Myths of the Samurai Sword v.s. the M1 rifle in WWII?

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by slipthejab, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Indeed :)
    I think you'll find the laws of physics probably prove you wrong.

    Consider the downward kinetic energy being driven onto (whatever) is being used to "block" the cut, any section of the blade which breaks off, will most likely continue in the same general direction as the cut intended but, now in an entirely uncontrolled manor.

    Hit a stick hard enough on a wall top and watch where the end of the stick goes (never backwards).
  2. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    lol... you gotta love it.
    The one thread in the one forum where I try to be serious, not sarcastic and relatively polite and everyone thinks I'm jokin'. Go figure. :D
  3. Kagebushi

    Kagebushi New Member

    axes are cheaper and far harder to break/bend. you can cut through a 3 inch bamboo piece with a sword in a single stroke. not so with an axe. same goes for a 2 1/2 inch sapling.
  4. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    i guess were all idiots.
  5. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    ops.... when i said it would break and hit you. i meant the hit the blocker not the swinger
  6. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    maybe im the thickest guy on here....dont answer that it is retorical

    but if you are being serious and not sarcastic. please explain to me how a signed picture of some geezer holding a helmet clears up this thread.

    and DONT mention my spelling or grammer
  7. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    Guns are made of steel and oak/ash, not steel and bamboo. You can deck a e inch oak tree with 3 strokes with a proper axe; you'll bend/break the katana attempting the same.
  8. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    We've been discussing this picture before (on knight vs. Samurai), and I must repeat my arguments from that time: The helmet was placed on a fixed emplacement, it stood still, the helmet didn't try to deflect the cut, he stood there for seconds preparing, he made a very obvious cut (ie easy to spot early and sidestep, but a helmet placed on a log cannot sidestep).

    Additionally i take the incident where a "swordmasters" rape of an antique artifact (The helmet was at least 400 years old; the website bragging about this event at least makes a point of this beeing an authentic peace of headgear), it's a helmet with 2 - 3 mm of iron that have been weakened for 400 years, and is in no way comparable to the steel of a barrel (or the fresh hard wood for that sake)

    If you put an iron object 2-3mm thick, on a log so that it's stable and put all your effort into it, if you have a high quality shinken, and if you're a swordmaster you manage to make a cut it -a bit.

    Well, I must say that this makes "my" case stronger; if the GI was blocking with his rifle, the rifle would not be stable, it would be moving, the hands would give in on impact dampening the effect of the blow, the GI would probably try to invoke some of his basic rifle-close combat techniques that involve some kind of deflecting, and if the katanawielder swung his sword the way the "swordmaster" on the picture do, he'd hav 3 seconds to sidestep, run away, thrust the rifle in the katanawielders face, etc.

    (The myth is about some japaneese cutting through a rifle, killing the GI on the other side, right? -that means that we must look at a katanas abilty to cut in a combat situation, not a fancy demo.)
  9. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    I think we all agree on that one, the misunderstanding is based on my initial lousy way of expressing myself (I am a Norwegian, you know :rolleyes: )

    BTW; I have thought out another way the japaneese could have killed the GI by striking the rifle-block!
    -By hitting, the GI slips his grip on one side, and the rifle smacks him in the head, killing him; knocking him out :p
  10. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Really.. good for you.

    Regardless of the 'sterile' circumstances under which Obata Sensei conducted the test, the point I made was that a Japanese Sword is capable of much more than it is being credited for in the thread, additionally it is being discussed (I'd take an educated guess) by people who cannot claim any degree of 'mastery' in one or more schools of Koryu Iai or Ken, where as, the picture posted by me is an illustration by a recognised sword master demonstrating the cutting ability of a Gendai Shinken - No more, no less.

    BTW there's no plural for "Katana" To add an s on the end makes no sense of the word for it's Japanese meaning.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2005
  11. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    When I considered that helmet.. where an attempt had been made to cut it using a katana - I drew the conclusion that if the katana can't cut through that helmet - there is no way it'll cut through rifle barrel. Not even close. :D
  12. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    ahh ...i am the thickest
  13. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    Well, I can only speak for myself, but I knew of this helmet-stunt before this thread started, so I know of a Katana's capassities. I've credited a katana for exactly what it's capable of, which happen to be quite a lot when we come to cutting-capabilities. Personally, I feel that it generally is the oposite when it comes to katanas; that they (thanks to Hong-Kong/Hollywood-movies) are credited for far more than they are capable to.

    A metalurgist, swordsmith and authentic Katana-collector; Russel Thomas ( + several on this forum that seems to know their Katana-stuff) makes a point out of that the metal used by the original Katanamakers are a little more brittle than steel from elswhere in the world (due to the amount of phosphour in the ores of Japan; Japan imports scrap metal from USA to make their cars, by the way...).

    People that believe theese urban myths usually come to Russel Thomas asking him to straighten or fix katanas that they have beant or broken while performing stuff Katanas -acording to theese myths-can do without any problem :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    You can of-course make modern -katana-looking swords that have the shape of an original katana, but have the metal-consistance of perfect -computermade quality -but even theese cannot cut through 2 inches of oak or a rifle-barrel. -Why should they??? It's completely Illogical that a Katana-crafter of the 15th century should make swords capable of cutting through 20'th century-rifles :)

    Well, as it happens, languages borrow words from eachother and usually they corporate theese new words into their own grammar. Therefore One Katana, two Katanas makes perfect sence in english, Just as one Fjord, two fjords makes perfect sence, allthough the word should have been written One Fjord, Two Fjorder if you were to heed the original countrys way of using the word.
  14. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Naturally there's no accounting for the ignorance of a particular language.

    Whilst I appreciate many people will automatically apply plural statements as per their normal language, one might well apply the attitude of ACCURACY to everything one does in relation to the study of their chosen BUDO.

    Each to their own.
  15. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Valued Member

    I have shied away from posting an opinion directly related to the topics question but I think that I should put my tuppence worth in before things start to get a little heated :D.

    I'm a student of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaido and Japanese history, so I'm not simply pulling an opinion out of nowhere, which hopefully will serve to reduce the 'roasting' feeling if flaming begins :lol:.

    I wouldn't rule out that a katana could cut into a rifle barrel (allbeit not very deeply) but I doubt seriously that it could cut through one. The 'finest sword in the world' tag has come from Hollywood-ish over-praise and has probably been promulgated by the religious way in which katana are forged (with it's overtones of 'magic' and ritual).

    In fact, as has been noted above, the Japanese islands are poor in natural resources when it comes to iron and steel. That's part of the reason for the elaborate internal structure of a katana blade, with layers and inclusions of steel that graduate from hardest at the edge to softest at the back.

    If the hard front edge is snapped, as it would be with a strong edge-to-edge parry or from heavy contact with an unyielding object, then the blade is compromised and likely to break from the point of failure. A katana is designed for cutting, certainly, but it is not designed for cutting through half an inch of high quality steel.

    Swords in general have an aura of mustique and power that comes from their use as a symbol of military might but in fact are not a massively effective weapon when it comes to fighting opponents in armour, which is why other, armour defeating weapons became the norm on the battlefield.

    So the short answer is that, yes, it is a myth that a katana can cut through a rifle barrel.

    Now, how about the abilty to cut through the shaft of a polearm? ;).
  16. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    I'll make an educated guess you’re a student with Eikoku-Roshukai.

    I make no excuses for my part in sharing a desire to see terms and terminology used correctly especially in relation to the study of Budo. From my perspective, if one wishes to express either an opinion or somewhat more factual information on a given subject, it is best to illustrate a basic knowledge in the language/terminology involved, otherwise the credibility of the information may appear ... less than 'credible'

    Am I a snob ? No not at all, I'd just rather see a degree of accuracy in the way we articulate ourselves which, after all improves the quality of the debates.

  17. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Valued Member

    I don't disagree with you at all, Mr. Humm, so please don't feel that I was directing anything specifically at you :tup:.

    However, with a subject which has a technical langauge in a 'foreign' tongue (for most people :)) I think we can cut people a bit of slack - tho' I do have to grit my teeth and 'say nowt' on the odd occaision as I do concur that attempting accuracy of expression is important :D.

    As an aside, in answer to your query, we (the MJER students around here) did used to be Roshukai but we're IMAF these days.
  18. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Mr. Humm is my father (lol) please call me Dave.

    Myself, I'm MSR through the BKA although my primary art is Aikikai Aikido.

  19. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Valued Member

    :D Okay, Dave, not a problem. If you find Sukerkin a bit of a 'finger-full' to type, then please feel free to call me 'Mark'.

    I had a sense that you might be a fellow swordsman from some of the things you said earlier, so it's nice to hear that you're in a very closely related art.

    I've also considered adding aikido to the repertoire, so to speak, as it does tie-in very well but, unfortunately, my old biking injury prevents me from partaking of hand-to-hand :(.
  20. Dave Humm

    Dave Humm Serving Queen and Country

    Cheers Mark.... Bike as In 'motor' (I have a GSF600 Bandit) or Bike as in mountain (I have a cannondale) (lol)


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