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Jeroen Averhals




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Location: Flanders, Belgium
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: Dutch klewang, worth buying?         Reply with quote

Hello,

I am thinking of buying a Dutch Klewang or Klewang Marechausse, 1912, Milsco.
It is similar to the 1917 American cutlass.
I would like to know how the sword handles. If it feels heavy or balanced, is it a good cutter, is it well built,...
Are there any reasons I should or shouldn't buy it?
I saw that other forumites have had one but sold it, what were the reasons?
I am going to use it for testcutting.
I could buy an original cheaper then the Cold Steel replica, I also heard the CS one was poorly balanced, because it didn't have the distal taper the original has.

thanks for your replies,

Jeroen Averhals



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photo of the word

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technical drawing of the sword

Vigor et Veritas
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Luke Zechman




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm jealous... I have been looking for a deal like that for a while!! I have never really handled one but it my understanding that they are usually very well built and sturdy. Of course it condition of the piece does take into account, but the one in the picture you have seems to be in great condition. Good luck!
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Oct, 2009 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jeroen,

I'm a big fan of the klewang. It may not be the most refined sword ever, but it's a very reliable and versatile weapon. And one of the last infantry swords in combat use by a western army.

Since you posted the technical drawing, I assume that you already have the book "Klewang" by J.P. Puype? If not: GET IT! Big Grin Seriously, it's a really useful book to learn more about klewangs in general, and also about the klewang that you might eventually buy.

The klewang has been produced by quite a large number of manufacturers, but the following three are the most common:

Hembrug
- Made in the Netherlands
- Most of them have been used
- Light and well balanced
- Expensive, especially ones in good condition
- Scabbards you'll find on the market are often not original to the blades, and might fit poorly
- Examples in good condition with matching scabbard are really hard to find and are very expensive

Milsco
- Made in the USA (during WW2)
- A lot have been sold directly to the collector's market and were never issued, so they are usually in better condition than the Hembrug's
- A bit heavier and slightly less pleasant to handle than a Hembrug, but still a nice weapon
- Less valuable to collectors, and therefore less expensive on the market than a Hembrug

Cold Steel
- Modern made in India
- Well built, but a bit on the heavy side
- "Replica" is not completely historically correct, especially regarding weight, balance and the shape of the basket
- Scabbard is really well made too
- Inexpensive
- The only one you can damage in heavy test cutting and not feel guilty about

What I did myself is buy a Hembrug for dry-handling / collecting and a Cold Steel for "use". A Milsco does not really appeal to me, because it's still a unreplacable historical item, yet not as well handling as a Hembrug. On the other hand, if you want to get only one, perhaps a Milsco is not a bad solution. Alternatively, you could also get a Hembrug in bad condition.

Nevertheless, these swords won't depreciate if you maintain them well, so you might as well buy that Milsco and see how you like it. Big Grin
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Tomasz Nowak




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Oct, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject: My opinion         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

since Jeroen asked me to give some details on my Hembrug utlas, here they are: since a few years I liked the desgin very much, and was a while ago lucky to obtain an Hembrug original in a perfect, almost mint condition (although without a scabbard).

The design is very cool - as long as you go for the more heftier and simpler weapons, like I do. I wouldn´t call it leight or very well balanced, with 770g and the PoB some 15cm from the guard, it´s a bit tip heavy - but it´s a cutlas and, as such, rather desgined for cleaving than for any style of fencing. Though I have tried it only without a partner, even for sabre/ backsword drills, it is not the ideal weapon, but again, I don´t believe it was desgined for it.

What I like about it, is its simplicity: the guard is made from sheet metal, the grip is fastened with simple ritevs to the tang, the blade is blackened. Have a look for yourselves :-)

I´d say: Jeroen, get one :-) As far as I can estimate, pieces like mine in quality would cost something about 200 €, with a scabbard a little more. Pristine ones are really far more expensive.

Cheers,
Tomasz

PS:: Jeroen, do you have the technical drawing in a bigger resolution? I´d be interested.



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Tomasz Nowak
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: My opinion         Reply with quote

Tomasz Nowak wrote:
The design is very cool - as long as you go for the more heftier and simpler weapons, like I do. I wouldn´t call it leight or very well balanced, with 770g and the PoB some 15cm from the guard, it´s a bit tip heavy - but it´s a cutlas and, as such, rather desgined for cleaving than for any style of fencing. Though I have tried it only without a partner, even for sabre/ backsword drills, it is not the ideal weapon, but again, I don´t believe it was desgined for it.

PS:: Jeroen, do you have the technical drawing in a bigger resolution? I´d be interested.


Nice klewang Tomasz! Is the edge sharp?

I more or less agree with your comments regarding weight and balance, but it's quite subjective. To me, my Hembrug klewang feels quite light though. Balance is perhaps a bit "simple", especially compared to medieval swords.

There are fencing manuals for it though. I have a copy of one manual, but it's in Malay, of which I unfortunately don't know enough. Based on the pictures (of simple drills), it's quite European inspired. I would have suspected to see some Indonesian influences in klewang fencing, but I couldn't see it in the manual.

The drawing is from the book "Klewang" by J.P. Puype. The book is in Dutch, but with English captions and summaries for each chapter. If you can read German, then you might understand Dutch well enough to read some of the details in the text as well.
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Tomasz Nowak




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HI Paul,

no, the edge is not sharp. I thought about sharpening it, but decided to leave it as it is - one shouldn´t meddle with antiques, when they are in a good hape :-)

The fencing manual sound interesting, does it treat the Klewang cutlass in particular or sabres in general? I imagine it being equivalent to European/ American fencing books from the 2nd half of the 19th cent, showing sabre/ broadsword/ singlestick. I also wizld have suspected some Malayan influences, since the word klewand itself discribes an originally Malayan sword (afaik).

You´re rght, the Klewang is not that bad to handle, maybe I exagerrated. But compared with sabres from the same time (or a little earlier in order to have real fighting weapons, not only "dress swords"), it feels on the heavier side - but is light compared to the Blücher or Rumfort sabre. With the 780g, it is not heavy by itself.

Thanks for the book title, I´ll see if I can get ot somewhere (and yes, I speak and understand German, and even some Dutch - growning up ca. 20 km from the Dutsch border you üpick something up:-) ).

Cheers,
Tomasz

Tomasz Nowak
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Oct, 2009 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tomasz Nowak wrote:
no, the edge is not sharp. I thought about sharpening it, but decided to leave it as it is - one shouldn´t meddle with antiques, when they are in a good hape :-)
That's very good that you didn't sharpen it, since unsharpened klewangs are quite rare. Although mine is also unsharpened... Wink But it seems that most were sharpened during the mobilisation of 1939-1940.

Tomasz Nowak wrote:
The fencing manual sound interesting, does it treat the Klewang cutlass in particular or sabres in general? I imagine it being equivalent to European/ American fencing books from the 2nd half of the 19th cent, showing sabre/ broadsword/ singlestick. I also wizld have suspected some Malayan influences, since the word klewand itself discribes an originally Malayan sword (afaik).

It's exclusively about the klewang and for a Indonesian audience. I've studied Pencak Silat for about four years, and "Olympic" fencing for two and I had hoped to see a mixture between the two, but as far as I can see it's purely Western. Although one can't say for certain what kind of fighting style was actually used in the field. Perhaps it also depended on the background of the soldier and was any kind of fighting that was effective acceptable. But this book deals with very basic things, like the correct stance for a lunge, some basic parries with and without rifle, etc. I can't find it right now, but if I find it I'll try to post some pictures.

Tomasz Nowak wrote:
Thanks for the book title, I´ll see if I can get ot somewhere (and yes, I speak and understand German, and even some Dutch - growning up ca. 20 km from the Dutsch border you üpick something up:-) ).


See here:
http://www.amerigo.nl/nl/delft/9051668368.html

Or email here:
winkel@legermuseum.nl
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Jeroen Averhals




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Oct, 2009 1:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

thanks for all your comments.

I found a Hemburg with scabbard that was almost 100 euros more expensive then the Milsco.
But the Milsco is in a very good condition with a very nice scabbard. Probably like Paul said, because they were sold directly to the collectors market and have not been issued.

I just ordered the Milsco, I hope it will arrive soon. I'll post some pictures.

I found the technical drawing here :
http://www.dutchfleet.net/download/file.php?i...;mode=view

thanks for your replies,

Jeroen Averhals

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Reinier van Noort




PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks myArmoury...

Some more money spent... Sad




... and another great toy bought. Inspired by this thread I just acquired a Milsco Klewang. It's great; I'm loving it! Can't wait for the next testcutting opportunity! Chopping the box it was sent in to pieces was good fun already! Big Grin


Jeroen; how are you doing with yours?

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Jeroen Averhals




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm very glad I bought it.

I received it well packed. I worried about the scabbard, the leather is old and I was expecting to rub the leather several times with leather wax. When I unpacked (I had lots of trouble cutting the duct tape, opening the box because of my nerves) the leather felt perfect. It was oiled and without a single crack. The brass/copper of the scabbard was a little greenish.
The wood of the handle seemed used, what I like a lot, for the rest the sword is completely new. No scratch or mark on the blade. The blueing perfect, some tiny rust spots that came of with a bit of oil and a rag.
It feels different then my other one handed swords (blunt Pavel Moc, Albion Kingmaker and Pavel Marek blunt Baskethilt), what is normal because the Klewang doesn't have a pommel or other counterweight that is heavy enough. I guess, if the knuckleguard/basket had been thicker and heavier then the bent metal plate it is now, it would have made a huge difference in balance.
It has the factory edge on it, which did well against cardboard and pumpkins. Cutting through water filled milk cartons and plastic bottles didn't work. It could use some additional sharpening.

I paid 175 eur for a perfectly new sword with a leather scabbard with brass/copper fittings, I think I made a bargain, I'm very pleased with it.

Vigor et Veritas
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Reinier van Noort




PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov, 2009 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice! I got this one:

http://www.marktplaats.nl/index.php?url=http:...ilsco.html

for 100 euros.

No scabbard unfortunately, but I wanted a sword I could use for testcutting etc without worrying too much about ruining something expensive; this is cheaper than the Cold Steel repro!!!

I cut up the box it came in; no problem. I hope to do some more serious cutting with it next weekend!

School voor Historische Schermkunsten

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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Fri 04 Dec, 2009 6:08 am    Post subject: Re: My opinion         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
There are fencing manuals for it though. I have a copy of one manual, but it's in Malay, of which I unfortunately don't know enough. Based on the pictures (of simple drills), it's quite European inspired. I would have suspected to see some Indonesian influences in klewang fencing, but I couldn't see it in the manual.


I was raised in an Indonesian household, so I'm still quite familiar with the language except for some of the newest (2005 and later) teenage slangs. Is it possible for me to get access to that manual somehow? Scans would be handy, but I'd be grateful enough if you can give me the complete bibliographical information on the manual (full title, authors, publisher, year of publication, edition, and all that stuff) so that I could go out and start a search on my own for a usable copy of it. In return, I'd gladly provide a translation or a summary, especially if I'm allowed to put it up on the Web for free access and all.
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Luke Zechman




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Dec, 2009 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just found the Cold Steel model of this sword at "The Blade Shop." for 149.00 and shipping is free on orders over 125. Has anyone dealt with this vendor? This seems too good to be true. I have been looking to buy this model either authentic or reproduction for a long time now.


http://www.thebladeshop.com/Cold_Steel_1917_C...p/88cs.htm



If anyone has any information involving this vendor please pm me or post here. Thank you.
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Dec, 2009 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: My opinion         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
I was raised in an Indonesian household, so I'm still quite familiar with the language except for some of the newest (2005 and later) teenage slangs. Is it possible for me to get access to that manual somehow? Scans would be handy, but I'd be grateful enough if you can give me the complete bibliographical information on the manual (full title, authors, publisher, year of publication, edition, and all that stuff) so that I could go out and start a search on my own for a usable copy of it. In return, I'd gladly provide a translation or a summary, especially if I'm allowed to put it up on the Web for free access and all.


Thanks for the offer!

Getting scans is not a problem, but I need to find it first. I don't have the title etc. handy, but I think you won't have much success finding it anyway... I found it "accidentally" in the library of the Dutch Army Museum in Delft...

Luke, I'm not familiar with that vendor, but I've seen them on ebay for around $100, so $150 is certainly possible. However, Cold Steel does offer "factory seconds" and they might also end up on ebay, so I think you should ask the seller whether anything is wrong with the one you'll be getting.
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Agung Taufan Sofyana




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PostPosted: Fri 21 Mar, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Dutch’s Klewang - marked MILSCO (1940s)         Reply with quote

Hy Guys...

I have a sword Dutch’s Klewang - marked MILSCO, and I plan to sell

i'm from Indonesia. thxs

cp : +6285655722287

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