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An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1
by Ian Heath


This same ms. contains a large number of illustrations of such close-packed men-at-arms engaged in hand-to-hand combat. The equipment worn here is merely a variation on that of figure 34. One cannot be sure exactly what further armour was worn under the aketon, but here an haubergeon at least is very much in evidence. He is armed with a long-handled martel-de-fer or bec de faucon, its shaft painted white with red diagonal stripes like a barber's pole. This weapon was a variation of the pole-axe and usually comprised a long spike with a pick at the back and a dentated or plain hammer at the front.

[Based on the:
Chroniques de France ou de St Denis, Folio 136r, A battle renewed,
martel-de-fer: Folio 19r, French destroying Genoa,
dagged mail & leg harness: Folio 34r, The Battle of Courtrai &
scabbard through aketon: Folio 212r, Killing of the bailiff]

Next: 36. FRENCH MAN-AT-ARMS c.1415 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1 by Ian Heath