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"The Weighty Issue of Two-Handed Greatswords" Topic

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734 hits since 25 Feb 2017
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 2:55 p.m. PST

"The two-handed sword was a specialized and effective infantry weapon, and was recognized as such in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Although large, measuring 60-70 in/150-175 cm overall, it was not as hefty as it looked, weighing something of the order of 5-8 lbs/2.3-3.6 kg. In the hands of the Swiss and German infantrymen it was lethal, and its use was considered as special skill, often meriting extra pay. Fifteenth-century examples usually have an expanded cruciform hilt, sometimes with side rings on one or both sides of the quillon block. This was the form which remained dominant in Italy during the sixteenth century, but in Germany a more flamboyant form developed. Two-handed swords typically have a generous ricasso to allow the blade to be safely gripped below the quillons and thus wielded more effectively at close quarters. Triangular or pointed projections, known as flukes, were added at the base of the ricasso to defend the hand."…"


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Puster Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2017 12:30 a.m. PST

I sometimes wonder wether the main usage of this type of sword and especially the flamed versions was not vs. humans but against pikeheads.
Against humans helbards (for short distance) or short swords like the Swiss dagger or Katzbalger seem to be more effective, while there certainly was a demand to combat the "pressure" built up by the opposing block. Once hooked in a pike a "flamed" would probably be more effective in a saw-effect then a normal sword.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2017 3:04 p.m. PST



goragrad27 Feb 2017 10:03 a.m. PST

I have read several sources that stated that the two-handers were horse killers.

But then, as the article notes, there is a lot of mis-information out about them.

On the topic of sword weights, it always strikes a jarring note to read a historical or fantasy novel and have the author describe a character who has a 10 pound broadsword (particularly if female). But then there are the 12 pound axes, or even better a 20 pound maul.

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