The Dussack – a weapon of war


It is my belief that the development of the dussack is a direct response to conflicts between the Austria-centred Habsburgian and the “Turkish” Ottoman Empires and especially the Battle of Mohács in 1526 and the Siege of Vienna in 1529. The nobles and the army commanders simply wished for a weapon that could match the Turkish scimitars but the common Messer was much associated with the peasants and would not do.

Peasants feasting, most men carrying messers. Illustration from 1535 by Hans Sebald Beham.

The messer itself already had a nagle on the hilt and this appears to have evolved into the dussack alongside of other forms of complex-hilt swords in the late 1400s.

Consequently, the swordsmiths took the messer and added a modern high-tech complex-hilt to it and gave it a new name; the dussack, a Czech word with the meaning of fang and claw already used for a simple and crude knife with a curved tang quite similar to the bow on a complex hilt dussack.

The Dussack – a weapon of war »

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