The concept of knives.
Let’s start the book with words written by a famous designer. The founder of the national school of automatic weapons Vladimir Grigoryevich Fedorov in 1905. After listing all the achievements of military equipment of the 19th century, he notes.
“… among such progress in all branches of military affairs – one part of it, namely cold steel, is in a state of deep stagnation, in a state of complete immobility. We can say even more that at present the models of knives are much inferior to those that our remote ancestors once armed with ”.
“… If in our time every, even an insignificant detail in the design of our rifle serves as an object for developing it in the best possible direction, then our ancestors and the same efforts invested in the construction of edged weapons, in view of the importance that at that time it had on the battlefields ”
Oddly enough, over the next almost ninety years, nothing radically new has happened in the history of edged weapons, which would make it more perfect. And, nevertheless, it continues to exist as a parade uniform. It remains in the armies as combat weapons (sabers and drafts, daggers, bayonets). Not to mention its many varieties of national designs, etc..
The samples of edged weapons preserved in the collections of the largest museums in the world and individual collectors of past times are of great value. And in our time it causes undisguised interest of both amateurs and specialists. Knowledge in the field of knives is based mainly on visual acquaintance with surviving samples. Or the study of catalogs and descriptions of individual collections. For most, the history of the entire edged weapons complex and its many varieties remains almost unknown..
The authors chose only one group of edged weapons – with a short blade and the part of the instrument of various purposes in contact with it. Nevertheless, cold steel is one of the oldest monuments of material culture. And its varieties – actually weapons and tools, for millennia constituted the most important part of objects created by man for labor, hunting, defense and attack.
The beginning of the formation of the entire edged weapons complex is considered by modern science to be the period in the history of mankind when the primitive creature turned into the “Homo Sapiens”. It was then that one of our ancestors lifted a stone or stick that came to his eyes from the ground, which turned out to be suitable for defense and attack. The further development of cold steel items now consisted in the gradual improvement of these items, which we now call a tool or tool.
At some point, the two original guns were combined into a single whole. The stone was tied to a stick. As a result, the impact power was significantly increased. The new tool has become suitable for several tasks. Having learned how to split a stone into several parts, a man made from the fragments a tip for a wooden spear. Some of the fragments were flat, one of the sides had a sharp edge. So in the hands of man was the first cutting tool. Added to previously created impact and piercing guns.
Over a long time, this set of guns has expanded significantly. From the “tools” began to stand out individual samples with a different purpose. It was then that the number of the main tools of human activity, and then the actual weapons, included a special kind of object – a knife. But, before moving on to our main topic, to the story about short-blade weapons and their varieties – tools, let us determine what is included in the concept of “cold steel”.
It would be appropriate here to quote another quote from the already mentioned book by V.G. Fedorov. It contains such a statement – “… until now there are no theoretical calculations and at least no indications on which the theory of edged weapon designs would be based.” It was written in 1905, but so far nothing on this issue has appeared in the literature known to us..
In order to make the general idea of what lies behind the concept of “cold weapons” more visual, we should first of all consider the general composition of the items included in it. It is believed that with the help of them, damage is caused to a person by his opponent. One way or another bringing them into action. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia defines edged weapons as.
“… a type of weapon, the use and operation of which is not connected with the use of gunpowder and other explosives and the defeat of which is inflicted in hand-to-hand combat by the force of an individual person”.
Thus, a cold weapon is an item specially made for causing bodily harm. And designed for attack and active defense in hand-to-hand combat. But this is an attack or defense, i.e. the very fact of bodily harm can be done in different ways. Depending on the method and nature of the strike, various types of cold weapons have historically developed and assumed a certain form.