Short hafted weapons such as axes or maces could also be used at close quarters, and these had certain advantages over swords: it does not require much skill to chop deep into someone’s skull or ribcage using an axe you might flub using a sword if you don’t have good technique and edge alignment a mace can give a man a concussion through his helmet or break bones under mail armor more effectively than a sword could. On the other hand, a sword is much better to have in an unarmored or lightly armored fight. Most combatants in a medieval battle would be less than fully armored, and because of its sharpness a sword can wound any part of the body even with a relatively light touch, while an axe or mace is unlikely to inflict debilitating damage with a glancing blow. Indeed, despite the fact that blunt trauma can be quite gruesome, it isn’t as efficient at killing as slicing or stabbing is, and unless a mace is being used against a person who’s well defended against edged weapons, its user would have been better served by one of those. Furthermore, while each sword has a sweet spot which is most effective to cut with, the blade is sharp enough to inflict wounds along its entire length, while an axe or mace blow will do little damage if the relatively small area of the head isn’t right on target, such as when a strike overshoots and the opponent is struck more with the shaft than with the head. A sword is much better for defensive purposes, too. It has a long blade to parry with, the crossguard helps to protect the hand, and it is easy to start, stop, and change the direction of a swing because most of the weight is concentrated toward the hand; an axe or mace has no built in hand protection, has a pursevalley cn handbags replica smaller area upon which to catch a blow, and has most of its weight concentrated at the end, making it more awkward to use for warding off blows.

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