The Longsword – Favourite Weapon For Centuries

The longsword or Bastard sword was also referred to as the Hand and a Half swords during a later period in history, and it was given this specific name (longsword) due to its long handle that allowed the wielder to grip the weapon with both hands. The elements of the longsword such as its outstanding reach and its excellent thrusting and cutting abilities made the blade a highly popular piece among warriors on the battlefield.

This specific sword was widely utilized by the medieval knight, and it was a prevalent piece during the late medieval period and the Renaissance Era – specifically around the years 1350 to 1550. It was also greatly utilized during the early thirteenth century until the late seventeenth century.

Elements of the Longsword

Listed below are the most notable elements of the longsword:

  • The Longsword features a double-edged blade as well as an adequately long handle to accommodate two hands when gripping the weapon.
  • The total length of the sword measured around forty to forty-eight inches long, with a handle that measured about ten to fifteen inches in addition.
  • As for the weight, the longsword weighed around five to eight pounds in total.
  • It was first used as a close contact weapon that was necessary for executing massive blows.
  • Generally, the longsword was utilized for slicing or cutting, plus it was also capable of chopping off the enemy’s limbs or head in a single stroke.
  • It is categorized as a cutting weapon.

Evolution of the Longsword

The longsword is not really characterized by its long blade but by its longer grip – this indicating that the weapon is designed specifically for double-handed wielding. Swords featuring exceptionally long hilts are said to have been found throughout the period of the Middle Ages but despite this, the longsword still remain to be a rare piece that were not really identifiable until the late thirteenth or the early fourteenth century. The longsword remained as a weapon used for battle by wielders who wore full plate armor either on horseback or foot, and this went on throughout the late medieval era; in the fifteenth century, the longsword was eventually utilized even by mercenaries and unarmored soldiers.

Also during the fourteenth century, the utilization of the double-handed great sword was said to have originated with the Swiss, then by the sixteenth century, its use as a military weapon was mostly gone since this was the period when the German Landsknechte wielded the huge Zweihander for battle. As for the distinct weapon, the bastard sword, the hilted types were eventually produced during the very first half of the sixteenth century.

Advantages of the Longsword

The long sword may not really be that advantageous when it comes to the swiftness and swinging power that is usual for curved blades but there are numerous advantages of the longsword that has become useful on the battlefield.

  • One of the notable elements of the longsword is that it has a much longer reach and excellent thrusting abilities which is said to be much more difficult to defend against.
  • It has the capabilities of inflicting fatal wounds at a distance and is much faster compared to some other swords. This is due to the geometry of the blade since it is straight – meaning, its thrusts hit faster and has a more deceiving effect compared to that of a curved blade.
  • The longsword allows the wielder to easily penetrate heavy armor while also keeping them less exposed.
  • Since the weapon is strong and fast, using both hands when wielding the sword for parries and cuts only creates stronger and solid attacks.
  • The sword is known to be easy to maneuver and is agile, allowing the wielder to execute quick attacks or to seek openings.

Popular Types of Swords Throughout History

Throughout history, different types of swords have been utilized by warriors who charged and fought on the battlefield. Generally speaking, a sword is referred to as a bladed weapon created specifically for thrusting or slashing since it was made longer than a dagger or knife. However, the accurate definition of this term generally varies with its geographical region or historical period. A sword is primarily made up of a long blade that is fixed to a hilt and its blade could either be curved or straight. Swords that were made specifically for thrusting featured a blade with a pointed tip and these tended to be straighter compared to that of the slashing swords; as for these types of weapons, the blades of the slashing swords featured sharpened cutting edges on both of its sides. These are commonly curved for more efficiency.

There are numerous types of swords designed and fashioned for both slashing and thrusting, and listed below are the different types of swords available:

Medieval European Swords

The medieval sword was considered as the primary types of swords that were utilized by the knights and these – including the medieval armor – developed and evolved with new ideas, as well as technology. Right at the beginning of the period, the double-edged slashing swords were utilized for battle, but as time passed, it improved and turned into a much better, durable, diamond-shaped sword that could readily be thrust between the rings of a chain mail with ease.

The medieval sword was featured in different styles and types, and this also goes for the armor that was utilized on the battlefield. The numerous types of swords that were present in the medieval era included blades such as the falchion swords, broadsword, long swords, bastard swords, scimitar, batons, and the great swords.

Japanese Swords

A nihonto is among the numerous types of swords that have been produced as early as the Kofun era. Generally, the samurai swords refer to weapons with arched blades that were created right after the Heian period. There is a large number of Japanese blades that differ in shape, size, method of production, and field of application; some of the more known or popular nihonto includes the katana, tachi, odachi, and the wakizashi.

African Swords

Numerous African cultures have created their own styles and types of swords to utilize for numerous purposes; though a lot of the non-Arabic designs and concepts were typically the straight, double-edged longswords. Some of the most well-known African blades included the Flyssa, Nimcha, Kaskara, and the Takouba.

Chinese Swords

The types of swords of the Chinese also have a long history just like China; and during the prehistoric times, stone swords were utilized for various activities. A few records claim that bronze swords were traced back to classic bronze daggers that came from the Western Zhou era, yet these were not primarily utilized until the Eastern Zhou period. throughout history of China, there has been many different sword designs, and many of the countries around inspired their swords from the Chinese. some of the famous swords is the Chinese war sword, you can see it here.

Southeast Asian Swords

Knives and swords that were acquired in Southeast Asia were mostly influenced by the different types of swords from the Chinese, Indian, European and Middle Eastern. The generic term for a knife or sword wielded by a variety of ethnic groups was called the Dha and this is actually a Burmese word that translates to blade; its corresponding word in Thai would be darb or daab.

West and Central Asian Swords

The whole Islamic world from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century was influenced by the types of swords such as the scimitar or saif – the curved and single-edged blades. The Turks from Central Asia began utilizing cavalry swords right at the start of the late Hsiung Nu era, and the earliest forms of the single-edged and curved Turkish blades could be linked to the Kok Turk and Hsiung Nu empires. These types of swords were created out of high carbon crucible and pattern-welded steel together with slightly arched blades with a single sharpened edge.