This reproduction of a Katzbalger arming sword by Kingston Arms has a sharpened, triple-fullered blade forged from 5160 high carbon steel. Its well-detailed hilt is crafted from antique-finished stainless steel. The grip is a section of polished wood accompanied by a flaring pommel. The sword is paired with a wood core scabbard which is bound in well-stitched leather with a protective chape of stainless steel.
The iconic sidearm of the ostentatious Renaissance Landesknecht mercenaries, the Katzbalger was purpose-designed for a close-in melee between entwined pike and halberd formations. This example by Dragon King is responsive and agile with a broad blade which will chop and hack with great efficiency. The blade profile is tapered just enough to make it a capable thrusting sword as well. A large S-guard affords a wide plane of protection to the hand and forearm without adding excessive weight.
The Katzbalger seems to be designed with two expectations in mind: that it needs to be short enough to be used in close quarters combat and that it be wide-bladed with a robust blade and guard. The Landesknechts and their classic foes, the Swiss mercenaries, fought in close formation with pike and halberd. Should formations become entwined or lighter soldiers get in close to break up the formation in a flank, the Landesknecht could well find his primary pike, halberd or greatsword to be too long. He could drop it to draw the Katzbalger to ensure he was not outclassed in a close-in fight.
The broad blade certainly makes it a fierce chopper, but it also gives it durability and some mass to aid in deflecting or resisting larger weapons in a bind, which he might encounter from foes striking at a distance from behind a closer adversary in a tight fighting formation. The S guards on many Katzbalger are also notably thicker than the side rings on most rings on European sword hilts – perhaps this is an accommodation designed to resist powerful blows from larger weapons.