Russian shashka, legendary Russian sabre used by cossacks, by Russian Imperial army and even by Soviet cavalry troops. History of Russian shashka saber. Shashka-ultimate sabre from Eastern Europe.
Russian Shashka is a special sabre, razor sharp, single-edged, single-handed, and guardless sword worn by Cossacks and Imperial army of Russia. In appearance, the shashka was midway between a full sabre and a straight sword. It had a slightly curved blade, and could be effective for both slashing and thrusting. The blade was either hollowed or fullered. There was no guard, but a large, curved pommel. The hilt was frequently highly decorated. It was carried in a wooden scabbard that enclosed part of the hilt. It was worn with the cutting edge to the rear, opposite to the sabre.
Russian cossacks armed by shashka (Kuban cossack regiment, end of 19th century)
History of Russian shashka
The shashka originated among the mountain tribes of the Caucasus in the 12th or 13th century. Later it was used by most of the Russian and Ukrainian Cossacks. So there are two styles of shashka: the Caucasian shashka and the Cossack shashka.
It was a typically Adyghean (Circassian) form of sabre, longer than the Cossack type, in fact the word shashka came from the Adyghe word Adyghe: “Shashkwa” means “long knife”. It gradually replaced the sabre in all cavalry units except hussars during the 19th century. Russian troops, having encountered it during their conquest of the Caucasus, preferred it to their issue sabres. It was adopted first by the Russian Caucasian Corps in the 1830s. In 1882, when the cavalry was reorganized, the regular dragoons were armed with the shashka. Cossacks had received this type of sword earlier. Several forms of shashka were carried by Soviet cavalry into the Second World War.
Russian Shashka features:
Missing guard-shashka is hidden in scabbard.
Shaska has a very sharp, double or triple fullered blade.
The blade of Shaska is wider than blade of a common European sabre.
Shashkas were often decorated by silver, gold or a precious gems.