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History of Arms and Armor

Throughout centuries arms (weapons) and armor have always part of human culture. Weapons were first used to hunt animals for food and then, to defend against or attack other humans.

The earliest known weapons were stones, simple wooden clubs and spears. As humans progressed in the development of materials and techniques, so did their weapons. The first arrowheads, knives, and spearheads were made of stone or bone. Around 3,300 BC, for the first time, copper was used to manufacture tools, weapons and armor. Later, copper was replaced by bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Around 1200 BC, the first iron swords were made. Development of iron was very important as iron ore was more widespread than copper or tin ore.

The first armor ever used was simply skins of animals. The next step in armor development was the addition of harder materials to leather such as wooden plates or bone. Along the way leather was sometimes replaced by material woven from cord made of natural fiber or cloth. When metal was developed for the first time, it was used not only for weapons but for protection (armor) as well. At first small pieces of metal were incorporated into armor in the form of metal plates or scales attached to leather or cloth. Later, armor was made entirely of metal in forms such as helmets, breastplates, greaves or armguards. Early shields were first made of wood and leather but later were reinforced with metal or made entirely from metal.

The next development in armor was the invention of mail (also known as maille), armor made of interlaced metal links. In Europe, the use of mail was prevalent between 10th and 13th century AD. At the time mail was worn only by the upper class due to its high cost. Common soldiers normally wore a padded vest called gambeson or scale and ring armor. Between the 13th and 15th century, there was a transition period during which mail was gradually reinforced or replaced by plate (sheets of metal) armor. Chain mail shirts (hauberks) were eventually replaced by brigandines reinforced with large metal plates. Other additional protections were added such as knee cops and ailettes (shoulder armor). At the end of 13th century, the entire leg below the knee was covered by metal plates. The addition of metal plates progressed and by the end of 15th century the entire person was covered by plate armor with only small openings at the joints which were protected by chain mail. Between 15th and 16th century, during so called Gothic and Maximilian period, the plate armor was perfected and articulated and were real works of art. The construction of the armor became more complicated yet it offered more body coverage and protection at the same time allowing for full movement of joints and muscles. Royalty often had their armor decorated by etching, embossing and fire gilding.

The advent of firearms had a huge impact on armor. Heavy armor was no match against the increasing force and range of firearms and as a result, the armor was made lighter by discarding non-essential parts. The first armor to be abandoned was the leg and thigh pieces followed by the armor protecting the arms. The only part of armor that remained was the breastplate and backplate which were being worn throughout the Napoleonic times by heavy cavalry. This type of armor was meant to protect against sabers and light lances.

To this day personal protection armor exists, only now to protect against bullets. Bulletproof vests protect the main torso against bullets, just like breastplate and backplates protected the main torso against swords and such in times past. All that has really changed is the materials where stiff metal has given way to high tech flexible light weight materials such as Kevlar

Arms and Armor Glossary

Armet: Armet is a type of medieval closed helmet whose shape conforms to the shape of the head of the wearer and covers it in full. Armets were in use at the end of 15th century. Armets gave wearers a lot of advantages compared with other helmets as they were lighter and offered complete protection of the head, face and neck. The armets were improved adding steel gorgets. The advantage was that the weight of the helmet rested on the gorget and not on the head of the wearer. More about armets...

Arming Doublet: Arming Doublet is a padded garment that was worn underneath the armor to protect the wearer from chafing and stains and to serve as a cushion against heavy blows that landed on armor. The garment was usually made of heavy leather or other material. When chainmail was worn to protect the joints the chainmail was fastened to the arming doublet. More about arming doublet...

Armor: Any nation that has any pretense to a civilization has developed or adopted armor for their warriors. With time armor has gone through evolution on its own to adapt to new weapons or fighting techniques. Armor has also crisscrossed many borders as during wars or conquests many armor features were borrowed by either side. The first armor was very simple as it was made of ordinary leather. More about armor...

Aventaille: Aventaille is the front piece of a helmet or chainmail coif that is movable. The aventaille replaced the nasal from 11th century and preceded the visor that was used in 14th century. More about aventaille...

Barbute Helm: The barbute helmets were in use during the 15th century. A barbute helmet is a visorless helmet that originated in Italy. They featured a Y or T shaped opening for breathing and vision. More about barbute helms...

Barrel Helm: The Barrel Helm was the very large helmet used in 13th century. The helmet gets its name from its barrel shape. The helmet enclosed the head and the only openings in the helmet were the eye slits. More about barrel helm...

Bascinet Helm: The Bascinet type helmets were used in early 14th Century. The bascinet was a replacement of the great helm. The bascinet featured a smaller and lighter head-piece, which was somewhat globular in form, but was raised a little above the head, and terminated above in a point. More about bascinet helm...

Bastard Sword: The bastard sword, or contemporary espée bastarde, is a type of long sword dating from roughly the early 15th century. It received its name for fitting into neither the one-handed sword family, nor the two handed sword family, thus being labeled a "bastard". More about bastard sword...

Battle Axe: A battle axe is an axe that was designed for melee combat. A battle axe originated from a regular utility axe that served as a simple tool. Battle axes came in various sizes and were intended to be used in one or two hands. Axes that were used for combat had weight that ranged from one to six pounds. More about battle axe...

Bow and Arrows: A bow is a ranged weapon that projects arrows. The arrows are powered by the energy stored in the limbs of the bow. The energy is transferred from the limbs of the bow to the arrow when the string that holds the arrow is released. The bow is an ancient weapon that was used in various cultures all over the world. More about bow and arrows...

Bracers: A bracer is a protective sheathing (armguard) that was made out of heavy leather that was worn over forearms to protect them while shooting from a bow. The purpose of wearing bracers was to protect the archers arm from getting injured by the string of the bow or the feathers of an arrow. More about bracers...

Breastplate: In medieval weaponry, the breastplate is the front portion of plate armor covering the torso. It has been an armor mainstay since ancient times and was one of the last pieces of functional armor to be used on the battlefield because it protected the vital organs without limiting mobility. More about breastplate...

Brigandine: Brigandine is an armor that was made of plates of steel. The plates were overlapping and they were attached by rivets to garment that was made of cloth or leather. The plates were covered with tin to prevent them from rusting and also ruining the garment. The plates were usually on the inside and only the rivet heads were on the outside. More about brigandine...

Broadsword: A Broadsword is a sword that features a straight, wide and single-edged blade. Broadswords were the military swords used in 17th century and were distinguished from rapiers which were used as civil swords. Broadsword was the sword of the common people. The broadsword featured an elaborate basket hilt. More about broadsword...

Buckler: A Buckler is a small round shield that was usually held in left hand and used during fencing. The difference between buckler and other, regular shields is that bucklers had either one handle or two handles that were close together and they were held in one hand. More about buckler...

Buffe: Buffe, also called a falling beavor, was a plate face guard that was worn with open helmets beginning in 15th century and on. The buffe was usually held in place by leather straps or sometimes (especially when jousting) it was bolted to the breastplate. More about buffe...

Burgonet Helm: The burgonet helmet was in use during the 16th Century. The burgonet helmet features a characteristic comb and it has a neck collar. The burgonet helmet comes with a buffe that is either raised or lowered. More about burgonet helmet...

Cabasset: A Cabasset is an open helmet that was worn by foot soldiers in the second half of the 16th century and throughout the 17th century. The name cabasset is Italian and it means "pear". More about cabasset helmet...

Chainmail: Chainmail (also maille, often called as chain mail or chain maille) is a type of armor consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh. The word chainmail is of relatively recent coinage, having been in use only since the 1700s; prior to this it was referred to simply as mail. More about chainmail...

Claymore Sword: The Claymore sword was a large, two-handed sword and it was used during Late Medieval and Early Modern period. The claymore sword was used in Scottish clan wars and in the wars with the English between 16th and 17th century. More about claymore sword...

Club: The club is the oldest and the most widely used weapon. All the cutting and thrusting weapons were at some point derived from the club. Even today, it is still used as a weapon by some of the savage tribes or a weapon peasants use to protect themselves against wild animals in a jungle. Wooden clubs are often weighted with metal or stone set in the striking end. More about club...

Coif: Coif, also called chaimail coif or coif of mail is simply a chainmail hood. The purpose of the mail coif is to protect the top, sides and back of the head and neck. The coif was worn by the knights underneath a helmet and by the foot soldiers as a sole head protection. More about chainmail coif...

Corinthian Helmet: Corinthian helmet originated in ancient Greece and taking its name from the area of Corinth, the Corinthian helmet was a bronze helmet which in its later styles covered the entire head and neck, with slits for the eyes and mouth. More about Corinthian helmet...

Crossbow: A crossbow is a weapon that shoots bolts. Crossbows may come in various sizes and with various differences in how they are built; however, they always consist of a bow that is mounted on a stock and a mechanism that holds the string of the bow and the bolt. More about crossbow...

Cuirass: Cuirass is a form of plate armor and it consists of front breastplate and back backplate. Originally the word cuirass described only the front plate (breastplate); however, in suits of armor the breastplate was always used with the backplate and thus the word cuirass was understood as a complete set of both armor plates. More about cuirass...

Dagger: Daggers usually differ from knives as daggers are mostly double-edge and are intended for stabbing and knives are intended for cutting with their single edge blades. It is possible though, to use knives for stubbing and daggers for cutting. Daggers evolved from prehistoric tools which were made from bone, flint of ivory and were used as weapons. More about daggers...

Daisho: Daisho means a pair of large and small and it relates to the long swords and short swords carried by the Japanese Samurai warrior class. The long sword was the katana fighting sword and the short sword was the wakizashi sword which was used as a secondary sword in fighting or as a ceremonial sword used in ceremonial suicide. When entering one's house the long sword was always left in the vestibule and the short sword was laid down on a mat at the owner's right side. More about daisho...

Dirk: Dirk is a dagger carried by the Scottish Highlanders. The Scottish dirk features a heavy blade that is thick at the back and that is tapering uniformly from hilt to the tip of the blade. The blade is single-edged. The Scottish dirk has a barrel shaped handle with conical pommel that has a flat top. The dirk has no hand guard. The handles are either carved or decorated with brass studs. More about dirks...

Dussack Cutlass: The dussack cutlass is a very simple and inexpensive weapon which originated in either Hungary or Bohemia. The dussack cutlass was adopted throughout Germany due to the cost and cutting ability. The sword is made of a single piece of steel that was forged into a cutlass blade with handle that was formed by looping. More about dussack cutlass...

Estoc: Estoc is a sword with a long and narrow blade that is intended for thrusting. Usually the blade has a quadrangular shape. The estock swords were carried hung from the saddle when on horseback. When on foot they were carried passed through rings on a belt. At first they were carried without any scabbards but later scabbards were adopted for them. Estoc swords were used between 13th to 17 centuries. More about estoc...

Falchion: Falchion was a sword that was in use during the middle ages. The sword featured a broad curved blade that was widest near the point where the back of the blade joins the edge in a concave curve. Falchion was also referred to as fauchon. More about falchion...

Flail: The flail is a very ancient and widely used weapon. At first it was used as an ordinary agricultural tool to separate grain from grain chaff. It was later adopted for military use by adding weights or spikes to the shaft or by adding chains carrying weights. More about flails...

Gauntlets: Gauntlets are simply gloves covered with articulated plate armor that allows the wearer to comfortably wield weapons and at the same time provide protection to the hands. Knights hands were very vulnerable in close combat situations. More about gauntlets...

Gladius Sword: Gladius is a Latin word for sword. The Ancient Romans adopted their sword design from the Greeks, later during the conquest of Spain, they used swords that were similar to swords used by Celtic people of Hallstatt culture living in the Iberian Peninsula. More about gladius sword...

Gorgets: A Gorget was used mainly in the Medieval times to protect the neck of a knight. Gorgets were made of steel and often covered clavicles and sternum. At first, a gorget was designed to protect the throat against swords and other weapons. More about gorgets...

Great Helms: The first original design of the great helm was a cylinder with a flat top. The helm was sufficiently large to be put on easily over the chainmail coif and of such height that it reached down almost, if not quite, far enough to rest on shoulders. More about great helms...

Greaves: A greave (from 12th century French greve "shin", of uncertain origin) is a piece of armor that protects the leg. Often in matched pairs (a pair of greaves), greaves may be constructed of materials ranging from padded cloth to steel plate. More about greaves...

Greek Helmets: In Greek monuments, three distinct varieties of helms are depicted. One, which appears to date back from remote antiquity, consists of a close-fitting cap, a lengthened neckguard, pendant guards for the face which are attached to the cap on each side by hinges to give free movement. More about Greek helmets...

Halberd:  A halberd is a pole weapon that consists of the wooden shaft and an axe blade that is topped with a spike. The halberd is a two-handed weapon that was very popular during the 14th and 15th centuries, especially in Swiss armies. More about halberd...

Half Armor:  At the beginning of the 17th century guns became so effective and tactic used changed dramatically. As a result, mobility had become more important. This resulted in less armor being used. The armor that was still in usage consisted only of armor protecting the torso, back and arms and it was known as half armor. In many cases even the arms were unprotected and soldiers only worn cuirasses. More about half armor...

Hand-and-a-half Sword:  A Hand-and-a-half Sword is a long and straight-bladed sword that featured plain cross guard, long grip and rounded pommel. The sword was in use during the 15th century. More about hand-and-a-half sword...

Hauberk: A hauberk is a shirt that is made of chainmail. Hauberk usually refers to a shirt that is mid-thigh in length and features sleeves. Little hauberk also called haubergeon relates to a shorter version with shorter sleeves. Hauberks that are mid-thigh in length usually have slits to make horseback riding comfortable. More about hauberk...

Helmets: Helmets are one of the oldest forms of protective headgear. They were first used in 900BC by the Assyrians and later they were used by ancient Greeks and Romans. The usage continued until the end of 1600’s. Helmets were made from different materials. More about helmets...

Japanese Swords: A Japanese sword, also called nihonto is the traditional and historical bladed weapon of feudal Japan. Japanese swords are categorized according to their size, features and methods of manufacturing. The most famous Japanese sword is the katana sword which is a single-edge and curved long sword. More about Japanese swords...

Kastane Sword: Kastane is the sword used by people of Ceylon. The sword comes in variety of sizes and it can be either straight or slightly curved. The blades are usually single-edged and most frequently are made in Europe. Many of the blades bear East India Company trademark. More about kastane sword...

Katana Sword: The samurai sword The samurai sword is very often called a katana sword or simply katana. The name katana usually refers to Japanese samurai sword that has somewhat standardized size and curvature as older predecessor of the katana sword featured longer blade length and more curvature. More about katana swords...

Kidney Dagger: Kidney Dagger originated in Northern Europe at the end of 14th century. The dagger featured heavy blade with a wooden handle with a carved guard that was reminiscent of kidneys. The dagger was in use until 17th century. More about kidney dagger...

Kris Knife: The Kris knife is a typical Malay knife that originated in Java and which usage spread from Java to the entire Archipelago. The kris knife is a very old weapon. The kris knife can be found in various versions as every island in the Archipelago had its own design of the blade, hilt or scabbard. More about kris knife...

Lance: Lance was the spear used by horsemen. The lance consisted of four parts: the shaft, truncheon or staff; the head; the vamplate and the grate or grapper. Some of the lances were huge in size. For example the tilting lance was very large and heavy as it was almost 5 inches in diameter. Other lances were much lighter. More about lance...

Landsknecht: Landsknecht (also called Lansquinet) were German mercenaries at the beginning of the 16th century. Their main combat weapons were halberds, swords and pikes. Landsknecht wore armor that was called Lansquinet armor. The are famous for using giant, over 6 foot swords called landsknecht flamberge. More about landsknecht...

Lobster-Tail Helmet: The Lobster-Tail Helmet was an open helmet that featured a neck guard made of overlapping plates similar to lobster's tail. This type of helmet was in use in 17th century by Hungarian, Polish and French soldiers. More about lobster-tail helmet...

Locking Gauntlet: Locking Gauntlet was a gauntlet used in 16th century which featured extra long fingers that could be locked to the wrist. This setup prevented a sword, axe or mace from being dislodged from warrior's hands. These type of gauntlets were forbidden during tournaments and because of that this type of gauntlet was also called the forbidden gauntlet. More about locking gauntlet...

Main Gauche: Main Gauche was a left-handed used to guard while fencing. The main gauche was used in 17th century. The blade of the dagger was straight and was double edged. Some main gauche daggers had prongs sticking out on the sides of the blade and their aim was to catch the opponent' s sword. More about main gauche...

Maximilian Armor: The Maximilian Armor is a suit of armor style originally created for the Emperor Maximilian. This style of suit of armor was extensively used between 1500 and 1540. The main lines of the suit of armor are heavier compared with the Gothic style. More about maximilian armor...

Medieval Club: A medieval club was also known as truncheon, cudgel or bludgeon. A club is a very simple weapon made out of wood and it is usually wielded with two hands to deliver powerful blows. The injuries inflicted by a club are known as bludgeoning. More about medieval club...

Medieval Mace: A mace is a very simple weapon but a very powerful weapon thanks to its symmetrical shape. It doesn’t matter which side of the head of the mace is used as it will deliver a powerful blow to the enemy. The mace consists of the shaft and the head. The shaft of the mace can be made out of wood or metal and the head can be made of metal, wood or stone. More about medieval mace...

Morion Helmet: A morion helmet is an open helmet that was used in the 16th and 17th century. The morion helmet was often used by foot soldiers in various European countries. The morion helmet is usually associated with Spanish conquistadores. More about morion helmet...

Morning Star: The Morning Star also called a Holy Water Sprinkle is a shafted weapon with an enlarged head made of wood or iron that is studded with spikes. This type of mace was very common among peasantry for many centuries throughout the European continent. More about morning star...

Nasal Helmet (Norman Helmet): The nasal helm is a design of helm that was popular in the late Dark Ages through to the Early Medieval period. The nasal helm was a form of helm with a domed or raised center, usually formed around a basic skull-cap design, with a single protruding strip that extended down over the nose to provide additional facial protection. More about nasal helmet...

No-Dachi: No-Dachi or field sword was a giant and heavy sword that was used in early times in Japan by very strong warriors. The No-Dachi sword was carried with a regular sword which was about 25 percent smaller in size. The No-Dachi was carried across the warrior's back with the hilt sticking above the right shoulder and the edge of the blade to the left. More about no-dachi...

Odachi: Odachi is a long sword that was invented in Japan in 14th century. The Odachi sword was between four to five feet in length. The sword was often carried on one's back, slung from a shoulder. More about odachi...

Pig-Faced Bascinet / Hounskull Helmet: A hounskull, called in Germany a hundsgugel, was a form of steel helmet worn in Europe in the Middle Ages, almost invariably by knights and other mounted men-at-arms, from the middle of the 14th century until approximately 1420. More about pig-faced bascinet...

Pike: Pike was the spear of the heavy infantry in the ancient times. The head of the pike was small and it was usually in leaf or diamond shape. The head was mounted on a very long shaft. The top portion of the shaft was protected with metal for three or even four feet from the head to prevent from being cut by swords of the enemy. More about pike...

Plate Armor: Plate armor is personal armor made from large metal plates, worn on the chest and sometimes the entire body (suit of armor). Plate armor protecting the chest and the lower limbs was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it fell into disuse after the collapse of the Roman Empire. More about plate armor...

Poignard: Poignard is a small dagger that has a blade that is square or triangular in shape and as a result only useful for thrusting. Poignard was also referred to as poniard.More about poignard...

Pole Arm: Pole Arms, also called Shafted Weapons, are any form of cutting or thrusting weapons that are mounted on a long shaft. The shaft can be called a pole, haft or handle. The shaft usually was covered with metal at the top to prevent from being cut by the enemy. More about pole arm...

Pommel: A Pommel is the knob on the end of a sword, dagger, knife or on the butt of a pistol. The name "pommel" is derived from apple as many pommels resembled an apple. In case of swords and daggers the pommel also served as a counterweight to the weight of the blade. More about pommel...

Quilted Armor: Quilted Armor was an armor made of layers of linen or other cloth that was quilted together. This type of armor was common in Europe in 14th century. Similar type of armor was also worn China and other parts of Asia. More about quilted armor...

Rapier: A rapier is a relatively slender, sharply pointed sword, used mainly for thrusting attacks, mainly in use in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Rapier generally refers to a relatively long-bladed sword characterized by a complex hilt which is constructed to provide protection for the hand wielding it. More about rapier...

Roman Helmet: The Roman helmet design differs from the Greek helmet as it is in fact, an iron or steel skull cap that is strengthen by two cross-bands that are furnished with a hollowed neck-guard at the back. More about Roman helmet...

Sabatons: Satatons were the foot armor used by knights in the middle of 16th century. The sabatons only covered the upper part of the foot and were attached by straps that passed under the soles. Other names used for sabatons were "Bear Paw" or "Duck Billed" solerets. More about sabatons...

Sabre: Sabre is a sword with a single-edged blade. The sword usually a slightly curved blade with a short back edge. The sabre is intended mainly for cutting action; however, it can be also very effective for thrusting. More about sabre...

Sallet Helm: The Salet type Helmets were popular in the middle of the 15th Century. They were usually worn with a bevor and they protected the entire head. The Italian version of the salet helmet featured a long tail that covered the neck and it had a long eye slit opening. More about salet helm...

Scale Armor: Scale Armor was armor made by fastening scales of horn, metal or leather. The scales were fastened to leather or cloth. This kind of armor was used by the Romans during the middle ages in Europe and in other parts of the world. More about scale armor...

Scythe: Although, it was an agricultural tool, scythe frequently was used as a weapon. Simply the blade was reforged and was mounted in line with the shaft. Scythe was mainly used by peasants which now and then served as an improvised weapon. More about scythe...

Shields: The shield is one of the oldest pieces of personal armament. Shields were used in times where warriors did not have any helmets or cuirasses. Shields came in various sizes, shapes and were made from various materials, usually wood or metal or both. Most shields project in their center an umbo or boss of metal. More about shields...

Shinto: Shinto means in Japanese "new" and thus Japanese blades made after 1603 are called shinto katanas. Older blades were called "koto" meaning old. More about shinto...

Shirasaya: Shirasaya in Japanese means "white scabbard". Shirasaya was used as a sort of storage for blades when not in use. The handle and scabbard of shirasaya were made of plain honoki wood that was beautifully fitted and finished. More about shirasaya...

Spangenhelm: The Spangenhelm was a combat helmet used in early medieval times. It was a popular helmet design. The name of the helmet came from German language and it is actually a combination of two words “spangen” and “helmet”. Spangen was the frame of the helmet that consisted of thick metal strips that connected 4 to 6 steel plates. More about spangenhelm...

Spear: The A spear is a weapon that consists of a wooden shaft and a sharp tip. The tip of the spear can be sharp by itself or it may be made from a different material, most often iron, bronze or stone. The most common tip of the spear is usually made of metal and it has a triangular shape. More about spears...

Suit of Armor: The suit of armor came into use at the beginning of the 15th Century. The suit of armor was worn over regular underclothes and was attached to the wearer using leather straps and buckles. Chainmail was used to protect areas that could not be protected with plate armor. More about suit of armor...

Sword Breaker: Sword Breaker is a dagger with a short heavy blade with teeth on the back. The purpose of the weapon was to catch opponent's sword by lodging it in the teeth of the dagger and then break the sword. Sword breaker daggers were pretty large with teeth large enough to accommodate an enemies sword. More about sword breaker...

Swords: A sword is a weapon that has been used in many different cultures in various parts of the world. It usually consists of a long blade, guard, handle and pommel. The sword is used as a cutting/slashing and a piercing/thrusting weapon. More about swords...

Tanto: A tanto is a Japanese knife or dagger which features a blade that was between 6-12 inches in length. As every dagger, the tanto could be used as a stabbing weapon or a slashing weapon. Tanto daggers were very popular during the Muromachi period; however, their use declined during the Shinto period. More about tanto...

Two-Handed Sword: Any sword that is too heavy or too long to require the use of two hands is a two-handed sword. The large two-handed swords were the favorite swords in many parts of Europe. The Swiss were the ones that used it for the longest period of time. They even used it at the end of 15th century. In 1499 it was decided to replace the two handed sword with a shorter sword and a battle axe.More about two-handed sword...

Urumi Sword: Urumi, also called Chuttuval (coiled sword) is a flexible sword that is made of strands of flexible steel. The strands of the steel are sharp and are able to cut flesh. When carried, the strands are coiled into a loop and can be worn either around the persons waist or attached to a belt. More about urumi sword...

Vambrace: Vambrace is the armor for the forearm. At the beginning of the 13th century it was worn under the chainmail hauberk but later over the hauberk. In later years the chainmail was discarded and the plate vambrace was worn by itself. More about vambrace...

Vamplate: Vamplate, also called Avant Plate, was the large conical guard that was mounted on the shaft of a lance to protect the hand of the warrior wielding it. The vamplate was used between 16th and 17th century. More about vamplate...

Viking Sword: The Viking sword evolved from Roman spatha. During the reign of Vikings the swords grew in their length reaching up to 37 inches. The Viking swords featured single handed handles and characteristic semi-circular or lobed pommels. The Viking swords had deeper fullers to reduce the sword’s weight and at the same time increase the strength of the sword and flexibility. More about Viking sword...

Wakizashi: The word "wakizashi" means "side arm". The wakizashi sword is a traditional Japanese sword similar to the katana sword but much shorter. The wakizashi is on average about 20 inches in length. The wakizashi was usually worn together with the katana sword by the samurai warriors of feudal Japan. More about wakizashi...

Wallace Sword: The Wallace Sword is an antique claymore purported to have belonged to William Wallace (1270 – 1305), a knight and Scottish patriot who led a resistance to the English occupation of Scotland. More about the Wallace sword...

War Hammer: A war hammer is a medieval melee weapon used in close quarters combat. The name war hammer comes from the basic shape of the weapon as it looks like a hammer. The construction of the war hammer is simple as it only consists of a wooden handle (often war hammers had handles seared and blackened with flames) and a metal head made of steel or bronze. More about war hammer...

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