Swords & Military History: A Brief Look Back

Posted by Bryan on 11/14/2012 to Military History
The use of the sword in our military dates back to the Roman "gladius" used by the armies of the Roman empire. Today's sword differs in one main aspect, and that is its being ceremonial in function.

While the ceremonial dress sword is part of the uniform of all the military services of the United States, the Army saber is one of the oldest. The sword, or saber was used during the Napoleonic Wars during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Swords were used infrequently thereafter as carbines and other types of artillery came into use, making close contact fighting more obsolete.

The one thing that makes the American military sword unique is rooted in our country's history. Dating back to the American Revolution, our disdain for anything British was shown in our swords and uniforms. We borrowed from the French, Prussians and other countries, making our military and its traditions wholly unique and totally American.

In the U.S. Army today, not only are officers allowed to wear a sword with their dress uniform, but since 1840, noncommissioned officers are allowed to wear a sword with their dress uniforms. Besides their use in the military, there are also serious collectors out there.

Depending on the individual collector, purchasing a particular sword can become very detailed. There is the manufacturer, as well as the type of sword, its history and how it was used to consider. Collecting is a fine hobby, and one that is growing in this country today.