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Ben Potter
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Location: Western Idaho
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 347

PostPosted: Mon 06 Dec, 2021 9:11 pm    Post subject: Historical flail with top spike/blade         Reply with quote

I've been researching various types of flails for a project and was wondering if anyone has seen of better yet has pictures of a historical flail with a spike or blade at the top of the haft (assuming a flail is viewed with the handle down).

Blades and top spikes seem fairly common on maces and goedendag type weapons but less so on flails.

There is one example in this thread:
Last post on page 2
myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=17245&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=flail&start=5


Any others?

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,584

PostPosted: Mon 06 Dec, 2021 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like a good way to take out your own horse or the person next to you.

I can't tell what is supposed to be depicted in that image but it isn't a bladed flail.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 205

PostPosted: Tue 07 Dec, 2021 3:21 am    Post subject: Re: Historical flail with top spike/blade         Reply with quote

Ben Potter wrote:
I've been researching various types of flails for a project and was wondering if anyone has seen of better yet has pictures of a historical flail with a spike or blade at the top of the haft (assuming a flail is viewed with the handle down).

Blades and top spikes seem fairly common on maces and goedendag type weapons but less so on flails.

There is one example in this thread:
Last post on page 2
myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=17245&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=flail&start=5


Any others?


Before you accept that one Ben, I'd check back on the provenance of the original. The kettenmorgenstern type of flail was commonly faked in the 19th century, so you need to be sure this isn't one of those.

As to maces and goedendags with end spikes, they are rigid. It is very difficult to stab effectively with a weapon whose balance is constantly shifting because it has a large loose mass at the end. Even then, with a hand mace or morning star, the top point is probably secondary to a major bludgeoning use. Staff weapons like a goedendag or holy water sprinkler the relative useage may be more even.

Anthony Clipsom
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Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Western Idaho
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue 07 Dec, 2021 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

The image I'm referring to shows a "morning star" flail with a spike at the top of the eye where the chain attaches:


Here is another example of such a weapon from Fiore :


The Kusarigama would also fall into the type:



I was reading about the Rus or Russian Kisten:


and how they were used by peasants against wolves. And was thinking about how most weapons designed for use against dangerous game are designed to keep the attacking animal at a distance. Bear and Boar spears with their toggles or wings are prime examples.




There are abundant examples of peasants using threshing flails as weapons both unmodified:

Note the wooden and leather swivel on the flail and not a chain. Wood and leather are lighter and quieter than chain and so used on most agricultural flails but liable to being cut in a combat context whereas chain is not.
Modified flails are also common Such as these and the spiked and iron bound flails of the Hussites:


Top spikes are very common on other hafted weapons so it would seem logical that someone tried it at some point on a flail. Or to put it another way, we see all kinds of odd and interesting combination weapons that were tried throughout history. Are there any examples of spear/flail type weapons?

As for time period anything from Babylon to the present day so long as it is actually meant to be or was used would be interesting (not interested in video game movie prop types)
Thanks in advance.

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
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Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Western Idaho
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue 07 Dec, 2021 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another example from Japan.
O-kusarigama

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


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