How were Zweihanders used in battle?

How were Zweihanders used in battle?

250 Piece Survival Gear First Aid Kit

LifeStraw Water Filter for Hiking and Preparedness

250 Piece Survival Gear First Aid Kit

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    with zwei hands

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      why are there no dreihanders then?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Because it was very wet back then.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    To cut three armoured enemies in half with a single swing

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      okay Longinus

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Nobody really knows. Some theories are that they were vanguards ahead of formations to cut the heads of enemy spears, or that they were used to hold down chokepoints, buts that's all nerd conjecture and unsubstantiated. We simply know that they were used.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Some theories are that they were vanguards ahead of formations to cut the heads of enemy spears
      I've heard this before as well but it sounds like utter bullshit, as would be obvious to anyone who's ever done much woodwork or fricked around with a sword or machete. A live sapling? Yeah you can cut that with a sword, but a spear is dry hardwood. You could eventually succeed in chopping a spear handle in half if it were securely mounted but it would take multiple hits from opposing angles the way a lumberjack fells a tree with an axe. But a spear that someone is holding out at arms reach? That's not solidly secured, there's no way anyone is chopping that with a sword. Hell, Tod Cutler has videos up on Youtube testing the theory that you could use a sword to chop the heads off arrows that were stuck in your shield...nope, that doesn't work either even though an arrow shaft is much thinner than a spear.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The big thing is probably that zweihanders were used to sweep at and disrupt the pikes of the enemy block when the two formations closed. It's hard to stab people when some dickhead with a huge sword is knocking your pikes out of the way where he's got the leverage advantage. Even once the blocks close and the push of pike sets in, you can't grab his sword like you would a pike because its a sword.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That makes total sense, it's easy to visualize a sword swing pushing pikes to the side, either for defensive purposes or to create an opening. And perhaps the meme of "chopping the head off the pikes" came from someone looking at old illustrations of that technique and misunderstanding what they were depicting. The goal wasn't to chop up the pikes, it was to knock them aside.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It could've come from misunderstanding an old illustration, it could've come from an anecdote about an old rotten pike shaft breaking or badly-affixed pike head being knocked off and then spread in the way old anecdotes tend to.

            It's definitely one of those things where I'd love to see a reenactment of, get a bunch of people, form two pike blocks, and toss a zweihander in there to see how much more difficult it makes it for the other block to work.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          yup, they had double pay for that reason too, he was the fricker that created the opening.

          or died first.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The notion of chopping the heads off of pikes comes from an overly literal interpretation of the phrase "breaking up a pike block" or the shortehand reference to zweihanders as "pikebreakers" - This does not mean they were literally used to chop pikes apart, but as other anons have alluded to, the introduction of a man well skilled in violence whirling around a sword as long as he is tall could have a chaotic effect on an otherwise well disciplined well order pike block. How long would you wait to flee when you see everyone to the left of you being hacked to pieces while you can do nothing but hold onto a 20 foot long unwieldy pole with both hands or you'll be poked to death from the front?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That makes total sense, it's easy to visualize a sword swing pushing pikes to the side, either for defensive purposes or to create an opening. And perhaps the meme of "chopping the head off the pikes" came from someone looking at old illustrations of that technique and misunderstanding what they were depicting. The goal wasn't to chop up the pikes, it was to knock them aside.

        It could've come from misunderstanding an old illustration, it could've come from an anecdote about an old rotten pike shaft breaking or badly-affixed pike head being knocked off and then spread in the way old anecdotes tend to.

        It's definitely one of those things where I'd love to see a reenactment of, get a bunch of people, form two pike blocks, and toss a zweihander in there to see how much more difficult it makes it for the other block to work.

        The notion of chopping the heads off of pikes comes from an overly literal interpretation of the phrase "breaking up a pike block" or the shortehand reference to zweihanders as "pikebreakers" - This does not mean they were literally used to chop pikes apart, but as other anons have alluded to, the introduction of a man well skilled in violence whirling around a sword as long as he is tall could have a chaotic effect on an otherwise well disciplined well order pike block. How long would you wait to flee when you see everyone to the left of you being hacked to pieces while you can do nothing but hold onto a 20 foot long unwieldy pole with both hands or you'll be poked to death from the front?

        A very nerdy HEMA instructor told me they were used by groups of body guards to intimidate people and make crowds back up by twirling them. Makes sense

        https://i.imgur.com/eb42Ikp.jpeg

        As the other Anon said, there are few concrete mentions or manuels about the battlesword - but educated guesses can be made.
        Björn Rüther, a german HEMA practicioner and teacher, is of the opinion that one can derive techniques for the battlesword from the longsword and the halberd/bill or the more duel focused scriptures.
        Video which focuses on the tchniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdEkVKzuptA
        In the following article he goes into more detail about the usage of the battlesword:
        https://hroarr.com/article/the-use-of-the-german-battle-sword-in-the-late-16th-and-early-17th-century/
        >tl;dr
        The battlesword had three main usages. Firstly being the arm of lower officers, which marked their status. Secondly being employed as the guard for the captains and the colors. Thirdly being interspersed (togehter with other shorter arms like halberds and bills) within the predominantely pike formation in order to defend the friendly pikemen and offend the hostile ones, when the push of pike became harsh.
        The second point (that being the color guard) I can verify somewhat with the woodcut in pic rel, which is from the second half of the 16th century. On the left side Landsknechte carrying battleswords are depicted and the text above them reads:
        With the battlesword we strike them
        When our formation has been breached/beaten
        And the enemy wants to shame us
        Breaking in and aiming to take our flags/colors
        Then we strike/attack them with glee
        The flags/colors we will protect just fine
        Our life and body are worth double the pay
        Thus we carry the battlesword
        (in german it rhymes more :D)

        Swordtubers and HEMAgays are flabby morons.

        You don't have to cut through a spear with one slash like in a fricking anime for people slamming blades into your spear to be a serious problem, you just have to chip away at it until it's compromised. Spears broke all the fricking time in war for thousands of years, even without people striking against them with heavy steel weapons.
        Polearms and other wood hafted weapons in many places were made with langets, strips of metal bolted on SPECIFICALLY to decrease the amount of damage the haft took.

        Anyone who's ever so much as chopped wood or used a sledge hammer in their life knows how much wear and tear the wooden handle of a tool accrues from regular use even when there isn't someone slapping it with a five foot blade.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          You are not chopping pike heads because one great swordsman would be facing at least 6 pikes from the front. They just stab him through if he tries that. It is kinda possible for men at arms in full plate that has good protection from pikes, but not for landsknecht who have breastplate with tassets at best.

          The big thing is probably that zweihanders were used to sweep at and disrupt the pikes of the enemy block when the two formations closed. It's hard to stab people when some dickhead with a huge sword is knocking your pikes out of the way where he's got the leverage advantage. Even once the blocks close and the push of pike sets in, you can't grab his sword like you would a pike because its a sword.

          Same thing they just stab him through. Another thing for swinging great sword there is need for much space, such soldier deploying inside or upfront his own pike block would be distrupting his own pike front now less.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >one great swordsman would be facing at least 6 pikes from the front.
            Massive moron, every rank of supporting pikes lags behind the one in front of it by several fricking feet. You have far, far less leverage holding a pike from the end than a sword can generate, as well.

            >They just stab him through if he tries that.
            >just win bro
            >if someone shoots you just dont get hit bro

            Spears of every design have broken on the battlefield in sufficient numbers that warriors and smiths thought it was a serious concern for all of human history.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >you just have to chip away at it until it's compromised.
          "chipping away" is generally not an advisable tactic.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >"chipping away" is generally not an advisable tactic.
            Ah, the guy who's never worked a day in his life would be the expert here.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >You could eventually succeed in chopping a spear handle in half if it were securely mounted but it would take multiple hits from opposing angles the way a lumberjack fells a tree with an axe. But a spear that someone is holding out at arms reach?
        having cut wood since i was a kid, as those peasant soldiers would have done, i would assume they were cutting the grain of the pike down its length, and not across it. because you don't get long lengths of tree with a crosswards grain, so you know that's how the grain runs. you could do this easily from resting the sword on your shoulder in a tight formation. this is how you split wood, it would be how you break a pike.

        >That's not solidly secured
        it's secured enough to run someone through.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >it's secured enough to run someone through.
          Duuuude, pikes are floppy:

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      bodyguards too, using their swords to keep people from approaching

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >cut the heads of enemy spears
      It's definitely not this. Even with someone holding it from both ends for you to chop it, cutting through a spear would be extremely difficult. That said, this misconception probably is rooted in some kind of reality. Because they really were used alongside formations of pikemen to do something. And if that something was swatting at pikes to create openings for others to advance through then it's easy to see how that could be misconstrued as chopping at them with the intent of directly damaging the weapons themselves.
      This would also be consistent with their other known use case as a weapon for bodyguards where it is speculated that their advantage was that they allowed one man, through the use of large sweeping motions, to defend against multiple attackers.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I have theory they were used similar to this

    As you see police set ups "blocks" of soldiers who provide base, but there are also troops who leave blocks and attack in dispersed formation acting individually.

    I think in pike and shot it was similar. Pike blocks installed base and Doppelsöldner armed with great swords or habderds acted in dispersed formation leaving these blocks.
    Why? While pike blocks have massive power and defense they are low mobile and can't break formation. It means that soldiers acting in individual formation can come close to pike blocks relatively safe and fire arqebus and pistols point blank. If pike blocks moves in their direction they can fall back faster than block , and if they attack flanks, like block can't even move there without breaking formation that is no no. This is time for skirmisher soldierd who can leave formation and chase individualy enemy troops who try to aproach pike block.
    Aslo when to pike blocks fight each other they point pikes into one direction and their flanks become vulnerable and Doppelsöldner can aproach rhee flank to attack exposed flank soldiers (and if these soldiers turn pikes to the side they wekaen their front that pushes against enemy pikes).
    What weapon is better suited for such individual soldiers? Great Sword and halberd ar the best, they can attack any opponent with good effect. Great Sword has small edge over halberd as it better suited for chopping horse legs off, and armored cavalry was ubiquitous for that battlefield, but any armored cavalry has exposed horse legs (and landsknechts had nor moral presumptions against attack riders mount).
    Of course such individual fights required especial skill, strength and bravery this is why these soldiers where from the best and got double pay.
    Something like that.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'd believe it. Italian spadone/montante were used similarly in gang warfare (crowd control). So yeah, your main block locks down the enemy block, then your zweis flank in and start mowing the lawn.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I mean if all else fails you swing it into someones face and hope for the best

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    As the other Anon said, there are few concrete mentions or manuels about the battlesword - but educated guesses can be made.
    Björn Rüther, a german HEMA practicioner and teacher, is of the opinion that one can derive techniques for the battlesword from the longsword and the halberd/bill or the more duel focused scriptures.
    Video which focuses on the tchniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdEkVKzuptA
    In the following article he goes into more detail about the usage of the battlesword:
    https://hroarr.com/article/the-use-of-the-german-battle-sword-in-the-late-16th-and-early-17th-century/
    >tl;dr
    The battlesword had three main usages. Firstly being the arm of lower officers, which marked their status. Secondly being employed as the guard for the captains and the colors. Thirdly being interspersed (togehter with other shorter arms like halberds and bills) within the predominantely pike formation in order to defend the friendly pikemen and offend the hostile ones, when the push of pike became harsh.
    The second point (that being the color guard) I can verify somewhat with the woodcut in pic rel, which is from the second half of the 16th century. On the left side Landsknechte carrying battleswords are depicted and the text above them reads:
    With the battlesword we strike them
    When our formation has been breached/beaten
    And the enemy wants to shame us
    Breaking in and aiming to take our flags/colors
    Then we strike/attack them with glee
    The flags/colors we will protect just fine
    Our life and body are worth double the pay
    Thus we carry the battlesword
    (in german it rhymes more :D)

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    A very nerdy HEMA instructor told me they were used by groups of body guards to intimidate people and make crowds back up by twirling them. Makes sense

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    it is a giant fricking sword
    it isn't rocket surgery to figure out

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Like long swords except longer and girthier.
    The pommel was a weapon, the cross guard was a weapon, the blade was a handle, it could be flipped over and used as a mace. It could be used to break poles and unarmored spears. It had reach.
    Surprisingly light.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Hold das wiz zweihand

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The same was the Swiss used halberds, just shittier

    That is, color guard and fricking shit up during the push of pike

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Ceremoniously.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The general interpretation is that the bidenhander/zweihander/geschlachter swerd or whatever term coined was a used to disrupt pikes and formations, attack flanks (especially those were some men were routed or about to flee/break), guard banners and colors and as a bodyguard weapon. The anti-cavalry notion seems more an older role in greatswords, like the claymore, against mounted knights where mass polearm blocks were not as common (although Scots did make use of such tactics). The zweihander was much more refined in use and technique by the period it was employed.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Area denial. The Zweihander was a big sword with a lot of reach so you could swing it in these big intimidating arcs. Sure, you could try blocking the blade but it'll probably smash right through your guard. On the battlefield you'd use them to screen the flanks of pike blocks, keeping flaking attacks at bay while arquebusiers wittled them down enough for the pikeblock to run the enemy over.

    ?si=fjUvJTZScQwKB_oB

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    No one actually knows. They don't make a whole lot of sense, but we know they existed and have depictions of soldiers carrying them.

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    With two hands it says right in the name.

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >R1 spam

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >BLACK FLAME
      >BLACK FLAME
      >THAT MEANS NEW GAME PLUS b***hES

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It's time to pwn some noobs

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Shock troops

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    they were probably half-sworded and used like a more versatile pike, primarily for thrusting. its mostly theorized they were used to break up pike formations but I am honesty skeptical of that, I think they were probably used more like a pike themselves. pikes are unwieldy though and less useful on their own. A zweihander could be used by a single person effectively.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      We know they were deployed against pikes to great success just like shorter polearms.

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >sei nicht das thunking ist bie likken dat
    >boot ist doo

  21. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Harassment and skirmish.

    T. My feelings

  22. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Noone really knows

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *