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A Collectors Guide to Swords, Daggers, and Cutlasses Hardcover – Unabridged, August 1, 1991
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Many other reviewers have pointed out Weland's inaccuracies on land swords, and it falls to me only to point out that his chapter on sea swords is no better.
Page 58: a captured "vessel could be dismantled and sold off to help pay the expenses of the successful navy." Of course, money from sold captures did not go to pay the navy'e expenses, but was given as a reward to the captain, officers and crew who made the capture, as an incentive for performance.
Page 62: "[B]y the time cutlasses had appeared, the hey-day of pirates was long past." This would certainly come as a surprise to such famous Golden Age pirate captains as Bonnet, L'Ollonais, Kidd, and Fly, all of whom are documented in contemporary sources as using cutlasses. Not to mention the judges of the Old Bailey during the same time period, who frequently found themselves judging assault, robbery, and murder cases involving cutlasses.
Page 63: Weland informs us that swords that are not curved are "useless for cutting." While a curved blade is indeed ideal for cutting, Weland's exaggeration would consign to uselessness such famous cutting weapons as the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword, the two-handed sword, and the medieval military longsword, all of which had straight edges.
Page 69: Weland misidentifies the Dutch writer Alexandre Esquemeling as a Londoner.
But the crowning error is right at the beginning. On page 9, in describing the parts of a sword handle, Weland completely misidentifies the ricasso! This is an error as fundamental, and as discrediting, as a driving instructor misidentifying the turn signal.
Here are just a few of the approx. 20 errors I found on THE SAME TWO PAGES:
Samurai does not translate as 'Guard' - it translates as 'One Who Serves'
Nippon-to does not translate as 'Soul of the Samurai' - it translates as 'Japanese Sword'.
The epochs of Japanese sword-making are the Koto, Shinto and Shinshinto, NOT Kato, Shint, Shinshinto and Gunto.
Aikuchi does not translate as 'Pleasant Companion' it translates as 'Small Mouth' - it is simply a Tanto with no Tsuba
A Hamidashi is simply a Tanto mounted with a very small Tsuba
Legally(?) acquiring Japanese swords is not a challenge for collectors.
He also identifies the German Army Officer's Dagger as an all-purpose knife, and the Luftwaffe Officer's Dagger as 'issued in large numbers to German paratroopers'. What huh? Of course, these were strictly dress daggers and were not issued to troops or used as all-purpose knives.
Photos rate Four Stars - Text is a negative Two Stars - so overall rating is Two Stars.