How good a weapon are halberds?

How good a weapon are halberds?

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There is a reason they dominated the battlefield until firearms were invented

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      halberds appear in the mid-14th century, 100 years after the development of firearms, and they would be in use for 250 years together.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >halberds appear in the mid-14th century, 100 years after the development of firearms, and they would be in use for 250 years together.

        Why did halberds come into use at that time and not before?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Polearms had been in major use for a thousand years before, the nomenclature is used to denote the head style, shich just evolved with tactics/armor/metallurgy of the time.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That anon got some weird date. Some early/proto versions of the halberd seems to start appearing on the 13th century (as did other complex polearms shortly after), however he is right that halberds as most people think of them do a appear in the 14th and 15th century. Blackpowder is also is first mentioned in Europe in the 13th century, with the first references to its use as a weapon in the early 14th, cannons around the start of the 100 years war, and firearms around the mid of that same century, so you could say halbers and firearms effectively coexisted (and full plate armor as well).
          As for why halberds and other complex polearms started appearing around the same time. The truth is that nobody knows for sure, but Ive read one interesting theory that it had to do with collapse of the feudal system of raising armies and increased reliance on mercs and levying people from the camp and town militas as a replacement for people who would rather pay in money show up for war. Those people werent as wealthy as feudal vassals to fight on horseback with spear/lance and sword, so they would show up with spears and weapons improvised from farming tools, and since they were fighting on foot, it was reasonable for them to have a "spear but more", and so they did, and we start seeing complex polearms appearing with some designs proving to be particulary effective and being copied by others.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            NTA but I assumed that Halberds came about due to armor advances. Correct me if I'm wrong but around the 13th century we started seeing coats of plates and that's not something you can stab through with a spear.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              That is correct, I think one of the earliest possible evidence might go as back as the first decades of the 13th century, but its accepted that by the end of that century it was basicaly a standard piece of equipment.

              Its complicated, and hard to say for sure, armor advancements definitively plays weapon, and it might have been one of the factors that would make the foot soldier interested in something that is like a spear but more. However, cant that also be said for almost every weapon? You can say that spear wont stab through a coat of plates( and it probably wont stab through a decent coat of mail either unless it is a couched lance), but is a stabbing halberd any different? or is a swing halberd any different from any other two handed axe which had been well established by that time? Personaly, I dont think neither of them would be able to cut reliably through plate with most of the harm being through blunt force, that is to say that they are no better than any other long stick with a heavy end, and probably worse than some of poleaxes.

              Damn that was through a steel helmet?

              He most likely was without his helmet. It seems to be a common cause of death amongst nobility.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          to say its only armor is probably wrong, if anything halberds were probably more effective against lighter armored opponents
          so my best guess is that it was due to tactics changing and how armies were organized
          when halberds started being common it was mostly in the 15th century, before that they had very limited use and heavy plate armor was already commonplace
          what changed was that armies shifted to becoming privatised rather than being ruled by the state (these mercenaries may even only be loyal to their country and never actually fight for others, but still expect better pay and were more professional than the main armies)
          i cant say why exactly this changes what weapons were used, just that it did

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I can kinda see it. Mercenaries have different priorities than national armies. A mercenary is more concerned with staying alive and has both the expertise and funds to equip themselves accordingly. This meant a long, general purpose weapon that lets the merc keep the enemy at a distance.

            Likewise, ransoms were lucritive so a mercenary wanted a weapon that could hook and pin an opponent in place. Halberds are pretty good at snagging pieces of armor so if you had a couple of friends you could drag a knight out of the saddle, lock down his sword arm, and then pin him to the ground. Bam, a year's wages in half an hour of work.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >dominated the battlefield
      That would be pikes.

      halberds appear in the mid-14th century, 100 years after the development of firearms, and they would be in use for 250 years together.

      The Siwss guard still use them, it was also the "default" weapon for most trabant guards. The dudes in OP's pic are also trabants.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Austrian trabants in 1900.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >chop?
    Yes
    >stab?
    Yes
    >hook?
    Yes
    >reach?
    Yes
    >leverage?
    Yes

    Billhooks, halberds, poleax, bec de corbin… all similar and more or less do the same thing. Dominated infantry warfare for over 100 years for a reason.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      No it didn't. Wall of pikes dominated.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    pretty cool lookin

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Billhooks are underrated

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Halberds were the militia and the watch's preferred weapon because they could function as both military weapon, firefighting tool, and policing tool. The rise of the popularity in the West of halberds coincided with the advent of semi-professional militias, starting in Italy with billhooks, and as the tradition moved into France and Germany the halberd was developed as it was just a more localized variant of "generic polearm with cut-and-thrust". In England the power of the yeomen and longbow tradition did see the billhook play second fiddle but it was the preferred melee arm.

    The last mass usage of halberds ended in the mid 18th century as bayonets replaced the need for a designated melee weapon and the bardiche fell out of favor.

    Naturally, Halberds, or some similar tool, would likely make a return should state run emergency services fall back out of favor and community watches return as the combined tool of "keep away" "pull burning shit" and "pull person" would match very well with modern sidearms.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous
  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >How good a weapon are halberds?
    All depends on what the other guy brought to the fight

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >laughs in Voulge

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Short answer, yes. Long answer, it was something of an unsung hero for centuries, killing kings and peasants alike. They screened Pike flanks and guarded castle gates. They managed mobs and rescued victims from burning buildings. From the earliest prototypes of the 13th century to the cerimonial versions used by British Sergeants until 1793 the Halberd was there quietly playing second fiddle for every other weapon.

    Pic related. Richard III was killed by a Halberd even with a steel helm.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Damn that was through a steel helmet?

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That is correct, I think one of the earliest possible evidence might go as back as the first decades of the 13th century, but its accepted that by the end of that century it was basicaly a standard piece of equipment.

        Its complicated, and hard to say for sure, armor advancements definitively plays weapon, and it might have been one of the factors that would make the foot soldier interested in something that is like a spear but more. However, cant that also be said for almost every weapon? You can say that spear wont stab through a coat of plates( and it probably wont stab through a decent coat of mail either unless it is a couched lance), but is a stabbing halberd any different? or is a swing halberd any different from any other two handed axe which had been well established by that time? Personaly, I dont think neither of them would be able to cut reliably through plate with most of the harm being through blunt force, that is to say that they are no better than any other long stick with a heavy end, and probably worse than some of poleaxes.

        [...]
        He most likely was without his helmet. It seems to be a common cause of death amongst nobility.

        By some accounts there was bits of helmet driven into Richard's skull. Remember that the length of an axe is proportional to how fast you can get it moving, hence why tree felling axes are longer than hatchets. The Halberd mounts the axehead on an unpreceded 1.8 meters of pole so we can assume it hits harder than any other axe.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    They're great, 'swhy lotsa people used them. You can poke up or down, you can hack, you can bash, you can hook and drag, unbalance, unhorse, it's good shit man!

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