French sabre of the sailors of the Guard, First Empire
|Wars||Early Modern warfare, Ottoman Wars, Napoleonic Wars, American Revolution, American Civil War, Franco-Prussian War, Philippine Revolution, Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War, World War I, Polish–Soviet War|
|Produced||Early modern period|
The sabre (British English) or saber (American English; see spelling differences) is a type of backsword. It has a curved blade associated with the light cavalry of the Early Modern and Napoleonic periods. It was first associated with central European cavalry, such as the Hussars. It became widespread in Europe during the Thirty Years' War. In particular the Croat light cavalry helped spread it. In the 17th century a light sabre was also used by infantry. In the 19th century sabres without curved blades became common. These could be used by heavy cavalry. The last sabre to be given to US cavalry was the Patton sabre (Model 1913 Cavalry Sabre) in 1913.
The sabre was used as a duelling weapon in fencing in the 19th century. This has led to the rise of sabre fencing, which first appeared at the 1896 Summer Olympics. This discipline allows for cuts as well as thrusts, as did the historical sabre.