GERMANY: Unavoidable Delay

The swordmakers of Solingen, in Western Germany, knew a thing or two about cutting edges long before Richard the Lionhearted matched blades with wily Saladin. Roman soldiers who had served in the East brought many of the steelmaking secrets of Damascus into the Rhineland, and in the 6th Century Theodoric the Ostrogoth pronounced Solingen's swords worthy of Vulcan's own forge. Charlemagne armed his warriors at Solingen's smithies. During the Crusades they produced the finest blades in Christendom. In the 16th Century the smiths of Solingen engraved the proud label, "Solingen made...

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