The war hammer is one of the late yet well-known medieval weapons of war that was primarily used for close combat battles; its fashion and appearance closely resembles a hammer but it is more similar to an ice axe’s appearance. These weapons of war were created during the late thirteenth century and were specifically developed to easily pierce through heavy plated armor. The war hammer’s head had enough power and strength to crush even the strongest helmet or suit made of the best plate armor. Just a couple of attacks and blows from the war hammer and its back spike could simply rip through an enemy’s helm and plate with ease. During battle, the weapon’s side was the first thing to use since it would easily stun and knock down enemies, and once the opponent is left on the ground, the war hammer would then be reversed by the wielder to then punch a hole through the enemy’s helmet for the coup de grace.
These war hammers are made of a finely made head and handle with lengths that vary depending on how it was created. The longest length of a war hammer has been recorded to be about the equivalent of a halberd while the shorter one is about the same length of a mace. Lengthy war hammers were already considered as pole weapons or polearms and were generally utilized for battle against riders while the smaller ones were used from horseback as well as for close quarter battles. These weapons were created due to the prevalence of surface hardened steel weapons that were being utilized for wrought iron armor during the late medieval wars around the 14th and 15th centuries; the surface of these types of armor were as hard and durable as the edge of a sword so when the blade comes into contact with the armor, it tended to ricochet. Battle axes and swords usually give off a glancing blow which basically just loses much of its impact especially against a highly curved helmet; however, when utilizing war hammers, these could easily deliver a strong, full-forced blow to the target.
War hammers can easily damage even without penetrating through armor, and this was most evident when mounted on a pole; particularly, the impact of the weapon could easily be applied even on the thickest helmet and could easily cause concussions. In the later years, these war hammers began featuring spikes on a single side of its head, making these even more versatile. These spikes or blades were made specifically for other parts of the body where the enemy’s armor was much thinner and less protected, making penetration easier during battle. The spiked end could also be utilized for grappling the opponent’s reins, armor, or even their shield, plus it was also turned in the blow’s direction to pierce through even the heaviest and strongest armor present. When it comes to mounted opponents, the war hammers could also be aimed right at the horse’s legs, toppling the armored enemy to the ground where they could be easily targeted.
Rise of the War Hammers
These weapons appeared around the late medieval period which was generally a response to the fast advancement of armor technology; this period was when individuals who developed armor were aiming to improve the pieces they created to fully protect their clients from various weapons. In turn, bowyers, smiths, and fletchers are creating weapons that can readily penetrate these protective armor which is why the knights from medieval times searched for alternative weapons that could work against these. Since swords ricocheted when attempting to pierce through the armor, war hammers were considered perfect since using these would cause major trauma, concussions, and even blackouts when attacking helmets of opponents.
At some point, the maul and the battle hammer were considered the weapon of choice among knights that fought during the later medieval period. The single-handed battle hammer was mainly utilized by cavaliers on horseback; when they dismount their houses, these warriors would change their weapons and attack their opponents using the heavier maul.
Poleaxes are also said to have been utilized in battles between knights, and one of the popular and special poleaxes is the hache. It was fashioned mainly for duels which is quite common among the knights in history. Additionally, Filippo Vado who was an Italian fencing master wrote a manual during the mid-fifteenth century for fencing called the De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi – the art of fencing while utilizing a variety of weapons. The manual included a variety of beautifully colored art and illustrations where some segments focused on the maul.
The medieval German term for the poleaxe translates into “infantry war hammer”, so it is possible that these individuals may have utilized the weapons during the medieval era and beyond. There have been records of skulls found in huge battle sites during the medieval period and it was said that the skulls have numerous damage due to hammer-like attacks.
War Hammer for Sale
For those weapon collectors searching for a wide selection of war hammers to add to their growing set of swords, it is best to start searching online for a war hammer for sale. This medieval weapon is a blunt and tough tool that is either attached to a short or long pole and can be utilized in battle against enemies on foot or against those on horses. War hammers are battle weapons that come in varying styles depending on how and who created these; and aside from being used in battle, the war hammer for sale is also a great item for display, or these can also be utilized for productions, plays, and even reenactments.
Generally, war hammers were commonly utilized during the medieval period especially during the later period of the era; but even if these war hammers were popular during that time, the war hammers like Thor’s Mjölnir, or those seen in the illustrations of Dungeons and Dragons were rarely used for battles. The popular war hammers utilized in battle were the single-handed tools that were more akin to modern-day hammers and double-handed mauls that were somewhat similar to other polearms such as pikes and halberds.