A halberd is a pole weapon that is characterized by an axe blade with a spike on top and sharp protrusions at its rear—all mounted atop a long shaft. Soldiers who employed halberds are referred to as halberdiers, and historically, they were a prominent component of medieval armies.
Consisting of an axe blade at the end of a pole with a spike atop to complement it, the halberd is a versatile type of polearm that functions as a hybrid of a battle axe and a spear. It features a third defining element: a sharp protrusion, often a hook, that extends from the rear of the axe blade, useful for grappling enemies. Aside from these core features, the proportions and designs of the axe blade, spike, and hook can vary from halberd to halberd. The spikes of Italian guards' halberds during the Renaissance, for instance, were essentially spearheads while the axe blade bore a smaller profile. In contrast, common halberds in Paris during the French Revolution had heavy axe blades with exceedingly long and narrow spikes. Lighter variants were also prevalent in that period, with scaled down axe blades. A particular French model known as the hallebarde croissant was distinguished by its wide, crescent-shaped axe blade.
Throughout the history of medieval European warfare, the halberd was a popular choice of polearm, second only to the spear and pike in ubiquity. During the Renaissance, it was widely utilized by Seekers, city guards who typically probed hiding spots with long weapons. The design of the halberd made them effective defensive impediments as well, and halberdiers on both sides of the Granada War were often stationed at entrances and exits to obstruct intruders and fleeing enemies. Its employment did not only extend west to Spain as it saw service with the Byzantine Empire as well, particularly with the elite Varangian Guard. After the Byzantines were conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453, Varangian halberdiers continued to operate under the Byzantine Rite of the Templar Order. In contrast to their adversaries, the Ottomans did not favor the halberd, and it was not conventionally used by its military.
By the time of the French Revolution, halberds were still prevalent although they had been phased out in state militaries by firearms. As a result, the halberd did not see much, if any, use in the colonies of North America during the 18th century, but it nevertheless remained common in Germany. Among the Parisian Brotherhood of Assassins, halberds remained a part of their arsenal throughout the conflict.
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- In Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy, the icon for the pike actually depicts a halberd. Even so, the item is a component in crafting for pikemen, not halberdiers.
- Assassin's Creed II
- Assassin's Creed II: Discovery
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations
- Assassin's Creed: Unity
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - The Fate of Atlantis: Judgment of Atlantis