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Longswords

Longswords

The Longsword is a type of European sword used during the late medieval period. Longswords have long cruciform hilts with grips over 10 to 15 cm length (providing room for two hands). Straight double-edged blades are often over 1 m to 1.2 m (40" to 48") length, and weigh typically between 1.2 and 2.4 kg (2½ to 5 lb), with light specimens just below 1 kg (2.2 lb), and heavy specimens just above 2 kg (4½ lb).

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Longswords

Longsword

The longsword is commonly held in combat with both hands, though some may be used single-handed. Longswords are used for hewing, slicing, and stabbing. The specific offensive purpose of an individual longsword is derived from its physical shape. All parts of the sword are used for offensive purposes, including the pommel and crossguard.

The longsword, with its longer grip and blade, appears to have become popular during the 14th century and remained in common use, as shown through period art and tale, from 1250 to 1550. The longsword was a powerful and versatile weapon, but was not considered the only weapon needed for learning the arts of war. Johannes Lichtenauer, an influential Fechtbuch (combat manual) author, writes that young knights should learn to "wrestle well, (and) skilfully wield spear, sword, and dagger in a manly way." It is apparent that even to a master swordsman, other weapons and techniques are of great importance for battle. For close personal infantry combat, however, the longsword was prized for its versatility and killing capability.

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