A halberd is a pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries. It consists of an axe head topped with a spike mounted on a long shaft. The back of the axe head was often fitted with a hook for grappling mounted combatants.
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Halberds were two-handed axe-like weapons consisting of four parts:
- a handle roughly 7 or 8 foot (1 m 70)long
- an axe blade
- a point
- often a hook or thorn on the back side of the axe blade
Halberds were the primary weapons of the early Swiss armies in the 14th century. Later on, the Swiss added pikes to better repel knight attacks, with halberds used for medium distances and short swords ("Katzbalgers") for close up.