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Sharpening and dulling blades were taken for granted

Article about: I do not collect edged weapons, but used to regard ground blades on bayonets and sabers as mostly post war mutilation, at least from the point of view of a collector. But ever since getting

  1. #1

    Default Sharpening and dulling blades were taken for granted

    I do not collect edged weapons, but used to regard ground blades on bayonets and sabers as mostly post war mutilation, at least from the point of view of a collector.

    But ever since getting into researching Japanese Army practices, I have come to understand that bayonets and sabers were supposed to have an edge added in preparation for field action and then dulled down with a file in peacetime, as a completely normal and expected practice. Of course we are talking about machined blades.

    Although the manuals describe this as something every soldier should be doing as a routine, do collectors commonly see traces of such intentional sharpening and dulling on the items?

    Here are some illustrations from the Army Master Regulations on how to set up the blade sharpening and dulling down jigs, which still make me cringe to look at.

    Is it common knowledge among collectors of these edged weapons that filing on and filing off cutting edges was routine practice in the IJA?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Nick, this should be "pinned" or "stickied"!

    I have been told that US Cavalry required the same thing of thier sabres in non-combat settings. This would also explain a Type 95 gunto I have the has a very smooth edge that looks like it was never sharpened.

    Thanks for the priceless info!

  3. #3

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    Very interesting info!......
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  4. #4
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    There are a number of discussions on this very subject on this forum.. Sword Forum International

  5. #5
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    DaveR I'm getting this when I click on your link.

    "Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms."

    I even logged in to make sure it wasn't that.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  6. #6
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    Could be a temporary glitch, it works ok for me. However here is a link to the home page, and then put "sharpening" into the search box.... Sword Forum International

  7. #7

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    Not being a member there, the link did not work for me, but I take it that this practice is not common knowledge yet among collectors. There are lots of documents on the subject, so here are cleaner pics from other sources.
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  8. #8
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    Sorry that the links don't work for non members. The issue of blade sharpening and dulling is one that often crops up on Sword Forum International and the consensus is that no modern army wanted sharp blades in peacetime. In the British Army the order to sharpen was given before shipping units off to the combat zone, and was regarded as final confirmation that combat was intended. It was in fact a court marshal offence to sharpen without orders.
    In contrast, Sillidar units kept their swords sharp, but stored them out of scabbards, wrapped in oiled muslin, and hung out of the way in the roof space of their accommodation. Sillidar Cavalry was a system in the Indian Army (British Empire and East India Co.) where the trooper owned his horse, arms, tent, baggage pony, and equipment, except his carbine which was supplied by the Government, and he received a higher rate of pay than the non-sillidar personnel.
    I wonder what the situation was for a commissioned IJA officer with a Shin-Gunto, especially one with an old or traditionally forged blade?

  9. #9
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    Thank you Nick for this info. It now explains the portion of my type 30 bayonets that has a Sharpened section on it like described in you pic's.
    The translation of what the pic's entailed was very helpful.That is very much appreciated.

    DaveR, I am a member of SFI and that link didn't work. That's why I mentioned about logging in.
    No biggie.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  10. #10

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    This is really important stuff Nick, I can't thank you enough!

    I wonder if this explains the course sharpening jobs we often see on Type 32 blades?

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