The Halberd is one of the most effective and well designed weapons of the Medieval era. It is a fabulous weapon for displaying your colors or herald. It is so versatile that it has been retained as a ceremonial weapon for the Swiss Honor Guard.
Its history is very short if compared to swords and armor. What is this strange weapon and what is its value?
The Halberd consists of an axe blade with a peak opposite it and it is sometimes another axe blade. There is also a long spike or blade on the end and it is mounted on a long shaft. The early forms were simple and heavy (early 13th century) but gradually became lighter and more elaborate. The shafts had long straps on them to prevent their being cut.
It was used with great success as infantry weapon from the late Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. The use of this weapon in infantry battles, which resulted in victories troops facing heavy cavalry, amended the composition of armies and returned to give a vital importance to the infantry.
It was carried by sergeants in the British army until the end of the 18th century. The Swiss valued it so highly that they used in instead of the pike in their 15th century armies. Its use rapidly spread all over Europe.