Similar to the U.S. Marine
cutlass Napoleonic era cutlass was used by Pirates roaming
the Spanish Main. Features 24.5" curved metal blade,
simulated brass handle, leather scabbard with brass fittings.
" The cutlass was the hand to hand combat weapon
used when all shots had been fired from smaller arms.
Pirates were very pragmatic people and, in this, knew
that a shot from a gun was better than a slash from a
sword. Still, in the face of an empty firearm, the pirates
were determined enough to use such larger cutlery as a
means to the same end."
Many so-called pirates were really privateers. Privateers
were privately commissioned crews, ordered by the monarchs
of countries like England, France, and the Netherlands
to raid and capture enemy ships. Documents would be given
to the privateers from the king or queen making this legal,
but only in times of official war with the target country.
Pirates would capture and steal in war or peace. They
were not commissioned by anyone, and therefore piracy,
unlike privateering, was illegal. But since the supposed
privateers often forged their documents, the line between
the two was blurred.
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