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noworky

My AMES 1906

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I know these are not that big of deal but I love this saber. I like the feel of it I like the looks of it and when I found this one I liked the patina of scabbard and of the iron hilt. I don't know if it would have been correct but I stuck the 1903 knot on it. post-2455-1202876561.jpg


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A people that values its privileges

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Very nice, I am going to have to look for one of these. I know about liking the feel. I fenced Epee' in college and one of the coaches brought in a British/Canadian pattern 08. It is a great point thrusting weapon and I loved it. It took me years to find one when I had the money.

 

I just posted a question above as to whether any US swords were ever actually used in WWI. Do you have any references to sword use by the US in WWI?

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This pattern was replaced by the "Patton" saber of 1912(?) I think. I seem to recall that the Patton saber may have been on the Mexican border but they didn't take them to Europe for WW I.

Can you imagine being issued one of these while the headlines scream about the slaughter from machine guns in France!

 

BKW

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This pattern was replaced by the "Patton" saber of 1912(?) I think. I seem to recall that the Patton saber may have been on the Mexican border but they didn't take them to Europe for WW I.

Can you imagine being issued one of these while the headlines scream about the slaughter from machine guns in France!

 

BKW

 

There is no record of the M1913 being used in combat that I am aware of, but I see no reason to doubt that they were carried by the 2nd Cavalry as part of their regular equipment...


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There is no record of the M1913 being used in combat that I am aware of, but I see no reason to doubt that they were carried by the 2nd Cavalry as part of their regular equipment...

I should not have asked this in 2 different posts on the same forum, sorry. It might be better her than on the pinned topic.

 

I agree that extra ammo is easier to carry than a sabre but I have read a number of time of trench weapons and swords being used early in the war which would be 1914. I just wondered if any of this is reliably referenced. I have never seen a sword or trench club in a WWI combat photgraph that I can remember. Here is an exert from a web page and there were other similar ones. I just wonder about the sources. I have 2 old books of WWI photgraphs. I look through them specifically for swords and trench clubs. My Dad was a glider rider and paratroopere in WWII and thought a carbine bayonet was too big of a knife to carry. He said he did not want to get that close but had some Gurka's doing recon that would throw away their carbines and use their knives. He said "they were too little to carry an M1 rifle but were not too little to use those curved knives." They finally stopped giving them guns.

 

 

From a web page..............

 

The Napoleonic wars saw constant use of the saber with columns of thousands of magnificent cavalrymen slashing at squares of infantry with little effect. The six hundred men of the British light brigade barely caused a change in the mood in the Russian lines with their sabers in 1854 while taking catastrophic casualties themselves. During the US Civil war the very successful confederate cavalry usually carried no sabers while the Union horse soldiers rarely if ever had a chance to use theirs. A Civil War soldier had a better chance of being hit by a minie bullet than he would being cut by the bayonet or the sword. In fact, wounds from these "cutting" weapons were extremely rare accounting for only 2% or so of the total wounds treated by surgeons. In 1876 Gen. George Custer ordered the 7th Calvary troopers to leave their sabers at base before they rode to their deaths at Little Big Horn. Sword use in world war one and two, by Russian Cossacks, German Uhlans, British lancers and French cuirassiers were equally disappointing and even foolhardy. The first casualty inflicted by the British army in Europe during WWI occurred when Captain Charles Hornby of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards killed a German uhlan with his sabre. He did so when his troop charged some German cavalry near Casteau on the morning of August 22 1914. The cavalry's use of the sword became a memory once vehicles replaced horses, although records do exist of swords being used in combat by both axis and allied cavalry on the eastern front in world war two as well as by Japanese officers in the pacific.

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Noworky,

 

a very nice example of the 1906 Ames Cavalry Sabre. A sabre from a very transitional period in US swords.

 

I think these swords are largely under-rated and under-appreciated. The sword is basically the Civil War period Light Cavalry Sabre (the so-called 1860 model) with an iron hilt. The size and shape is the same as the CW period sword except the hilt has been made from iron instead of brass. The Ordnance Department conducted a series of tests in 1905 and 1906 to redesign the Cavalry sword. Springfield Armory produced the "Experimental Cavalry Sabre" during this period and this too had a steel hilt and an oddly shaped sharkskin covered grip. In the end, an entirely different Cavalry Sabre (designed by George Patton) became regulation in 1913.

 

So, what was the purpose of these 1906 Ames Cavalry Sabres? Were we running out of Civil War surplus swords? Were they part of the Ord Dept tests? Were they continued, and udated, production of an existing pattern? An under-appreciated sword I think. think.gif

 

I believe your sword knot is incorrect for this particular sword. The knot is the officer knot that was usually worn on the 1902 Sabre for all officers. An officer might wear this knot on this sword if he was wearing one but this is an enlisted sword by regulation. I have the "Provisional Regulations for Saber Exercise for the United States Army" as revised in 1908. This manual shows the exercises with the "Experimental Cavalry Sabre" on foot and mounted. It shows use of the 1872 sword knot, so that would be the correct one for this 1906 sword, IMHO. This sword knot would not have been replaced until the adoption of the russet 1913 sword knot worn with the Patton sword.

 

sword_knot_72.JPG


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There is no record of the M1913 being used in combat that I am aware of, but I see no reason to doubt that they were carried by the 2nd Cavalry as part of their regular equipment...

 

I've run across an interesting tidbit of info that may indicate combat use, or at least carry, of the M1913 saber in WWI.

 

Serial number 551 in the Springfield Armory Museum was "repatriated" from the Germans after WWI. It's possible the saber was left behind during some retreat and found by the Germans but, IMO, just as possible that it was taken off a killed or captured trooper. At any rate, it had to have gone far enough forward for the Germans to get their hands on it.

 

It's not much, but it is tantalizing...


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Very nice, I am going to have to look for one of these. I know about liking the feel. I fenced Epee' in college and one of the coaches brought in a British/Canadian pattern 08. It is a great point thrusting weapon and I loved it. It took me years to find one when I had the money.

 

I just posted a question above as to whether any US swords were ever actually used in WWI. Do you have any references to sword use by the US in WWI?

In the movie "Pursuit of Honor" which takes place between WW1 and WW2, probably the 30's, there is a scene where they are turning in their m1913 sabers. The movie is about the change over from horse cavalry to mechanized cavalry and the problems the old timers had killing the horses and adjusting to change....very good movie. I have also read that the last horse cavalry charge was during WW2, about 1943 as I recall. I don't remember details of it however; I would presume their charge was with 1911's drawn and not sabers. The 1902 I believe was never replaced or discontinued and was still issued recently, but it is a decoration and not a weapon. Sad part about the 1902 of today's Army is we buy the 1902 swords from Spain and Germany. Regards.


Check out my website of Military Relics and Collectibles: http://www.ourboysof98.com
I try to update it by adding several new items each month, so keep checking back.

Thanks,
keith

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Yes, the M1902 is still the official saber for officers, the M1840 the official sword for NCOs. And neither are made in the US anymore...Ames makes the furniture, but imports the blades. They wouldn't tell me from where, but I've heard it's Windlass.

 

I bought a WKC when I received my bar, but I have a nice early Horstmann picked out that I'm thinking of sending to Crisp for refurbishment. Those early sabers still feel like *weapons* instead of like cheap toys as the modern offerings do.


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I agree with Sarge,the 1906 is an underrated sword and seldom see.I wish to pick one up some day as well as a 72 pattern.You have to wonder how many of these swords were cut up for fighting knives in the second world war.Thanks for sharing and a great piece you have.

 

RON


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Springfield Armory produced the "Experimental Cavalry Sabre" during this period and this too had a steel hilt and an oddly shaped sharkskin covered grip.

 

Here's a pic from one in my collection, #132:

 

 

XM1906-132_1sm.jpg

 

 

So, what was the purpose of these 1906 Ames Cavalry Sabres? Were we running out of Civil War surplus swords? Were they part of the Ord Dept tests? Were they continued, and udated, production of an existing pattern? An under-appreciated sword I think. think.gif

 

Forty years of service would tend to thin the inventory. Plus, you have to remember that in 1901 Congress approved an additional 5 cavalry regiments, and the Ordnance department just wanted 20,000 more M1860 sabers and 3,000 extra scabbards to fill this need. I have copies of correspondence between the Ordnance Department, Springfield, and Ames, and it shows the process that led to the steel-hilted M1906 was an evolutionary one, not a preconceived design.

 

In a memo dated 4 Feb 1903, the Chief of Ordnance ordered the commander of the Springfield Armory to figure out how many sabers could be manufactured per 8-hour day by the Armory and "such private establishments as could be called upon for further supply". When queried whether by "sabers" it was meant M1902 officer's sabers, or trooper's cavalry sabers (M1860), the reply, in timeless Army fashion, was, "Uhhh...both." Replies were received by several well-known companies; Ames, Lilley, Ridabock, Allien, Pettibone, Warnock. The Ames reply was especially detailed and informative about the capabilities of the other manufacturers.

 

The Ordnance Department went through some specification analysis, looked over data on the best finish for the scabbard based on refinishing experience at the Armory, decided they wanted to move the scabbard rings closer on the new purchases to change the center of gravity and improve carry, and also brown the hilts per an order dated 26 Jul 1904, first by a process of copper-plating the brass and darkening it with sulfide of potash and then lacquering, and when that proved unsatisfactory by a process of iron-plating the brass and browning. By the end of 1904, they were ready to award a contract for the sabers needed, which was given to Ames. Ames began work on the scabbards and hilts, and apparently initially imported the blades from Germany until their own production could get ramped up.

 

There were some growing pains, however; the Army halted scabbard production while deciding if they needed to add wood inserts to the scabbard to protect sharpened saber edges, and Ames encountered difficulties with the iron-plating process on the brass hilts. In a memo dated 6 Feb 1905, Ames proposed simply making the hilts from drop forge steel, a process that was more expensive and that they had never done before, but felt the results warranted the effort. The Ordnance Department agreed, final orders went out in late March of 1905, and after further delay ramping up the equipment for the new steel hilts, production of the M1860 with the new steel hilts resumed.

 

So the Army simply needed more M1860 sabers to equip the new regiments, and through a long, staggering, halting process of trial and error ended up with a steel-hilted version and a scabbard with rings closer together.


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Varangian,

 

Thank you for your excellent description of the evolution of this light cavalry sabre. Wern't there also some contract changes in relation to the experimental swords? That is to say, the numbers of the specific swords ordered/delivered changed over this time period as well did they not?

 

I think this was a very interesting time for the ordnance department with the testing of all sorts of alternative equipments.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Wern't there also some contract changes in relation to the experimental swords? That is to say, the numbers of the specific swords ordered/delivered changed over this time period as well did they not?

 

When the Army decided to do large-scale testing of the 1905/06 Experimental (I like calling it the XM1906 for brevity), Springfield began producing them but their production capability was apparently not adequate to the urgency of the demand (there were eventually 1,316 fielded). Ames still lacked 1,039 sabers to complete its contract of 20,000 M1906s, so at the request of the Army they switched production from the M1906 to the XM1906 for the remainder of the contract. Springfield Armory provided the hilts, and Ames provided the blades and assembly.

 

The exact number of XM1906 sabers produced by Ames has apparently never been in question, but there is some confusion and many numbers thrown around discussing how many Springfield Armory produced. I have a theory that I think solves the question, but it takes a while to lay it out, so it’s probably another thread for another day…


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Thanks for the clarification. I recalled the contract change but I could not remember exactly what happend or the numbers. thumbsup.gif


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Noworky,

 

a very nice example of the 1906 Ames Cavalry Sabre. A sabre from a very transitional period in US swords.

 

I think these swords are largely under-rated and under-appreciated. The sword is basically the Civil War period Light Cavalry Sabre (the so-called 1860 model) with an iron hilt. The size and shape is the same as the CW period sword except the hilt has been made from iron instead of brass. The Ordnance Department conducted a series of tests in 1905 and 1906 to redesign the Cavalry sword. Springfield Armory produced the "Experimental Cavalry Sabre" during this period and this too had a steel hilt and an oddly shaped sharkskin covered grip. In the end, an entirely different Cavalry Sabre (designed by George Patton) became regulation in 1913.

 

So, what was the purpose of these 1906 Ames Cavalry Sabres? Were we running out of Civil War surplus swords? Were they part of the Ord Dept tests? Were they continued, and udated, production of an existing pattern? An under-appreciated sword I think. http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/think.gif

 

I believe your sword knot is incorrect for this particular sword. The knot is the officer knot that was usually worn on the 1902 Sabre for all officers. An officer might wear this knot on this sword if he was wearing one but this is an enlisted sword by regulation. I have the "Provisional Regulations for Saber Exercise for the United States Army" as revised in 1908. This manual shows the exercises with the "Experimental Cavalry Sabre" on foot and mounted. It shows use of the 1872 sword knot, so that would be the correct one for this 1906 sword, IMHO. This sword knot would not have been replaced until the adoption of the russet 1913 sword knot worn with the Patton sword.

 

attachicon.gifsword_knot_72.JPG

Having just seen this old thread, thought I would post this photo I posted on another thread. It shows a trooper with a Patton sword with what appears to be a 1904 knot. The picture is just fuzzy enough to be unable to tell whether or not the sword scabbard has a tent peg protrusion on the bottom, but I believe it is a fairly early picture.

post-158932-0-38772500-1576249676_thumb.jpg

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A very nice early photograph. While it is hard to tell color in these old B/W photos the knot does indeed appear to be the russet color version of the black leather M1872 sword knot. The shade of color certainly seems to match the rest of his leather gear.


"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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I've run across an interesting tidbit of info that may indicate combat use, or at least carry, of the M1913 saber in WWI.

 

Serial number 551 in the Springfield Armory Museum was "repatriated" from the Germans after WWI. It's possible the saber was left behind during some retreat and found by the Germans but, IMO, just as possible that it was taken off a killed or captured trooper. At any rate, it had to have gone far enough forward for the Germans to get their hands on it.

 

It's not much, but it is tantalizing...

 

I believe a more likely scenario is that the Germans obtained one as an exemplar prior to WWI. It is common for military attaches to procure copies of new items of equipment developed by their host nations and send them home as samples. The early serial number would be compatable with this theory.

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