Poopy_McTurdFace t1_ja19vc7 wrote

The instance I'm thinking of was the 1631 destruction of Magdeburg. I was mistaken on the attackers using it as it was actually the defenders using it instead. The Wikipedia page for chain-shot has a brief mention that the use of chain on land against infantry angered the attackers, but isn't specific on exactly why or how. Edit: Here is the bit that was written containing mention of the use of chain on the attackers.

After some googling, this is the closest thing referencing what I remember, that the use of chain on land was seen as especially nasty, and connects those sentiments to Magdeburg. As for a treaty, the treaty signed after the war ended made no mention on weapon or munition bans, so I must be mistaken on that front too. Not to mention that use of chain against infantry in a few instances in the 19th century suggests that no recognized bans were in place.


Poopy_McTurdFace t1_ja13323 wrote

While that was practiced regularly in the past, the double barrel cannon was supposed to make it so the two balls were stretched out and the chain could cut down advancing soldiers. Stuffing both balls down one barrel causes the shot to spin around wildly and it loses some accuracy.


Poopy_McTurdFace t1_j2bty1c wrote

You're correct. The statements I've been making have been applicable for America and Brittan for the 18th and 19th centuries.

The late 16th and 17th centuries saw quite a bit of infantry fencing training. Nations that were historically lighter on cavalry also had infantry fencing being a larger part of military doctrine for a while longer.


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.


Poopy_McTurdFace t1_j29uadf wrote

Bayonet fencing would peak in complexity by WWI, but codified systems were being taught a bit before then.

The bayonet fencing systems of the mid 19th century weren't terribly complicated. Top brass just wanted something to teach the infantry since the cavalry and navy had been taught codified systems for martial arts for at least decades beforehand. Henry Angelo Jr, Richard Burton, and McClellan are some officers who wrote bayonet curriculums.

Before that, aside from a few isolated texts, if there was any training beyond fixing/unfixing and just pointing it at the enemy, it was just tips and tricks the drill sergeants would tell their men. Nothing official.

Part of the reason for this was because bayonet charges rarely resulted in contact with the enemy. They usually broke and hauled ass before that happened. If they didn't it would usually result in a massive bloodbath nobody wants. Because of this, standing and fighting man-to-man with bayonet on bayonet was typically a losing prospect, so teaching infantry how to do it would be a waste of everyone's time.


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).


Poopy_McTurdFace t1_j29hmmr wrote

Oh, I can answer this one!

Military fencing in the age of powder mostly consisted of mounted saber, though fencing was still taught in the infantry and navy. Your best shot of using a sword would be in the cavalry. Bayonet fencing existed in an extremely informal and unstructured manner and we wouldn't get proper bayonet systems (at least in Brittan or America) until ~1850s, for a few reasons.

One account from the American Revolution is from the Battle of the Cowpens when Lt. Col. Washington (cousin of George) fought Lt. Col. Tarleton mounted with sabers:

"In this engagement, Colonel Washington had an opportunity of displaying his personal valor in a combat with Colonel Tarleton, in which he cut off two of Tarleton's fingers and would have cut off his head, had it not been for his stock buckle, which deadened the force of the stroke and saved the life of the British officer. However, Colonel Washington, I believe to this day (if he be alive) carries a mark on two of his fingers which he received in the encounter with Colonel Tarleton."

  • "The Life & Travels of John Robert Shaw, Written by Himself", 1807

There was a highland Scot who taught broadsword (or a brit teaching highland broadsword, as happened more often than not in the 18th century for a few reasons) who opened the first fencing school in America in the early-ish 18th century in Boston, but I forget their name.

Fencing texts in the 18th century were mostly geared towards smallsword dueling in the civilian sphere, with some military texts here and there.

Military fencing in the age of powder mostly happened in colonial actions in Africa, the Middle East, and especially India in the 19th century. Even then it was still mostly in the cavalry.