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Fechten mit dem Säbel - Seidler - 1843

PostPosted: 14 Jul 2014 13:58
by Ulrich von L...n
Anleitung zum Fechten mit dem Säbel und dem Kürassierdegen, zuvörderst dem Unterricht in Kavallerie=Abtheilungen angeeignet, nebst Bemerkungen für den ernstlichen Kampf zu Fuß und zu Pferde

written by Ernst Friedrich Seidler (Stallmeister bei der Königlichen Lehr=Eskadron)

Mit einer Kupfertafel (with a couple of images) ... en1843.pdf

With a German foreword written by Gerhard Gohr.

Re: Fechten mit dem Säbel - Seidler - 1843

PostPosted: 19 Aug 2014 11:02
by admin
Very interesting - do you happen to know what Figure 6 shows?

PostPosted: 20 Aug 2014 17:36
by Ulrich von L...n
A short answer would be: "No, I don't know. This is the first time I have seen such a device."
But together we should be able to figure out.

There is a German text at the end of Page 14, which describes the device and its purpose:
Den Leuten Gelegenheit zu geben, sich im richtigen und scharfen Schlagen der Hiebe zu üben, beweiset sich ein eisernes Rad von 2 Fuß Durchmesser, in welchem enge Einschnitte der Hiebe sich befinden, vortheilhaft (Taf. I. Fig. 6). Dieses Rad wird an einem eisernen Arm von 1 ½ Fuß Länge angeschraubt, so daß es in Mannes Höhe und ringsum frei ist. Flache Hiebe finden in den engen Einschnitten keinen Eingang.

PostPosted: 20 Aug 2014 18:06
by Ulrich von L...n
A preliminary Google translation:
To give people the opportunity to practice proper and sharp cuts, an iron wheel - 2 feet [1] in diameter, in which narrow incisions for cuts can be found - proves to be useful (Figure 6). This wheel is screwed on an iron arm, 1 ½ feet in length, so it stands free at a man's height [2]. Flat cuts cannot enter into narrow incisions (slots).

1. I don't know the exact length in mm of a German (Prussian, to be precise) foot around 1830. For simplicity let's assume it equals an English foot.

2. My German is far from perfect, but in my understanding "und ringsum frei ist" means that the space around the device must be free of obstacles = there must be enough free space to perform cutting drills.

PostPosted: 20 Aug 2014 18:25
by Ulrich von L...n
So I would assume that they used a non-rotating metal disk, sturdy enough to withstand constant abuse, mounted far enough from the wall to prevent damaging of the tips. Soldiers performed cutting drills on this device with rebated regulation swords, and probably were instructed to cut with COP of their weapons.

If we measure details on Fig. 6 and assume that 83 mm on the screen (diameter of the device) equals 61 cm IRL, then a slot could be 23 cm in length, 5.4 cm at the entrance and 1.4 cm at the end. So after some practice a soldier could manage to lead his cuts into such a slot, without any difficulties.

Re: Fechten mit dem Säbel - Seidler - 1843

PostPosted: 21 Aug 2014 10:29
by admin
Thanks, very interesting. A less messy alternative to test cutting then!

Re: Fechten mit dem Säbel - Seidler - 1843

PostPosted: 21 Aug 2014 17:25
by Andreas Engström
In Preussen there was a major shift from a duodecimal to a decimal system in 1816. Before that a prussian foot was 31,38 cm, after 1816 it was 37,66 cm.

If it was written in 1843 the latter would seem probable, although one never knows if a certain author is a traditionalist and keeps to the old measurements for some reason..

(I recently had occasion to research prussian 19th century measurements to make sense of a passage in Rothstein's description of Ling's fencing system)


PostPosted: 26 Aug 2014 06:36
by Ulrich von L...n
You are welcome.

It is good to know. So the whole wheel could be even a little bigger and those slots even more accessible to proper cuts.