Using Anduril in Battle Practical?

Discussion in 'Fantasy Weapons and Armour' started by amondray, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. amondray

    amondray New Member

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    I thought it would be interesting to discuss if using a sword as large as Anduril in battle would be effective or not. In the movies, Aragorn certainley doesn't seem to have much trouble, however, in real life would it be wise to use a sword this large? I know the sword was made for a 7 foot tall man, but Aragorn still uses it. So, in real life would anyone really go into battle with a sword as collasal as Anduril, or would it be too hard to fight with?
     
  2. Gregorius0202

    Gregorius0202 The Bronze Warrior

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    Many men would. German mercenarys known as Landsknecht's would wield swords that were sometime over 6' in length in battle. They were used to cut pikes out of the way of advancing infantry, and would later be grasped by the dulled and leather-covered part of the lower blade, which would still make them just as heavy, and with about 3.5' of blade in front and a whole half a handle behind! They were almost like pole arms!

    Japanese No-dachis were a huge sword, which could also be in the range of 6' long. They were most likely simply swung in wide circles around a warrior in the confines of battle, ripping through as much as the momentum could!

    Men like William Wallace really did have big swords, and the artifact of his own sword (doesn't look like the one in the film, by the way) still survives and is about 5' in length. Many Scottish Claymores were equal to that length or even longer, in cases.

    Bastard swords, hand and a half swords, and many other smaller two handers, about equal in length to Anduril, in lots of cases, were wielded often by soldiers from the 15th century in battle. The use of the large two handed sword flourished with the demise of use of large shields, which was in part due to the rise of gunpowder and many simple and important changes in the way warfare was conducted and weapons and armor evolved...

    -Gregory-
     
  3. Jessehk

    Jessehk The introverted

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    Greg, this reminds me completely of the berserkers in LOTR.
     
  4. Turgon883

    Turgon883 New Member

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    That's a good point Jessehk ...Though i bet the japanese No-dachis were a little more...how should i say it...civilized.... ;)
     
  5. Bard

    Bard Erchamion

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    I'd rather have a claymore, even though those huge swords just dont appeal to me as much as others.
     
  6. amondray

    amondray New Member

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    Thank you Gregorious I appreciate it alot...
     
  7. Gregorius0202

    Gregorius0202 The Bronze Warrior

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    Lol, not exactly... Another common phrase for it was "horse-killer" (I'm not sure if this is the exact translation, because "Odachi" is another term for the sword as well, and my Japanese is lacking to the point that I can't say Hello anymore without thinking)... So, it depends on how you look at it. It didn't require quite as much "skill" to wield in battle as a katana, and rather simply demanded more bulk in the mens torso and arms:D

    @Amondray- You're welcome, sir! Large swords aren't my favorite, but they're always interesting, and inspired even the bravest of soldiers to back down at points in time, due to the incredible aura of strength that surrounded their users... (No matter how clumsy they may have been). big weapons always demand my respect.

    Cheers!

    -Gregory-
     
  8. amondray

    amondray New Member

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    Yes indeed, i would have to agree. Although large swords wouldn't me my first choice if i ever had to go into battle (which of course would never happen), they are certainly impressive, and in the case of anduril, a nice piece of eye candy.
     
  9. R. Laine

    R. Laine New Member

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    It is a fairly common misconception that large swords were considerably clumsier than their smaller cousins (they could be fairly nimble, thanks to the leverage granted by their usually rather long handles), and Anduril as it was portrayed in the films certainly wasn't a very huge piece when compared to some historical ones; many renaissance two-handers could often be up to six feet long and still be considered extremely dangerous weapons, both in single combat and the battlefield, especially when wielded by a skilled fencer. If you are interested -and can bear the sight of the multitude of mildly amusing codpieces portrayed therein- the German Goliath fencing book deals with rather large two-handers: http://www.schielhau.org/ Might also want to have a looksee at Meyer if you visit the site.


    The Italian fencing master, Giocimo DiGrassi on the two-handed sword:

    "The two hand Sword, as it is used now a days being four handfuls in the handle, or more, having also the great cross, was found out, to the end it should be handled one to one at an equal match, as other weapons, of which I have entreated. But because one may with it (as a galleon among many galleys) resist many Swords, or other weapons: Therefore in the wars, it is used to be place near unto the Ensign or Ancient, for the defense thereof, because, being of itself able to contend with many, it may the better safeguard the same."

    Rabbe
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2004
  10. Grabsteinkraut

    Grabsteinkraut Good friend of John R.R.

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    The link http://japantrip.tripod.com/nodachi/norimitsu.html

    Talking about no-daichi :
     

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  11. SANCHO VII EL FUERTE

    SANCHO VII EL FUERTE New Member

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    What do you think is more combat- effective? Weight or speed? For some the weight of the sword is important (you can crash an armor easily, i.e.), but for others speed is a most.You can cut faster an enemy, and that is what swords are made for!!!

    I think in a massive charge nothing is better than a big sword to clear the way.Here in Spain our ancient kings used them when the battle began, but later on, smaller and more effective swords were taken.I saw once an authentic sword used by the king of my shire (or state in modern words), and it was really big, but the guy was 6 feet tall, a lot for that years.An Elendil-like hero!!!
     
  12. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    Allow me to welcome you Sancho! And allow me to compliment your ancestors on having developed arguably the most efficient rapier: the spanish hilt rapier.
     
  13. amondray

    amondray New Member

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    That picture of that is crazy crazy grabsteinkraut!
     
  14. R. Laine

    R. Laine New Member

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    Depends. It is quite clear that those who fenced with sharps for their lives favoured fast swords, but equating weight to lack of speed is in some cases a mistake. For example, the large two-handers of the Renaissance were extremely quick despite their weight (that could occasionally reach ten pounds or roughly 4,5 kilograms) because of the leverage granted by their long handles, and a modern foil is not much quicker than a longsword, as it does not really allow a two-handed grip like the latter. Etc.

    Swords were never used to crush armour, but to throw the enemy to the ground or thrust into the gaps by a method called half-swording in Germany - the other hand was held on the blade, which increased point control and leverage considerably.

    Quite so. However, too light a sword (ie. much below 1,5 pounds - of course, there are exceptions, like the smallsword) can also have its disadvantages; it won't have the mass to cut or parry well, will be very easy to set aside and propably has to heavily depend on either the cut or the thrust - make it very thin and it'll be too flexible to deliver an effective thrust, make it very narrow and thick and it won't cut well.

    Our ancestors had several thousands of years to find out how to make an effective sword, so I think I'll just depend on their experience on the matter... Generally, a weight between 2 to 3 pounds for the average one-hander, 2 to 4 pounds for a longsword, and 5 to 9 for a larger two-hander. Pretty subjective stuff, weight preferences, but those measurements seem to be quite consistent with historical averages.

    Actually (and I know I'm nitpicking, but I just can't help it - this is something of a pet peeve of mine...), a height of six feet was not that unusual. It is true that the average medieval or renaissance man was an inch or two shorter than his average modern cousins, but not nearly as much as is commonly believed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2004
  15. Orkin

    Orkin The Fighters Guide House Member

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    How long was Anduril supposed to be? In the movies I never saw any sword wielded by Aragorn longer than four feet.
     
  16. VALAMATAR

    VALAMATAR New Member

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    Swords were never used to crush armour, but to throw the enemy to the ground or thrust into the gaps by a method called half-swording in Germany - the other hand was held on the blade, which increased point control and leverage considerably.(QUOTE).-R.Laine.

    I don't agree with you.Big swords were used to hit armors, and blended/twisted metal, caused injuries because it cut the knight's flesh, and remained into the body, as long as the armor were not removed.Maybe use of verb "crush" were not so accurate, but I left English Filology Studies ten years ago, sorry.

    The average height here in Spain centuries ago didn't reach 5 and a half feet (barely 1,70-1,75 metres tall), and I don't know your country's average height in Middle Age, but I know that fact in my country in that years.So 6 feet were a really tall man in that times.It can be read in many books.I got pictures in that king's tomb in Roncesvalles (Navarra), laying at his side so as to compare both heights, and when I was 14 I was 1,75 metres tall.And the difference were well noticed.Now I'm 1,85 metres tall and difference is not so huge.

    Curious fact: Sancho VII el Fuerte's son died in my town (Tudela), in a duel, when he fell down from his horse, and his dagger killed him.Bad luck.

    Cheers.
     
  17. R. Laine

    R. Laine New Member

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    I'd very much like to see evidence of this in one single historical text - all of the anti-armour techniques I've seen are done via the half-sword (the Gladiatoria fechtbuch shows numerous actions like these, but no attempts of hacking at the armour: www.thearma.org/Manuals/Gladiatoria/Gladiatoria.htm).

    Maces and poleaxes were considerably more efficient at damaging plate than a sword ever could be, especially as it was common for historical swords to be notably thinner towards the point than many modern replicas are, which of course made them more manouverable, but also reduced their ability to withstand abuse. Even today's over-soft, overweight "reproductions" can -and do- break when bashed against armour.

    I think that is where our misunderstanding came from: I was mostly talking about nobility (who usually were the ones with large swords...), and the average nobleman was somewhat taller than most commoners. I should have specified, of course. Sorry for that.

    Ouch!

    Rabbe
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2004
  18. VALAMATAR

    VALAMATAR New Member

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    Ha ha ha, It seems we both read a lot, and it seems we like to defend our thoughts!!! It's good to speak with another cavalry theme fan,;a big hug friend!!!.I'd like to read more from you, from the old continent!!!

    CHEERS FRIEND!!!
     
  19. Cudgel

    Cudgel The name says it all

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    I had something to add but......other people took my thoughts *glares at several people*

    oh I have somthign to add

    no dachi means feild sword ie sword meant for teh feild of battle and were usually plainer in fittins and such.
    O dachi means longsword which can be subjective cuz a katan is an o dachi while being on the short end of the scale, especailly when sized for a medieval japaneses samurai.

    zweihander cutting trhough pikes....thats debateble. Swords are meant to cut wood let alone a hard wood shaft that wasnt firmly held in place but would give when struck at. More likly they were used to knock aside several pikes to mak eopenings. But teh most likly use would be to gaurd the oficers and standard because a larger sword can hold off several otehr attackers at once. I know Ive done it.

    Average hieght for nobilty was mostly about teh average hieght fo most modern peopl of European decent.

    The Wallace sword...is a fake. The time period Wallace lived and the stlye of blade he supposedly used dont match up by a few centuries. Was he a big man? Probably. Did he use a lngsword of some form? Most likely as he was alive towards the begining of the rise the larger swords.

    big swords being used to rend plate and and such. Not likly. A sword isnt meant to cut metal. You ever used a cold chisel before? I have pain in a the butt, and that is a tool meant to cut metal. Halfswordsing would be used. Ther is documented proof that is how longswords were used to fight agsint armor andit was mre of "Oh shoot I lost my spear or pole arm now im stuck with my sword agsint the other dude with armor."
     
  20. VALAMATAR

    VALAMATAR New Member

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    Look what I found in a web: (quote) "This sword -dagesse-, was famous for its capacity to run through armors, and were used all along Europe in the XIV Century and forward".It's a historical description, and I don't know how accurate it is.

    But I think the only thing good enough to break an armor is a good bazooka!!! ha ha ha...

    I'm gonna buy this sword, because it's "battle ready", and here in Spain it's not very usual to grab one of this.The manufacturer sends it unsharpened, for not being considered a weapon, which would be illegal here.

    Cheers friends!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2004
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