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This magnificent piece of work was last amended in 1897 and is widely renowned for its design and build. Manufactured from carbon steel, the blade of this sword is double-edged at the end of its length and daintily engraved with the regimental crest. A wonderful characteristic about this sword is that the guard of the three-quarter basket hilt is penetrated and etched with a scroll design that incorporates the royal cipher of the current sovereign and is shaped from nickel-plated steel. The grip is meticulously crafted in black fish-skin and clenched with silver-plated copper wire. The Infantry Officer’s Sword can be worn with the assistance of a Sam Browne leather scabbard with plated steel mouthpiece for service wear or in a beautifully nickel-plated steel scabbard for formal full dress occasions.
NATO STOCK NO :
Infantry Sword : 8465-99-973-6877
Brown Leather Scabbard: 8465-99-127-9993
Black Leather Scabbard : 8465-99-122-1490
Nickel-Plated Scabbard : 8465-99-973-6853
The 1897 Pattern Infantry Officers’ Sword or more commonly called the Infantry Sword has been the regulation sword for infantry officers of the British Army from 1897 to the present day. More specifically, the Infantry Sword was used in a combative role fropm its design in 1897 only till the end of the first world war. Thereafter, the infantry sword continues to be used in ceremonial and presentation purposes to the present day.
The sword was primarily designed as a thrusting weapon. The spear point and double edge towards the point aids penetration and withdrawal by incising the wound edges. The blade, whilst quite narrow, is thick and its dumbbell section gives it good weak-axis buckling strength whilst maintaining robustness in bending for the parry. The blade tapers in both width and thickness and, with the substantial guard, has a hilt-biased balance, aiding agility at the expense of concussive force in a cut. The guard would give comprehensive protection to the hand, but does not restrict wrist movement. The length of the double edge, is quite significant, suggesting that some cutting capability was maintained.
By the time it was finally inducted as a British Military Sword, it was no match against the firearms that were becoming more and more sophisticated. Rapid firing rifles, machine guns and artillery firepower was the main strength of the military. However, it was widely reported that whenever a situation of close combat arose the 1897 Infantry sword proved to be a very effective weapon. One of the examples where it was reported to be a good weapon was the war for 'Reconquest Of Sudan' 1896-99.
Bernard Montgomery advanced with his 1897 Pattern drawn during a counteroffensive in the First World War. The actual sword he carried is exhibited in the Imperial War Museum, London.
For ceremonial and presentation swords purpose a lighter weapon with a narrower blade and proportionately scaled down guard was used. Some regiments carried variations on the standard pattern, generally consisting of variations of the royal cypher on the guard. An unetched blade variant is available for warrant officers.