English Light Cavalry Sabre 1796 Pattern
- Swordsmith: John Gaspard Le Marchant, former cavalry officer and developed with Henry Osborne - Birmingham.
- Measurements: weight ~ 0.78kg with scabbard; 1.35 kg with scabbard
The Light Cavalry Sabre Pattern 1796, was used primarily by British Light Dragoons, hussars, and King’s German Legion light cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars. It was adopted by the Prussians (as the 1811 pattern or “Blücher sabre”) and used by Portuguese and Spanish cavalry.
The hilt has a ‘stirrup’ form with a single knucklebow, so as to be free of unnecessary weight; the intention of this was to make the sabre usable by all cavalrymen, not solely the largest and strongest.
The 1796 sabre had a pronounced curve, making the kind of slashing attacks used in cavalry actions decidedly easier. Even cavalrymen trained to use the thrust, as the French were, in the confusion of a melee often reverted to instinctive hacking, which the 1796 accommodated.
Its blade, unlike other European sabers of the period, widened near the point. This affected balance, but made slashes far more brutal; its action in the cut has been compared to a modern bacon slicer. The blade is remembered today as one of the best of its time and has been described as the finest cutting sword ever manufactured in quantity.
Source & Copyright: Swords Collection