Not every war is fought with diplomatic interventions, some demand valor, infantry and a bloodshed saga of retaliations. Almost every part of the world that we live in has been in the cuffs of someone superior, for instance the Indians by British. Some wars go beyond closed door talks and the concept of fighting cold. Fighting war isn’t just about killing as many one gets but also about how you fight, with what you fight. Various civilizations came and went by, giving birth to a variety of warfare, and arms or weapons and ammunitions.
Sounds really small to accept, but there are continents or countries lying today, who will surely credit the warfare and ancient weapons in getting them free from the clutches of slavery and alien rule. AK-47, Berettas etc are the new age weapon everyone is aware of, but hardly few know of the ancient weapons which have in some way paved the path for the technological advancements in the field of weaponry.
We bring to you the 27 amazing ancient weapons that existed.
India is the land of the biggest warriors- Rajputs and it is natural that it has to be the cradle of interesting weapons. One among them is the Haladie. Certainly the most dangerous, it was used by the warrior caste, the Rajput.
The Haladie has two double-cut blades attached to a single handle. While its curved blade could be used for sharp blows, it is believed to be a throwing weapon. Some had a guard full of tips on one side of the wrist, where a third blade could be screwed, making this perhaps the world’s first triple-blade dagger.
It must have been frightening to witness the onslaught of a bunch of Rajput warriors with a haladie in one hand and the other double-cut scimitar, the khanda.
The greatest sword in the history- the Zweihaender became famous for being used by the Swiss and German infantry to combat spearmen. Zweihaender is a German name, meaning zwei- two, and haender- hand. The sword was made to be brandished with two hands and was usually as large as the soldier who wore it, as long as 178 cm and weighing between 1.4 And 6.4 kg. The heaviest were only used as ceremonial swords.
The primary use was against spearmen and halberdans at great distances, and for this some had an unskilled part just above the guard, the ricasso, and a secondary guard. Ricasso could be used in hand-to-hand combat to swing the sword more easily.
A group of mercenaries who made the Zweihaender famous were the Lanskechts (German servants of the earth), so respected that they were given special exemptions to keep their extravagant clothes.
Despite their popularity, the Zweihaender ended up giving way to lance or pike, and became only ceremonial weapons. Technological advances also eventually shifted her from first-line weapon to shock troops and mercenaries, even being banned in battles.
Atlatl is a Stone Age weapon, precursor of the bow and arrow. A spear could be thrown at short distances with limited speed but the atlatl launched a dart at speed up to 160 km/h.
It simply consisted of a protruded stick and a knot on one side where a dart can be supported. The atlatl was so efficient that some scientists believe it is linked to the extinction of the woolly mammoth.
The speed of the launch came from the flexibility of the weapon. Both the atlatl and the throwing dart were made of flexible wood. The two parts curl simultaneously when the atlatl is used, allowing energy to be stored that is released at the end of the launch.
Archaeological evidence shows that the use of Atlatl was widespread in inhabited continents except Africa. Although replaced by the bow and arrow, the atlatl was used by the Aztecs to the 16th century.
4 Bagh Nakh
A Hindi term meaning the Tiger claw, Bagh Nakh is an Indian weapon inspired by the claws of the Bengal tigers. Not only it served to inflict 4 painful wounds, it could also be used to climb.
Fakirs, the ancient ascetics and mendicant Muslim and Hindu monks, were not allowed to carry arms and this forced them to use artifice and improvisation to defend themselves. One of them is the madu, which apparently was not considered a weapon.
The Madu was originally made from the horns of an Indian antelope, connected by a bar. With the horns on opposite sides, it was excellent for penetrating blows, despite being considered a weapon of defense.
The madu’s fighting style is still practiced and is named maan kombu, being part of an ancient Indian martial art, the silambam. The name maan kombu means deer antlers and is an art that is dying, in part because of laws prohibiting the use of antlers or deer horns. Some variations of the weapon include steel shields and tips, which make the madu a still more effective weapon.
Khopesh was a Bronze Age weapon used by the Egyptians. Its shape has earned it the name sword-scythe, but was more a cross between a sword and a battle ax. Khopesh in the ancient times became so lethal in battle that it eventually became the preferred status symbol of the Egyptian elite.
It was cast in a single piece of brass, and was generally very heavy. Its origin may be related to the adaptation of some larger weapon that was brandished with two hands, similar to a war ax imported from Canaan and Mesopotamia.
With its sharp curve, like a scythe, only the outer edge of the blade was sharp. With its weight, it could be used both for cutting and for bruising. The inside of the curve could also be used to trap and tear off the opponent’s shield. For this purpose, the weapon had a tooth.
Urumi is yet another unique sword. Not only it had a bizarre length, (from 3 to 5 meters), but it was also made of a flexible metal, making it a sword cross with whip.
When it was not being branded, it could be wrapped around the waist like a belt. When it was being used, it created a defensive zone that was difficult to penetrate.
Using this sword was not easy as it was a double-edged sword and it took a few years to learn to brand it.
It was so difficult that moves like stopping the sword or changing the direction of the blow were considered special abilities, difficult to master. It could not be used in closed combat formations, but was more used in man-to-man combat and in assassinations.
Despite the difficulty of mastering it, as soon as its possessor overpowered it, it became practically invincible. After all, even if the enemy raised a shield against this weapon, it was able to bypass it and cut off the enemy behind it.
The shotel sword, unlike the khopesh, was really a sword-sickle. Originally from Ethiopia, it was very difficult to block it with another sword or even shield, because the blade could bend around the blockade and reach its target. However, the shotel sword was considered by everyone as a useless weapon.
The handle was too small for such a wide blade, making it difficult to hold or direct it. Fighting with a shotel was very complicated as its shape made it difficult even to remove it from the sheath. In addition, the sheath was 30 cm longer than the swords, and was used behind the user, which made it difficult to draw the sword so that the blade pointed to the correct side.
Even the Ethiopians considered the shotel little more than an ornament, useful only to impress their girlfriends.
9 Chu Ko Nu
Cho-ko-nu or chu ko nu originated in China and was allegedly created by strategist Zhuge Liang during the Han Dynasty.
This weapon had a higher shooting speed compared to its European counterparts, since the action of placing a new arrow after a shot required only one hand. This operation was performed by moving a lever back and forth, which positioned a new arrow for the next shot and also stretches the bow string. This was possible because the weapon had a compartment that contained ten to fifteen arrows.
Its fabrication was simple and in the hand of a well-trained soldier could fire the ten shots in fifteen seconds. Although it was a weapon for the use of a single soldier there were also larger variants used as siege weapons that needed to be operated by two soldiers.
In a way this weapon is a precursor to the current automatic weapons that can perform hundreds of shots without interruption.
The Chu-ko-nu were not very precise because their darts did not have guiding feathers, and they did not have much power. Many times darts were poisoned to be mortal.
10 Gauntlet Dagger/punching dagger
This weapon has its origins in the Indian weapon Katar.
It is a short, triangular blade dagger with a handle designed to be gripped in the hand so that the blade protrudes from the front of the fist. Over the centuries, the Push Dagger has fluctuated in popularity as a royal battle weapon for civilians and the military elite.
11 Dagger in trident – Germany, 17th century
The Renaissance was a cultural period of many inventions and it is not surprising that the trident dagger – which might as well be a weapon of Assassin’s Creed 2 – came about.
In addition to the traditional blade it had two secondary weapons for defense and surprise attacks. They were quickly activated with a small lever and did not harm the thrusts, and improved the blockage against other sharp objects.
Used by Edo period police (between 1603 and 1868), this Japanese weapon was used to subdue rebellious samurai without hurting them much, since by law, a samurai could only be killed by another samurai. The police responded by arranging a weapon that would prevent sword fighting.
As soon as a samurai drew his sword, two policemen wore these weapons which were threaded into the samurai’s kimono and then twisted – the name of the weapon means sleeper winder. They clung to the kimono and could then be used to knock down and keep the samurai on the ground.
13 The Man Catcher
Man Catcher literally means capturing men. The weapon is quite basic and consists of a baton that has an incomplete semicircle at the tip, usually contoured inside by spikes. It initially is not intended to be lethal. The idea is to trap the opponent by the neck, usually knocking him off the horse and then making him a prisoner of war. The weapon was used in different versions around Europe and even in Japan.
14 Gladiator Scissors
The name maybe deceptive, but in no way deals with the commercial scissors we use. The scissors worn by gladiators in Rome during the Roman Empire boom were mortal and extremely painful. The metal device was attached to the arms of the warriors, allowing them to launch attacks and block them. Made of heavy metal, these pieces measure approximately 50 cm.
15 Lantern Shields
The lantern shield has a plethora of utilities. The structure started with a round shield for defense and proceeded with a gauntlet to hold the protection and two spikes of toast on the end. It also had a larger spear to attack and a pointed surface. The trap did not stop there: a flashlight was hidden inside, with the light released by a hole to confuse the enemies with the brightness.
16 Fire Lance
This weapon was developed in China and resembled a spear that fired projectiles using gunpowder. Early versions consisted of a bamboo tube with sand tied in a spear. When the enemy came close, this weapon was used to blunt him.
As the technology evolved, the fire spears began to incorporate poisoned shards and darts but explosions strong enough to hurl these projectiles require a stronger tube, and the firing spears began to be made first with a reinforced paper, and then with metal.
According to reports, a weapon called a fire tube was used as a flamethrower, throwing a flame of 3.5 meters on the enemies. Further refinements included toxic chemical compounds in the explosive mixture, causing the burns of the victims to become infected. They were able to cast a poisoned flame over their victims for up to five minutes.
Pata was one of the most famous seventeenth century lethal weapons used by the warriors of the Maratha Empire (1674 – 1820). It was a short-handled sword with built-in guard and the size of blade ranged from 25 to 101 centimeters. Forged with the techniques of Metal Damasquino (which consists of forging artifacts from the fusion of totally distinct metals, usually iron and gold or iron and silver), Pata possessed enormous strength, and drilling ability. It was by virtue of these reasons that it was widely used both by heavy cavalry soldiers and by infantrymen who aimed to shoot down heavy cavalry’s enemies.
Marata soldiers were trained to use two Paws in combat, but in some cases the soldier used the sword, accompanied by another weapon such as ax or spear. However, the weapon was often buffed for a moment of life and death, and soldiers were trained to use the powerful sword to cause the highest casualties before being shot down.
Kakute is the name the Japanese gave to the rings resembling another Japanese weapon, the wooden shobo. They were used on the middle finger or thumb, or both, and with the tips turned inward.
Its use was to subjugate an opponent, instead of hurting. To subjugate the opponent, the Kakute user usually grabbed the victim by putting pressure on some nerve or pressure point, which would either fool the opponent or cause tremendous pain from the punch.
The Kakute was used by the ninja women, the kunoichi, since it was more natural for women to have rings on their fingers. They could be impregnated with poison, making it one of their most effective weapons.
19 Obsidian Knives
Obsidian is a dark glass of volcanic origin found in many parts of the world. Due to its abundance in nature, it was often used as ornament, mirror, knives and jewels. It could be cracked in white or striped and its iridescence made it hypnotic, with milky metallic reflections.
Obsidian was used by American Indians who believed in their powers to sharpen their inner and outer visions. Obsidian helped ward off negativity and was a glass that protected sensitive people.
It helped to forget old love and ways to stimulate the desire to travel and see new horizons. It also reinforced the gift of prophecy.
The Mayans used Obsidian in their ceremonies as knives in performed rituals and sacrifices. The Mexicans used it to make images of their god Tezcatlipoca. It is said that mirrors of this material are used for divination in ancient Mexico and neighboring countries.
Appearances can be deceptive, for the macuahuitl is a very painful weapon, despite its inability to pierce the enemy. Basically it is a large piece of wood in the shape of a sword and with small pieces of obsidian embedded on both sides. This weapon of war was used by the Aztecs as a kind of bat and in the typical sacrificial rituals.
The Azande, an African tribe, used this variation of a knife as a deadly weapon. Some models reached over 60 centimeters and almost all had three blades, constantly sharpened. When the warriors carrying these weapons married, they gave their Kpinga to the woman’s relatives.
Katar is another Indian weapon famous all over the world and highly acclaimed in royal combat games. The weapon was initially developed for the Indian elite, as wearing a Katar at that time showed a high status, such as carrying a katana in Japan. It later became widely used by mercenaries, assassins and stealth warriors.
The weapon consists of a blade that varies between 30 and 90 centimeters and a steel bracelet that protects the handle of the holder and gives a lot of freedom of handling. The weapon is very lightweight and provides incredible agility to the wearer, but despite the low weight, Katar is great for punching heavy armor, giving the warrior a martial ability that even looks like a cheater!
Curiosity: Around the eighteenth century the Indians created a type of Katar that had two single shot pistols fitted on its sides, the idea was to punch the opponent and then shoot the bullets at point-blank range. Despite the terrifying brutality of the so-called Katar-Pistol, the weapon did not become popular.
Characteristic to be an iron hand, the Zhua (means claw) was a weapon widely used in the China of the imperial time. This extravagant device of fight was required to extract the skin and parts of the bodies of the people. It made an agony extremely slow and painful. When a Zhua was in the hands of skilled soldiers, people could be knocked down from their horses by being trapped in the claws of the Zhua.
24 Enouy In 19th century
The British Joseph Enouy patented a bizarre weapon in 1855 and baptized it with his own name. The pistol had no less than eight cylinders with space for six bullets each, totaling no less than 48 shots. Too good to be true, is not it? That’s right: the weapon was very heavy, had no precision and generated an absurd kick, and could not be transported discreetly around. It never came to be mass-produced and was only in the prototype.
25 Key Weapon In 17th Century
The old jailers used to find it difficult to open the cell of the most dangerous prisoners and at the same time keep a gun pointed at them. The solution founded was as direct as possible: create a key-shaped pistol that really shoots and opens doors. These devices fired a single shot and some even had to be lit by matches, which only made everything even more complicated. In other models, the trigger was too close to the lock and accidental shots were very easy to do. Few models remain and today belong to collectors.
This is, of course, the most famous of all weapons in the Indian armory. The Chakram is a powerful shotgun. There are indications that the weapon was developed by the Persian army and then inherited by the Indians. The Chakram is a metal circle, usually hollow in the center, with sharp cutting edges along its outer edge. According to experts, the weapon has the power to easily decapitate humans.
The weapon was brought to Europe in the first few centuries after Christ, but the Europeans failed to develop sufficient skills to use the artifact in combat, and later came to be used as a toy, giving rise to the famous Frisbee.
The weapon was very famous throughout the world thanks to its notoriety in the American series Xena, the Warrior Princess, produced in New Zealand.
27 Hook Swords
The hook-swords originating in China were initially manufactured by the Shaolin monks as defensive weapons. These devices are characterized by being slightly curved and having a shape of a hook at one end, in addition to that they can be connected to another sword. They may not be as cruel as the other weapons on that list, but they could be deadly if they were not well manipulated.