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Sam Arwas




Location: Australia
Joined: 02 Dec 2015

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Sat 18 Jun, 2016 3:48 am    Post subject: Any other types of two handed swords?         Reply with quote

Beside katanas and longswords I don't know of any others. I define a two handed sword as one designed primarily to be used with two hands. Swords that function as polearms (like zweihanders or flamberges) do not count.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Jun, 2016 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I honestly don't know where to even start. Maybe nodachi and other Japanese sword types larger than katana (which is typically more of a "hand-and-a-half" design usable in one hand just as well as two - just like many European longswords)? European two-handed sabers and messers and estocs? Chinese two-handed jian and dao?

What I'm trying to say is, put short, there's plenty. Happy

Listing all the types of primarily two-handed (but smaller than 16th Century Beidenhänder) swords in the world would be quite a bit of work, somewhat redundant and ultimately a futile exercise given all the overlap in form and function and often ambiguous terminology... and, of course, the vast majority of the terms one could mention really just mean "big sword" or "two-hand sword" in the local language (even when the local language is English!) - which reflects the fact that most of them really are ultimately just large swords with a particular local aesthetic.

That said, myArmoury does have a photo album of various European two-handed swords, mostly tucks, claymores and zweihänders, with some spadone and such and also a few bearing swords thrown in...

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings


Last edited by Mikko Kuusirati on Sat 18 Jun, 2016 4:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sam Arwas




Location: Australia
Joined: 02 Dec 2015

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Sat 18 Jun, 2016 4:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
I honestly don't know where to even start. Maybe nodachi and other Japanese sword types larger than katana (which is typically more of a "hand-and-a-half" design usable in one hand just as well as two - just like many European longswords)? European two-handed sabers and messers and estocs? Chinese two-handed jian and dao?

What I'm trying to say is, put short, there's plenty. Happy

Listing all the types of primarily two-handed (but smaller than 16th Century Beidenhänder) swords in the world would be quite a bit of work, somewhat redundant and ultimately a futile exercise given all the overlap in form and function and often ambiguous terminology... and, of course, the vast majority of the terms one could mention really just mean "big sword" in the local language - which reflects the fact that most of them really are just large swords with a particular local aesthetic (including nodachi and Langschwerter).
Most of the swords you mentioned are from families that are primarily single handed. I knew messers were going to be mentioned. They are Primarily single handed weapons.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

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PostPosted: Sat 18 Jun, 2016 4:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Arwas wrote:
Most of the swords you mentioned are from families that are primarily single handed. I knew messers were going to be mentioned. They are Primarily single handed weapons.

But if that rules two-handed messers out, then I'm afraid there are no swords in the world fitting your criteria. Katana and longswords are also from typological "families" that are primarily single-handed.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Jun, 2016 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Any other types of two handed swords?         Reply with quote

Sam Arwas wrote:
Beside katanas and longswords I don't know of any others. I define a two handed sword as one designed primarily to be used with two hands. Swords that function as polearms (like zweihanders or flamberges) do not count.


Excluding large heavy two-handers like the Zweihander (which rules out large Japanese odachi/nodachi and nagamaki, and Chinese pudao). Many of the others are larger heavier long-hilted versions of one-handed weapons (e.g., the European longsword is a larger version of the knightly sword, large two-handed messers are larger heavier versions of one-handed messers), and some are just long-hilted versions of one-handed weapons (lightweight dadao, katana vs tachi).

Miaodao: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miaodao
Dadao (Chinese, and also Vietnamese): http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=3899
Two-handed "longsword" jian - similar to a European longsword in size, weight, and balance: http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/s1380_full.html
Panabas: http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=1253
Pandat: http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6145
Large heavy dha: http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=6779
Various two-handers from India and nearby:
http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=4047
http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=3640
http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=1746
http://www.oriental-arms.com/item.php?id=134

The kampilan http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/s1798_full.html is often described as two-handed, but I find the hilt is better suited to one-hand, and the size and weight doesn't need a second hand - better to carry a shield instead. (This example is 777g.)

"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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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Sun 19 Jun, 2016 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do not think all two handers would be used as polearms, the montante techniques are decidedly different. There also is quite a gradual slope between decidedly one handed swords (which can also use a second hand) to swords that are impossible to use onehanded. If a grip is over 10-11cm, you can fit one finger on the grip, and the rest on the pommel and use your second hand that way.

Have you looked at the Oakeshott typology? It describes quite a number of swords that are primarily two handed. On the features page, you can read a good summary. The XIIa, XIIIa, XVa, XVIa, XVII, XVIIIa through e, XX and XXI come to mind. There are messer that are decidedly two handed as well, rivalling longswords in length.
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jun, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Executioner's sword is about the only example I can think of from Europe that is exclusively 2 handed without filling the role of a polearm. I think you might be having trouble because of the definitions you are using for things. Most swords are meant to be side arms, a "proper" or "real" two handed weapon will, simply because of its size, be unsuitable as a side arm and be the primary weapon of the person carrying it, and most of the time will be used "like a polearm".

A parallel would be asking what modern firearms require the use of two hands, but excluding rifles or weapons that fill the battlefield role of a rifle.
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