Category: ahf

Royal Artillery Swords in the Napoleonic Era

A look at all the swords used by the British foot and horse artillery in the Napoleonic era. All swords shown are original antiques of the period.

Why You Are Wrong About Spadroons

Spadroons are a badly misunderstood weapon. It’s popular to hate on them today, but why? Most criticism centres around five keys topics that people believe are weaknsses of the spadroon. Here we’ll take a look at those five reasons. 


A theory about the swords shown in the Angelo lessons poster, and Roworth manual. Check out this sword that was sold last year, attributed to the London and Westminster volunteers (who Roworth and Angelo are most certainly linked)

Notice that both the Angelo poster and first edition Roworth show what looks like a fairly short, straight, simple stirrup hilted sword, and also that on the Angelo lessons poster most of the troops are carrying carbines. Now go back to the sword I linked to. 30.5" blade, straight and stirrup hilted sword bayonet to be used with a carbine, and attributed to the same Volunteer unit.

Clearly the system is intended for all swords when on foot, but is this the sword (sword bayonet) that is being displayed? Lastly, if it is, are they referring to it as a broadsword? Which would be logical.

–Nick Thomas, Academy of Historical Fencing

Spadroons & Spadrooners – With special guest Nick Thomas (AHF)

Let’s talk about this important and iconic 18th and 19th century military sword, used extensively in the Napoleonic Wars. 

A sneak peek at a new e-book, British Infantry Swords of the Napoleonic Era, by Nick Thomas of the Academy of Historical Fencing


21 Foot Rule – Drawing the Sword for Self Defence – Sabre 

Drawing the weapon in a self defence scenario is far from a new problem. Here we consider what it would have been like to apply the principals studied today for law enforcement defence, but placed in a historical context and when carrying a sword.

This is not a scientific or conclusive piece of research, just a brief look into the subject. Many more videos will follow looking at different scenarios. weapons, holsters and belts etc.

NOTE – the fencer who was drawing the sabre did not always draw the cut through completely as he would for real. This was largely out of necessity for safety with an untipped blade. The object of the exercise was to find the distances at which one could defend oneself and not test cutting skill.

Why Reproduction Sabres SUCK

Most reproduction sabres and related military type sword reproductions suck. It’s not usually build quality or aesthetics that are their main problem. This is a look at why they are so bad.

Smallswords, foils, and practice smallswords.

A look at the weights, lengths and balances of original smallswords, foils, and modern training smallswords. This follows on from Matt’s (Scholagladiatoria) video on the same subject, and discussion currently going on in HEMA groups.

Real sabres have curves! But how much?