Halberd (German Helmbarte = beech. axe with a hook, zaimstvo. from ital. alabarda) — the kolyushche-cutting weapon with a long staff on which end the axe or a pole-axe and having a tip reminding a spear fastens. Was on arms of infantry of a number of the European countries in the XIV—XVI centuries.
In the XV century strengthening of protective equipment of a cavalry demanded from infantry to use the weapon considerably bigger penetrative force than a sword or a fighting axe. Into fashion entered I threshed, and then and two-handled swords, but the greatest the success was got in Europe during this period by a halberd.
The halberd represented a combination of a kopeyny edge, a pole-axe and hook edge on a long staff. However, versions of halberds there was a set — the edge of a pole-axe could be very wide or very narrow, the pole-axe could even be replaced stamping (then the halberd was called "a lyutsernsky hammer"), крючьев could be much — both behind, and on each side pole-axes. As for an edge, there were options of halberds at all without it. But by the XVII century I triumphed, having become classical, halberd type with the narrow hatchet developed by a kopeyny edge and one hook.
Length of halberds fluctuated within 200 — 240 cm, and weight thus could be from 2.5 to 5.5 kg. Halberds of the XV—XVI centuries when edges still were often made on technology of welding were the most massive, and the main task was probity a continuous knightly armor. In the XVII century halberds of the smallest weight were applied.
Slightly more long — sometimes more than 300 cm were the sea "boarding" halberds intended, generally for tightening of boards of the ships at a boarding for what they were supplied with very large hook. On the other hand, them it was possible and to interfere with a boarding, striking the enemy on a board of its vessel.