By Wolfgang Fleischer

Covers the diversity of captured guns and kit utilized by the Wehrmacht.

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Extra resources for Captured Weapons & Equipment of the German Wehrmacht 1938-1945 (Schiffer Military Aviation History)

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With its leaf-shaped blade, the xiphos was not only curved at its optimal striking point, it was also a ‘weight-forward’ weapon. Both these characteristics made it ideally suited for powerful hacking blows and its rigid, acutely pointed blade made it equally devastating as a thrusting weapon. Like the gladius, the xiphos was a dual-purpose weapon but on the battlefield it was mainly used in an entirely different context and this is the key to understanding why the hilts were different. I shall come to the gladius more specifically in due course, but suffice to say that it was the principal weapon of the Roman legionary soldier and, when using it in tight formation, he relied more on the thrust and so the design of its hilt favoured this action.

Known as the maryannu, the ‘young heroes’, they perceived the chariot as the dashing, heroic and high status way to go to war. Chariots were the main focus of Tutankhamun’s military training but the khepesh was a weapon to be used on foot. Stick-fighting Egyptian foot-soldiers were trained in hand-to-hand combat with a variety of weapons. Images of men weightlifting with bags of sand and all manner of boxing and wrestling scenes indicate a culture that well understood the essential elements of martial training.

Deposits of tin have been discovered in the Alexandria region of Northern Egypt but there is no evidence that these were mined. Egypt bought her tin from Cyprus, Crete, Spain, India and also, possibly, from Cornwall in England. Crushing the rocks and then smelting them in a furnace extracts the metal but metals do not have to be liquid in order to be separated from their parent rock. Smelting is a chemical process and not an alternative word for melting. For instance pure malachite – the most common copper-bearing ore – can be smelted at 700 degrees Celsius, whereas copper does not become fully molten, and thus suitable for Press proof – Ian H – 14/06/10 The Sword of Tutankhamun, Pharaoh of Egypt 19 casting, until it is at 1,084 degrees C.

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