Medieval Pole Weapons 1287-1513, by Adrian Waite, subtitled 'The untold story of the medieval billman and his polearm'
Slim booklet published by Stuart Press in 2001, 20 pages. A5 size booklet (N6816)
What were the lethal weapons that were used to such deadly effect by common men on the medieval battlefields of Europe? Often developed from agricultural implements or hunting weapons, medieval polearms were used at close quarters to inflict horrific injuries. Of limited use as weapons in single combat, they achieved their deadly potential when used by men fighting in blocks. In England, such men were called 'billmen', as the most common form of pole arm was the 'billhook'. The survival of such billmen depended not only on the skill and strength of the individual billman, but also on the quality of the 'teamwork' in his block.
The polearm first appeared in European literature in 1287, but its first recorded appearance on a European battlefield was in the hands of the Swiss at Morgarten in 1315. During the two centuries that followed a variety ofpolearrns, each designed to be used in a specific manner, were developed and used in all European countries. These were the weapons that would go on to cause the greatest slaughter ever seen on a British battlefield at Towton in 1461, and to cause the annihilation of the Scottish army and nobility at the Battle ofFlodden in 1513.
And who were the men who wielded these weapons? Some were professional soldiers, but most were peasants pressed into military service. All risked their lives in close and bloody combat. What was it like to be a medieval billman? The medieval polearm and the billman have not received as much attention as the Knight or Archer, either because of their lower status at the time, or because later generations have perceived them to have been less 'romantic'. However, the billman and his polearm have a story to tell that is worth hearing. It is the purpose of this book to introduce that story.
The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The cover has one or two minor scuffs, but the staple spine is intact, and all pages are intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover