A Guide to the Medieval Longsword: From History to Practical Use

A Guide to the Medieval Longsword: From History to Practical Use

Introduction about Long swords:

A long swords is European swords. In the 15th-century battlefield, two knights stood facing each other, their breaths showing in the chilly air. They also were ready to duel with longswords that shone in the first light of the sun. The longsword was a best swords in medieval battles and knightly duels. It had a straight, double-edged blade and could be used with one or both hands, making it very versatile. This sword show the culture of European. The sword’s hilt, shaped like a cross, had a grip long enough for two hands, giving the knights good balance and control for powerful cuts and precise thrusts. Further, this Article explores the interesting history of the medieval longsword, looking at its design and the many ways it was used in battles, and we are discussing the legacy of this iconic weapon that influenced medieval warfare.

What does a medieval longsword do?

The longsword developed from the war swords of the 14th century and became important during the early Hundred Years’ War. It became a key weapon in late medieval Europe, leading to a new way of sword fighting.

Characteristics of Medieval Longsword:

Characteristics of Medieval Longsword:

Blade:  The longsword’s blade is typically made of steel and measures between 35 to 45 inches. Blade types like Type XIIa and Type XIIIa are common, designed for both thrusting and cutting. Fullers, or grooves, run along the blade, reducing weight and increasing flexibility.

Hilt:  The hilt usually features a grip made of wood or bone, long enough for two-handed use or hand-and-a-half techniques. The cruciform guard protects the wielder’s hands, while the pommel adds balance, with various designs for different combat styles.

Scabbard (optional):  Typically, craftsmen make longsword scabbards from leather or wood to protect the blade and enable easy carrying. They often feature intricate designs and straps for attachment to a belt or harness.

Size and Weight: Longswords have blades longer than modern single-handed swords but don’t always mean better reach. Blade lengths range from 83 to 101 cm, with hilts about 17 to 25 cm long. They were reasonably light, weighing around 3 to 4 pounds, and could be drawn from a scabbard easily.

History of longsword:

History of longsword:

From the late 14th century, fighting systems with the longsword became codified with different styles and teachers, like Hans Talhoffer. The longsword was versatile, capable of deadly thrusts, slices, and cuts, typically used with both hands on the hilt. In armored combat, half-swording allowed better control. Combat techniques also involved using the pommel and crossguard as offensive tools. Knowledge of longsword combat comes from manuscripts and the Fechtbücher of Medieval and Renaissance masters. The German and Italian schools were the primary sources of these teachings, which declined by the late 16th century as the rapier gained popularity.

Facts about the Medieval Longsword

Facts about the Medieval Longsword

The longsword was a fast, powerful, and Flexible weapon that could deliver deadly thrusts, slices, and cuts. This swords also  show the culture of European. It was usually used with both hands on the hilt, with one hand close to or on the pommel. For disarming or grappling techniques, it could also be held with one hand.

Types of Longswords:

Types of Longswords

Bastard Sword:

A non-specific term that historians often debate. Generally, it refers to a sword that is longer than an arming sword but shorter than a longsword.


The Zweihänder was a German longsword used later in history, known for its varied length and weight. It had a hilt for two hands, a curved cross guard, and a large ricasso for gripping the blade, and “Schilden” beyond the ricasso. Similar swords include the Montante and Espadon, often called great swords.

English longsword:

The English longsword had a hilt for two hands, varying quillon sizes, and a blade longer than an arming sword. This description also applies to the Scottish claymore, Swiss longsword, Italian Spada Longa, and German Lange Schwert.

Is longsword better than katana?

Which is the better weapon: the katana or the longsword? It depends on the situation. For fast and agile cutting and slicing, choose the katana. For better thrusting and parrying, go with the longsword. Each has its strengths depending on the combat needs.


The old longsword, with its straight, sharp blade and flexible style, was a top weapon in battles and knight fights in Europe. This sword, significant from the 14th to the 16th centuries, not only played a vital role in medieval warfare and also show the culture of European. The longsword’s development led to new combat techniques, combining powerful cuts and precise thrusts. While the longsword and the katana each have unique advantages, the longsword’s influence on swordsmanship is undeniable. Its enduring legacy in history and its versatile combat applications make it a fascinating subject for study and admiration.

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