Which sword to go for?


Having looked into this since seeing the Joss on the QE carry a sword during the commissioning ceremony, I’ve been looking into the rules on ratings and bladed weapons.

In relation to a table mentioning Cutlass with number 1As

Now the MAA on the QE has a sword that looks to me identical to an officers sword, with the exception being that the handle grip is black and not white.

Having looked online, the only images of cutlasses I can find are of a 1900 pattern that look like this:

Now I’m the BRs there is no mention of swords for ratings and the quote from BR3 is the only reference I can find.
Is the black version of the officers sword the current ratings cutllass or is the 1900’s pattern still extent?

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Little bit of confusion here I think between the MAAs sword and the cutlass:

The MAAs sword was indeed the original pattern worn originally by WOs (that's WOs of the pre-1949 variety), but was worn only by MAAs between 1918 and 1970, WOs wearing the same pattern as commissioned officers between those dates. It is identical to the officer's pattern sword in every way except that the grip is black instead of white fishskin, and it has a plain 'stepped' pommel instead of the lion's mane one that orifices have.

When the RN decided to introduce Fleet Chief Petty Officers, it was decided that they would be allowed to use the original WOs/MAAs pattern of sword, which remained the case when the rank was renamed WO and then WO1. For some reason, when WO2s were introduced in 2004, they weren't allowed use of this sword as well, which is probably going to be a moot point now the RN has decided to gradually phase out the rank (beginning in 2014), but it does beg the question 'what does a WO2 wear when armed?

As regards cutlasses, they were basically the ceremonial weapon (and originally the fighting one as well) of all ratings, junior or senior with it being of course phased out of active service in the 1930s (there was also a brief period in the late 1800s when there was a naval-style 'cutlass bayonet' that was short-lived.) They are a lot shorter than either the officer's or WO/MAAs sword, and have a plain grip. There was a second pattern after the 1900 one called the 1904 pattern, which is the one that is still used today (as used by escorts to a WECK or during a court-martial).

Feel free to lob insults, corrections, etc. my way.
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