There were a variety of different axes which were used as Medieval weapons:
- The Battle Axe - This type of axe was used as a Bludgeoning and Cutting Weapon and and could wielded in one or two hands
- The Throwing Axe - This type of axe was hurled at the enemy, often being first swung around and over the head to obtain speed momentum and maximum penetration. The throwing axe required more skill and precision than the Battle Axe. A blow from a throwing axe could apply tremendous force and thrown from a distance of up to 40 feet
- The Pole Axe- This type of axe consisted of a blade mounted on a wooden shaft, or pole, which was between 4 and 5 feet long.
Description of the Medieval Axe
The weapons used during the Medieval times include the Medieval Axe. The description of the Medieval Axe provides basic facts and information about the weapon is as follows:
- Medieval Axe - These weapons were designed as single and double-headed weapons, ussed as a close contact weapons or hurled as a missile
- The Medieval Axe could be mounted on either a long shaft, measuring up to 5ft or a short shaft measuring 1ft
- Most European axes had broad, socketed heads enabling the axe head and the shaft to fit together as opposed to the Axes used by the Vikings which were often just lashed together
- The Axe had a crescent-shaped blade which measured about 25 cm (10 inches) between the upper and lower points of its broad cutting edge
- The different types of Axe struck with force could apply significant injury to a knight in armor
- The Battle axe was primarily used as a cutting weapon and capable of cutting off the limbs of an enemy in one stroke whereas the throwing axe whilst capable of inflicting serious injury was also thrown in volleys designed to intimidate and disrupt the enemy
- Type or group of weapons - Bludgeoning and Cutting Weapon
- The axe were designed as single and double-headed axes, cheap to make and easy to use with the throwing axe requiring some skill and precision obtained through throwing practise
- The axe was effective in attack but poor as a weapon of defence
- An axe was a lethal weapon designed to penetrate armor plate and to shatter shields
- The Medieval Throwing Axe weapon was mounted on a short shaft measuring about 1ft
- The Throwing Axe had a crescent-shaped blade which measured about 5 inches between the upper and lower points of its broad cutting edge
The Medieval times were an extremely violent era in history featuring battles in both Europe and the Holy Land when the crusades, and the crusaders who fought them, were numerous. Feudal Lords and Knights and their men at arms used such weapons as the Medieval Axe in different types of warfare. The quest for power led to invasions of lands and territories which had to be fought for. Siege warfare, waged to win a castle or a walled town or city, was a frequent occurrence during the Medieval period. Warfare during the Medieval era called for a variety of weapon expertise. Knights and men-at-arms (who consisted of foot soldiers or archers) used different types of weapons. The Medieval Axe was predominantly used by a Foot Soldiers. The weapons used were dictated according to status and position. The weapons, armor and horse of the Knight were extremely expensive - the fighting power of just one knight was worth 10 ordinary soldiers.
Medieval Axe Training
Skill in the use of Medieval weapons and understanding the strategy of Medieval Warfare was necessary and a played a vital part in Medieval life. The training required by a Foot Soldiers to use the Medieval Axe was as follows :
- Axe Training method - The training method practised in the use of the Axe was based on strength and accuracy in hitting the target
- A "hit" was scored in axe training by making light contact with a defined target area or in the accuracy when hurling the Axe at a practise target
The Makers and Making of the Medieval Axe
The axe blade was made by a Blacksmith. The materials required to make the blade were:
- Occasionally bronze
- Wooden handles
Blacksmiths are usually associated with making weapons in a village smithy but Medieval blacksmiths were also an important part of a fighting army, making new weapons and repairing and the maintenance of old weapons.
The maintenance of the Medieval Axe
The general maintenance of the Medieval Axe was the responsibility of the soldier to keep the cutting edge sharp and in good condition.