukri since 1943 which produces genuine, original, official military issue to Gurkha Regiments. The khukris manufactured by windlass are hand forged from high-carbon steel and comes with a regulation sheath. A must for outdoor activities that requires cutting and chopping.

Grand Opening of the Newly Refurbished Britannia Museum 1st May 2014

brittania

Having been made possible by the generosity of Windlass Sword Company, the grand opening of the newly refurbished Britannia Museum took place, following The Lord High Admirals Passing Out Parade on 1st May 2014. Originally opened in 1999 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the museum is housed in one of the former Cadet Gunrooms in Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth where it explores the history of Officer Training there. The newly refurbished museum was opened by Mr Robin Barlow, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devon and Her Majesty’s representative, in the presence of Mr Pradeep Windlass, Chairman – Windlass Sword Company and several dignitaries from Britannia Royal Naval College, including Captain Henry Duffy RN and Commander Jason Phillips RNA OBE. As their official supplier of Royal Navy Officers Swords, Windlass Sword Company made a substantial and generous contribution to the college, which enabled them to fully refurbish the museum..

LHA_0210_largeMr Robin Barlow DL with Pradeep Windlass performing the opening of the museum by cutting the ribbon across it’s entrance.

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Dr Jane Harrold, Archivist and Deputy Curator, describing one of the museum display items to (from right to left)
Mr Robin Barlow DL, Dr Richard Porter, Curator,
Malcolm Ordever, General Manager Windlass UK,
Mrs Angela White, Museum Designer and Pradeep Windlass.

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Dr Richard Porter and Dr Jane Harrold presenting copies of their books to Pradeep Windlass