The British Light Cavalry Sabre – 1796 Pattern
During the British cavalry wars in the 18th century, there were many different patterns of sabres used by the British cavalry. A few examples of this include the 1853 Patten sabre, the 1788 pattern heavy cavalry sabre, and the Le Marchant’s sabre.
Le Marchant’s sabre
During the Napoleonic Wars, the 1796 pattern light cavalry saber was one of the most popular sabers. It was produced in large numbers, and was widely used by the British and their allies. It was one of the most influential military swords ever made.
The blade was 33 inches long (890 mm), and had a hatchet point. The hatchet point helped improve momentum for the swing, but it put more weight at the tip of the weapon. The blade also had a shallow fuller at the tip, and was broad in the center. The hatchet point was made blunt so it would not pierce dense bone.
The sabre had a black leather grip, and was anchored with wire. The sabre was also silvered to protect from the high humidity in India.
The sabre was considered the standard for light cavalry in the British Army. It was also used by the King’s German Legion light cavalry in the Napoleonic Wars.
Hungarian hussar sabre
During the early Napoleonic period, the light cavalry sabre was a hybrid design. It was based on the stirrup-hilted straight sword, but it had a slightly curved blade. It was not a good thrusting weapon. However, it served the British for many years. It was a popular design for the troopers in the Napoleonic era.
The light cavalry sabre was approved after trials. The blade was curved up to about 2.25 inches, and had a point that was 7 inches away from the base of the hilt. The sabre was made of tempered high carbon steel. The blade’s handle was made of thick black leather, and was inlaid with brass wire. It had a P-shaped iron guard.
The sabre’s curved blade made it difficult to attack with a thrusting blade, and made it difficult for the attacker to withdraw an attack. However, the sabre’s point was sharp enough to cut and kill. It was also heavy enough to be a lethal weapon. The sabre was used by the British light cavalry for many years.
1853 Patten sabre
Designed for use in melees and thrusting attacks, the 1853 Pattern Cavalry Sabre was intended for light and heavy cavalry. This three-bar hilt sword had an 898mm (35 1/4″) single-edged blade that is slightly curved. The blade is unmarked and has a spear-point tip.
The scabbard is made from tempered high carbon steel with a hanging ring. It is topped with green canvas and covered with leather. It is in good condition and shows light wear. There is light discoloration on both flats and scattered rub marks. The scabbard shows some light pinprick pitting.
The three-bar hilt was found to be fragile and expensive to repair. Some of the guards were replaced by pierced bowl guards. However, the 1853 pattern remained in service until 1864.
The 1853 Pattern British Cavalry Sword was forged from AISI 1065 High Carbon Steel. It is said that the blade is the best cutting sword ever manufactured. The blade is curved to a spear point, tapered to a thin cutting edge, and has grooves running to a 4-3/4 inch point.
1788 pattern heavy cavalry sabre
During the Napoleonic Wars, the British Board of General-Officers adopted a pattern of sword for both light and heavy cavalry. Several different models were used, but broad similarities existed.
These swords were made by a number of cutlers. They were often engraved and silvered to prevent corrosion. They were also used by foreign countries. In 1821 a new pattern of sword was introduced. These swords were designed to replace the 1788 pattern sword.
The P HC was a type of all around backsword. The blade was usually 37 inches (940 mm), but some were up to 39.5 inches (995 mm). The scabbard was steel. The grip was wrapped in leather. It was hung from the waist sword-belt.
The P LC was a type of spear pointed sabre. The blade was shorter than the unmodified version, but it was more versatile. The spear point was lined up with a pipe on the back of the blade. The pommel was coned and the grip was made from twisted steel wire, covered in leather.