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Polearm, Piercing, Military, Blade, Swiss, German, Landsknecht, Latin Europe

The halberd was the first medieval polearm to achieve notoriety and was one of the most effective hand-to-hand weapons ever created. Pioneered by the Swiss, it became one of the most popular weapons in Europe and a key infantry weapon of nearly every European army from the 14th-17th Centuries. This heretofore unique weapon was essentially a big meat-cleaver mounted on a pole, with a pointy tip and a back-spike. The early form was really what came to be called a volgue (see Volgue). Gradually the shape of the blade changed to become smaller, pointier and somewhat more axe-like. The back-spike evolved into a kind of armor-piercing can opener and the tip of the blade itself evolved into a reinforced armor-piercing point like a spike. While most halberds made around Europe were iron, some halberds made by South Gerrman towns and notably in the Swiss confederacy had tempered steel blades, one of very few polearms to ever be made that way (tempered steel halberds have +1 AP).

NameSizeReachSpeedDefenseBase DamageAttack TypesPrimary Attack TypesArmor PierceGrappleHardnessHP

Fighting with halberds in tournament, from the Freydal manuscript, circa 1512

Halberd, German, early 15th Century

Halberd, early 15th Century Swiss

Halberd, German, Early 16th Century

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