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You are currently reading a thread in /his/ - History & Humanities

Thread replies: 78
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How come messers had such long hilts when they were one handed weapons?
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they didn't. that's kriegsmesser, not messer.
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>>663418
pic related, this is what one handed messer looks like.
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>>663422

Still pretty long desu.
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>>663445
not any longer than other one handed swords.
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Ask /k/
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>>663415
This is a messer.
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all the better to mess you up with
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>>663506
There was a literal messer expert on here a few weeks ago, had a good thread about the difference between Falchions and Messers .
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>>663415
balance mabey

the ability to two hand the sword or... hand and a half it, using both hands gives you alot more control and power into your attacks and defence wich would make it more favorable as a personal defence weapon

honestly i dont know
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>>663452
>that little baby sword

:3
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>>663531
It is stuff like this that needs to be archived.
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>>663574
https://desustorage.org/his/
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Is there any advantage of ring hilts over other form of hand protection like a nagel or other crossguards or is it just the way they made them because they liked the way it looked?

Also would the Kriegsmesser be considered sidearm or a primary weapons? Katzbalgers and regular Messers feel more like last resort weapons whereas the two handed Kriegsmesser looks like it can hold its own.
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>>663579
>https://desustorage.org/his/
Great stuff!
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>>663603
>Is there any advantage of ring hilts
Yes. complex hilts where a thing for a reason.

>>663603
>Also would the Kriegsmesser be considered sidearm or a primary weapons?
Stop thinking in huge organized land battle term, instead think of small war and feuds Europe had for centuries. All this primary/secondary weapons is bullshit. The weapons you compare are neighter the same era nor had the same role .
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>>663603
Landsknecht were mercenaries and would have carried their arms with them wherever they went. They represented a significant investment and they almost certainly couldn't afford to purchase, carry and maintain more than two personal arms.
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>>663506
>Ask /k/
>something about a pre-1980s subject
Top kek.

>>663603
>Is there any advantage of ring hilts over other form of hand protection like a nagel or other crossguards or is it just the way they made them because they liked the way it looked?
Ring hilts were the most protective type of handguard before basket hilt started becoming common.
Consider the nagel: it only protects your hand if the blade hits it at an angle such that it can't also hit the hand at the same time.
Now consider the ring: such an angle becomes almost impossible to achieve with a frontal attack.
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>>663776
Weren't Landsknecht or mercenaries pretty well off though? I know that the English archers in the 100 years war were paid like a skilled labourer in London.
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>>663776
>Landsknecht were mercenaries
Nope, landsknecht became a therm for mercenaries, but Landsknecht itself is the opposite.
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>>663968
I didn't say were, I said or.
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>>663978
Yes, and I was not replying to you.
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Messers weren't allowed to have pommels so they had longer hilts as counter balance instead
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>>663992
>Messers weren't allowed to have pommels
>Ohrly?
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>>664000
Yes, really that messer has no pommel. The reason fucking everyone rocked a messer in germany was because it was illegal for commoners too carry sword so the knife guilds made big ass knives instead that were totally not swords and therefore legal for people to carry. What made them knives and not swords were the fact that they had full tangs and no pommels.
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>>663985
That's very true and I apologize.
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>>663992
What do you mean by weren't allowed? By modern typology?
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>>664018
>Yes, really that messer has no pommel.
Except the shiney solid metal part on the non pointy end...
>pic related, pommel of one of my ensifer hema messers.
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>>664039
>>664018
By Law at the time
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>>664039
Ignore him. What he meant is some legal distinction between Messer and Sword in the HRE. But he's a halfwit.
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>>664053
>By Law at the time
Name of the law and year please then?
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Short summary on Messers and friends (Katzbalgers, Baselards, Schweizer Degen, Falchion)
The early renaissance (or late medieval) was an insecure time, there was feuding between cities an nobles, armed robberies on the streets, drunken ptsd fuckheads in the inn's etc. Also, there where pretty furry large animals that see you as a potential addon to their diet.
In short, you had the need for a weapon, this time not only for a feudal warrior class, but also for townsfolk and commoners.
Messers developed from cutlery hence the distinctive style with endcap and pinned on handle scales. The earliest types where called Bauernwehr and where little more than just a longer knife with a sturdier blade. Soon the crossgard was made bigger and a Wehrnagel was added. Later this was transformed into the Lange Messer, and the Grosse Messer or Kriegsmesser.
The lange Messer was a short, light, every day weapon. You can bring it with without much hassle, and it will keep potential attackers on distance. You wouldn't won't this to go to battle, but it does a great job for daily carry.

There is debate why this style caught on with the common classes, might have been opportune in the class society to distinct yourself from nobles and soldiers, maybe it was just that the cutlers had some dealing with the swordsmiths, or maybe it was something like the Bowie knife, the design worked and the fashion just caught on.
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>>664062
>Name of the law and year please then?
“To the mayor and sheriffs of London. Order to cause proclamation to be made, forbidding any man of whatsoever estate or condition to make unlawful assemblies in the city or suburbs of London, to go armed, girt with a sword or arrayed with unwonted harness, carry with him such arms, swords or harness, or do aught whereby the peace may be broken or the statutes concerning the bearing of arms contrary to the peace, or any of the people be disturbed or put in fear, under pain of losing his arms etc. and of imprisonment at the king's will, except lords, great men, knights and esquires of good estate, other men upon entering or leaving the city, and the king's officers and ministers appointed to keep the peace; and order after such proclamation to arrest all whom they shall find acting contrary to the same with the exceptions aforesaid, their followers, the arms, swords etc. found with them, and to keep them in custody in prison until further order, causing their arms etc. to be appraised and answer to be made to the king for them, and certifying in chancery from time to time the names of those arrested and the price and value of their arms etc. and so behaving that henceforward no more mischief be there done by their default; as it has now newly come to the king's ears that there are evildoers and breakers of the peace, some armed, some girt about the midst with swords, and some arrayed as aforesaid, who lurk in divers places within the city and suburbs and run to and fro committing batteries, mayhems, robberies, manslaughters etc., and hindering and disturbing the ministers and officers of the city from the exercise of their offices, in contempt of the king and breach of the peace, to the disturbance and terror of the people and contrary to the said statutes, which the king will not and ought not to endure.”
Close Rolls, Richard II: December 1393', Calendar of Close Rolls, Richard II: volume 5: 1392-1396 (1925).
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>>664119
>Messer
>London, England
Wanna try again?
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>>664062
>>664119
Sorry character limit.
I'm not the guy you were talking to, but laws like this were very common in the late middle ages, and they were all about forbidding people from carrying weapons within city walls. I can't find an equivalent for the HRE, but that's most likely because the laws on this subject were made at the local level and as such they went unpreserved.

>>664128
I was answering about sword carrying being unlawful. Which was actually common in the middle ages.
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>>664134
>I was answering about sword carrying being unlawful. Which was actually common in the middle ages.
No you where spouting some bullshit why it was illegal for Messers to have a pommel.

So you know Messers would not evade a weapons ban in a city.
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>>664142
No that was not me, it was another anon. Messers avoided the law not by not having a pommel, but by having the tang going the full width of the handle, and having the actual grip riveted on, like a knife. The tang on an actual sword instead would go through the grip, and be fixed on to the pommel.
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>>664142
It's not directly illegal for messers to have pommels but they would be classified as a sword if they had wich would be illegal for commoners to carry and as such messers very rarely have pommels.
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>>664142
Damn you're being aggressive and retarded, the guy talking about the pommels was clearly a completely different poster to the one you're replying to, and obviously had a terrible grasp of English, learn to read before getting pissy on the internet.
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>>664160
>>664161
I'm calling this bullshit. Please state a law that actually supports your point. Messers did not avoid any law at all. they just where a weapon type popular with commoners and a slightly different construction.
You just post something you heard somewhere about something you are not really familiar with. Please stop this, post facts or do not post.
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>>663968
Yes it became a term for the mercenaries I was discussing.

>>663953
Messers were pretty expensive which is partly eluded to teh fact they appear fairly rarely archaeologically speaking. Aside from Solingen and Toledo Europe had few specialist weaponsmiths and therefore they charged a lot. English bowman were really the only advantage England had on the field so they paid them well. Italian crossbowman actually commanded higher prices and itsl ikely England had to compete to prevent desertion to mercenary companies.
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>>664118
This anon actually knows his shit.

Also, technically, the pommel-thingy in the end bit of the messer is not a pommel as you do not pin the tang on its end
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>>664178
>Also, technically, the pommel-thingy in the end bit of the messer is not a pommel as you do not pin the tang on its end
Correct, that makes it a cap and not a pommel. but form and especially function are exactly the same, counterweight and something to knock teeth out.
Also, on some later models the handle is a elongated, this was used for non lethal disarmament techniques, at least according to johannes Lecküchner, godfahter of Messer.

http://www.hammaborg.de/pdf/transkriptionen/leckuechner_cgm582/zabinski_mitchell_fritz_leckuchner.pdf
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I don't know if it's time to take this to /k/ or even /tg/, but were swords like the kriegmesser wielded with slicing or with chopping motions? To slice meaning to draw-cut. Or is there even a strong distinction between slicing and chopping swords at all?
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>>664241
There is a draw cut in the German school of fencing called "Schnitt" where you put your blade against whatever bodypart you don't like and either draw or push.
For chopping versus slicing, this is not explicitly distinguished, but a well executed draw-cut is was more effective than an chopping cut, especially with straight blades. However, this needs training and technique, so most people will just have chopped.
Curved blades are a help with cutting, due to the curvature even a chop results in a draw cut.
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>>663415
Why are French grips so long if epees' are long handed? It has to do with some intersection between the physics of the weapon and the technique (e.g., pommeling).

Because no one really knows how swords were used in combat, it's kind of hard to answer these questions.
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>>664273
>no one really knows how swords were used in combat
Manuals, m'm8.
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>>664273
>Why are French grips so long if epees' are long handed?
So you can align the counterweight behind your wrist and have the angle right.
Next question?
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where to start?

first off, the messer isnt particularly german - the actual main areas of its cultural origin are polish and czech (Bohemia) the german ones are common, but not nearly as ubiquitous, the czech tasak types are far more commonplace.

the whole bit about the people not being allowed swords is, in short, bullshit. The messer did get around laws, but not for the people. the laws were for the guilds, who held rights of manufacture of swords. Most of the german city-states required people to have weapons and armour to be applicable for citizenship. Ownership of weapons was not something outlawed.

Pommels are not a required part of messers. Nor are they a part prohibited. You'll find messers with none, and messers with end-caps as massive as any sword pommel alike. I prefer to use the term "end-cap" as it helps differentiate between methods of construction, but the more I research then, the more I'm inclined to say that there is no hard and fast delineating lines. I've studied messers with pommels, and with sword-like tangs. I've seen scale grips on swords, and I've seen everything in between. They are not distinct groups at all but all elements of a variable spectrum, which can be best described as two blurry venn diagram circles that intersect quite a lot.

Evidence from particularly the czech republic, poland, moravia, and hungary has shown that messers were not rare - Žákovský's recent PhD papers have shown a VAST body of previously unpublished single-edged arms in the Czech Republic, that have radically shifted the focus of research in the last few years, and forced a significant re-evaluation of a number of details previously assumed valid from pre-existing details. I'm hoping I'll be able to collaborate with Žákovský (and Marek, and possibly Aleksic) on those, though the language barrier is not insignificant. But its essential if my research work doesnt fall into the same iron-curtained myopia which has so badly dated Oakeshott's work.
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>>664241
the messer was used for slicing
pic related was used for chopping

>note the messer was a rather versatile weapon and could be used many ways

the backward direction of the blade makes it slice better while on pic related the forward direction on the blade gives it more chopping power
ofc you can slice and chop with both weapons
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>>664292
>posting a fantasy blade in /his/
>expert on swords and how they where used
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>>664295
thats a falcata anon... sure its made to look pretty but its still a falcata
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>>664295
>>664315
mabey you would have preferred if i posted a original
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>>664291
ctd.

turning to the typology of weapons, there's plenty of examples of shorter hilted messer. there's also plenty of long hilted ones.

fighting manuals such as the Glasgow Fechtbuch (MS E.1939.65.341) give us a number of good indications that the longer hilts were put to use in binds - the whole not carrying swords thing is bullshit, but there are laws regarding the use of the sword, particularly in a number of the germanic states, which dictated the severity of charges against a person. In short, if you stabbed someone and they died, you could be tried for murder. if you sliced or cut them with a weapon, it could be self-defence. that tends to indicate part of the cultural value which made the messer popular in those regions, and documents such as the glasgow fechtbuch show that the weapon was designed accordingly, to work in complimentary ways to those values.

longer hilts offer a number of advantages in comfort, more importantly, however they give more options in terms of dynamic handling characteristics of the weapon. a lot of messers are very lightweight, thin cutters, and dont actually need a pommel. (one of the big mistakes on replica falchions is the prevalence for thick pommels that make them handle like shit - most of the real ones dont need that either.). that said, some of the larger ones do require a long hilt, because they are, frankly, fucking huge. the kriegsmesser types seem to have had a number of examples which are much heavier in construction, and I'm inclined to classify them by that, rather than simply overall length - I have handled (and reproduced) messers with 93cm blades, overall lengths of 1.25m that weigh just 1.025kg, with very slender proportions.

(at some point I'd like to establish a formal nomenclature for bauernwehr, Rugger, langes messer/Tasak, großes Messer, Kriegsmesser, alongside the formal typology, so people can start to use the words with any sense of meaning. Currently, they're as vague as "broad sword"
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>>664315
>falcata
same shape doesn't mean it makes it a falcata. There is a bit more to historic reproductions than that.
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>>664325
>same shape doesn't mean it makes it a falcata.

so if i wanted to show someone the shape of a falcata i cant post a picture of something shaped as a falcata?

well then thats my bad
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>>664292
real machaira ( "falcata" is a 19th century name applied to them) are, generally, exceptionally thin blades, not heavy choppers at all. Fernando Quesada Sanz's research work on those from the 1980's and 90's has shown that to be the case with multiple cross-sectional studies.
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>>664241
>I don't know if it's time to take this to /k/ or even /tg/
You're not gonna get any better answers there. /k/ flat out doesn't know shit about pre 20th century history, and /tg/ is disinformation central. Only go to /tg/ for history if you're looking for false stereotypes.
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returning to the messer, it would be accurate to say that the majority of messers are of a "hand and a half" proportion - and in doing so, their hilts are more adapted for balance, than for two-handed grip. We have very little in the way of fechbuch techniques for the longer messers, and practical experimentation has shown that properly made reproductions of the longer hilted messers handle more than adequately for single-handed use.


There is evidence (Johnsson, 2015, Deutsches klingenmuseum Solingen "das Schwert" exhibition catalogue) of the use of geometric proportion in the use of the messer construction. it may be that which underpins the number of hilt dimensions for some of the longer messers out there - its something I'm working on with Peter on to a degree, when opportunity presents itself.
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>>664341
Next your going to say a kopis wherent made to chop with eh?

theres not alot you can do with a sword that shape anon, other then chop, the weapon is litearlly designed to chop with, well i guess it depends on how you define chop

>generally, exceptionally thin blades, not heavy choppers

you can still chop with a thin blade, especially if your opponent aint wearing armor
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>>664376
Ever held one? Or just your intuition?
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>>664376
I was emphasising that they're not heavy, not that they're not designed for cleaving cuts.

people see repros like >>664292 with thick spike all along, like a khukuri, and assume they handle completely differently to how they do.
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>>664409
> thick spike all along,

With a thick SPINE all along, I meant to type.
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>>664409
>I was emphasising that they're not heavy, not that they're not designed for cleaving cuts.

alright thanks for clearing that up now i dont feel the need to argue with you anymore

>>664405
no i havent, i have held a kopis tho, (reproduction obviously) and from what i have seen and read they where fairly similar in use and design
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>>664341
>machaira
>implying using a greek work for an arguably different weapon is any better
Stop that.
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>>663506
/k/ isn't much of weapons as much as guns and knives, no history weapons and such
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>>664056
Looks like an oversized knife
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>>664051

>using a modern reproduction as evidence of what the actual artefacts are/were like.
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>>664056
So this is a messer for a left handed person I presume? It looks super front heavy, like a Final Fantasy weapon.
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>>666385
Not sure if it is for a lefty or if the pic is just mirrored. and Messers are light, thin blade profile makes the difference.
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>>665026
>Oversized knife
That's because it is. See previous posts about alot of messers having no pommels, making them just longer knives instead of swords.
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Would a messer such as in OP's post be used in conjunction with a buckler?
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>>668591
You can use pretty much every single handed weapon with a buckler, And the Messer certainly fits the area and era.
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>>668723
Yeah I was just wondering because it was so large. Would it be used like a katana or like a sabre with with buckler?
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>>668779
Grosse Messer where used with both hands
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>>665026
Messer literally means knife in German, of course it looks like a knife.
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>>664902
It varies. On some days you get a hundred neckbeards screaming "THE BEST SWORD IS A GUN", on others it's a perfectly productive discussion.
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>>664018
>>664039
those things were called "messers" because it was illegal to own swords for some people in some place at some time. having a pommel probably officially made something a sword
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