The Lethal Fauchard Polearm

Key Point: A fauchard is a polearm from 5 to 6 feet in length characterized by a curved blade with a sharp point, designed for cutting and thrusting in combat.

Our next polearm to look at in our series is the fauchard. Here we will take a look at the fauchard in detail … what it is, how it was used, and how effective it really was on the battlefield. Now, before we begin, let’s explore one important thing first.

What is the fauchard?

The fauchard was a versatile polearm used in medieval times. It was known for its curved blade that could slice through armor and for its hook that could pull riders off their horses. Although it was not the most common polearm of the era, the fauchard’s unique features made it a valuable weapon on the battlefield. Its popularity dropped as firearms became more effective in warfare.

That was the short introduction. Now, let’s explore this polearm in detail. Starting with its history and origin.

Origin Of The Fauchard

The Fauchard Polearm

The fauchard, also known as a faussard or fauchart, was a type of polearm that originated in medieval Europe. Its name is derived from the French word “faucher,” which means “to mow down”.

The name reflects its primary use at the time. Which was as a tool for cutting down opponents on the battlefield. The exact origins of the fauchard are unclear, but it is believed to have developed from farming tools that were then adapted for use in combat.

This makes sense. If you are going to arm farmers, it’s better to give them weapons they are used to wielding. So the fauchard became popular in the late medieval period, particularly in France, and continued to be used in various forms until the 18th century.

Battle Where It Was Used

The fauchard played a part in many battles throughout its history, but one notable example is the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. In this battle, the Polish-Lithuanian army faced off against the Teutonic Knights in a struggle for control of the Baltic region.

The Polish-Lithuanian forces were equipped with a wide array of weapons, including the fauchard. The long reach and cutting power of the fauchard made it an effective weapon for disabling horses and taking down knights. Which gave the Polish-Lithuanian army a decisive advantage in the battle.

Now, let’s check out the dimension of the fauchard and from what it was made.

Dimensions Of The Fauchard

The overall length of a fauchard, including the shaft and the blade, typically ranged from 7 to 8 feet (2.1 to 2.4 meters). The blade itself usually measured between 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) in length, with the remaining length being made up of the shaft.

Materials Used To Make It

The fauchard was made from a variety of materials. In early versions, the blade was often made from iron or steel, while the pole was made from wood. Later versions featured blades made from higher-quality steel and poles made from hardwoods like ash or hickory.

Some fauchards also featured decorative elements, such as brass or silver inlays, in order to make them more visually appealing. Obviously, such high-end designs would be in the hands of well-off individuals, not poor peasants.

Now, let’s examine the fauchard tactics.

How The Fauchard Was Used In Battle

The fauchard was primarily used as a cutting weapon. But it also had a variety of other uses on the battlefield. Its long reach and a curved blade made it ideal for hooking and pulling. Which was useful since it could be used to trip opponents or disarm them. And as you can imagine, falling during a heavy battle was not exactly the safest option. An enemy soldier could come closer and finish the job.

And can you imagine trying to get up from the ground while wearing heavy-duty armor?

The fauchard was also effective against cavalry. Since its blade could be used to slice through horses’ legs and disable them (this would piss off PETA for sure).

In group combat, the fauchard could be used in conjunction with other weapons, such as swords or axes, to create a deadly combination of cutting, thrusting, and hooking attacks.

Comparison To Other Polearms

Compared to other polearms, the Fauchard’s curved blade gave it a unique advantage in close combat.

But it was not as effective at longer ranges compared to weapons like the halberd or the pike. Its shorter blade and lack of a spike at the end made it more difficult to use against charging cavalry or to penetrate armor. As such, the Fauchard was often used in combination with other weapons, such as a sword or dagger, to provide additional defensive and offensive capabilities.

Why Did The Fauchard Disappear From The Battlefield?

The use of the Fauchard declined as firearms became more prevalent in war. They made traditional polearms like the Fauchard less effective on the battlefield, as they could easily penetrate armor and were deadly at longer ranges. As a result, polearms gradually became less common and were replaced by firearms and other weapons.

The same thing happened with this one.

But, the Fauchard did not completely disappear from use … It continued to be used in civilian life as a tool for farming and forestry work.

In Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you learned a thing or two. And for your next step, I suggest taking a look t a polearm with the weirdest sounding name … the Bohemian earspoon (I swear to god that is what it is called). Go here if you want to check it out.

Take care!


“Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight” by David Edge and John Miles Paddock
“The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship” by Jeffrey L. Forgeng