More men have gone to their deaths in personal combat with the sword than with all other weapons put together, according to the author of this comprehensive history of classical and historical swordsmanship. Arthur Wise examines the sword's many uses and varieties, including the broadsword, two-hander, and rapier as well as the dagger, bayonet, and halberd. Historic engravings, line art, photographs, and other illustrations complement nearly every page of this fascinating study.Starting with the earliest extant accounts, this survey traces the development and theory of personal combat through the elaborate formality of the sword fight to the modern methods of commando raids and gang warfare, including the use of rifles and handguns. Despite the discussions of science and technique, this volume offers no coverage of sport fencing, focusing only on fights to the death. Readers interested in swordsmanship and weapons combat will find it a valuable source of information from dozens of historic manuals and period sources.