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European HalberdA 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. The halberd was between 4 to 6 feet in length and was very similar in certain designs to Swiss voulge. Halberds were mostly used against mounted horsemen to pull them to the ground and it was also very useful to deflect spears and pikes. Halberds had many uses and because of their simplicity they were inexpensive to manufacture. With time, the halberd evolved and was reinforced with metal rims along the shaft. This reinforcement allowed halberdiers to block and deflect swords and other weapons. The halberd was used as the preferred weapon of guard officers and it is still used by the Swiss Guard in the Vatican.

History of Arms and Armor | Arms and Armor Glossary


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