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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jan, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Do you know about... 15th/16th C. Islamic Polearms?         Reply with quote

Hi all.

I have a quick request for information I want to push you guys' way... Google has failed me a little this time.

So... My question is... What variety of polearms would we find in an Islamic (Egyptian or Turkish, preferably) Army, say last half of the 15th, first half of the 16th centuries?

I know that the Bardiche was a popular one then, and the European style Halberd... Was there anything else? I'm really looking for types other than spears, pikes and lances, if that helps narrow it down? If you have any specs or a picture, that's PERFECT. Happy

A big THANK YOU in advance for any help at all with this...

Have a great day!

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Jan, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stone has a 16th century Turkish Italian bill. Looks just like the Italian Italian bills.

Non-spear polearms are rare in artwork of Ottoman soldiers of the time - it's almost all spear, sword, musket, cannon, bow. Some one-handed maces and warhammers. Same for Mamluks, I think, but I've seen less examples of such artwork.

For Ottoman use, I think you can justify any polearms their immediate neighbours were using.

You want some steel-on-a-stick to hit people with in BOTN?

"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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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jan, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try these ones



Slovak Historical Museum, Bratislava - 100% Ottoman, I'm just not sure about the period.

Or these



Askeri Muze, Istambul - almost sure Ottoman again.

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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jan, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris Bedrosov wrote:
Try these ones



Slovak Historical Museum, Bratislava - 100% Ottoman, I'm just not sure about the period.

Or these



Askeri Muze, Istambul - almost sure Ottoman again.

Those axe heads have got to be very thin, they very large and wide. Anything that large and wide that is also thick would very heavy.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe it was said at some point that those may have been display weapons for parade. Not necessarily functional, at least not the massive ax-head and the bardiche type axe. The one at bottom that looks slightly like a Lochaber axe could pass, though.

I note a couple of what appear to be perhaps Italian style bills off to the side, though...
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all.

Thanks for all your help!

I was really hoping for some type of glaive, like a Russian Sovnya. But no luck, so I've decided to go with a smaller headed, centrally balanced Bardiche.

It's actually amazing how much difference just having the point where it is in relation to the haft makes.

I'm wanting to get a polearm, because the newer of the two HMB world organisations... The ICMF (the older, more established organisation is the HMBIA)... Have told me they intend to have Polearm-ONLY tournaments running alongside the team events, and I feel confident that I can do well there.

But of course you have to have historically and regionally accurate weapons...



 Attachment: 43.33 KB
received_m_mid_1390932790218_5636afc0aa080e0824_0.jpeg
Something like this, I think.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh... One last question... Does anyone know historical maximum lengths for Bardiches?

I'm 185cm tall, so I think a longer haft is in order. Bardiche hafts appear to have been comparitively shorter than those of other contemporary polearms, though.

Could I get away with one as tall as myself, or even taller?

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris Bedrosov wrote:
Try these ones



These look amazingly close to the double bitted fantasy axes that supposedly "never existed".

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was recently looking for weights for bardiches - something not easy to find. Lengths are easier to find. Waldman, "Hafted weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe" is a good source. Müller gives lengths as well. If time permits, I'll look in the near future. Stone only gives lengths of heads.

What I have at hand is numbers for two examples of guisarmes from Waldman. (Very similar to a bardiche; according to Waldman, the difference is that the bardiche has a blade of more uniform thickness, and the point of the blade is often wider.) One is a very large weapon, blade of about 1m, total length 2.17m, weight 3.81kg (so haft about 1.8m). The other: blade 50cm, haft 132cm (so total about 160cm), weight 2.95kg.

"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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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
The other: blade 50cm, haft 132cm (so total about 160cm), weight 2.95kg.


That second one sounds PERFECT! Thanks Timo!

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jan, 2014 12:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No other measured examples in Waldman. Waldman described the typical bardiche:
Typical blade length: 60-80cm
Haft: up to 150cm, oval or rounded rectangular

Müller has two bardiches, both Russian, 17th or 18th century.
Bardiche, Russian, length 1.705m, blade 66cm
Bardiche, Russian, lenght 1.450m, blade 77cm

So if you want about 160cm total length, that looks like a good normal length for an infantry bardiche (it seems that Russian cavalry bardiches were shorter).

"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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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Feb, 2014 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This image from George Cameron Stone's (in)famous A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor shows what looks like a sort of thrusting halberd beside Ottoman armor. I have no idea how accurate it is, if at all.
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