The Halberd is a two-handed slashing, thrusting, hooking poleaxe that came into prominent use in the 14th and 15th Centuries. It was the Mid-Range weapon of both the Knight and Vlad the Impaler. Cortés had an Alabarda (Spanish translation of Halberd), which had a lighter design and longer pike compared to the medieval era halberds.
The head of the halberd combined an axe with a long metal spike and either a hooked fluke or a hammer. It was mounted on a long wooden shaft with metal rims called langets down the side to protect the handle.
- User: Knight
- 6 feet
- 5 lbs
- Wood and steel
The Halberd could be used to chop with ax-side, smash with the hammer-side or thrust with the spike. The weapon could also be used to hook opposing riders from horseback if it has a hook-side, and the shaft could be used for blocking. This weapon gained much popularity because of it's reach and versatility.
The Battle of Morgarten in 1315 saw Swiss peasant militia defeat elite Hasburg mounted Knights by using the Halberd. The Swiss Landsknewcht and Swiss Guards would be famous for their skill with their Halberds. Some historians cite the use of Halberd tactics as the beginning of the end of heavy cavalry.
This was one of the most longest lasting medieval weapons in human history, only until the 19th century did the Halberd lose its effectiveness in battle. Many halberds and pikes during this century were linstocks: staffs primarily used to fire cannons, but had spearpoints on them for self-defense. The modern-day Swiss Guard still carry halberds, although they primarily use modern firearms.
- Despite originating from Europe; the Pre-Colombian Incan Empire also used Halberds: many of which were made of bronze.
- The Tewhatewha was a Polynesian pole axe. Some variations of the Tewhatewha were functionally identical to Halberds.
- The Chinese used a similar weapon called a Ji. It was relatively lighter and rarely was designed or used for blunt force.
- George Washington's Continental Army owned some halberds, as the weapon was considered so effective that it existed even during the time of the musket.
- According to many fans, the halberd used in the Knight vs. Pirate episode was actually a poleaxe. A poleaxe has a hammer on the opposite side.
- Despite being the Knight's most effective weapon in the simulation (with 108 kills), the halberd is not used in the final battle against the Pirate.
- The halberd is the only polearm to have appeared in all 3 seasons of Deadliest Warrior.