Before guns and ammunition, empires were established and protected using swords and other bladed weapons. Swords, knives, spears, and daggers have been the main weapons of choice of any warrior for millennia.
These bladed weapons we have included in our list were made of the finest and strongest steel available during its time. Even today, the best blacksmiths in the world with all the laser metal cutting technology available to them in Utah, Texas or whichever part of the country you’re in, still have a hard time replicating some of these lethal weapons.
These razor-sharp blades helped different military campaigns succeed through various points in history.
10 of History’s Most Awesome and Terrifying Bladed Weapons
The ancient Egyptians revered this sickle-shaped sword as a symbol of authority. This became one of their primary weapons during the New Kingdom period and was favored for its slashing ability especially in close-quarters combat.
This inwardly-curved blade is a staple tool and weapon in Nepal for centuries. The Nepalese Gurkhas are known as one of the toughest military units in the world and the kukri is still issued as their service knives.
The Celt-Iberian falcata was a popular sword from 500 B.C. to 100 B.C. Utilized for its ax-like chopping power and sword-like slashing ability, historians claim that its effectiveness in combat is what led to Hannibal’s victory over the Romans in the Battle of Cannae in 216 B.C.
- Ulfbehrt Sword
While the Ulfbehrt sword’s origins are still up for debate because these finely crafted blades were ahead of their time by centuries, the few Scandinavians that wielded them weren’t as concerned with their origins. What matters most to them is that the lightweight, strong, and flexible swords helped them terrorize and conquer ancient Europe.
- Bolo Knife
These Filipino machete-like blades were primarily used as tools for harvesting crops or clearing bushes. However, during the Spanish-American war, Filipino guerillas used these as improvised arms in place of firearms, dealing with the most gruesome deaths to their enemies.
One of the most famous bladed weapons throughout the world is the Japanese katana used by the noble samurais in ancient and feudal Japan. Perhaps the most famous katana ever is the HonjoMasamune crafted by GoroNyudoMasamune, the legendary swordsmith. It was owned by HonjoShigenaga, a 16th-century warrior, and was passed down several generations until it was lost in the second world war.
- Bowie Knife
The iconic American survival knife was named after the frontiersman, Jim Bowie. The Bowie knife is a large sheath knife that’s excellent for hunting and survival more than it is for combat. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t deadly, especially when placed in the hands of a skilled warrior.
- Roman Gladius
More than any other Roman weapon, the gladius helped establish the ancient Roman Empire. Made of high-grade steel, historians say this short double-edged sword has killed more soldiers than any other weapon in history predating the invention of guns.
They say that the best-bladed weapons have to be somewhat flexible. But the urumi took it a step further by being floppy. This is not to take away from the terror it can unleash. Its floppiness gives it a whip-like ability that can be easily manipulated by skillful and trained hands. Today’s version is made up of several blades attached to a single hilt for increased damage.
- Sword of Mars
Attila the Hun. Just the name itself is enough to strike fear and terror in the hearts of Europeans, specifically Eastern Rome, in the 5th-century A.D. A lot of legends were told about the savage conqueror, but one of the most famous tales involve his legendary sword.
Ancient historian, Jordanes, claims that a Hunnic shepherd found the blade while he was tending to his flock and presented it to Attila. Believing it was a gift from the gods, the barbarian warrior proclaimed that the sword was owned by Mars, the Roman god of war. He believed that his possession of the sword means he is destined to succeed in all his military conquests.
While most people might say that bladed weapons are outdated in today’s modern warfare, they still come in pretty handy and can still be relied upon for survival and combat.