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