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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Which Was The Most Lethal One Handed Anti Plate Weapon?         Reply with quote

Much is made about maces, axes and war-hammers as go to weapons against armored opponents. But which one is most likely to be lethal in the press of battle? Could maces and war-hammers kill or axes crack or dent armor? Which of these weapons is the most effective in the most situations?
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Poleaxe is the most versatile, it has range, power and several points for different purposes, but would have less use on horse...
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Cole B





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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Between maces and warhammers, they both serve a pretty similar purpose. I'd say the fact that they both existed and were widely used shows that they were good enough to bet your life on.

Axes are not really in the running for anti-armor, they turned into poleaxes with hammers and backspikes for a reason.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want to go through the armour, then a spiked hammer or similar. (I like the zaghnal, which is the Indian version. Here is an example.)

Deadlier to go around the armour, though. The dagger is the deadliest one-handed anti-armour hand-to-hand weapon for this reason.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Josh S





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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jun, 2012 7:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Handgun Razz

More sincerely, they each have their advantages. A hammer - or put more accurately, the spike on the back of a hammer - can go through thinner sections of plate. But your alignment has to be perfect, seeing as plate armor was always full of curves and contours... And unless your strike is strong enough to reach your enemy's heart, kidneys, etc., chances are he can still fight for a while longer. As for the hammerhead itself, it too faces only one direction, so your alignment has to be good to get full use out of it as well.

A mace, on the other hand, can impact on any of its faces with equal effectiveness. Because of this, I would *vastly* prefer a mace if I was going to fight someone in armor and my only choices were between a mace and a one-handed hammer. Even if a hammer were, in concept, more powerful, a weapon's power is only as good as the use you get out of it. A hammer/spike strike that skates off your enemy's armor is just wasted energy that, furthermore, leaves you open for counterattack. Not that a mace cannot also skate - it can, but in its case this is due solely to where you hit the armor, not due to both where you hit *and* how you hit, as it is with the hammer or spike. As pointed out above, a dagger + wrestling skills might be even better. A mace would just be so easy to use, though - primal, bash away!
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well when it comes down to deciding between a mace or a warhammer, I'd choose a warhammer because it has a spike on one side and a hammer on the other. Best of both worlds.
╔irinn go Brßch
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From the 'deep' age of mail to 16th century we have a lot of similar depictions - seizing opponent by the head and stabbing him to the face with dagger, knife, short sword, dague....

Gain control in grapple, at least for a while, and try to stab where there's no/limited armor. Effective and very intuitive too.

Trying to actually whack trough armor would always be kind of problematic, and indeed probably attempted with maces, clubs, hammers, spikes...
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh,

But medieval handguns are two handed......

cole,

One of the things about most later war axes with spikes is the head is often fairly hefty and sturdy, something often akin to a hammer head where the head was thick, some even stubby sort of like a hammer head. I imaine it would not likely ever penetrate but could ding up armour and impact the person through it on occasion.

bartek,

Of sort of wonder how common grappling is in real combat as a general occurance. Once you are focused on one man that long and now how no primary weapon his friend is going to brain you with a halbard or pole axe.

I do agree the most effective way to take an armoured foe out is around the plate. That said in a full set piece battle a dagger would become more of a last resort in my mind as it is hard pressed to parry or black the more heavy two handed weapons and limited reach would put the bearer in a disadvantage to most every one in the enemy army.

RPM
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Josh,

Of sort of wonder how common grappling is in real combat as a general occurance. Once you are focused on one man that long and now how no primary weapon his friend is going to brain you with a halbard or pole axe.



That could definitely happen, but it all depends on situation. He may not be able to do it, because he's occupied with other combatants (grappled, stabbed, pushed away).

Or cannot easily do it due to low chances of defeating your helmet without hurting his ally.

Other than that, wrestling someone down doesn't really have to be "that long", in fact often may be way less prolonged than striking with some "main" weapon without chance to inflict solid blow.

Other than that, grappling tends to be absolutely common no matter if anyone actually tries to attempt it. after all!

Someone exchanges two defended strikes while moving forward, both miss, and when distance closes, they're clinched.

In boxing, or even most modern reenactment combat, ref is going to break people up, in actual combat fight would continue.

So while warriors in some kind of shield wall, spear wall, or whatever, exchanging blow wouldn't likely doing much grabbing, those were not only situations possible, even at pitched battlefield.


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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is what Master Fiore (1409) has to tell us about the dagger and wrestling.
Quote:
I am the noble weapon called the dagger, and I'm in love with close play. If you know my deceptions and my art, you will be skilled at every subtlety of the art of arms. And when it comes to putting a quick end to cruel combat, I have no equal. When I am in combat, I parry and thrust and perform abrazare, and I'll disarm anyone with breaks and binds. Against me, defensive arms or armor are useless
(tran Leoni, 2009 M.S. Getty Ludwig XV 13)

It tells us two things: a dagger is one of the fastest ways to end a combat & armour is useless against a dagger.

Personally I think each weapon has its place and time.
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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How about a sword like the gladius over the dagger...still short enough for that personal stabbing touch but has more versatility as a weapon than a dagger at least to my mind.
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Chase Bolling




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mackenzie I agree whole heartedly with you and you quote about the dagger by the way. I've carried a blade everyday since I was 7 years old its like part of my religion.
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm with Fiore on this one too. I've seen matches where one opponent played unarmored with dagger, against armored with sword. So only dagger strikes to joints counted, but a sword strike anywhere would count. The dagger player would void a few sword strikes, then close, grapple, stab. It works 9 times out of 10.

It does require skill, but the dagger is definitely the most versatile of the hand to hand weapons. At least in single combat. Now add horses an the press, that's a little out of my experience.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That might be true Matt but you are accounting for one of one fights still which was not the primary focus of this thread. Battle usually involves more than two men.

When I lived in England I fought with several groups who allowed grappling. What people typically found was once you dropped your primary weapon for dagger you were clobbered by some one who had not. Yes on a one on one fight you can likely be trained to close in but if you close during a battle scenario in on one man the others still have full access to smack the dagger wielder around since he cannot hope to close in with every man in his immediate area at the same time. I also rather doubt the dagger would always/usually win between two equally trained combatants even in a one on one. Training should include how to control proximity. The man with the longsword as that of dagger both have to be familiar with this concept as one of the foundations of fencing. I can only imagine if the two are well trained both weapons remain relatively equal.

I never stated grappling had no place in warfare. My comment was that thinking that grappling using a dagger especially was a primary means of combat on the battlefield is taking Fiore far past I think what he is saying, at least directly.

Mackenzie,

Yep read several translations and even some of the originals of Fiore. Somewhat familiar with him. The section you quoted is not dealing with battlefield scenarios either though. Not saying it has no application to combat but we need to be careful not to take what Fiore is saying out of context as this is not what the post is focused on.

As well be careful with Fiore because he certainly aside from loving poetic writing states more or less the same thing about every weapon and system he covers. So are all the weapons then the best? Seems to me he is more interested in demonstrating the virtues of them all as being paramount, If one follows his training. Nifty sales pitch.

Here is such an example
"I am the sword and I go against any mortal weapon, neither Lance, nor axe nor dagger are of worth against me'
f 27r. Getty MS

I agree that daggers, just as any weapon had a place, but as this post is not asking what was simply around and useful but best in the thick of battle to deal with an armoured opponent still not thinking a dagger is it.

edit-
As well the sword and dagger play section has several parts that demonstrate how one should defeat a dagger with a sword

f22r.

"That you see well you dagger cannot make any trouble for me"

Just thought I'd throw in. The only place I know of that Fiore claims a weapon made for plate penetration is the poll axe intro with the f35-

Io son posta breve la Serpentina che megliore d'le altre me tegno. A chi dar˛ mia punta ben gli parerÓ lo segno. Questa punta si Ŕ forte per passare coraze e panceroni, deffendeti che voglio far la prova.

Posta breve serpentina.

I am Posta Breve la Serpentina (Short Serpentine Position), I maintain myself better than the others. To whom I give my thrust, the sign will show itself well. This point is strong, for passing through cuirasses (coraze) and breastplates (panceroni)*. Defend yourself, that I want to try it.

Posta Breve Serpentina (Short Serpentine Position)

This is from Matt Easton's fencing schools website. I am not sure panceroni means plate as I have seen it used for mail but I think cuirass is indicative of plate armour.

RPM


Last edited by Randall Moffett on Sun 17 Jun, 2012 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Realistically, there is no need to choose, you'd never go into action without a dagger or knife. Even fighters on the lowest budget would have carried one. The question is more what other weapon you choose, and that depends on your budget too, of course.

At a bare minimum, you'd carry a staff as well. If you have a little more budget you'll convert that to a bladed polearm. Specialized anti-armour weapons of shorter range (maces, war hammers, pole axes) seem associated to fighters that have access to complete armour. I guess if you're going to try to fight a person in full plate armour, you have to do it from a distance if you don't have the same level of armour. Because the guys in full armour also have daggers, know how to use them, and wrestle with the full weight and impact of the armour.

For a one-handed antiplate weapon, I'd still pick a war-hammer. But in the press of battle restricting yourself to one short weapon is probably not such a good idea...

Regards,

--
Vincent
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IMO the chance of inflicting enough blunt trauma with a mace is too low to rely on. In a battle you want someting that has a high chance of incapacitating with one or two blows. My first choice would be a warhammer - something that can punch through the plate. The problem is when it becomes stuck, which is why you have backup-weapons.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A horseman's mace is called a horseman's mace for a reason. They're not much good on foot. Ask 'Master Knut' the famous mail-maker about this sometime. He's the only person I know of that put on a barrel helm and let an SCA 'duke' hit him in the back of the head with a STEEL mace, if I recollect correctly (I'm pretty sure he said the back of the helm). Eek!
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Nicholas Barton




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jun, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

both mace and warhammer have their merits, personaly i would feel the hammer would be better as is capale of both a peicing strike and a crushing blow, add a spike in the end and you can even thrust into exposed joints.

what about a falchion, blade heavy, solid, effective agains unarmoured oponents as well as the armoured ones

Why are you standing still?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun, 2012 12:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicholas Barton wrote:
what about a falchion, blade heavy, solid, effective agains unarmoured oponents as well as the armoured ones

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=26203
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Nicholas Barton




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun, 2012 1:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

yea i found that one just after reading this thread
Why are you standing still?
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