15th Century Swiss Halberd – a two-handed pole weapon
A halberd (also called halbard, halbert or Swiss voulge) is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries. It was the primary weapon of the early Swiss armies in the 14th and early 15th centuries. The word halberd may come from the German words Halm (staff), and Barte (axe). The halberd consists of an axe blade topped with a spike mounted on a long shaft. It always has a hook or thorn on the backside of the axe blade for grappling mounted combatants. The halberd is usually 1.5 to 1.8 meters (5 to 6 feet) long. This pole weapon has been used as a court bodyguard weapon for centuries, and is still the ceremonial weapon of the Swiss Guard in the Vatican.