Nursery Rhymes

Battle Axe

Medieval life and Times

Definition of an Axe

The Battle Axe was a weapon used in Medieval Times by Foot Soldiers and occasionally knights. The Battle Axe was used  in close contact and required less skill and precision than the Throwing Axe. For Additional facts and information click Axe.

Description of the Medieval Battle Axe
The weapons used during the Medieval times include the Medieval Battle Axe. The description of the Medieval Battle Axe provides basic facts and information about the weapon is as follows:

  • Medieval Battle Axe - These weapons were designed as single and double-handed axes. The battle axe had less precision than a sword but was cheap to use and required limited skill
  • Used as a close contact weapon in the early Medieval period of the Middle Ages
  • It could be hurled as a missile
  • The Medieval Battle Axe weapon could be mounted on either a long shaft, measuring up to 5ft or a short shaft measuring 1ft
  • Most European battle axes used during the Medieval times had broad, socketed heads enabling the axe head and the shaft to fit together as opposed to the battle axes used by the Vikings which were often just lashed together
  • The battle axe had a crescent-shaped blade which measured about 25 cm (10 inches) between the upper and lower points of its broad cutting edge
  • A blow could apply tremendous force
  • The battle axe struck with force could apply significant injury to a knight in armor
  • The weapon was primarily used as a cutting weapon and capable of cutting off the limbs of an enemy in one stroke
  • Type or group of weapons - Bludgeoning and Cutting Weapon

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 Battle 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 Battle 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 Battle 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 Battle Axe was as follows :

  • Training method - The training method practised in the use of the Battle axe was based on strength and accuracy in hitting the target
  • A "hit" was scored in Medieval weapons training by making light contact with a defined target area

The Makers and Making of the Medieval Battle Axe
This Medieval weapon blade was made by a Blacksmith. The materials required to make this weapon were:

  • Iron
  • Steel
  • 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 Battle Axe
The general maintenance of the Medieval Battle Axe was the responsibility of the soldier to keep the cutting edge sharp and in good condition.

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