Contents
 
Boy's Manual of Seamanship and Gunnery


Sword Exercise

NAVAL CUTLASS EXERCISE

This exercise is formed on the following principles :

I. That the " First Guard " is the most advantageous position which a man armed with a cutlass can assume for she purpose of " Attack " or " Defence."

II. That as a point can be returned with far greater rapidity and with much more deadly effect than a cut, a point is invariably to be returned instantly after having guarded a cut, or parried a point delivered by an opponent.

III. That after delivering a cut or point, the " First Guard" is to be immediately resumed, ready for instant " Defence " or "Attack."

It consists of two diagonal " Cuts, " one " Point, " and three " Guards. "

The division will fall in two deep in close order with swords sheathed. If with drill swords, without scabbards, the swords are to be held in the left hand as if sheathed.

"Attention" - Body erect; shoulders square to the front, and heels closed.

NOTE:-The instructor will himself perform each movement before the class, taking care that it is correctly performed before passing on to the next.

"Draw Swords." At the word " Draw," grasp the hilt With the right hand and the scabbard with the left, the rear rank stepping back one pace at the same instant; and at, "Swords" draw out smartly, and rest the sword on the right shoulder in a sloping position, keeping the fore-arm horizontal; this being the position of "Slope swords".

"Return Swords" At the Word "Return" grasp the scabbard with the left hand, and enter the point one inch; at "Swords," return the sword smartly, and then drop the hands by the side, the rear rank taking a pace to the front at the same instant.

NOTE:- The front rank will be marched across the deck, or single rank will be formed in the usual manner, after the class has been practised in drawing and returning swords.

"Prepare for Exercise" A caution.

"March" The centre file remains steady, the remainder face outwards and step off, each man glancing over the inner shoulder towards the centre file; and when at three paces from the position in which the man in his rear has halted he will halt, and dress up or back, as necessary, to give room for cutting.

NOTE.-The instructor will direct the class to face towards him, in eider to observe their manner of cutting, and to afford them a target to aim at. If necessary, the class will be closed in again when extended it) two ranks as follows :-"Close on the centre." "-March." Upon which the front rank will close on the rear rank, and then both ranks will close on the centre file. When extended in single rank, after closing on the centre, two deep will be re-formed in the usual manner.

" THE CUTTING PRACTICE."

A Caution.

" Guard" Step back with the left foot, bend both knees, and at the same time drop the point quickly to the front, raising the arm fully as high as the shoulder, and keeping it loose and free, with the elbow slightly bent, hilt in line with and covering the elbow; the left arm behind the back.

"Cut One." Step smartly out one short pace with the right foot, keep the left foot firm, the body upright, and straighten the left knee; at the same instant cut diagonally downwards from right to left, from the position of "Guard".

"Guard" Step back smartly one short pace, and form "Guard" as before detailed.

"Cut Two" As in "Cut one", but delivered from left to right.

"Guard" As before detailed.

"Slope Swords" Come to the position of "Attention" (bringing the left foot up to the right), and "Slope" as before.

NOTE: - The instructor will here and ALWAYS at the end of each section (that is, after "Slope swords") direct any (or each) file to "Prove" upon which the named file will come to the position of "Guard," go through what has just been taught, and "Slope" without further orders. The instructor will then give the order "CHANGE ARMS" and go through the section with the left hand in the same manner and again prove.

"THE GUARDING PRACTICE."

A Caution.

"Guard'' As before detailed.

"Second" The hilt should be just above the crown of the head, the point of the sword to the left front, and slightly drooped, the edge upwards to the front.

NOTE: - The instructor will, as often as may be necessary, bring the class back to the "Guard," by giving the order " First."

"Third" The hilt should be off to the right, and midway between the elbow and the shoulder, elbow close to the body, the blade with the point raised and bearing away to the left front.

NOTE: The instructor will as often as may be necessary, bring the class back to the "Second" Guard. Always return to the "Guard" before " Slope swords."

"Slope Swords" As before detailed.

NOTE: - The instructor will explain to the class that the 1st Guard defends the right side from the elbow downwards; that the 2nd Guard defends crown of the head and whole of the left side; and that the 3rd Guard defends the right side above the elbow.

"THE POINTING PRACTICE."

A Caution

"Guard" As before detailed.

"Point" Step smartly out as in "Cut one" and deliver point as quickly as possible for centre of breast without altering the direction of the edge, remaining out with the arm extended.

"Guard." Step smartly back and show 1st Guard.

"Parry." Parry as quickly as possible upwards and to the left by forming the 2nd Guard, and (without pausing an instant) downwards and to the right by forming 1st Guard.

" Slope Swords." As before detailed. (See Note to " Slope Swords," at the end of " Cutting Practice.")

" Guard." As before detailed.

" Second." Form the 2nd Guard, as detailed in the " Guarding Practice."

" Point." As before detailed.

" Guard." As before detailed.

" Parry." As before detailed.

" Slope Swords." As before detailed.

" Guard." As before detailed.

" Third." Form the 3rd Guard, as detailed in the "Guarding Practice."

" Point." As before detailed.

"Guard." As before detailed.

"Parry." As before detailed.

"Slope Swords." As before detailed.

NOTE. - In pointing, the arm is never to be drawn back, which causes delay and gives warning to the opponent; but the point should be instantly delivered from each Guard with the utmost rapidity, at the centre of the breast.

The General Practice is intended to teach the delivery of each cut or point from the 1st Guard (which is the best position a man armed with a cutlass can assume for attack or defence), and that immediately the cut or point has been delivered the 1st Guard is to be resumed.

" THE GENERAL PRACTICE. "

A Caution.

" Guard. " As before detailed.

" Cut One." As before detailed, in the " Cutting Practice."

" Guard." As before detailed.

" Point." As before detailed, in the "Pointing Practice."

" Parry. " Step back smartly, and parry as before.

" Cut Two." As before detailed, in the" Cutting Practice."

" Guard." As before detailed.

" Point. " As before detailed, in the " Pointing Practice."

" Parry." As before detailed.

" Slope Swords." As before detailed.

The object desired to be obtained by the Attack and Defence Practice is to impress on the men that, having guarded any cut or point delivered by an adversary, they should INSTANTLY return point to the breast, and having delivered the point, at once resume the position of " First Guard , " ready for immediate attack or defence.

 " THE ATTACK AND DEFENCE PRACTICE "

A Caution.

" March." The front rank will advance on the rear rank, the latter closing on the centre man to half-distance. If at close order, extend from the centre and take up the same ,position.

FIRST SECTION

Instructor.

Front (or Rear) Rank.

Rear (or Front) Rank.

"FRONT (OR REAR) RANK

 

 

"HEAD, POINT, AND GUARD."

A Caution.

A Caution.

"GUARD."

As before detailed.

As before detailed.

"HEAD."

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, and "Cut one" at head.

Defend the head with the 2nd Guard.

"POINT."

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and parry by forming 1st Guard.

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, and deliver the point as quickly as possible for centre of breast; remaining out with the arm extended and edge of sword up.

"GUARD"

As before detailed.

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot and form " Guard," as before detailed.

"SLOPE SWORDS."

See Note to "Slope Swords" at the end of the Cutting Practice.

 

 

SECOND SECTION

Instructor

Front (or Rear) Rank.

Rear (or Front) Rank.

" FRONT (OR REAR) RANK "

 

 

" ARM, POINT, AND GUARD "

A Caution.

A Caution.

"GUARD"

As before detailed.

As before detailed.

" ARM "

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, and "Cut two" at arm.

Defend the arm with 3rd Guard.

" POINT "

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and parry by forming 2nd Guard.

Step smartly out a short pace. with the right foot, and deliver the " Point," as detailed in 1st Section.

"GUARD"

As before detailed

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and form "Guard, " as before detailed.

" SLOPE SWORDS"

See Note in 1st Section.

 

 

THIRD SECTION

Instructor

Front (or Rear) Rank

Rear (or Front) Rank.

"FRONT (OR REAR) RANK."

 

 

" THIGH POINT, AND GUARD "

A Caution.

A Caution.

"GUARD "

As before detailed.

As before detailed.

" THIGH "

Step smartly out a short Pace with the right foot, and " Cut one" at thigh.

Defend the thigh with 2nd Guard.

" POINT "

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and Parry by forming 2nd Guard.

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, And deliver the " Point, " as detailed in 1st Section.

"GUARD."

As before detailed.

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and form "Guard," as before detailed.

 

FOURTH SECTION

Instructor. Front (or Rear) Rank. Rear (or Front) Rank
"FRONT (OR REAR) RANK."

 

 

"LEG, POINT, AND GUARD"

A Caution.

A Caution

" GUARD "

As before detailed.

As before detailed.

" LEG "

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, and "Cut two" at leg.

Defend the leg with the 1st Guard.

" POINT "

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and Parry by forming 2nd Guard.

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, and deliver the "Point" as detailed in 1st Section.

"GUARD."

As before detailed.

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and form "Guard," as before detailed.

"SLOPE SWORDS."

See Note in 1st Section.

 

 

FIFTH SECTION

Instructor Front (or Rear) Rank. Rear (or Front) Rank
" FRONT (OR REAR) RANK "

 

 

" POINT, POINT, AND GUARD."

A Caution.

A Caution.

"GUARD."

As before detailed.

As before detailed.

"POINT."

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, and deliver the " Point, " as detailed in 1st Section.

Parry the "Point" by forming 2nd Guard,

" POINT."

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and parry the " Point " by forming the 1st Guard,

Step smartly out a short pace with the right foot, and deliver the" Point," as detailed in 1st Section.

"GUARD."

As before detailed.

Step smartly back a short pace with the right foot, and form "Guard," as before detailed

" SLOPE SWORDS."

See Note in 1st Section,

 

 

The foregoing Sections of the Attack and Defence Practice are to be performed in quick time, the Instructor denoting the point of attack. For instance, take the Third Section:

Instructor.

Rear Rank.

Font Rank.

" GUARD "

As before detailed.

As before detailed.

" REAR RANK "

A Caution, to show which rank is to attack.

A Caution, &c.
" THIGH " Cut one at thigh, parry " Point" with 2nd Guard, resume Guard. Defend thigh with 2nd Guard, return "Point," resume Guard.
" SLOPE SWORDS " See Note in 1st Section.

 

LOOSE PLAY

The men being perfect in the foregoing exercises, should now commence loose play. Only two opponents are to engage at the same time, the Instructor watching most carefully for any defects in their modes of attack and defence, and pointing them out. When a hit is received, the man hit is at once to recover to the guard, and then drop the point of his sword in acknowledgement.

It is most important that the following points should be very clearly explained to the men:

The eye should be fixed on that of the opponent, weight of body divided equally on both feet, the proper distance kept by advancing or retiring with rapidity ; every effort to be used for the purpose of taking off the attention of opponent and causing him to expose a weak point. It must especially be remembered that a point can be returned very much quicker than a cut, and with far more effect ; therefore when a man has guarded a cut or point, he should instantly return point at breast, and then assume the 1st Guard, as being the. best position from which to attack or defend. During the attack, if a man sees a weak point in his opponent more open to the delivery of a cut than a point, he should, of course, attack with a cut, but having guarded a cut or point, he should always return a point instantly.

SWORD BAYONET EXERCISE

The division will fall in two deep.

" Fix Swords. " As detailed in the " Manual Exercise. "

NOTE.-The front rank will then be marched across the deck, or single rank will be -formed in the usual manner.

" Guard. " Step back with the right foot, bend both knees, at the same time bring the rifle to the position of " Charge swords, " except that the right wrist will be upon the upper part of the hip, and the left elbow close to and in front of the body.

" Point. " Point quickly at centre of breast, extending the arms, elbows under, and then resume the position of "Guard."

" Advance." Close the right foot to the left, and then instantly advance the left foot.

" Point." As before detailed.

" Retire." Close the left foot to the right, and instantly step back with the right foot.

" Point. " As before detailed.

" Right Parry. " Keeping the left elbow close into the body, carry the point off quickly to the right front, at the same time inclining the barrel to the right, and then immediately return to the position of " Guard."

NOTE: This parry will carry off all cuts or points delivered at the right side. When necessary to parry a high or low cut or point, the point must be smartly raised or lowered at the same time that it is carried to the right. The instructor will occasionally direct the men to give a high or low parry by denoting the point of attack, thus : "Head." A caution. " Right Parry." As above detailed.

" Left Parry." Same as " Right Parry, " and the same note, but for " Right " put " Left, " except " Left elbow."

" About. " Turn to the right about on the heels, and at the same time smartly change the hold of the rifle with the right band at the balance, grasping the small of the butt with the left, and sink down again to the position of " Guard. "

NOTE.-The whole of the foregoing drill will now be gone through with the rifle at the left side, after which the word " About " will be again given, when the division will resume their original front.

" Order Arms." As in the " Manual Exercise, " bringing the right foot up to the left.

NOTE.-The original formation in two ranks will now be resumed.

" Unfix Swords." As in the " Manual Exercise. "

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