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A Brief History of One of the Best Military Weapons During the 18th Century: The Spadroon

Throughout the years, people have tried to come up with different weapons to protect themselves. The first weapon ever created was the Schöningen spear, which dated back to more than 300,000 years. They were eight throwing wooden spears usually used for attacking and food hunting used by the Neanderthals.

However, you can find one weapon that became a trend during a time where having the most extensive military meant you were the strongest from other countries. One weapon that comes into mind is the Spadroon, a sword with a blade that is straight-edged. You might have even seen these swords in some famous movies like The Patriot.

How the Spadroon Came to Be

The word “spadroon” term was invented during the early 18th century. The sword was commonly a military sidearm during the late 17th century and early 18th century. It was also for NCOs and officers in the later 18th and primary 19th centuries. The sword was widely used in America and Europe, but the “spadroon” word is distinctive to the Anglophone world.

A spadroon is used to categorize a sword between a small, thrust-only sword and the heavier broadsword. The sword would typically have a single blade or double-edged and different hilt types, including double shells, a simple stirrup guard, and even a guard to protect both the hand’s sides.

In most cases, people would get confused between a broadsword and a spadroon because of their likenesses. However, one can tell both of them apart because a spadroon is agile and fast because of the blade’s tip having little mass and a hilt that does not limit wrist mobility in any way.

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The 1786 Regulation

It was the first time where swords were introduced and standardized in the military, specifically the spadroon. The regulation required that the sword’s blade should be straight, 1” wide, and 32” long at the guard. The guard should also match the buttons of the military personnel’s uniform, and that every officer in a regiment should have the same type.

The 1786 Regulation was very loose in terms of requirements at that time, and you can find many varieties of the sword. Some swords have even been in service for many years and were even used during the American Revolution.

Georgian Infantry Officers Sword Spadroon c.1790


The 1796 Regulation

The 1796 regulation was made, and it was the first British infantry sword to accompany a pattern and be under strict parameters. It somewhat followed the same regulation blade in the 1786 regulation, but the only difference was that the sword had a regulation hilt, a brass gilded double-shell guard with a knuckle bow and urn-shaped pommel.

It was the first sword to find its way in the English military during the 17th and 18th centuries. If you want to see an authentic Spadroon up close, you can visit a British historical weapons museum, and you can find it kept in a glass container for the public to see.

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Lisa Less
Written By

Anna received her Masters degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland. Her writing focuses on history and general lifestyle pieces. Anna has been published in various lifestyle magazines. She spends her free time reading and furthering her knowledge about the about history.


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