Halberds were great all-around weapons during the Renaissance. You could spear a soldier, hook a knight off his horse, or do some serious damage with the axe head.
- Fact 1: A halberd is a 5-to-6 foot long polearm weapon with a thin spike on its end and an axe head and grappling hook on the sides.
- Fact 2: Halberds came into prominent use in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries as an infantry weapon effective against both other spearmen and mounted combatants.
- Fact 3: The word halberd comes from the old German "Halm Berte", or "staff axe", and eventually "Hellebarde".
- Fact 4: A traditional guard weapon, the halberd is still carried ceremonially by the Swiss Guard in the Vatican.
- Fact 5: Halberdiers remained useful even as guns began to dominate the battlefield in the 15th century, protecting musketeers from cavalry attack while they reloaded.