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.
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.
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