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The bardiche is a polearm used in Eastern Europe and Russia in the 16th and 17th Century. It was the Medium-Range weapon of Ivan the Terrible.


  • Blade Length: 28 inches
  • Length: 6 feet
  • Weight: 9 lbs


The bardiche had a long, cleaver-like blade attached to a relatively short wooden pole (rarely exceeding 5 feet). The blade was attached to the shaft by means of two sockets, one on top of the pole and the other at the base of the blade. Lighter versions of this axe existed in the 1000s, used by Vikings and their decedents. When Vikings settled in Rus; they influenced the axe designs of the region of modern day Russia and Ukraine.


The bardiche was primarily used for chopping, although the top of the blade could be used for thrusting. It could also be used as a stand to rest a firearm on while firing, and for this reason, the bardiche became associated with the streltsy (Russian guardsmen armed with firearms). It was designed for power and intimidation but its weight makes it easy to fatigue its user.

As Peter the Great modernized and westernized the Russian army; the Bardiche was replaced by the Bayonet, and the lighter Flintlock Musket no longer needed a musket rest.