Online Victorian military manuals

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Online Victorian military manuals

Postby Matt Easton » 08 Jan 2010 14:52

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Re: Online Victorian military manuals

Postby Mark » 08 Jan 2010 20:30

Some great links there, Matt. Thanks for sharing :)

Might be very useful to link direct to the books from the links section of this forum if you fancy posting a few?

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Re: Online Victorian military manuals

Postby Matt Easton » 01 Nov 2010 11:14

Hi all,

http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/topics...d-exercise.pdf

Please find linked the Infantry Sword Exercise of 1845 by Henry Charles Angelo. This was the core sabre manual for British officers for 50 years, from 1845 to 1895. It is the manual that Burton was so critical of in his 1876 treatise. For anybody studying British military sabre it is an invaluable source and sets the context for later manuals from Burton, Hutton and others. This is a scan of my original copy of the manual - this manual has until now only been available to purchase and this is the first time it has been provided online for free. I have added to it some further pages which may be of interest. I hope you enjoy it.

Regards,

Matt
www.swordfightlondon.com
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Re: Online Victorian military manuals

Postby Liz » 01 Nov 2010 11:30

Thanks for sharing that, Matt. And if I may ask, what was the core reference before 1845?
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Re: Online Victorian military manuals

Postby Matt Easton » 23 Mar 2011 13:45

Hi Liz, sorry for not replying sooner but I've only just noticed your reply!
The previous standard reference for infantry officers was Angelo's treatise of 1817, then 1835, then 1842 - Revised 1845 and not changed again until 1895!

To quote my own article:

Henry Charles published the ‘Rules and regulations for the infantry sword exercise’, which was adopted by the Army and made a standard manual in 1817. This shared many features with the Cutlass Exercise.

In 1833 Henry Charles was appointed Superintendent of Sword Exercise in the Army, a title he retained until his death in 1852.

In 1835 Henry Charles published ‘Instructions for the sword exercise: selected from His Majesty's rules and regulations, and expressly adapted for the Yeomanry’. This was followed, in 1842, by the new Infantry Sword Exercise and this was revised by a few very minor changes in 1845. This remained the standard Army reference book for sword instruction on foot for 50 years, until the new thrusting blade type, introduced in 1892, dictated that a new manual be produced (this was the 1895 Infantry Sword Exercise by Maestro Masiello). It is also worth mentioning that in 1868 the ‘Drill and Sword Exercise for Police Constables’ used Angelo’s 1845 Infantry Sword Exercise as a model, simply replacing the images of soldiers with Police Constables in similar positions, the text remaining largely identical. Henry Charles’ Infantry Sword Exercise continued to be republished until at least the 1870’s, and this is the work extensively criticised and referred to by Sir Richard Francis Burton in his treatise of 1876.

Henry Charles also authored ‘Angelo’s Bayonet Exercise’, which like his Sword Exercise became a standard manual used throughout the British armed forces. It is currently unclear exactly when this Bayonet Exercise was first published, but it was certainly in print by 1849. It was republished in 1853 and 1857. This no doubt annoyed Sir Richard Francis Burton, whose own bayonet treatise of 1853 had been passed over by the British authorities.


I have not yet come across copies of the 1817 or 1835 publications - I presume they were not printed in large runs. The 1842 version is only very slightly different to the 1845.

Regards,
Matt
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