From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Sabre (disambiguation).
Missing image
Cavalry sabre typical of the 19th Century

The sabre (or saber) is a European backsword with a distinct curvature and a rather large hand guard, covering the knuckles of the hand as well as the thumb and forefinger. The length of sabres varied, but they were always made to be worn in a scabbard hanging from the waist.

The origins of the sabre are somewhat unclear, and it may come from designs such as the falchion or the scimitar (shamshir) used in the middle ages by such Central Asian cavalry as the Turks, Tatars and Mongols. Originally, the sabre was used as a cavalry weapon that gradually came to replace the various straight bladed cutting sword types on the battlefield. As time went on, sabres became insignia of rank in many armies, and dress use of sabres continues to this day in some armed services around the world.

The saber saw heavy military use in the 1800s, particularly in the Napoleonic Wars, where Napoleon used heavy cavalry charges to great effect against his enemies. The saber faded as a weapon in the mid 19th century, as longer range rifles made cavalry charges obsolete, even suicidal. The American Civil War saw little to no use of the saber as a weapon. Most cavalrymen abandoned the long, heavy weapons in favor of revolvers and carbines.

In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (16-18th century) a specific type of sabre-like melee weapon, the szabla, was used.

During the 19th and in the early 20th century, sabres were also used by some police forces. The sabre was later phased out in favour of the baton (or night stick) for humanitarian reasons.

A derivative of this weapon is used under this name in the Olympic sport of fencing.


See Also

Missing image
From right to left: a carbine, a straight infantry officer sabre, a short curved infantry sabre ("briquet"), two bayonets.

de:Sbel fr:Sabre it:Sciabola nl:Sabel ja:サーベル pl:Szabla sl:Sablja sv:Sabel fi:Sil


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools