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Halberds and other polearms.

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Sadurian Mike
697358.  Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:21 pm Reply with quote

The weapon of choice for the Flemish peasantry at Coutrai was the marvelously-named "goedendag". Those armed with such a weapon formed up behind the pikemen and were responsible for "mixing it" with anyone breaking through.

The goedendag (lit. "good day") was a simple but incredible effective weapon in strong hands, and easily capable of defeating a mounted knight.

Although modern interpretations differ, the consensus is that it was a heavy two-handed spiked club whose tines were long enough to act almost as picks, and with one tine thrusting from the head to act as a spear.

Personally I wouldn't class it as a halberd* weapon, but interpretations on these things vary.

*I'm assuming that hellebaarden translates as "halberd".

Last edited by Sadurian Mike on Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

697373.  Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:43 pm Reply with quote

The goedendag (lit. "good day") was a simple but incredible effective weapon in strong hands, and easily capable of defeating a mounted knight.

Ha! You fell for it, too :)
Just found out that 'dag' stems from dagger - ergo, a good dagger.

And yes, hellebaarden are halberds.

Sadurian Mike
697374.  Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:47 pm Reply with quote

Really? That's quite a widespread interpretation of the name, albeit it comes from a French account of the Flemish victory at Bruges whereby it is said that the Flemish greeted people in the streets with "good day" and killed any with a French accent.

These tales are very often mistranslated, however.

Sadurian Mike
697378.  Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:55 pm Reply with quote

Talking of mistranslation, it is possible that the spiked club wasn't very spiked after all. I've seen a few reports which place it more in the category of a thick club with a spear-like spike rather than bristling with spikes around the head.

Confusion over interpretation again (some interpret the goedendag as a sort of morning star, which is far shorter but does have a hedgehog-like head of spikes).

EDIT; A lovely picture of an original surviving head from the weapon. It does suggest that it was more of a spear on a club than a spiked club.

Last edited by Sadurian Mike on Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

Sadurian Mike
697379.  Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:58 pm Reply with quote

Okay, the name is apparently debated.

Some have it (as you suggest) "good dagger", some have it as "good day", and some believe that the Flemish referred to it as a "gepinde staf", or "pin-staff".

From the SBG Sword Forum (a discussion group of all sorts of bladed and non-bladed weapons).

Now another popular belief in Flanders (especially with people studying the Battle of Courtrai or as it is called in Flanders "the Battle of the Golden spurs") is that the weapon was thrusted forward into the stomach of the adversary in a fashion that the opponent makes "a bow" like if he's saying "good day "(goedendag ) thus allowing to finish him off with a blow on the head.

697511.  Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:07 am Reply with quote

Goedemorgen, Mike! Just read this whilst eating my first spoonful of Müsli... :$

You're the Master of Good Timing :)

944763.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:08 am Reply with quote


those are great variations and innovations of axes...

944881.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:49 pm Reply with quote

Arguably the most effective users of the pole-arms were the various armies of the Swiss Confederation, c. 1300-1500, or so. There were many schools teaching basic techniques and more advanced skills to soldiers and individuals.

Many people tend to overlook the hooks on the backs of Halberds and the like, used specifically for tripping the opponent or hooking their weapon.

I'm trying to find some details on the various martial schools involved, by tiredness and a lack of caffeine is rendering this ineffective.


944895.  Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:10 pm Reply with quote

The Swiss Pikeman

945180.  Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:37 am Reply with quote

I know about the Swiss Pike formations, my research was into the use of Halberds and the like. I read, a while back, about Swiss schools specialising in Halberd combat techniques, including some rather good illustrations of blocks, trips and blows with both blade and haft.

That's what I am failing miserably at finding....

945292.  Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:28 am Reply with quote

like this?

or this?

953360.  Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:44 pm Reply with quote

That'd be the ones.....


953364.  Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:20 pm Reply with quote

Honest? I found what you were looking for?

954262.  Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:19 am Reply with quote

Mostly. That's the moves in action. I had seen some books and illustrations from the time, showing some rather elegant pictures of various blocks, trips and strikes.


1120317.  Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:28 am Reply with quote

I wonder where we can find a halberds now in this day?


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