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#172265 - 08/09/05 12:52 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: cxt]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
the traditional african weapons of clubs, shields and spears were readily available to people on the ground in rwanda. they chose to arm themselves with the machete - although other farmng tools were also used. and, there were fire arms around, altohugh in smaler numbers.

you do have agood point, that it is very probable that people armed with rifles were supporting people armed with machetes.

http://www.africancraftsmarket.com/africanknob-keire_details.htm

http://www.africancraftsmarket.com/africanZuluspear_details.htm

concerning the numbers killed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide

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#172266 - 08/09/05 01:27 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA

Seriously don't mean to be a pain in the neck (or 2/12 feet lower )

But that still makes little sense to me.

In reading the article, it says some groups shot their victems and some hacked them to death with machetes.
So at least some of them used weapons OTHER than machtes to kill.
The one million figure is total death toll--NOT the number killed just with machetes.

Nothing was said about access to "better" weapons (other than firearms and bulldozers)

Still seems to me that folks used what was handy (or possibly for terror reasons the article says "hacked to death" which sounds pretty grusome to me )
Rather than a carefully reasoned choice of the machete as a weapon.

In the absence of other proof, I am sticking with the machete as a weapon usable tool that was easily obtained by the folks involved.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#172267 - 08/09/05 01:49 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: cxt]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
I don't have anything that says "four out of five rwandan killers chose a machete over a spear". out of personal knowledge, I know that there were large numbers of spears and wooden clubs available - I have traveled in that part fo the world, and talked with people who were around at that time.

the reason that all of this stuck in my mind was a radion interview I heard with a man who ran a farming impliments store in rwanda at the time who said how amazed he was when the machete sales just shot through the roof in the period jsut before the war stared. his factory had to boast production to meet the rwandan demand.

actually, I can think of a good book that discusses this - try the new book by jared diamond, "collapse" - there is a chapter that discusses the rwandan genocide.

anyway, I am not a sword guy, and I know that you guys take your swords very seriously, but in answer to the origional question, I don't see why a well made machete is any less good a weapon that some of the purpose made swords? depending on how it is to be used.

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#172268 - 08/09/05 01:51 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear Globetrotter:

While we do risk getting into semantics, here, I submitt we are playing too fast and loose with language to automatically identify a machete as a sword. Taken by this logic one might designate a hatchet a "tomahawk", a floor broom a "wolf spear" and carpenters' hammer a "cudgeol". For me a sword is a very specific item with a specific intent. If we are going to folow the intent of the thread I think we are doing a dis-service to the original question by automatically including those items which are "sword-like", yes? After all, flipping it over the OTHER way there are items made of plastic and stainless stell actually represented as "swords" that I would not take into a fight on a bet!

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#172269 - 08/09/05 02:11 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: glad2bhere]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
ok, ok, I am bowing out of this discussion. I would still suggest that something like this:

http://machete.com/prod01.htm

fits the question as to what the most realistic type of sword would be for the modern world.


or, let me ask this - if you were designing a "sword' for the modern world, to face the possible needs of a modern sword carrier, how would you make it different from this?

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#172270 - 08/09/05 02:20 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I'd turn the handle into a rifle. That's what the military did.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#172271 - 08/09/05 02:31 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA

Globe

Mainly because things do best what they are designed to do.

Machetes make unwieldy swords--they are balanced wrong for much of what a sword is supposed to do.

(there was even a specific weapon very much like a machete, a falcion--blade weighted to the front as to deliver a heavy chopping action--but weighted as it was--my guess is that would be harder to recover the stroke)

Not that you can't use a machete to kill, might be very effecient in that role--but that was not what it was designed to do thus its less effective.

Many machetes are of less good quality metal--easy to sharpen, but little edge holding abilty.
Mine get dull fast and need to be re-sharpened freq.
Metal quality itself is usually poor--which is what you would expect for something used to chop plant matter.

If I need to fight I will grab whatever is handy--many things make good weapons.
If I have a choice I will use the best weapon I can get.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#172272 - 08/09/05 02:45 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: cxt]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
cxt,

that is a fair answer, but pardon me if I push a little harder. I agree with you that usually the best tool for a specific job is one that has been made to do that job. but I look at this machete, and it looks, to the untrained eye, like a 19th century cutlass, with the exception of a blood draining canal.

if I were thinking of a modern sword, it would probrably be very similar to a cutlass.

aside from the fact that this was not desiged as a weapon, and that it may be poorly balanced for recovery, and that it does not have a drainage canal, anything here that strikes you as not eing perfect?

I am not doing this just to be a pain, I am curious, and I think this is a valid direction to go in.

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#172273 - 08/09/05 02:56 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: globetrotter]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Blood draining canal? Could you explain further?
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#172274 - 08/09/05 03:12 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: Charles Mahan]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
I am sorry, I meant the fuller, which, I just read, had to do with making the blade lighter and stronger, and not, as I was misinformed, allow air into the wound to prevent a vacuum so that a blade could be pulled out of a wound.

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