The medieval war hammer was more than just a weapon, it was a symbol of power and prestige. With its formidable size and striking design, it was a weapon feared by enemies and revered by allies. This powerful tool played a crucial role in medieval warfare and was wielded by both kings and warriors. This blog will take you on a journey through the world of the medieval war hammer, delving into its history, design, and impact on medieval society.
Brief History Of Warhammer Weapon
The origins of the medieval war hammer can be traced back to the 13th century, when it was primarily used as a weapon of war by knights and soldiers. The war hammer quickly gained popularity among medieval armies due to its versatility and effectiveness in battle. It was a powerful weapon that could be used for both striking and piercing, making it a formidable tool in close combat.
The war hammer was not only used in Europe but also in Asia, where it was known as a “kumade” or “kanabo” in Japan. In China, it was called “chuíkuǎn” and was used as a weapon during the reign of the Ming dynasty. War hammers were also used by the Vikings and the Celts.
The weapon was popular among soldiers of all ranks, from foot soldiers to mounted knights. It was particularly useful in siege warfare, where it could be used to break through walls and gates. War hammers were also used in tournaments and jousting competitions, where they were a formidable tool for unseating opponents.
What was a War Hammer Weapon made from?
Medieval war hammers were typically made from iron, steel, or bronze. The head of the weapon was usually made from a solid piece of metal, while the handle was typically made from wood.
Iron and steel were commonly used to make war hammers due to their strength and durability. Bronze was also used, but it was less common due to its higher cost. The choice of metal for the war hammer’s head would depend on the blacksmith’s skill, the intended use of the weapon, and the availability of materials.
The handle of the war hammer was typically made from wood, such as ash, oak, or hickory. The wood was usually chosen for its strength and flexibility. Some war hammers featured leather or metal wraps around the handle for added grip and protection.
How A Medieval War Hammer Was Made?
The process of making a medieval war hammer involved several steps.
- Forging – First, the metal for the head of the weapon was heated and shaped into the desired form. The blacksmith would use a hammer and anvil to shape the metal into the desired form. Once the head was shaped, it was then cooled and hardened to make it more durable.
- Hilting – Next, the handle was attached to the head using a metal pin or a mortise and tenon joint. The weaponsmith would carefully shape the handle to fit the head of the weapon and then secure it in place.
- Polishing – Finally, the weapon was polished and sharpened to give it a finished look.
The design of the war hammer was usually made of a pointed end and a flat end, this pointed end was used to pierce the armour and the flat end was used to crush the bones. The weight and balance of the war hammer were also carefully considered during the manufacturing process to ensure that the weapon was easy to wield.
Types of War Hammers
There were several different types of war hammers that were used during the medieval period. Each type had its own unique design and purpose. Some of the most common types of war hammers include:
- Maul: This type of war hammer had a large, heavy head and a short handle. It was designed for heavy striking and was often used to crush armour and break through walls.
- Lucerne Hammer: This type of war hammer had a long handle and a double-headed design. The head of the weapon had a pointed end for piercing and a flat end for crushing. It was a versatile weapon that was used by both foot soldiers and mounted knights.
- Crow’s Beak: This type of war hammer had a unique design that featured a curved, beak-like head. It was primarily used for hooking and grappling and was also effective at breaking through armour.
- Bec de Corbin: This type of war hammer had a long handle and a hammerhead that featured a long, pointed beak-like spike. It was an effective weapon for both striking and piercing.
These are just a few examples of the various types of war hammers that were used during the medieval period. Each type had its own unique design and purpose and was used in different situations.
Uses of War Hammer Weapon
The war hammer was a versatile weapon that was used in a variety of situations. It was primarily used as a weapon of war but was also used in tournaments and jousting competitions.
In battle, the war hammer was used for both striking and piercing. It was particularly effective against armoured opponents, as the heavy head of the weapon could crush armour and break bones. The war hammer was also useful in siege warfare, where it could be used to break through walls and gates.
In tournaments and jousting competitions, the war hammer was a formidable tool for unseating opponents. The heavy head of the weapon could knock an opponent off their horse, and the pointed end could be used to pierce armour.
In close combat, the war hammer was used with both hands and was swung to deliver a powerful blow.
Popular Medieval War Hammer
Throughout history, there have been several famous medieval war hammers that have stood out for their design and effectiveness. Here are a few examples:
- The “Mjolnir”: This famous war hammer belonged to the Norse God Thor and was said to be able to level mountains.
- The “Goliath”: This war hammer was used by the giant Goliath in the Bible and was said to be so heavy that only he could wield it.
- The “War Hammer of Charles the Bold”: This war hammer belonged to the Duke of Burgundy and was said to have been used in several battles during the 15th century.
- The “War Hammer of the Holy Roman Emperor”: This war hammer belonged to the Holy Roman Emperor and was said to have been used in several battles during the 14th century.
These are just a few examples of the many famous war hammers that have been used throughout history. Each one has its own unique story and is a testament to the power and effectiveness of this medieval weapon.
How heavy is a Medieval War Hammer?
The weight of a war hammer can vary depending on the design and materials used. Typically, war hammers weighed between 2-5 pounds. However, some war hammers, such as the “Goliath” mentioned earlier, were said to be much heavier.
Who made War Hammer Weapons?
War hammer weapons were typically made by blacksmiths and weapon smiths. These craftsmen were skilled in the art of metalworking and were responsible for creating a wide variety of weapons, including swords, axes, and war hammers.