A bec de corbin (Modern French: Bec de corbeau, [bɛk kɔʁ.bo]) is a type of polearm and war hammer that was popular in late medieval Europe. The name is Old French for "raven's beak".[1][2] Similar to the Lucerne hammer, it consists of a modified hammer's head and spike mounted atop a long pole. Unlike the Lucerne hammer, the bec de corbin was used primarily with the "beak" or fluke to attack instead of the hammer head.[citation needed] The hammer face balancing the beak was often blunt instead of the multi-pronged Lucerne, and the beak tended to be stouter; better designed for tearing into plate armor, mail, or gambeson. Nonetheless, some becs-de-corbin also had a multi-pronged hammer.[2] The spike mounted on the top of the head was also not nearly as long and thin as on the Lucerne. Bec de corbin is sometimes used as a general term to describe several types of war hammer, such as mauls and horseman's picks. A similar name, bec de faucon (meaning "falcon's beak"), refers to a related weapon called a poleaxe or, more specifically, to the hook on its reverse side.

References

  1. ^ Husár, Martin; Oţa, Silviu (2020). "Middle Byzantine period weapons from the collections of the National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest (also) used in Byzantium". Materiale şi cercetări arheologice: 229–243.
  2. ^ a b "The medieval warfare museum". Château de Castelnaud. Retrieved 1 February 2024.