The Prussian officer class during the latter half of the long ninteenth centrury had a code that said if they were slighted and then instinctually reacted to strike down whoever had offended them it was honourable, righteous and permissable. If they, hesistated and let the slight or offense to their honour occur without immediately attacking the offender then they couldn't then come back and attack them or, say, chase them down the street etc...
However, what the code said and how Prussian military aristocracy acted were two very different things. I would be incredibly surprised if the same weren't true for the samurai.
Hence the duelling scars of the Prussian Officer Class. Yes, even Bismarck - though of hysterical mien - and he claimed the other person cheated.
In Britannia, the reason we drive on the Left, relates to the drawing of your sword.
Parliament. The Govt and Opposition Benches are 2 x sword lengths apart.
(Back in my box).
No. I was talking about if a non-member officer class/ military aristocracy offended a member officer class/ military aristocracy. If you were offended by a member of the officer class/ military aristocracy then you were supposed to have a duel that was supposed to take place under a strict set of rules and etiquette.
Originally Posted by Eddie Hardon
However, what the rules said and what people actually did were often two different things.
The facial scars are a whole different thing altogether and came from organised fencing competitions that took place at elite universities and military academies. These were apart from the duelling system and were a part of the wider notion of military honour and elite nature of the Prussian officer class.
I read about that. There were guys back then who'd deliberately cut their faces so that people would think that they were badasses and/or buy their phony tales of war heroism.
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
No real difference between this and turning up at a Remembrance Day parade wearing a sandy beret and rocking a VC at the end of the day, really. lol walts.
Yeh they were called Mensur, I think, and you wore goggles that protected the eyes and nose but left the cheeks and forehead unprotected so as to facilitate scarring.
Germany was somewhat unusual in terms of long ninteenth century duelling in that the pistol was the prominent weapon of choice as opposed to say, France where it was the epee. This obviously meant that the casualty rate from German duelling was far far higher than pretty much anywhere else in Europe.
If anyone wants to read more the key text is Kevin McAleer's Dueling: The Cult of Honor in fin-de-siècle Germany.
There are people who criticise McAleer for being a little to enamoured with the subject, but its a good read and very accesible for the non-historian. He spends quite a bit of time discussing the actual mechanics of duelling, techniques, weapon specs etc... So for those who aren't so interested in social contexts or literary surveys which also appear in the book there's some solid technical manly material to keep you interested and also some cool stories.
They still do it in a couple places. I've seen video, it's a silly practice. They stand bolt upright with the weak hand straight down, strong side to the "opponent." Both parties then twirl their foil in an orbit around their head like a lariat. If there's a scoring system, a strategy, or even a real object besides picking up a boss scar, I can't discern it.
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
You know that game where you take turns to kick each other in the groin until one of you gives up? It's a bit like that, but with swords and facial injuries.
Originally Posted by ermghoti
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