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Poopy_McTurdFace t1_j29ondm wrote

The only people in the infantry being trained with swords were officers. Hell, most infantry weren't even trained to use bayonets beyond how to put it on/take it off and point it in front of them.

Cavalry would all be trained in mounted fencing. Navy trained them to fence, but most of their fencing would be done with navy pikes over cutlasses (though of course they still trained cutlass).


Unable-Anybody-2285 OP t1_j2a2we8 wrote

I read about it seems that officers were the only with and training or fencing that of calvary regiments

Well in that case did the officers ever train the infantry in swordplay


Poopy_McTurdFace t1_j2aby9t wrote

Not that I know of. Infantry saber as a fencing system existed, but only officers were taught.

Thomas Matthewson of the Salisbury Volunteer Rifles during the Napoleonic Wars in England had his regiment drop thier bayonets in favor of infantry sabers, claiming the saber was far superior to the bayonet in close melees. Here's a copy of his curriculum.

The superiority of the saber over the bayonet in close quarters was a debate in the early 19th century British military, but sabers were rarely issued in the army outside of officers. Matthewson was a rare case.


jrhooo t1_j2baodg wrote

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it fair to say, when discussing bayonets before and maybe even up to the US Civil War, that we weren’t even fully graduated from seeing line infantry riflemen as “pikemen that could shoot”.


Reactor_Jack t1_j2btihm wrote

Similar to what I planned to say. Pikes could have a "formal system" for use, like a military drill manual, and pretty simple in comparison to that of a sword. The days of flintlock, matchlock, even cap lock (right before the modern cartridge era) of the US Civil War made for a pretty unwieldy pike, stick a pointy end on it and it was at least something if the ranks broke or you had no time to reload before being overrun.


Poopy_McTurdFace t1_j2bu6q4 wrote

Yeah, I'd say so. Other than dislodging opposing infantry in a charge, preventing cavalry from running you over was the next primary objective of bayonets.


amitym t1_j2d821e wrote

The advent of repeating rifles probably helped with that.