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British Cavalry Sword

Waterloo 200
http://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Waterloo/Celebrations/Find?celebrationsSectionName=WaterlooArtefacts&name=jonathanl1

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Artefact researched by: Ethan Storey, Bishop Luffa School

Date added: 14 Jun 2015

Officers like Captain Jonathan Leach would have had a sword as part of their equipment. However, lower ranked soldiers like corporals and privates would not have had a sword.

Some swords could be used alone or could be attached to a gun. One example of a gun having a detachable sword is the Baker Rifle. The detachable sword was 61 centimeters (24 inches) long and attached to the gun. It was an unwieldy but important addition to the rifle as it had to compensate for the fact that the Baker Rifle was a lot smaller than most guns at the time. The handle was made of brass and the blade was made of steel.

When the sword wasn't being used it would be in a sheath that would be attached to the officer's belt. Although infantry officers had swords, all cavalry officers would have had a sword and some would have a pistol. The reason that swords were so effective when used by cavalry was that the cavalrymen could hack down men who had broken ranks and they could outrun retreating men. Swords were used widely by the British army until the middle of the First World War when using swords even with cavalry became useless against machine guns and the overall growth in technology. 

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