A flame-bladed sword or wave-bladed sword has a characteristically undulating style of blade. The wave in the blade is often considered to contribute a flame-like quality to the appearance of a sword. While largely decorative, some attributes of the waved blade were useful in combat.
The terms flambard and flammard both mean "flame blade" and reference a normal cutting blade that had been forged with undulating or wave-shaped edges. The German word Flammenschwert translates to "flaming sword". This term encompasses the complete sword, not only the blade, as do flambard and flammard. These flame-bladed weapons most commonly took the form of the true two-handed sword or Bihänder. These weapons featured an exceptionally long grip and blade, as well as a long ricasso protected by a set of "parrierhaken" or parrying hooks also known as flukes. This upper guard protected the wielder's hand when gripping the ricasso. Used during the 16th century by the Landsknechts, the Bihänder found its place most commonly among pike squares. Here, the Bihänder was used in defense of important leaders by well-trained and experienced swordsmen, called Doppelsöldner (double mercenary) because they received double pay. It may have been the case that the wave-shaped edges were more useful for attacking the wooden shaft of an opponent's pike, cutting off the tip and thus rendering the pike relatively harmless. Contrary to popular belief, the undulating blades on these weapons do not impart a significantly greater or lesser ability to cut, slice, or thrust against a human target. Similarly, they do not especially weaken or strengthen the weapon; however, a sword with a flamed or scalloped blade has an increased cutting surface and a reduced overall mass. Its fashionable and eye-catching appearance, however, did lead to its use on larger, heavier ceremonial Paradeschwerter, or "parade swords".
The term flamberge, meaning "flame blade", is an undulating blade found on both long blades and rapiers. When parrying with such a sword, unpleasant vibrations may be transmitted into the attacker's blade. These vibrations caused the blades to slow contact with each other, as additional friction was encountered with each wave.
The term flamberge was misapplied by collectors and museums to blades that are historically named flambards and flammards. This misuse continues despite recognition of the error.
In a more accurate use, however, Medieval II: Total War features a foot soldier unit that uses two-handed swords in battle, available to the Holy Roman Empire and named Zweihanders and Forlorn Hope. Both units use straight-edged blades until their weapons are upgraded at a swordsmiths guild, after which they visibly become flambards. These men and weapons are available later in the game, reflecting their historical prevalence during the Italian Wars.
What a difference four months make. Last November, Bell X1 were decidedly flat when they road-tested songs from the then forthcoming album 'Blue Lights On The Runway' at this venue. With founding member Brian Crosby having just departed, their usual air of confidence was missing.
Apr 02, 2009; What a difference four months make. Last November, Bell X1 were decidedly flat when they road-tested songs from the then...
Roll up, roll up, the circus has come to town. But this is no ordinary circus, there are no threadbare lions or sagging elephants -- this is the circus of dreams, this is Cirque du Soleil and the impossible is possible.
Apr 02, 2009; Roll up, roll up, the circus has come to town. But this is no ordinary circus, there are no threadbare lions or sagging elephants...