Authentic combat in Swords Versus Tanks!

SvT THUMBOne of the 5-star reviews of Swords Versus Tanks 1 enthuses, not about the genre mashup that strikes a chord with other reviewers, but about the authentic Historical European Martial Arts:

Our hero still has to worry about concussion or stabs through vulnerable maille, but gets to joyously wade in to hordes of men at arms – and his greatsword can cut through non-enchanted armor- including time-portaled tanks.
Great fun, and I’m looking forward to more volumes!
5 Stars for the author’s knowledge of historical armored combat systems and the joys of harnischfecten.

I guess it helps that I teach German Longsword, and that – long ago – I used to fight in plate armour.

You see they always said, “write what you know”, so nearly two decades ago, I joined the Dawn Duellists Society, Edinburgh’s first HEMA club just to learn enough to write a good fight scene. I’m still there.

In case you are not a HEMA person (Hey! Why are you wasting your life? Google HEMA and your area and get started now!!!) longsword combat is different depending on whether you are in a civilian clothes or armor.

The civilian stuff (as in the same way a Colt 45 is a civilian weapon)– what I teach — is epic stuff, with the blades slithering and skipping around, dealing slices, stabs and strikes.


You can also grab the blade with both hands and use it like a hammer…

The armored combat, however, is nasty and short.

Typically, you grab your blade with your left hand, hold your sword like a paddle, and try to wrestle and club your opponent to death. You can also grab the blade with both hands and use it like a hammer…

The nasty thing about plate combat is that the weakest points in plate armor are also the most intimate, least pleasant to contemplate.

Good targets, according to the ancient manuals, include the crotch (Jesus Christ!), inside the cuffs (Imagine that blade scraping up your forearm…), the crook of the knee (Ewww), the armpits (Wince), the throat (Ugh) — anywhere where the plate leaves off and you’re relying on just maille, or even — God forbid — quilted fabric.

That’s one of the things Swords Versus Tanks is big on — the reality of it all… the sweat, the blood, the nasty little wounds as well as the dramatic depersonalizing  ones.

With the illusions of pretty swordplay stripped away, knights look far less glamorous, and yet I think — since they often did this for kicks as much as for duty — so much more spectacular!


If you haven’t already, click to download Swords Versus Tanks Episode 1: Armoured heroes clash across the centuries!

And don’t miss Swords Versus Tanks Episode 2: Vikings battle Zeppelins while forbidden desires spark!


Writer. Swordsman. CLICK TO SEE MY BOOKS !

Posted in HEMA, Historical European Martial Arts, My Books, Swords Versus Tanks, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

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