Category: swordsmanship

Napoleonic Naval Close Combat with Cutlass, Pistol & Bayonet – Lieut William Pringle Green

A fantastic manual on the use of close combat weapons during Napoleonic naval warfare is now available. The treatise of Lieut William Pringle Green:

Close Quarters Naval Combat in the Napoleonic Era

Our latest free release! Pringle Green’s 1812 manual provides a unique and incredible insight into close quarters naval combat in the Napoleonic era. It is primarily focused on group tactics and strategies, but also gives insight and instruction into simple methods to be used by individuals.

This work can be downloaded as a free PDF on our resources page, along with many other contemporary works –

Painstakingly transcribed and presented by the Academy of Historical Fencing, with collaboration with Kraken Swords.

Dual Wielding Swords – The Same Across Martial Arts?


A fold-out version of the Infantry (and Cavalry) Sword Exercise, published in Manchester, Great Britain, 1822.


From Instructions for the Exercise of Small Arms, Field Pieces, etc., for the Use of Her Majesty’s Ships, 1859.


2nd Punjab Infantry on Gym Day

A splendid photo from around 1890, showing men of the 2nd Punjab Infantry, with fencing bayonets, gymnasium sabres and Indian clubs in a great variety of sizes. Also note the singlesticks, fencing helmets and sporans for protecting the groin. These chaps look hard as nails!

British Handkerchief Cutter, 19th Century
19th century Wilkinson Handkerchief cutter sword with shagreen grip and an un-associated scabbard, 100 cm in length.
Used in The Great Handkerchief Wars. Also used for sword feats to demonstrate cutting skill and blade sharpness. Sword feats were often incorporated into a larger “Assault of Arms” which would also feature fencing with various swords, singlesticks, and bayonets.

British Military Swordsmanship on Foot, 1796-1821

Check out this incredible image by Nick Thomas of the Academy of Historical Fencing!

Nick says of the image;

“I’d like to see these weapons seen more as the family they are, and so here is a composite image created entirely from contemporary artwork of the period.”


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


Italian fencing sabres, gauntlets, and masks, circa 1900.