The first swords appeared in the Bronze Age and by the middle ages, most battles were fought with them. As these were times before firearms, even the Emperors, Kings and generals had swords, usually special ones made especially for them by the best sword makers. Because of their importance in battle, they have played a major role in our history. This is not a list of the top 10 famous swords or the top 10 best swords, it is a list of the 10 most famous deadly swords, and does not contain any swords of myth, even though they may be two in one swords or multi branched swords, they are all real swords that are known to still exist today and are listed with their current locations, if they are known.
Tomoyuki Yamashita’s Sword – West Point Museum, USA
This is the sword owned by a General of the Japanese Imperial Army who surrendered both his sword and his army to General MacArthur at the end of WW11. The blade of the sword was originally made between 1640 and 1680 with a new handle being added in the 1900s.
Curved Saber of San Martin – National Historical Museum of Argentina
Between 1778 and 1850, an Argentine general by the name of Jose de San Martin played a major role in the fight for independence for the southern part of South America and as well as being famous in Argentina ,is also known as the 1st Protector of Peru.
Seven-Branched Sword – Isonokami Shrine located in Japan
In the 4th century, there were three kingdoms of Korea and this sword was made for King Geunchogo of the Western Kingdom, to give as a gift to the king of the eastern kingdom. It was designed for ceremonial purposes, not as a weapon.
Wallace Sword – National Monument, City of Stirling, Scotland
This is the sword used by Wallace at the battle of Stirling Bridge and the battle of Falkirk in 1297 and 1298 respectively. King James 1V of Scotland is said to have paid 26 shillings in 1505, to have the sword wrapped in silk.
Tizona – Museo de Burgos, Spain
El Cid is famous in Spain for their fights against the Moors. During these battles El Cid is said to have used many different swords but this is one of the two most famous.
Napoleon’s Sword – Unknown
This sword was given, by Napoleon, to his brother as a wedding gift in the early 1800s and has been handed down through the generations of Bonaparte’s since. Although being declared a Nation Treasure in France, it was auctioned in 1978 with no details of the final bidder being given.
Sword of Mercy – Tower of London, UK
This sword now makes up part of the Crown Jewels and is one of only 5 swords used in official British coronation ceremonies. The sword was originally owned by King Edward the Confessor before the Norman conquests of Britain in 1066.
Zulfigar – Al-Jafr Collection, Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi
Being the sword owned by the Prophet Mohammad’s son in law, this Scimitar is said to have been used at the Battle of Trench. The sword is said to be priceless as it is one of the symbols of the Muslim faith.
Honjo Masamune – Unknown
This sword was passed down to Shoguns for generations and in 1939 was named a Japanese treasure. After WW11, it was given by Japanese police, to a Sgt of the United States 7th Cavalry and hasn’t been seen since.
Joyeuse – Louvre, Paris, France
There are two swords said to have belonged to Charlemagne, King of the Franks, who, in 1800, was named Emperor of the Romans and under the name of Charles 1, became the first Holy Emperor of Rome. This sword is in Paris and the other, a saber, is in the Weltliche Schatzkammer located in Vienna.