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Weird Weapons of the Medieval Age

Weird Weapons of the Medieval Age

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When exploring the tapestry of medieval warfare, one often encounters the classic arsenal of swords, shields, and bows. Beyond these staple implements, a trove of peculiar and ingenious weapons emerges from historical accounts and artifacts. These unusual weapons embody the ingenuity and resourcefulness of a time when technological advancement was as much a part of the battlefield as valor and brute strength.

In the Middle Ages, the quest for dominance saw the development of some intriguing armaments. From the Flying Crow with Magic Fire, a pyrotechnic projectile reportedly used in the East, to the intriguing Scorpion Crossbow, which added a menacing twist to traditional archery, warriors of the period were not short of creativity. These weapons were born out of necessity, often the mother of medieval innovation, contributing to the diverse and sometimes bizarre tools of war.

Each odd weapon serves as a narrative of the adaptation and strategic thinking characteristic of medieval warfare. While not all saw widespread use, their very existence offers a glimpse into a time when battles were not only a test of might but also of wits and invention.

Bec De Corbin

The Bec De Corbin was a polearm historically favored by foot soldiers for its versatility on the battlefield.

It featured a pointed beak-like hook, which was effective at puncturing armor. The back end often included a blunt hammerhead or counterweight, allowing soldiers to adapt quickly between hacking and bludgeoning.


A Glaive-Guisarme combined the slashing blade of a glaive with the hooking ability of a guisarme. Soldiers used this weapon to cut through opponents or drag them off horses.

The blade usually measured around 18 inches long, mounted on poles that could reach seven feet or more, providing both reach and deadly impact.

Chu Ko Nu

The Chu Ko Nu, commonly known as the Chinese repeating crossbow, was a significant advancement in ranged weaponry.

It allowed archers to shoot multiple bolts before needing to reload. The mechanism involved a system where the user could swiftly push and pull a lever to load a new bolt coupled with the string being drawn back, enabling rapid firing.


The Springald, or espringal, was a type of siege engine resembling a large crossbow. Designed more compactly than its counterpart, the ballista, Springalds were primarily used as anti-personnel ranged weapons.

They functioned by releasing tension from wound ropes or by using geared windlasses to propel large bolts or stones at enemy troops or fortifications.

War Wolf

The Warwolf was a massive trebuchet and is believed to have been the largest ever made. It was constructed in Scotland by the order of King Edward I of England during the Siege of Stirling Castle in 1304.

It was said to stand roughly six stories tall!

This colossal siege engine was so formidable that the defenders of Stirling Castle surrendered before the Warwolf was even used, likely intimidated by its sheer size and destructive potential.

Despite their surrender, Edward I insisted on testing the power of the Warwolf, which caused significant damage to the castle walls. The Warwolf represents a high point in medieval siege technology, showcasing the ingenuity and the lengths to which military engineers of the time would go to subdue their enemies.


The medieval war hammer was a weapon designed for close combat and was particularly effective during the late medieval period.

It evolved as a response to the advancements in plate armor technology, which made traditional cutting weapons like swords and axes less effective.

The war hammer featured a heavy, often metal head on one side designed to crush armor, and sometimes a spike on the opposite side to puncture it. This weapon allowed knights and soldiers to combat opponents who were clad in increasingly resilient armor.

Improvised and Unconventional Weapons

In the diverse arsenal of medieval weaponry, certain implements stood out for their unconventional design, illustrating the inventive nature of medieval warfare.

War Scythe

The war scythe, originally an agricultural tool for reaping crops, was repurposed for combat with deadly effect.

Peasants, lacking access to formal arms, would refit their scythes into weapons by straightening the blade, resulting in an improvised polearm that could slice through the ranks with a pull rather than a push motion.

Greek Fire

Greek Fire was an incendiary weapon, whose composition is not fully known. Employed primarily by the Byzantine Empire, this substance could continue burning even on water, causing terror among enemy naval forces.

The sight of flames that water could not extinguish must have seemed like an almost supernatural force on the battlefield, breaking the morale of opponents who witnessed its devastating effects.

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