Hand-and-a-half sword

Passau, Germany, 1540–1550.

Steel, wood, leather.

131,5 cm.

The name of the hand-and-a-half sword derives from the fact that the hilt was fairly short compared to proper two-handed swords. It was still wielded with both hands, however. Hand-and-a-half swords were mostly used by Swiss and German mercenary foot soldiers, who were placed in the front row with the aim of breaking the enemy infantry’s spears. These soldiers were paid double what the rest of the troops earned. This sword’s blade is adorned with engravings of the “running wolf of Passau”. The grip is leather-covered wood.