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Goedendag (also known as the Godendag, Godendac, Godendard, Godendart)
Time Period: 14th-15th century
Location: Europe
Common Construction: Wood with metal spikes

The goedendag is a Flemish two handed spiked maul. It also has a top spike that also allows it to be wielded like a spear. Goedendag is Dutch for "good day" and the weapon received its name from an anecdote about the revolt of Bruges in 1302. The Flemish walked the streets of Bruges wishing each man a good day, and those that responded with a French accent were murdered in the street.

The goedendag was most famously used to defeat the French at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. This battle was between a traditional French army consisting of both infantry and mounted knights against a "peasant" army of Flemish militia and townspeople. Unlike most peasant uprisings, the Flemish infantry were trained and well equipped. Even so, the French achieved some initial success with their conventional footmen. However, the nobles ordered the infantry to withdraw so that the knights could claim the victory. Due to the difficult terrain and well fortified Flemish position, the French cavalry suffered heavy losses and fled the battlefield. The battle is named after the golden spurs collected from the fallen French knights, which were hung in the local church.

Battles like this showed that an army of peasants and militia could defeat a group of professional soldiers and knights with the right weapons. Pikes and other polearms quickly gained favor and the battle signaled the beginning of formation based warfare that would rule the battlefield until the early 18th century.

CE 14th Century, CE 15th Century, France, History, Spear, Weapon


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