The Oakeshott Type XV sword was developed during the arms race raging during the 14th and 15th centuries.
While previously the swordman only had to content with maille, helmets and shields, more and more metal plates were being introduced until - by the time a sword like this was needed - plate armor was in full swing, making a knight close to invulnerable from normal cutting and cut and thrust orientated swords.
While this type of sword CAN cut, it discards the cut in favor of its specialty and primary use on the battlefield. And that use was to seek out, pry into and pierce in between the gaps of knights who were effectively like walking tanks. And so the relatively narrow blade is made with either a reinforced diamond cross section or hollow ground and tapers strongly to a long, dagger like needle pointed tip.
You would think that considering this type of sword was quite a common sight on the medieval battlefield for around 200 years, as well as the number of this type that are in museums, that there would be at least a few replicas of this sword type. But alas, that is not the case.
Del Tin of Italy used to make a couple of Type XVs around the $450 price point, and for a while there was a bargain priced replica of the now discontinued Shrewsbury Sword (pictured left) - but all have since left the market, suggesting that among modern day medieval sword collectors and enthusiasts, a sword specialized to tackle the problem of plate armor was just not something they were willing to fork over their money for..
Thankfully, for those few who do appreciate this unique style, there are some very nice high end replicas out there suitable for even the most demanding sword connoisseur.
MyArmory has an excellent in depth article on Type XV swords here which explains their history and lists some high end reproductions and images of actual antiques.
And of course, you can - and should - read more about these swords and all the others in the Oakeshott Typology in his book, Records of the Medieval Sword
I hope this information on the Oakeshott Type XV sword has been helpful. To return to Oakeshott Typology Made Easy from Oakeshott Type XV Swords, click here