War Hammer

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War Hammer

War HammerA 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. The handle of the war hammer varied depending on use. Short handles were used in close combat situations whereas long handles that were comparable to polearms in length, were used against horse mounted enemies. Bec de Corbin is the best example of such a weapon. In later periods war hammers featured spikes at the head of the hammer. War hammers as a weapon were used against evolving plate armor that featured hardened plates. The sword blows against hardened plate armor would simply ricochet or glance resulting in weaker blow; however, attacks with war hammers could transfer their energy through the plate without penetrating the suit of armor. The spike of the war hammer was used to attack the weakest points in the suit of armor as it was able to penetrate through the armor. The spike or the hook of the war hammer was also used to simply “peel away” pieces of suit of armor by attacking armor joints and straps.

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