The Ominous Octopus

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Swords Of Mars, And Of Earth

Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars stories made a lot of use of swords, but swords were not yet as archaic in that period as they would yet become.

Some soldiers were still using swords as late as the second World War.

The war began when the Japanese invaded China in the 1930's. Although the Japanese had modern weapons, they were mired in tradition and their soldiers had a tradition of using swords.

One of their traditions was that it was good to commit murder with a sword, and they killed many civilians and prisoners of war with them during the course of the conflict.

When the Germans attacked Poland in 1939, the Polish people were not equipped for modern war and the sword was still considered an important weapon by their cavalry.

Although the Polish fought bravely, there was little they could do, and their country fell in weeks.

Cavalry soldiers continued to use swords after the fall of Poland. It may seem strange, but they even managed to achieve some successes after being rendered obsolete by modern developments such as armored fighting vehicles and motorized infantry. Their horses were able to make rapid advances over rough ground where vehicles could not go.

The Russian Cossacks who had traditionally used swords would continue to use them in this war. Some of them fought the invaders, but here are some who were on the side of the Third Reich.


Italian Cavalry on the Russian Front during the second World War. Note the swords.

The last big victory of the cavalry was said to have been a charge by the Italians against Russian forces, who fell back in the face of their attack.

The last minute of this 1942 Italian propaganda reel shows the Italian cavalry of the VIII Army on the Don river in Russia.


Cossacks in German service:

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars books:

Italian Cavalry Charge:



Some Interesting Cavalry Charges Of The Second World War:


Japanese War Crimes:

Polish Cavalry:

Swords used during World War II:



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