Cavalry Saber Drill; Hungary, 1917

Saber Drill

Saber Drill

 

 

It is doubtful that these Hungarian cavalrymen would have made use of their sabers in combat…

This Hungarian postcard is dated 1917, but its motif probably predates the outbreak of World War I.

This single photograph depicts almost all basic cuts and parries that would have been taught to mounted troopers. At the extreme distance between fencers, no protective gear appears necessary. Given that their field weapons were used at least for this picture, I believe the drill did not involve actual blade contact.

The basic techniques exhibited by the pairs of fencers, examined from the front going back, can be summarized as follows:

1. Right cuts prime, left uses “St. George’s Guard”

2. Right cuts prime, left parries four

3. Right cuts at outside knee, left parries octave

4. Right cuts four, left parries four

Especially interesting? Of course, the leg cut! And then there’s the “pistol grip” the right front fencer has established: pistolgrip

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