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Small swords, Smallswords

Small swords, Smallswords

The small sword or smallsword is a light one-handed sword designed for thrusting which evolved out of the longer and heavier rapier of the late Renaissance. The height of the small sword's popularity was between mid 17th and late 18th century. It is thought to have appeared in France and spread quickly across the rest of Europe.

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Small swords, Smallswords

The small sword could be a highly effective duelling weapon, and some systems for the use of the bayonet were developed using the method of the smallsword as their foundation, (including perhaps most notably, that of Alfred Hutton).

Militarily, small swords continued to be used as a standard sidearm for infantry officers. In some branches with strong traditions, this practice continues to the modern day, albeit for ceremonial and formal dress only. The carrying of swords by officers in combat conditions was frequent in World War I and still saw some practice in World War II. The 1913 U.S. Army Manual of Bayonet Drill includes instructions for how to fight a man on foot with a small sword. Small swords are still featured on parade uniforms of some corps.

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