"If the Earth kills you because you cannot survive against the elements--you are not going to do much against the human enemy."
"An army marches on its stomach." Napoleon Bonaparte. It means that for an army to be effective, it relies on good and plentiful food. Therefore, target to cut off food supplies (as the Russians did both in the 19th and 20th centuries against the French and Nazis) and the enemy will crumble.
"God and a soldier all people adore in time of war, but not before; And when war is over and all things are righted, God is neglected and an old soldier forgotten."
The difference between soldier and a mass murderer: Mass Murderers feel they have no prospects for the future and were influenced by radical ideology. All of them see their victims as nothing more than fodder to absorb their rage and think mass murder would give their lives meaning. They studied or idolized previous mass killers.
The Israeli war in Lebanon in 2006, which mostly relied on its vastly superior air power, did not give it the results it expected. But even this very short war cost Israel $1.6 billion and shaved off about 1% from its annual economic growth.
Nazi Germany rejected recreational drugs but Pervitin (a methamphetamine-based drug) was manufactured and distributed among its armed forces to keep them alert and motivated. To ensure that millions of German housewives on the home front were not left out, the Nazis even developed chocolates containing the drug. Hitler himself was growing dependence on a pain-killing narcotic injection drug called “Eukodal”.
Statistical analysis by the US Army of rifle engagements in WW II, Korea and Vietnam revealed that 90% of them were at ranges less than 300 metres and 70% at 200 metres and less. Therefore, the emphasis on long-range accuracy of 300-800 metres was found somewhat redundant. The propensity to consume ammunition reached the astounding rate of 50,000 rounds per kill in the Korean War. This obviously means that the soldier now needs to carry greater quantities of ammunition.
Special Forces and Drug Abuse: The military and Special Forces are pushed to the limit during intensive training programs for maximum combat efficiency. However, there are only few that meet Special Forces requirement. Extended deployments, psychologically exhausted, troubled family life, and problems related to PTSD, all factor into why substance abuse is having a disproportionate effect on Special Forces operators. While programs and money has been budgeted to address these problems, they will only work if Special Forces are not used as regular Army or member must be allowed back in the unit after successfully completing rehab, instead of being pensioned off to some remote part of the military bureaucracy until he can be discharged. Within Special Forces subculture, members protect and care for one another. Special Forces units will cover for a team member who battles substance abuse by saying "He's a good operator, and the unit can't afford to lose him." Instead of receiving the help they need, operators suffering from substance abuse are often shuffled around until they can be honorably discharged. However, upon being discharged, the support group which they had while in service disappears.
In India, since 2014, according to a defence ministry submission in Parliament, 310 officers have committed suicide and 11 cases of fratricide were reported in this period.
Six 122 mm Chinese howitzers of the Pakistani battery were creating trouble for Indian infantry brigades. Indian Army’s special-forces unit, 9 Parachute Regiment, was sent 15-to-20 kilometres deep behind Pakistan lines, crossing neck-deep water of the Poonch river to reach Mandhol, to destroyed its artillery guns. After locating the guns, the party split into six groups, one to take down each target. In a fierce battle with the enemy, we blew up all its guns with 3-to-5 kg timer explosives powered by pencil cells and put inside the barrels. Nearly 60 Pakistani troops were killed and those who fled their posts were court martialled. This first raid behind the enemy lines, which the future leaders of the army read about in military academies, forced the Pakistan army to raise a second line of defence for its artillery, changing its military doctrine. One of the founders of the Indian special forces, Colonel Pathak said most difficult task was to return safely with 20 wounded soldiers and the bodies of two fallen soldiers. After the war, even the military delegation from Pakistan praised the professionalism of the Indian troops who had carried out the operation. The success of 9 Para was recognised only when the Pakistan Army delegation narrated after the ceasefire what damage the unit had done at Mandhol.
The MultiCam pattern, which was used on most uniforms for soldiers deployed to Iraq in 2010, is privately owned by a company called Crye Precision and is said to be useful for concealment in a variety of environments and terrains, including urban, desert and green settings.
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2014 called on the Pentagon to put an end to the services branding their ranks with unique camouflage uniforms.
In addition to Crye, the other finalists in the Army's Phase IV camouflage testing included ADS Inc., teamed with Hyperstealth, Inc.; Brookwood Companies Inc.; and Kryptek Inc.
Johannes Haller, a qualified master weaver from Europe, invented the new khaki dye from the bark of semicarpus tree at Basel Mission’s weaving establishment in Balmatta in 1851, reveals Jaiprakash Raghavaiah’s doctoral work (‘Basel Mission industries in Malabar and South Canara: 1834-1914’) and reports of German evangelical mission in the department of archives, Karnataka Theological College (KTC), Balmatta.
In 1844, Basal Mission set up a weaving factory staffed by lower caste Christian converts on land donated by Collector H M Blair at Balmatta. Initially the fabrics produced were of poor quality, the documents reveal. The Industrial Commission set up in 1846 to help missionary industrial activities deputed a trained weaving specialist, Johnnes Haller. Archives say that with his arrival, the weaving industry ‘developed by leaps and bounds’. In 1851, he installed a dye house.
How khaki came to be adopted as police and army uniform in many countries is fascinating. British-Indian Army Commander-in-Chief Lord Roberts, during his visit to the weaving factory, was pleased with the colour. He describes khaki as an ‘attractive uniform’ in Rodney Atwood’s The Life of Field Marshal Lord Roberts and introduced it as the everyday uniform of the British Army the world over.
The WPMS is designed using a microcontroller. It is interfaced with wireless communication and global positioning system (GPS) modules. The acquired signals are sent in real-time at a speed of 250samples/second, digitised at 12-bit resolution and transmitted wirelessly along with the geo-location of the wearer. It monitors and issues real-time signals pertaining to electrocardiogram (ECG), photoplethysmogram, body temperature, blood pressure, galvanic skin response and heart rate of each soldier.
The galvanic skin response (GSR) detects a change in the electrical properties of the skin in response to stress or anxiety; and can be measured either by recording the electrical resistance of the skin or through weak currents generated by the body in such circumstances. The photoplethysmogram (PPG) non-invasively screens and relays in real-time valuable information about the performance of each soldier's cardiovascular system. It detects anomalies by illuminating the skin with a light from a light-emitting diode (LED) and then measuring the amount of light either transmitted or reflected to a photodiode attached to the vest.
P.S. U.S. SEAL Team 6 was created in the 1980s as an elite of the elite commando unit. The United States currently has about 3,500 SEALs, divided among eight SEAL Teams (each with about 120 SEALs and about 200 support personnel), plus DEVGRU (the official designation for SEAL Team 6). Most SEAL Teams are trained for operations worldwide, while Team 3 and 10 specialize in Middle Eastern operations. It was also confirmed that there is one special espionage unit of about a hundred SEALs, some of them female.
The Indian Air Force's Garud commandos will be training in "electronic warfare" for a week with Israeli Air Force's elite units - Unit 5101 (more commonly referred to as the Shaldag Commando unit) who undergo the longest training phase of any unit in the IDF, lasting 22 months, and training has a heavy emphasis on navigation.
Offensive operations have 4 types:
- (deploy) movement to (enemy) contact,
- Attacking and widening; and securing the Flanks
- Seizing, exploitation and disrupt, and
- Pursuit to cut-off.
(Mobility is key to successful offensive operations. River crossings are among the most critical, complex, and vulnerable combined arms operations.)
- Specification of a standardized system of care consisting of 11 "microsystems" and unified administrative accounting codes in different locations.
- Provider-performance standards for both clinical care and occupational health (including leader consultation and education). For health systems transitioning to value-based care, it is critical to refine workload standards that account for the nonclinical workload with the same fidelity as clinical-workload standards. Workload specifications must incorporate key non-clinical care activities.
- Combine structure (for example, staffing levels in Army clinics) and processes as proxies for measuring performance. Systematically collecting reports on patient outcomes and experiences.
- Service-line-management process to systematically connect goals to actual clinical care; and create learning cycle for senior leaders and chiefs to make better decisions to align day-to-day care with overarching strategic goals. As health care systems transition from an encounter-based view of health care to a value-based focus on improved patient outcomes and satisfaction and reduced costs.
An annual white paper revealing the details of the 2.3 million strong PLA's actual number of troops in the army, navy and air force, omitted the number of personnel in its Strategic Command Division, the Second Artillery Force, which handled its nuclear and ballistic missiles.
Defence analysts who scrutinised the document told PTI here that 2.3 million is stated to be a realistic figure as the paper did not include the numbers of PLA's Second Artillery, the main missile unit of the Chinese military that comprises large number of personnel and mobile missile units. The combined corps are composed of divisions and brigades which operate under seven Military Area Commands (MACs).
"Although these designations have been reported in many documents and studies in and outside China, this is the first time for the Chinese government and military to officially confirm and publicize them," the report quoted Chen Zhou, a senior fellow with the PLA's Military Science Academy who drafted the paper, as saying.
India ParaMilitary & Border Security
According to a data released on the 70th Army day, the 1.1 million strong Indian Army lost one braveheart every third day in last 13-years between the period of January 2005 to December 2017, revealed that total 1,684 men lost their lives in ceasefire violation by Pakistan, anti-terrorist operations, counter-insurgency, offensive tactical missions and peacekeeping missions. The year 2005 reported the highest number of casualties, 342.
"We have a plan for 734 BOPs on the entire Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan border. At present, we have 635. Some of the new BOPs will come up in Sikkim." Rajni Kant Mishra
In essence, China has refused to bargain territory it holds in Aksai Chin, on the northern reaches of the LAC, while India will make no concessions on Arunachal Pradesh, to its east. China refuses to accept the LAC as a border, and thus has every interest in keeping it unsettled with low-grade incursions—or, from its point of view, demonstrations of presence in territory it claims to be its own.
MI has long known that two out of China’s seven Military Area Commands (MACs) --- Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu --- are responsible for the Indian border. The Lanzhou MAC, which includes the 21st and 47th Combined Corps (earlier known as Group Armies), is responsible for operations on the Ladakh border. The Chengdu MAC, which includes the 13th and 14th Combined Corps, is responsible for the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh borders.
Between them, these 4 Chinese combined corps muster up 9 divisions and 5 mechanized brigades. The Indian Army matches that with nine divisions on the Sino-Indian border --- one in Ladakh, three in Sikkim, four in Arunachal and two in Nagaland and Manipur. In addition, India plans to raise a mountain strike corps during the 12th Defence Plan (2012-2017), which will add two more divisions. These will be stationed in the Brahmaputra Valley for launching offensive operations into Tibet. Currently, in total, India, which has 12 fully acclimatised Mountain Divisions, while China inside Tibet has only 3 fully acclimatised Mountain Brigades.
However, China’s road and rail infrastructure allows it the major advantage of being able to move troops rapidly, even from other MACs. This would permit the PLAA to quickly concentrate a large number of troops in a small area, attacking and overwhelming the Indian defenders at that point. Since the Sikkim and Arunachal roads are poor and railways non-existent, the Indian Army would find it difficult to move defenders as quickly to the threatened sector.
The White Paper reveals that the PLAA has extensively practiced concentrating troops in a conflict zone. In a thoughtful commentary, Singapore-based scholar PS Surayanarayana observed that “enter into a border settlement when both recognise that the cost of not settling the issue outweighs the cost of a continuation of stalemate”.
Nations can’t always rely on the wisdom of politicians to avert crisis. In 1986, China moved troops into Sumdorong Chu, facing Tawang—the site of one of India’s worst defeats in the war. Then army chief General Krishnaswami Sundarji flew in an entire brigade north of Tawang, leading to a build-up and belligerent language. Rajiv Gandhi’s advisors blamed Sundarji for precipitating a crisis—leading the army chief to suggest the prime minister to “please make alternate arrangements if you think you are not getting adequate professional advice”.
China has operationalised its entire tank and mechanised fleet for night fighting and possesses significantly higher night capability in the other arms too. Pakistan too has got a range of third generation devices from the US under the ‘War on Terror’ pact. On the other hand Indian Army has are limited second generation devices which at times are more of a hindrance than an asset and too few third generation NVDs.
9 new agreements between China & India:
Refusing to go into the details of what was discussed in the meeting between the two prime ministers, foreign secretary Sujatha Singh said in reply to questions at a press briefing that the stapled visa came up
India continues having success against the 3 internal threats (Islamic terrorism, tribal separatists and communist rebels). 30% of Indian Army is locked due to internal counter insurgency roles. "Maoist terrorism is all about, getting guns, fantasy, bad government, and real grievances mixed up all together. This is a deadly mixture."
Indian army currently fields 382 regular infantry battalions, 28 mechanised infantry battalions, 23 Guards battalions and 9 Vikas and Scouts battalions, adding up to 442 battalions of infantry and its equivalent. Indian Army’s 359 infantry units (over 3 lakh soldiers) and over 100 Special Forces and battalions (1.5 lakh men), including the Rashtriya Rifles and Assam Rifles, are directly involved in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and parts of northeast.
In November of 2016, India doubled the compensation for widows and families of soldiers dying while fighting for the country in five categories. For soldiers dying in action during border skirmishes or fighting against militants, the compensation was revised to Rs 35 lakh from the existing Rs 15 lakh. For deaths occurring during enemy action in war or war-like engagements, in a war-torn zone in foreign country, the compensation was increased from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 45 lakh.
Indian Army disposition in North-East
A brief overview of the Indian Army set-up in the North East.
The entire area comes under Eastern Command based out of Kolkata. It has three Corps under it. The same are as follows:
This is how the situation is stacked up:
Self-loading Assault rifles
Soldiers cannot fire such a powerful rifle off his shoulder on full automatic/burst fire. Also, to decrease the consumption of ammo on battlefield and to prevent firing off all the ammo in panic. Any rifle jumps around so much on auto fire that it cannot be aimed even roughly at short range also. Number of experts, determined that even for spray fire, it was almost impossible to pull an auto-firing rifle in rough arc. It would simply start rising and will be pointing at the sky apart from wobbling all over the place. Better and even quicker to fire single shots at distinct targets. It being lighter and with a smaller bullet that a soldier can carry in larger numbers.
The Indian Army had long subscribed to this western military wisdom that the 5.56 mm rifle is better suited for war because it generally injures an enemy soldier, thereby tying down two of his mates who would carry him to safety. But realities of the modern battlefield is that terrorists are not picking up a fallen comrade.
Just to give an idea sterling gun (incorrectly called sten gun) fires 9x19 round and its recoil is only 1/5th of the aforesaid round but still it is not fired in full auto. Even double taps are only used in face to face situation at say 10m to 50m depending on firing posture. (But for instance Argentineans army used auto firing FNFAL)
The Excalibur Project's KALANTAK 5.56 mm micro assault rifle, an upgraded version of the DRDO’s 5.56x45mm INSAS rifle, was rejected by the army in 2010 for being “operationally inadequate”. The Indian Army is soon going to re-issue a request for information for 7.62x51mm assault rifles for Rs 5,000-crore. The army is also mulling re-tendering for 44,618 5.56mm close-quarter carbines (earlier IWI’s Galil ACE CQB had been rejected on specious grounds). If the carbine requirement is re-tendered, it will take atleast another 4 years to procure one.
India began to develop the INSAS-1C (Indian National Small Arms System), which incorporated features from several popular foreign designs. The INSAS rifles are broadly based on the famous Kalashnikov AK-47 action, but with many modifications. The basic gas-operated action with long stroke gas piston and a rotating bolt, as well as the stamped steel receiver, are generally the same as in modern Kalashnikov rifles. However, the gas system is fitted with a manual gas regulator, similar in design to that found on Stg.58 (FN FAL) rifles (dust-sensitive), as well as a gas cutoff. The charging handle has been moved from the bolt carrier to the left side of the forearm; it is similar in position and design to German HK G3 rifle.
The INSAS system was originally planned to have 3 components - a standard rifle, a carbine, and a squad automatic rifle (LMG), all chambered for 5.56 x 45 NATO ammunition. India also adopted this single shot doctrine in its variant of the rifle. The selector / safety switch is located at the left side of the receiver, above the pistol grip, and allows for single shots and three round bursts. The rifle is fitted with a side-folding carrying handle, and either a solid or side-folding metal buttstock.
The practice was described as; “Lying. Rifle to be loaded and 4 rounds in the magazine before the target appears. Loading to be from the pouch or bandolier by 5 rounds afterwards. One minute allowed”. The rapid aimed fire of the ‘Mad Minute’ was accomplished by used a 'palming' method where the rifleman used the palm of his hand to work the bolt, and not his thumb and fore finger, while maintaining his cheek weld and line of sight.
The “Second Class Figure Target” was 48" square (approx. 1.2 x 1.2 meters), with 61 cm and 92 cm circles. The aiming mark was a 12” x 12” (30 x 30 cm) silhouette figure that represented the outline of the head of a man aiming a rifle from a trench. Points were scored by a hit anywhere on the target. Although a 12” target is often mentioned in connection with the Mad Minute practice, this seems to have been an error originating in Ian Hogg’s book, ‘The Encyclopedia of Weaponry’. No other source mentions a 12" target. Thus according to the myth the target size would have been a 1.11 mil circle (3.82 moa), while in reality the target size was a 4.5 mil square (15.3 moa) making the area counting scoring hits over 15 times bigger.
There are currently 3,500 Gurkhas serving in the British army, and recruiting more is not a problem. Because of high unemployment in Nepal, a job in the British army is like winning the lottery. British military pay is more than 30 times what a good job in Nepal will get you. There are about 10 times as many Gurkhas in the Indian army, but the pay is only a few times what one could make in Nepal, and the fringe benefits are not nearly as good.
The United Kingdom now pays retired Gurkha soldiers at the same rate as other British soldiers. That means a Gurkhas annual pension is nearly $12,000. The average income in Nepal is about $200 a year. Being a bodyguard is one of the more attractive second careers for retired Gurkhas in Britain. There are several companies in Britain that specialize in providing Gurkhas for security work. Many Gurkhas were hired for key security jobs in Iraq, and then Afghanistan. An increasing number of Gurkhas have been retiring in Britain, instead of returning to Nepal.
QBZ-95 longer barrel, gives it a slightly longer range and velocity for sustained firing, against the American M4 carbine, while at the same time having an overall length that's just under 30 inches, i.e. 3 inches shorter than the American gun. QBZ-95-1 is chambered for an improved bullet, the DBP-10. A carbine version has a shorter overall length of just 24 inches, giving it the compactness of a submachine gun with the stopping power of an assault rifle. A third weapon, the light-support-weapon variant, has an even longer barrel and is equipped with a 75 round drum for delivering suppression fire.
In 2010 China introduced an upgraded version of the QBZ-95 called the QBZ-95G. There is now a thumb operated safety selector switch and small accessory mounting rails. The trigger guard has also been modified. The new rifle will replace the Type 81 (AK-47) rifles.
The magazine is inserted front-first into the well so that the notch on the front of the magazine is retained in the well. The magazine is then "rocked" into place by rotating the rear of the magazine upwards into the well (in a manner similar to the AK-47 series) until the magazine release to the rear of the well is engaged.
Sri Lanka Special Force uses it too.
The sub-machine gun is intended for Indian Special Operation troops, MSMC is a replacement for aging second World War Sterling 9mm carbine, will be issued to Officers, JCO and drivers etc. who are manning the 9mm carbine in Army. Kalashnikov AK-74s are more of a replacement for Sterling gun (sten gun) that, experts point out, have not been effective in striking targets beyond a range of just 50 metres. The army has been operating without a carbine since 2010. Indian Army's plans to purchase 65,000 numbers of 7.62×51mm (at 500 metres) rifles & 185,000 numbers of assault rifles with telescopic sights in future.
It is a gas operated weapon, utilizing rotary bolt locking and a gas piston (located above the barrel) and a unique semi-bull-pup weapon feed system behind the trigger mechanism. Buttstock is of telescoped type. However, the two-pin assembly, quick fitting suppressor and polymer magazines need some work.
As far as machine guns (both light and heavy) are concerned, India still rely on decades old weapons like PKM’s, DhsK.
One lakh close quarter carbines (for close combat scenarios with terrorists) through the fast track procurement route by the Army. CQB carbine guns of 5.56 calibre, with a minimum striking range of 200 metres. The Army requires nearly 4 lakh CQB-effective carbines out of which the immediate requirement is for nearly 83,000 CQB guns.
Light Automatic Carbines
Since late 1950s, Indian armed forces were equipped with 7.62mm NATO L1A1 self-loading rifles, which were licensed copies of the famous Belgian Stg.58 (FN FAL) rifle. As the 7.62mm self-loading rifles started to become obsolete by the 1980s.
Indian Army's plans to purchase 250,000 numbers of assault rifles with telescopic sights and 185,000 close quarter carbines (for close combat scenarios with terrorists) at a cost of around Rs 10,000 crore through the fast track procurement route and issue them only to combat infantrymen – the frontline foot soldiers who are directly in contact with the enemy. The remaining personnel would be issued other weapons such as 5.56 mm carbines and rifles. Indian Army's also plans to purchase 65,000 numbers of 7.62×51mm (at 500 metres) rifles in future. Indian Army earlier had a requirement of more than 8 lakh such modern assault rifles (7.62) from the international market but due to the high cost the plan was shelved.
The Indian government had decided to cancel RFP issued in 2011 to procure 66,000 multi-calibre assault rifles since none of the 4 competing models met the Indian Army’s stipulated qualitative requirements during trials. These required each rifle to weigh not more than 3.6kg and to be able to convert from 5.56x45mm to 7.62x39mm merely by switching their barrel and magazine for counter-terrorist operations and conventional use.
Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) had rejected Beretta because a safety measure on its laser visible and invisible sight was found unsuitable. The ‘sight’ on offer by Beretta, widely used in the US and other armies across the world, was fitted with a small screw, which needed to be opened before use. This screw, sources said, added purely as a safety measure, dropped off during the trials, resulting in the DGQA rejecting the ARX 160 and leaving only IWI in the reckoning.
Indian Army has now decided to buy 185,000 close quarter carbines (for close combat scenarios with terrorists) and 250,000 assault rifles (7.62) from the international market, and issue them only to combat infantrymen – the frontline foot soldiers who are directly in contact with the enemy.
The original idea was based on the Knight's Armament Masterkey system, which dates back to the 1980s and originally comprised a shortened, tube-fed Remington 870 shotgun mounted under an M16 rifle or M4 carbine.
The M26 has been in development at the U.S. Army's Soldier Battle Lab since the late 1990s.
Anti-Material Sniper Weapon (bolt-action)
The enemy fighters greatly fear the snipers, and the presence of snipers restricted the mobility of enemy gunmen. Russians had learned that it was not the quality of the rifle and accessories that mattered most, but the selection and training of the sniper. The most effective World War II Russian snipers were women. Since 2001 sniper training in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps has undergone tremendous changes. after 2001 there were more competitions and gatherings that brought together snipers from all three primary centers of sniper training (army, marines and army Special Forces) and many valuable exchanges about tactics, techniques and combat experience took place. Finally, the growth in the number of snipers led to many more sniper weapons and items of equipment being developed and produced. This has been driven, in part, by the growth in the number of civilians taking up sniping as a sport.
Out of the 1,000 NTW-20 anti-materiel rifles (along with 3,98,000 rounds of ammunition), 700 rifles were to be purchased directly and the remaining 300 licence-produced in one of the factories of India's state-owned Ordnance Factory Board. However, after 400 rifles had been inducted since in 2002, the South African firm Dennel got blacklisted in 2005 after allegations of corruption surfaced.
The Indian govt. has issued a new tender for 12.7 mm/0.50 calibre lightweight anti-materiel rifles (less than 15 kg) should have a range of at least 1.8 kms capable of damaging targets like battle tanks, low-flying helicopters and bunkers. The ammunition which should available should include armour piercing incendiary and tracer, saboted light armour penetrator, armour piercing explosive incendiary and high explosive armour piercing incendiary. The price should include the cost of annual maintenance, product support package and training of the crew.
P.S.: The H&K PSG-1 is primarily used as the standard-issue semi-automatic sniper rifle by the NSG. They also use the SIG Sauer SSG 3000 when accuracy is the paramount importance.
Early iron swords were not comparable to later steel blades. The iron was not quench hardened although often containing sufficient carbon, but work-hardened just like bronze by hammering. This made them comparable or only slightly better in terms of strength and hardness to bronze swords. So they could still bend during use, rather than spring back into shape. But the easier production, and the better availability of the raw material allowed for larger scale production.
It was not, until the more durable iron sword was introduced in the early Iron Age that the sword became an effective weapon.
- Greek and Roman swords were very short, with pointed ends, and had two cutting edges.
- Medieval knights used two types of swords: a short sword with a pointed end that was used with one hand and a heavy two-handed sword with a rounded end.
- During the Middle Ages the best blades were those made by the Arabs in Damascus and Toledo. Swords were widely used in the Middle East and E Asia as well as in Europe. The scimitar, used by the Persians and Arabs, is a curved steel sword.
- One of the best known of the East Asian swords is the Japanese samurai sword, consisting of a curved single-edged tempered steel blade set in a long handle.
As a highly personal weapon the sword attained symbolic importance; surrendering one's sword became a token of submission, and the custom of taking an officer's sword away from him and breaking the blade when he was dismissed from the service in disgrace arose because a sword is the mark of an officer and a gentleman. During the Crusades and later, the sword, because of its shape, frequently was used to symbolize the Cross.
The sword is now obsolete as a weapon and is carried in some military units for decorative purposes in times of peace
Its archery tradition influenced, and was influenced by, the traditions of neighboring cultures. Among them were the Mongols, Koreans and Chinese who all had strong and long standing archery traditions of their own. Today these bows are, with some justification, often referred to as Chinese bows. The Manchu bow played a major role in their conquest of not only China, but also the Qing expansion into Eastern Turkestan, Tibet, and Taiwan. Despite its proven effectiveness in the in the17th and 18th centuries, the old methods seized to work in the 19th century when the firearms adopted by other cultures rapidly became more effective.
Overall, the Roman short sword is known as “the sword that conquered the world”. One of the most well known Roman combat tactics developed was when a Roman soldier simply stepped forward inside the enemy’s “guard” so the longer sword would be useless. At this point, the Roman soldier could quickly cut–and–thrust in any direction swung. This tactic was perfect against enemies with longer swords or spears.