The Armoury : Hand Weapons


Battleaxe or War Axe

The Battleaxe (along with the spear) is one of the oldest weapons used by man. This version, with a back-spike dates from the 16th Century, but without the back-spike it could be an axe of an earlier period. This style of blade (A half moon) is also a later invention.


Viking War Axe

A variant of the standard axe (this is a custom) more appropriate to a Viking warrior.


Beaderd, Long or Great Axe

This sort of long hafted axe is suitable for overhead swings, and also for throwing at an enemy. This sort of axe is typical of that used by Saxon footmen as part of a shield wall. These axes were swung down at the heads of opponents, or used to smash their shields. It is also suitable for a Viking Warrior. In the 11th Century this was called a Bearded Axe.


Hatchet or Tomahawk

This is a small axe, probably originally a woodsman's tool. Such axes were often worn at the belt and thrown at an approaching enemy with one hand.


Long hafted Axe

Technically a modern fireman's axe, this weapon ins nevertheless the closest we have to a single bladed Saxon Axe of around the 1st millenium AD.


Woodcuting Axe

This is not really a weapon (though if much larger it would make a good Viking axe), but a wood-chopping tool. It does not have the size or weight to be an effective weapon.


Crushing Weapons


A very basic club, made of a branch. Most later clubs have round wooden heads, or can be made of metal.



Again a tool masquerading as a weapon. Warhammers have very long hafts and very small metal heads, sometimes spiked, designed to bash through plate mail.



Sometimes mistakenly called a Morning Star, a Flail is any sort of wooden haft with a weight attached to a chain. This is sometimes a ball with spikes, sometimes a metal or wooden bar. Often a flail has multiple heads. This would be a horseman's flail, a footman's flail would have a longer haft to let them strike over people's heads or at people on horses.





This is a mining and digging tool often pressed into service as a weapon. A Military pick has a much longer and thinner head, designed so strike trhough heavy plate mail. A Pick has the problem that it easily gets stuck in its target.