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A berdiche (alternatively bardiche, long poleaxe), is a type of polearm known in medieval and renaissance Europe, especially in Eastern Europe and Russia where it was used instead of the halberd.
Occasionally weapons of this form were made in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, but the regular and massive usage of bardiches started in early 15th century Russia (some sources name the late 14th century). It was likely developed from the Scandinavian Broadaxe, but it only appeared in Scandinavia in the late 15th century. In the 16th century the bardiche became a weapon associated with streltsy (Russian guardsmen armed with firearms).
In Russia and in Poland this weapon was used to rest handguns upon when firing. It was standard equipment for the Streltsy corps (foot, mounted and dragoons) and also for the Polish infantry (shorter version invented by king Jan III Sobieski).
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