Julien Garry

Nineteenth Century French Military Sabre: Sport, Duel and War Fencing - by Julien Garry (APD6/2)

pp. 3-35

Abstract – Numerous treaties and methods regarding fencing are known today, either written by experts, veterans of sword-masters, or by the ministry or war and its branches: the schools of Joinville and Saumur. Some are destined to horse riders, others to officers. Each of these methods has its own particularities and, due to the abundance of treaties, discerning the qualities, the flaws, and the overall interest of a specific method can seem complicated. An attempt is made below to answer: why were the methods of French saber in the nineteenth century conceived and Why were they made this way, and what connection do they share with the French military world. These texts are compared and analyzed to uncover their function regarding the Army. From this analysis, three types of fencing will emerge, sometimes opposite, sometimes complementary; war fencing: conceived to be applicable on the battlefield – duel fencing (that was less official but still popular in nineteen century France) – and finally, recreational fencing, most often taking the form of a sport.

Keywords – sabre fencing; French military fencing; nineteenth century

Bayonet Fencing : An overview of historiography and techniques for French footmen during World War I (Julien Garry) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 152-178, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404


This article addresses the evolution of French bayonet fencing,
teachings and methods over the course of World War I, under both
historiographical and technical approaches. After a brief summary of the existent
methods at the start of the War, we will explore the evolutions underwent by this
Martial Art, brought by the changing nature and warfare and the various inputs
of experienced fighter.