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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Sun 19 Oct, 2014 5:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tomas B wrote:
You may call it a polehammer or pollhammer or warhammer to your hearts content but I will not. In academia they are frequently grouped with what you call poleaxes. In the fight manuscripts they are always grouped with the other poleaxes. All throughout this site they are referred to as poleaxes.

They could be called "polearms" since that seems to be a modern term to describe all of these kinds of weapons but they aren't axes. Everyone here knows what an axe looks like. It isn't a hammer and it isn't a spike. A poleaxe is nonsense. A pollaxe is an axe with a poll on the back. Many also have a top-spike and most of them are two-handed. These are pollaxes and they were wielded very similarly to the two-handed war hammers you seem to be looking for.


Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Tomas B




Location: Ireland, Wales, Canada...I'm transient
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Oct, 2014 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm giving up on this discussion. You think I'm wrong and I think you're wrong. We've been fighting over semantics the whole time. I am looking for specific images of historic weapons similar to other historic weapons I have shown. I was looking for images of these weapons because I am getting one made. I have now decided to have the Higgins weapon made but on a longer haft.
If anybody has photos of inlay on pole weapons from the 1400-1450s I'd be interested in thosr. As well as photos of weapons similar to the two I originally posted.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Oct, 2014 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it's not so much that either side is "wrong" as that there are two equally valid but largely irreconcilable viewpoints. Dan and Eric seem to be looking at it from the curator's or the collector's viewpoint, in which case an axe and a hammer are visually different so must be distinguished from each other. I (and perhaps you) prefer to see it from the martial-art viewpoint -- if the historical treatises teach us to use it the same way, it's the same weapon, so it's a "battleaxe" or a "poleaxe" even though in most cases it doesn't have an axe blade (especially since most of the techniques involve thrusting, trapping, tripping, or throwing movements where the difference between an axe and a hammerhead is largely irrelevant). If you want to please both sides, you'd probably have to resort to an unwieldy but highly specific description like "weapons with a five-foot pole, a thrusting spike/point on top, a multi-pronged hammerhead, and a short curved back spike."

(And even then people like me might troll you by saying "Why don't you just call it a poleaxe?")
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Oct, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You guys mean an Azza ?
"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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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tomas B wrote:
The Wallace example is larger then would be expected for a one-handed weapon.


Is it really? 28in and 2.69lbs strikes me as thoroughly reasonable for a single-handed war hammer. Some extant cavalry maces were as long and many were as heavy or heavier.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Gregg Sobocinski




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PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2014 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since many weapon forms are adapted to contain various blades and points, they often have similar appearances at a glance, therefore you'll find that many experts classify them by their production method. As mentioned by others, I also have read in more than a few reputable texts that the term "pollaxe" comes from old English terms for striking at a head, but the result is that any two-handed weapon with its head attached to the top of a haft using metal langets is usually labeled as a pollaxe (or it's spelling derivatives). These typically tend to be in the war hammer, bec de corbin, Lucerne hammer, or knighly pollaxe head forms.

Whether the weapon has a spike or an axe blade on the "front", the production technique is the same. A battle axe would have an eye formed to fit around a haft. A tomahawk with a hammer on the rear contains a "poll" but is not a pollaxe because it's intended for one-handed use, and it's attached using an eye. By this classification, a modern hammer head on a long pole would technically only be classified as a pollaxe if it was fastened with a metal strap, not the hole over the end of the haft.

Perhaps this will help one get past the lack of an axe blade on most pollaxes.
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Tomas B




Location: Ireland, Wales, Canada...I'm transient
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Oct, 2014 5:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Tomas B wrote:
The Wallace example is larger then would be expected for a one-handed weapon.


Is it really? 28in and 2.69lbs strikes me as thoroughly reasonable for a single-handed war hammer. Some extant cavalry maces were as long and many were as heavy or heavier.


I remember reading in a number of sources that the wallace weapon is believed to have a shortened haft from its original demensions. My library is currently in boxes so I can't find my sources but the author of the review article for the A&A reproduction seems to have seen this theory too.

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_wham.html
"The replica is somewhat smaller than the antique. This may be because the original is thought to be a cut-down version of a two-handed hammer."
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