The History and Types of Pirate Swords -Remember the movie Pirates of the Caribbean? That’s the time when the younger generation started fantasizing about pirates. But that’s not from where their voyage started. Some evidence proves they began pirating from the time of the 14th Century around Aegean and Mediterranean civilizations. Later, countries including France, Spain, England, America, and many North African countries stepped in. Since the government enforced laws of that era approved attacking the enemy, pirates took advantage and conquered ships with pirate sword and other historical weapons.
Pirates were ruthless and would do anything to win over the enemy’s ship. Most of them didn’t live a very long life, because once they started participating in battles, they knew everyone’s motto was to kill and conquer. Blackbeard was the most merciless among all and typically used cutlasses, a type of pirate sword, to raid the enemy. They mainly had:
- Pirate swords
- Jolly Roger (Red flag)
The red flag was the message of a vigorous and pitiless attack, and many evidently fled away with the terror. However, most of the pirates had military training, and they looted weapons with each attack. Out of many, let’s focus on Swords For Saleand discuss the types that evolved with time.
Since the weapons were often stolen from victims, there were no swords specific to a particular nationality. The most prominent ones to date are the following:
1. Cutlass Sword
The cutlass sword is short (approx. 70 to 80 centimeters long & 5 centimeters wide) and handy for most one-to-one fights. Almost all pirates had the experience of slashing this into the enemy’s flesh with this small, sharp blade. The ‘Sword of the Sea’ was initially labeled to cut off ropes but with time, pirates recognized it as an ultimate weapon to attack in a crowd. Back in 1667, François l’Olonnais, a French pirate was seen using the Cutlass as a weapon. Its blade was sharp enough to pass through the flesh and cut the bones into two pieces.
It was also once a standard weapon for British Navy and Royal Marines. If you’re a fan of the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean, you would have noticed Captain Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones with Cutlass swords.
Broadswords are a bit longer than Cutlass swords (Ranging between 91 to 121 centimeters in length & 3.5 centimeters wide). The double-edged blade made it even lethal when used on the deck. The high-quality steel was heavier weighing 4 to 5 lbs and pirates carried them specifically when at war, unlike the Cutlass that was a part of their daily outfit. Famous amongst all others, broadswords were typically a part of the European navy during the 17th to 19th century.
Rapiers were famously used during the 16th and 17th Centuries for duels, as they needed more space and time to attack. The long pointed sharp swords needed special training for violent thrusting and couldn’t be an immediate attacking weapon. Rapiers were even common among civilian battles and all attackers had a short knife along with it. The blades were either sharp on each side or solely at the point. It belonged to high-profile captains and was typically designated as a self-defense weapon. Later, these pirate swords became a symbol of dignified gentlemanly fashion across Europe and are still valuable collectibles.
4. Hanger Sword
Hanger swords are elongated types of Cutlass swords with a shell guard to protect hands. The name reflects the nature of these swords, hung on the waist belt. It had a straight or a slightly curved light blade and was a part of gentlemen’s or higher grade officers’ uniform. Pirates, however, adopted them for close fighting by 1684. Later, these hangers turned into an inspiration to construct hunting swords.
The smallsword was a lightweight, one-handed sword commonly used by Europeans. Also called dress or court sword, this pirate weapon usually had a decorated hilt with a less sharp blade. The two lbs weighing sword had a triangular, cross-section blade of almost 60 to 90 centimeters long. Though it was a thrusting weapon, pirates were less likely to use this during battles (preferred Cutlass) because it could be easily broken against a heavy blade.
Pirates had other significant weapons like axes, knives, pikes, daggers, and many that they evidently used to vanquish their pitiable enemies. The most revolutionary pirate sword, the Cutlass, is still available today as a valuable collectible. People inspired by historic piracy still look for these terrors and related accessories. Online stores like Battling Blades have a wide collection of such swords.
They have them made from original Damascus steel, which is true craftsmanship. The handle comes in wood with brass bolsters, and they also provide a leather sheath to complete the look. You can hang these durable swords on the walls or feel the bravery of Blackbeard holding the weapon. Browse through the Battling Blades extensive collection of swords, and we’re pretty sure there are many blades that will hold you captive.
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