Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lucerne Hammer

As many of you already now my novel, Legend of the Mystic Knights. is set in Medieval Switzerland. Being set in Switzerland, allowed me to describe the beautiful Swiss Alps and running rivers and streams as a backdrop to my novel.

It allowed me to utilize the culture surrounding this unique and gorgeous country. On the flip side, I also had to add the darker medieval side of this country, to include the brutal weapons developed there; enter the Lucerne Hammer.

The Lucerne Hammer gets its name from the region of Switzerland that bears its name. If you wish to know more about Lucerne, Switzerland, I refer you to one of my previous posts.

The Lucerne Hammer is a type of pole arm. A pole arm was developed to extend the capability of a weapon being welded. The Lucerne Hammer was typically over 7 feet long, which gave the user an extended striking distance.

The head of the Lucerne Hammer is what made it distinctive among other pole arms. The head consisted of a hammer, which three or four prongs. These prongs focused the blow of the weapon to be concentrated on several small points, allowing it to cause damage underneath, without actually penetrating the armor. The hammer distinguishes it from a halberd, another form of a pole arm, which has a blade instead of the hammer.

A large spike or blade was on top of the head extending its reach even further. This was used to pierce in between plates of armor, or be used on combatants who did not wear armor. This blade was very effective against a knight by striking into the wide eye slits in a knight’s helmet.

The major advantage of the Lucerne Hammer was the curved spike on the reverse side of the hammer. This spike was particularly effective against a knight on horseback; the Lucerne hammer could be used to reach up and catch the plates between the knight’s armor and pulling him to the ground. Getting a knight off his horseback, and onto the ground, rendered him less effective as a fighting soldier.

As with many weapons of the middle ages, they were replaced by more technologically more advanced weapons. The Lucerne Hammer was no exception, as with most aspects of the medieval times, it soon faded into history.

Next time: The Tazlewurm: Switzerland’s Mythical Monster


  1. Interesing. Have to admit I have never even heard about the Lucerne Hammer before. Would not like to come across someone with such a weapon.

  2. Yikes! Can you say scary??? Holy moly! That Lucerne Hammer looks positively barbaric. Those medieval dudes didn't fool around, did they!

  3. Brutal. Although no more so than the technologically sophisticated replacements that kill and maim in mass.

  4. If I had read this article a few years ago, I would have thought the lucerne hammer was the most barbaric thing ever. Seeing as what has been happening lately around the world, it doesn't seem quite as horrific. You do bring out the most interesting facts - always something new.

  5. For sure this Lucerne Hammer was as evil as many things of that time in history. I'm glad I'm reading your post about it instead of watching the history channel!

  6. I have never heard of a Lucerne Hammer. I have been to Lucerne and you do not see it any museums either. I have to say it looks nasty

  7. I never heard about Lucerne Hammer before, but it was hard fo rme to read about the details of this weapon that was used in Switzerland. I was feeling sad about it's use and I feel sorry about the people on whom this would have been used.

  8. Lucerne seems like such a peaceful place, it seems strange to have such a weapon named after it!

  9. Had not heard of any weapon of that length beside a pike until the other night where The History Channel was doing a piece on Vikings and showed the capabilities and brutality of the long axe. Very similar.