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#1
Old 01-09-2007, 05:51 PM
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A skilled swordsman with a Samurai sword vs a charging Kodiak Bear...

Og I hate these (vs) threads, but I was watching a documentary about the samurai sword and it's efficacy on the battle field, and they liken the sword to having "no mortal foe" on the battle field. (All guns aside of course) The way they portrayed it was that in one to one combat the samurai sword could best any foe if the swordsman was good enough.

Well could the sword slice through the head of an attacking Kodiak bear? Could the sword drive a mortal blow in one swing to an attacking bear? Just wondering.
#2
Old 01-09-2007, 05:58 PM
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I'll bet on the bear. Old Ursa may bleed out by the time he's through, but one swipe and the samurai is salami. Hair is temporary defense against a blade slash, so the samurai might not even get a decent chop going. Any attack is going to put you within reach of a couple of paws with very sharp claws, and a mouthful of teeth. The samurai would never get close enough for a neck chop, even if he could deliver a mortal blow.
#3
Old 01-09-2007, 06:46 PM
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Another bet on the bear. It has size, strength, speed and reach in its favor. You might kill it with a sword, but probably not before it kills you. The real catch is for you to be able to hit the bear with a sword, you have to be close enough for the bear to hit back.
#4
Old 01-09-2007, 06:50 PM
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At best a tie - if you're getting close enough to use the sword, you're getting close enough for the bear to use its claws, and I can guarantee you, it can take more cutting than you can take mauling.
#5
Old 01-09-2007, 08:01 PM
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Toreadors regularly stab bulls to death with swords. Bulls are as big as a bear, though not as strong, agile or otherwise built for fighting. Also, the bull has already been stabbed by guys on horseback and more on foot, bleeding it out and weakening its neck muscles enough that the horns aren't as great of a threat as they might be.

Yeah, I'd bet on the bear.
#6
Old 01-09-2007, 08:17 PM
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If you could keep a large object between you and the bear like a tree, but were still able to stab or slice at him with the sword all the while keeping the tree between you maybe I could see it happening.
#7
Old 01-09-2007, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlosphr
Well could the sword slice through the head of an attacking Kodiak bear? Could the sword drive a mortal blow in one swing to an attacking bear? Just wondering.
The answer to the first question is a no. Cleaving skulls was not what these blades were made for, especially ursine skulls. The second is a lot tricker. The point of a sword through an eye, down an open mouth, or a lucky slash across a throat could be a mortal blow, but even the greatest swordsman in the world couldn't do that reliably against a charging kodiak.

As to the larger question of if you could come out of the battle alive, I'd say yes. A combination of striking at a bear's weak spots(head and face, especially nose) should hurt it enough to leave you alone. In this case you're praying that the bear's natural tendancy not to fight to the death kicks in. And you better be FAST on your feet, not just with the blade.

Enjoy,
Steven
#8
Old 01-09-2007, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlosphr
I was watching a documentary about the samurai sword and it's efficacy on the battle field, and they liken the sword to having "no mortal foe" on the battle field. (All guns aside of course) The way they portrayed it was that in one to one combat the samurai sword could best any foe if the swordsman was good enough.
I don't know what this documentary was ( The History Channel maybe? I've been less than impressed with some of their offerings ), but the above is just crap. There is nothing at all mystical about a samurai sword and they were not kings of the battlefield. They just became the object of a cult-like fascination in Japan ( that was then transplanted to the west in the late 20th century ), one that was largely nurtured during the Tokugawa Shogunate, when battlefield combat pretty much disappeared.

As noted they aren't designed to hack through armor, they aren't designed for thrusting and a Kodiak's thick hide would almost certainly guarantee against landing a mortal blow. You'd have to be one phenomenally lucky samurai ( or have an easily discouraged bear, which is much more likely ) to survive such an encounter.

- Tamerlane
#9
Old 01-09-2007, 09:31 PM
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If a Samurai was close enough to slice the bear up, there is a good chance the bear would kill the Samurai before it died like everyone else has said.

Furthermore, Samurai and sword would have been little match for a well trained crossbowman or long bowman. So not just guns need to be eliminated but also any armor penetrating missile weapon.

Jim
#10
Old 01-09-2007, 10:18 PM
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All you have to do to defeat the Samurai is to throw a couple nest of killer bees at the guy. If the guy can slice up all the bees before being stung to death, then I will bow in respect.
#12
Old 01-09-2007, 10:59 PM
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This is definitely a new low.
#13
Old 01-09-2007, 11:10 PM
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Bear.
#14
Old 01-09-2007, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasing Dreams
All you have to do to defeat the Samurai is to throw a couple nest of killer bees at the guy. If the guy can slice up all the bees before being stung to death, then I will bow in respect.
Way back in the time of the samurai, there was a powerful emperor. This emperor needed a new head samurai. So, he sent out a message to everybody he knew for them to send a message to who they knew, and so forth.

A year passes, and only three people show up: a Japanese samurai, a Chinese samurai, and a Jewish samurai. The emperor asks the Japanese samurai to come in and demonstrate why he should be head samurai. The Japanese samurai opens up a matchbox, and out pops a little fly. WHOOOOOSH. The fly drops dead on the ground in 2 pieces! The emperor says, "That is very impressive!"

Then the emperor asks the Chinese samurai to come in and demonstrate why he should be head samurai. The Chinese samurai opens up a matchbox and out pops a little fly. WHOOOOOOSH. WOOOOOOOSH. The fly drops dead on the ground in 4 pieces! The emperor says, "That is really impressive!"

Then the emperor asks the Jewish samurai to come in and demonstrate why he should be head samurai. The Jewish samurai thinks, "If it works for the other two..." So the Jewish samurai walks in, opens a matchbox, and out pops a little fly. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSHHHH. A gust of wind fills the room, but the fly is still buzzing around. The emperor says in disappointment, "Why is the fly not dead?"

And the Jewish samurai replies, "If you look closely, you'll see that the fly has been circumcised."
#15
Old 01-09-2007, 11:43 PM
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Da bear.
#16
Old 01-10-2007, 12:12 AM
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I would pay to watch. A guy told my wife that his dream was to kill a brownie with an axe. I told her to tell him that I would buy his ticket to Kodiak if he would let me watch him try.
#17
Old 01-10-2007, 12:30 AM
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I might give the samurai a puncher's chance. The strategy doesn't have to be one strike to kill.

I'm talking out of my ass here but what if the samurai cuts the bear's arm off at the elbow with that first strike? I bet that would take quite a bit of the fight out of the thing not to mention a lot of mobility. After that it would be much easier without the bear's ability to charge anything.
#18
Old 01-10-2007, 01:14 AM
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Are we talking about a cornered, angry bear that's also guarding her newborn cubs? Bear wins. The swordsman might get a lucky blow in... but then he's a snack. I suppose a freak incident could happen, and the swordsman could get a lucky killing blow in the first attempt, but that'd be a one-in-a-million occurrence.

On closer reading, it seems that the OP specifies charging -- in which case, even if you do get that lucky blow, there's still half a ton of angry bear landing on you, flailing claws and all.

The edge (apologies) goes to the human if the bear is stunned and caught unawares by this small, scrawny creature with a shiny stick.
#19
Old 01-10-2007, 01:21 AM
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Everyone seems to assume that the samurai must just stand there and take the full brunt of the charge hoping that one lucky swing will smite the bear.

The OP specifies a skilled swordsman. The man is not going to just stand there and swing for the fences.
#20
Old 01-10-2007, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCorre
Everyone seems to assume that the samurai must just stand there and take the full brunt of the charge hoping that one lucky swing will smite the bear.

The OP specifies a skilled swordsman. The man is not going to just stand there and swing for the fences.
Yeah, but if the dude turns and runs (even just to get control of the situation), I'm betting that the bear will catch up and just maul him from behind.
#21
Old 01-10-2007, 02:10 AM
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Just checking in to point out that the samurai sword is actually pretty useless against anyone wearing armor or carrying a heavier sword. It breaks, y'see.
#22
Old 01-10-2007, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright
Just checking in to point out that the samurai sword is actually pretty useless against anyone wearing armor or carrying a heavier sword. It breaks, y'see.
Let's not even consider a charging, armored Kodiak swinging a bear-sized sword at you.
#23
Old 01-10-2007, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JThunder
Da bear.
But what if the samurai was Ditka?
#24
Old 01-10-2007, 02:21 AM
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It's the bear. No question about it, the samurai will probably get one heck of a blow in before the bear crushes him to death, followed by the mauling. I will give the samurai an outside chance of giving the bear a mortal wound, if the samurai is very lucky and very agile, but there is no way the samurai walks away from that.
#25
Old 01-10-2007, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazybratsche
Yeah, but if the dude turns and runs (even just to get control of the situation), I'm betting that the bear will catch up and just maul him from behind.
I know nothing about swordplay but i doubt the correct strategy would be 'turning and running'.

I would think the smart man would dodge and land as heavy blows as possible until the bear decides the fight isn't worth it.

A good strike across the nose with a katana would give any land creature pause which would provide another opening for the samurai to strike. We're talking about an animal against a trained fighter with a lethal weapon.
#26
Old 01-10-2007, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCorre
We're talking about an animal against a trained fighter with a lethal weapon.
A fighter trained to fight other humans, using a weapon designed to be lethal against unarmoured men.

Now switch the scene to a 1000lb bear that can run at 35 mph, has a reach of 5 foot, fur so thick that it's close to armour, and 5 inch claws. He's not trained for it, and his weapon suddenly isn't such a lethal implement.
#27
Old 01-10-2007, 06:18 AM
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I'm just wondering what kind of lethal blow a Samurai could deliver, this bear isn't standing upright, it is not going to be swinging with its upper limbs, and the head is pretty damn near armour plated.The fur is dense, it will not slice easily at all.

The Samurai sword is designed for slashing, not stabbing, and no slashing blow is likely to take out this bear, it would need a deep penetrating stab, by the time your deep stab has hit something vital, the sword would probably be at or near the hilt, the bears claws would have already taken the swordsmans head off or crushed his skull

Samurai is going to be lucky just to take one of the bears eyes, trying to get a slash at the neck would be immensely difficult with a bear charging in on all fours.

First order of any battle is to assess your opponent, Samurai takes one look and buggers off.
#28
Old 01-10-2007, 09:23 AM
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Back to the "no mortal foe on the battlefield" comment, how about spears and pikes (or pointed sticks)? Someone wielding a bo or staff who is equally skilled in using his weapon as the samurai, will have a considerable advantage in range.
#29
Old 01-10-2007, 09:39 AM
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I'll put ten dollars on the samurai, but only expecting a huge lucky payoff.
#30
Old 01-10-2007, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casdave

First order of any battle is to assess your opponent, Samurai takes one look and buggers off.
Absolutely.
(And he'd better get into hiding quick, because the bear is faster!)
#31
Old 01-10-2007, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster
But what if the samurai was Ditka?
Full-sized Ditka or mini-Ditka?
#32
Old 01-10-2007, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCorre
I know nothing about swordplay but i doubt the correct strategy would be 'turning and running'.

I would think the smart man would dodge and land as heavy blows as possible until the bear decides the fight isn't worth it.

A good strike across the nose with a katana would give any land creature pause which would provide another opening for the samurai to strike. We're talking about an animal against a trained fighter with a lethal weapon.
You also apparently know nothing about bears. Grizzlies have been known to take a fatal round from a high-caliber weapon and continue to run for miles. Rounds from a .44 have bounced off of their skulls. They move incredibly fast, and dodging a bear charge is a near impossibility. The end result here would be a pile of bear scat laced with ghi.
#33
Old 01-10-2007, 12:03 PM
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Read Alaskan Bear Tales by Larry Kaniut sometime. It'll make even Tarantino consider using something more formidable than an overhyped long knife.

A bear's heart rate slows down considerably during conflict, an attribute that prevents them from quickly bleeding to death from bloody encounters with other bears. In the event someone gets so damn lucky as to actually deliver a lethal blow, it will likely be preceeded minutes to hours before by their horrific mauling and dismemberment.

In bear behavior courses, we were taught not to shoot at the head with our 12 ga. pump slugs as they'd probably just graze off the thick skull but to take down the front legs and then circle from behind and put three slugs in the spine at the neck. Going for heart and lung shots was discouraged since, as mentioned, it would likely kill them only after they'd had a rather horrible way with you.

Read the book... the guy that jumps ashore off a boat to take a dump and has a bear swat his head off with a single blow and then play with it on the bank like an oblong soccor ball, much to the horror of his friends. Old Groaner, found with 3 or 4 different caliber of bullets imbedded in his skull, coincidentally matching the calibers of a missing hunter. Etc, etc, etc.

Without question, the BEAR!
#34
Old 01-10-2007, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JThunder
Full-sized Ditka or mini-Ditka?
Well, to be fair to the bear, I guess it would have to be mini-Ditka.
#35
Old 01-10-2007, 01:04 PM
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C'mon now...haven't you folks played enough Tekken? Kuma only beats Yoshimitsu if neither player is very good. Otherwise, Yoshi's combos are too fast and his teleport and self-healing are a big upside as well.
#36
Old 01-10-2007, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy
You also apparently know nothing about bears. Grizzlies have been known to take a fatal round from a high-caliber weapon and continue to run for miles. Rounds from a .44 have bounced off of their skulls. They move incredibly fast, and dodging a bear charge is a near impossibility. The end result here would be a pile of bear scat laced with ghi.

I don't have any information to refute your knowledge of fighting bears. I just wanted to give a little credit to the human because it seemed as everyone was just assuming he would stand still and accept his fate. I also wanted to point out that winning the encounter doesn't necessitate a dead bear at the end. I think its well within the realm of possibility to injure the bear enough for it to disengage. Unless of course the animal is cornered or defending its young which was not specified in the OP.

If the animal is impossible to move away from then its basically an 5 lb. sword vs a 1K lb charging bear. No contest.
#37
Old 01-10-2007, 01:50 PM
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Bear wins! FLAWLESS victory...
#38
Old 01-10-2007, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus
I'll bet on the bear. Old Ursa may bleed out by the time he's through, but one swipe and the samurai is salami. .
Right. The samurai could do some serious damge, but the bear woudl kill the samurai before it bled out.

Nor, if we give the samurai full armor, we have a different bet. I say the samurai wins, but it badly hurt.
#39
Old 01-10-2007, 02:30 PM
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Given the specivity of the OP, I would say the bear. Not 100% though. There was an old retired man nearby who killed an attacking cougar with a pocket knife.

However I would just like to point out that the Samurai tradition has a long history, and their use of the sword in battle was not as prominent as their use of the long bow prior to the 14th century . Subsequently they did carry firearms as well.
#40
Old 01-10-2007, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlosphr
Og I hate these (vs) threads, but I was watching a documentary about the samurai sword and it's efficacy on the battle field, and they liken the sword to having "no mortal foe" on the battle field. (All guns aside of course) The way they portrayed it was that in one to one combat the samurai sword could best any foe if the swordsman was good enough.
Guy who trains in using a Japanese sword checking in. You're right, these A vs. B things are usually stupid topics.

I'd want a spear at least thankyouverymuch. I'd probably get some good slices in, but one hit from a bear and you're going to have some broken bones at best. If I were lucky, I'd chop off a paw and reduce his mobility enough to do more damage or get away, but I wouldn't want to place any bets.

The documentary was spouting a bunch of garbage. The mythology around swords in Japan existed even in the early days of legend, but swords were not ever seen as the end-all and be-all of weapons. They were actually considered secondary weapons on a battlefield. Spear infantry were higher paid and more valued than swordsmen in the Warring States period. Horsemen used their bows more than any other weapon, and archery was considered to be one of the main skills of a bushi. The focus on swordsmanship came about mostly during the Tokugawa era, late in Japan's feudal history, when open large scale warfare was practically nonexistent and when firearms were recognized as trumping archery.

Other misinformation in this thread:

You sure as hell can thrust with a Japanese sword. There are many thrusting and even half-swording techniques present in both armored and unarmored traditional Japanese sword combat. About half the kata I've been learning over the last couple of years feature a thrust, and thrusting is definitely a recognized and valued technique in old-style martial arts. It's been most thrown out in modern kendô, much as cutting has in fencing, but that doesn't mean the actual weapon isn't capable of it or that the technique was never used.

A sword that broke when it encountered armor would have been basically useless on a battlefield. In most time periods, samurai preferentially fought peers in battle, who would have armor of around equal quality to theirs. Edges were commonly damaged in combat, but the swords weren't made of glass or anything, and they would most likely not break when they encountered armor. In fact, a great deal of the construction of the sword was optimized for preventing breakage or extensive damage to the blade in adverse conditions.

There has always been an arms race between armor and weapons, no matter what culture and time you're talking about, and something that became useless would be either revised or discarded. Swords were around from ancient times up until pretty recently, even in the West. Actually, they were probably used in earnest more recently in the West than in Japan. That famous cavalry charge in Poland during WWII was made by guys armed with sabers, while Japanese officers were the only soldiers who had swords on them, and they were carried mostly as a token of office.
#41
Old 01-11-2007, 09:18 AM
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This Thread has obviously inspied people the World over.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...ne/6251079.stm

Quote:
The officers were threatened by a man with a knife after they discovered armed men trying to break into a house in Laygate, South Shields.

Another man armed with a samurai sword appeared and attacked the man with the knife, before leaving the scene.
And, since there are few Bears roaming the streets of the UK, they are warming-up on Burglars.
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#42
Old 12-20-2016, 11:49 AM
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Depend on a samurai and the sword

Average samurai with average katana would have slim chance.

However, master samurai, of good enough speed and strength would win if
- has well-forged folded steel katana (the swords tested by cutting dead cow in half and also slicing regular metal sword like a bamboo)
- apply the right strategy, similar as he would defend against charging armed horseman (step aside and cut horse legs)

Frontal confrontation with raging bear, would be, of course nonsense, the strategy should be to step fast enough and do lightning cuts to the targets like bear paws or snout. Once samurai is able to step on the side of the bear, the strike to the neck would finalize the fight. This strategy is how smaller predators fight large ones, e.g. wolverine against bear or lion against hippo, and has been taught in Budo, Aikijutsu and Aikido. Keys are haragei, sensing bear's intent and avoid it, and of course, ability to fast stepping aside and fast and strong cuts. It would be difficult even for trained figther to do this (even though it would give them fighting chance), but I would bet on Myamoto Musash or Morihei Uyeshiba (not to mention Obi Van Kenobi :-)) against any animal predator.
#43
Old 12-20-2016, 12:11 PM
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The samurai only has a chance if the bear stops to kneel and say "bless us, oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive...."
#44
Old 12-20-2016, 12:12 PM
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I think this forgets that a samurai's sword was not his only weapon and a samurai who sees a charging bear and decides to pull out his sword is not the smartest guy in the bunch. They were skilled archers and also used polearms either of which would work better against a bear than his sword would.
#45
Old 12-20-2016, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleel View Post
That famous cavalry charge in Poland during WWII was made by guys armed with sabers
Ahem.

Quote:
At 0800, the Germans broke through Polish Border Guard units south of the Polish cavalry, which forced the Polish units in the area to start a retreat towards a secondary defence line at the river Brda (Brahe). 18th Pomeranian Uhlan Regiment (18. Pułk Ułanów Pomorskich) was ordered to cover the retreat.

The battle

The 18th Pomeranian Uhlans spotted a group of German infantry resting in a clearing in the Tuchola Forest heath near the railroad crossroads of Chojnice – Runowo Pomorskie line.

Colonel Kazimierz Mastalerz decided to take the enemy by surprise and ordered Eugeniusz Świeściak, commander of the 1st squadron, to execute a cavalry charge at 1900 hours, leading two squadrons, about 250 strong. Most of the two other squadrons, and their TKS/TK-3 tankettes, were held back in reserve.

The charge was successful: the German infantry unit was dispersed, and the Poles occupied the clearing. However, German armored reconnaissance vehicles appeared from the forest road, probably part of Aufklärungs-Abteilung 20, and soon the Polish units came under heavy machine gun fire, probably from Leichter Panzerspähwagen equipped with MG 34, or Schwerer Panzerspähwagen equipped also with a 20 mm gun. The Poles were completely exposed and began to gallop for cover behind a nearby hillock.[5]

Commander Świeściak was killed, as was Mastalerz, who tried to save him. About a third of the Polish force was dead or wounded. On the other hand, the German advance was halted long enough to allow the withdrawal of Polish 1st Rifle battalion and National Defence battalion Czersk from the nearby battle of Chojnice.

The Polish cavalry charge impressed the Germans and caused a delay in the offensive of the German 20th Motorised Infantry Division which considered a tactical retreat. This was however prevented by personal intervention of Gen. Guderian, who in his memoirs stated that he encountered his staff "wearing helmets, preparing an anti-tank gun for a possible Polish cavalry attack,"[6] and that "the panic of the first day of war was overcome quickly".[7]

Quote:
The Polish cavalry charge stopped the German pursuit for the day, and the units of Czersk Operational Group were able to withdraw southwards unopposed. Also, it took the Germans several hours to reorganise and continue the advance. On September 2, 1939, the 18th Pomeranian Uhlans Regiment was decorated by Gen. Grzmot-Skotnicki, the commander of the Operational Group, with his own Virtuti Militari medal for valour shown in this combat.

The same day, German war correspondents were brought to the battlefield, together with two journalists from Italy. They were shown the corpses of Polish cavalrymen and their horses, as well as German tanks that had arrived at the place after the battle. One of the Italian correspondents, Indro Montanelli, sent home an article, in which he described the bravery and heroism of Polish soldiers, who charged German tanks with sabres and lances. Although such a charge did not happen and there were no tanks used during the combat, the myth was used by German propaganda during the war. German propaganda magazine Die Wehrmacht reported on 13 September that the Poles had gravely underestimated German weapons, as Polish propaganda had suggested that German armored vehicles were only covered with sheet metal, leading to a grotesque attack. After the end of World War II, it was still used by Soviet propaganda as an example of stupidity of pre-war Polish commanders, who allegedly did not prepare their country for the war and instead wasted the blood of their soldiers. As late as the 1990s, this myth was still taught in history classes in American and British high schools and colleges.

George Parada states:[8]

Contrary to German propaganda, Polish cavalry brigades never charged tanks with their sabres or lances as they were equipped with anti-tank weapons such as 37 mm Bofors wz.36 (exported to UK as Ordnance Q.F. 37 mm Mk I) antitank guns, that could penetrate 26 mm of armour at 600 m at 30 degrees. The cavalry brigades were in the process of being reorganized into motorized brigades.

The Poles also had the anti-tank rifle model 1935 (karabin przeciwpancerny wz. 35). Its calibre was 7.92 mm and it could penetrate 15 mm of armour at 300 m at 30 degrees. In 1939, the Germans were mainly equipped with the small Panzer I and Panzer II models, which were vulnerable to such weapons.
Another article

Quote:
Although the cavalrymen retained their Szabla wz. 1934 sabres, after 1937 the lance was dropped and it was issued to cavalrymen as a weapon of choice only. Instead, the cavalry units were equipped with modern armament, including 75 mm guns, tankettes, 37mm AT guns, 40mm AA guns, anti-tank rifles and other pieces of modern weaponry.
#46
Old 12-20-2016, 12:59 PM
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I'd bet on the bear.

But that being said the last Grizzly in Colorado was killed by a family friend, with an arrow, that he stabbed it with, and he survived.
#47
Old 12-20-2016, 01:04 PM
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The only way to kill that bear would be too stab him in the eye and force the sword into his brain.
#48
Old 12-20-2016, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
I don't know what this documentary was ( The History Channel maybe? I've been less than impressed with some of their offerings ), but the above is just crap. There is nothing at all mystical about a samurai sword and they were not kings of the battlefield. They just became the object of a cult-like fascination in Japan ( that was then transplanted to the west in the late 20th century ), one that was largely nurtured during the Tokugawa Shogunate, when battlefield combat pretty much disappeared.

As noted they aren't designed to hack through armor, they aren't designed for thrusting and a Kodiak's thick hide would almost certainly guarantee against landing a mortal blow. You'd have to be one phenomenally lucky samurai ( or have an easily discouraged bear, which is much more likely ) to survive such an encounter.
Right, samurai swords were not all that great. A few of them, made by mastercraftsmen, the ones which lasted until today are pretty darn good, but a good spear would be better. And any decent bladesmith can make a blade today as good or better than the best samurai sword from centuries ago.

Now if the samurai was wearing his full armor, he might win. Otherwise, he's gonna get in one really good hit, and be torn apart. Bear might bleed out later.
#49
Old 12-20-2016, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domgor View Post
Average samurai with average katana would have slim chance.

However, master samurai, of good enough speed and strength would win if
- has well-forged folded steel katana (the swords tested by cutting dead cow in half and also slicing regular metal sword like a bamboo)
- apply the right strategy, similar as he would defend against charging armed horseman (step aside and cut horse legs)

Frontal confrontation with raging bear, would be, of course nonsense, the strategy should be to step fast enough and do lightning cuts to the targets like bear paws or snout. Once samurai is able to step on the side of the bear, the strike to the neck would finalize the fight. This strategy is how smaller predators fight large ones, e.g. wolverine against bear or lion against hippo, and has been taught in Budo, Aikijutsu and Aikido. Keys are haragei, sensing bear's intent and avoid it, and of course, ability to fast stepping aside and fast and strong cuts. It would be difficult even for trained figther to do this (even though it would give them fighting chance), but I would bet on Myamoto Musash or Morihei Uyeshiba (not to mention Obi Van Kenobi :-)) against any animal predator.
I dont care if you have the best samurai sword made in period, they arent even as good as blades made today by masters.

And- bears aint horses.

Musashi was smart enough to not do this.

You want a fair fight vs the bear?

Full 15th century Condottieri foot knight plate, with a good half pike or similar pole arm.

The same guy who would defeat any samurai easily. Well, except those later period samurai who used guns.
#50
Old 12-20-2016, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Full 15th century Condottieri foot knight plate, with a good half pike or similar pole arm.

The same guy who would defeat any samurai easily. Well, except those later period samurai who used guns.

We did this one in 2005 (I started the thread) :


http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=301180
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