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Crowbill (Also known as the Fighting Pick or Military Pick)
Time Period: 14th-18th century
Location: Europe, India, Persia

The crowbill is basically a metal spike attached at a perpendicular angle to a wooden or metal handle. The spike is often curved to resemble the bill of a crow, hence the name crowbill. The weapon is designed to pierce chain mail and plate joints. Some warhammers have a similar spike on the opposite end of the hammer so that they can deal crushing or piercing blows depending on the situation.

The crowbill is a far less glamorous weapon than the sword, and as such there is less information about it, such as when and where the weapon originated, common construction, or its status on the battlefield as a standard issue weapon or a specialist tool. It appears that India has the most elaborately designed crowbills and the weapon may have originated there and been borrowed by the west due to the weapon's usefulness against heavy armor. Then again the weapon may have evolved from a simple mining pick thrust into a military role.

The two most common construction techniques are:
1) A wooden handle attached to the head by two metal strips riveted to it. The grip is usually bound with leather. This was more common before metallurgical advances allowed the production of higher qualities of steel.

2) An all metal design that is typically much slimmer and smaller than its wooden counterpart, with a small hand guard right above the grip. This design persisted as long as crowbills were used in combat.

History, India, Mace, Medieval Europe, Persia, Weapon


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