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Top 5 Battle Axes

The ax is an instrument of war and peace: they can cut both wood and heads equally well! Today we will talk about which axes won fame for themselves and were most popular with warriors of all times and peoples.

The battle ax is the most different: one-handed and two-handed, with one and even with two blades. With a relatively light warhead (not heavier than 0.5–0.8 kg) and a long (from 50 cm) ax, this weapon has impressive penetrating power – it’s all a matter of the small area of ​​contact between the cutting edge and the surface, resulting in all the impact energy concentrated at one point.

The axes were often used against heavily armored infantry and cavalry: the narrow blade perfectly wedged into the joints of the armor and with a successful hit can cut through all the layers of protection, leaving a long bleeding incision on the body.

Combat modifications of axes were widely used all over the world since ancient times: even before the metal era, people hewed out axes from stone – this is despite the fact that the quartz wind is not as sharp as a scalpel! The evolution of the ax is diverse, and today we will look at the five most impressive battle axes of all time:

Brodex – Scandinavian battle ax

A distinctive feature of the ax is a crescent-shaped blade, the length of which can reach 30–35 cm. A heavy piece of sharpened metal on a long pole made sweeping strikes incredibly effective: often it was the only way to penetrate heavy armor.

The wide blade of the ax could act as an improvised harpoon pulling the rider off the saddle. The warhead was tightly driven into the eye and fixed there with the help of rivets or nails.

Roughly speaking, an ax is a common name for a number of subspecies of battle axes, some of which we will describe below.

The most fierce dispute that accompanies the ax since the moment this formidable weapon fell in love with Hollywood is, of course, the question of the existence of a double-edged ax. Of course, on the screen, this wonder-weapon looks very impressive and, coupled with a ridiculous helmet, decorated with a pair of sharp horns, completes the appearance of the brutal Scandinavian. In practice, the butterfly blade is too massive, which creates a very large inertia upon impact.

Often on the back side of the warhead of the ax there was a sharp spike, however, Greek laborer axes with two wide blades are also known – the weapon is mostly ceremonial, but still very suitable for real combat.

Valashka – and the staff, and military weapons

The national hatchet of the mountaineers who inhabited the Carpathians. A narrow wedge-shaped knob, strongly protruding forward, the butt of which was often a forged animal face or was simply decorated with carved ornamentation. Valashka, thanks to a long handle, is a staff, a cleaver, and a battle ax.

Such a tool was almost indispensable in the mountains and was a status mark for a sexually mature married man, the head of the family.

The name of the ax comes from Wallachia – a historical region in the south of modern Romania, the patrimony of the legendary Vlad III Tepes. It migrated to Central Europe in the 14th – 17th centuries and became a constant herding attribute.

Starting from the 17th century, Valashka gained popularity in the will of popular uprisings and received the status of full-fledged military weapons.

Berdysh features a wide, moon-shaped blade with a sharp top.

The berdysh are distinguished from other axes by a very wide blade, having the shape of an elongated crescent. At the lower end of the long shaft (the so-called rattle) was fixed iron tip (underflow) – they rested their weapons on the ground during the parade and during the siege. In Russia, Berdysh in the XV century played the same role as the Western European halberd.

The long shaft made it possible to keep a great distance between opponents, and the blow of a sharp crescent blade was truly terrible. Unlike many other axes, the berdysh was effective not only as a chopping weapon: the sharp end could prick, and the wide blade well reflected the blows, so that the skilled owner of the bird’s eye shield was unnecessarily.

Berdysh was used in equestrian combat. The horse-drawn archers of the horsemen and dragoons had smaller sizes in comparison with infantry samples, and there were two iron rings on the shaft of such a berdysh so that the weapon could be hung on a belt.

Polex with protective splints and a hammer-shaped butt – a weapon for all occasions

Polax appeared in Europe approximately in the 15th — 16th centuries and was intended for foot combat. According to a disparate historical source, there were many variants of these weapons.

A distinctive feature has always been a long thorn on the top and often at the lower end of the weapon, but the shape of the warhead was different: here there was a heavy ax blade, a hammer with a thorn counterweight, and much more.

On the pole of the Polux you can see metal flat. These are so-called langts, providing the shaft with additional protection against cutting.

Sometimes you can meet and rondeli – special wheels that protect the hands. Polix – a weapon not only fighting, but also tournament, and therefore additional protection, even reducing combat effectiveness, looks justified.

It is worth noting that, unlike the halberd, the top of the Pollex was not solid-forged, and its parts were attached to each other with the help of bolts or studs.

"Beard" gave the ax additional cutting properties

The “classic”, “grandfather” ax came to us from the north of Europe. The name itself most likely has a Scandinavian origin: the Norwegian word Skeggox consists of two words: skegg(beard) and ox (ax) – now you can occasionally flaunt your knowledge of Old Norse!

A characteristic feature of the ax are the straight upper edge of the warhead and the blade pulled down. This form gave the weapon not only chopping, but also cutting properties; moreover, the “beard” made it possible to take a weapon with a double grip, in which one arm was protected by the blade itself.

In addition, the notch reduced the weight of the ax – and, given the short handle, the fighters with this weapon relied not on force, but on speed.

Such an ax, as well as its many relatives – is a tool both for domestic work and for battle. For the Norwegians, whose light canoes did not allow them to take an excess of luggage with them (after all, we still have to leave room for the stolen good!), This versatility played a very important role.

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