What Is The Bohemian Earspoon?

Key Point: Bohemian earspoon was a unique polearm, 5 to 7 feet in length used in central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Interested in the Bohemian earspoon? In this article, we will take a look at what the Bohemian earspoon is, and how this weapon was used. And how on earth has a weapon got such a funny name? So, by the time you finish this article, you will know everything there is to know about this unique polearm.

But before we continue … let’s establish one thing. What was the Bohemian earspoon?

Bohemian earspoon was a type of polearm that consisted of a long spear-like shaft with a pointed blade at one end and a hook or “ear” at the other. The ear was used to pull enemy riders from their horses, while the blade was used for thrusting and cutting. The Bohemian earspoon was particularly popular among the Hussite armies of 15th-century Bohemia.

Now, let’s take a look at it a little deeper. Starting with its history and origins.

The Origin Of The Bohemian Earspoon

The Bohemian Earspoon, also known as the Bohemian War Spoon, was a unique polearm that originated in the Kingdom of Bohemia in the early 15th century. It was primarily used as a weapon by the Hussites, a Christian movement that emerged in Bohemia during the Hussite Wars. It was favored by the Hussites due to its versatility and effectiveness in close combat.

You might think that “earspoon” is a funny way to call a weapon … well wait until you see how the Bohemians named a few of their other weapons.

The design of the Bohemian Earspoon was influenced by earlier weapons such as the Bohemian Goose Quill and the Bohemian Ear Dagger (told you the names got weirder).

Now, let’s see an example of a battle where the Bohemian earspoon was used.

Battle Where It Was Used

The Battle of Sudoměř fought on March 25, 1420, is considered to be the first battle where the Bohemian Earspoon was used. The Hussite forces, equipped with a mix of traditional weapons and innovative designs such as the Bohemian Earspoon, defeated a much larger and better-equipped army of the Holy Roman Empire. Their effective use of the Bohemian Earspoon in close combat played a significant role in their victory.

Now onwards to the dimensions of the earspoon (I still find that name so funny).

Dimensions Of The Bohemian Earspoon

The Bohemian Earspoon measured 6 to 7 feet in length. The spearhead of the weapon was generally around 2 to 3 feet in length and featured a curved, spoon-like shape with a sharpened point.

The spoon-shaped blade allowed the wielder to hook and pull an opponent’s armor, disorienting them and leaving them vulnerable to further attacks.

And what was it made from?

Materials Used To Make It

The spearhead of the weapon was made from iron or steel, while the shaft was typically made from wood such as ash or oak. These materials were quite often used to make various polearms.

Some Bohemian Earspoons were even decorated with ornate engravings or carvings. This meant they were made for high-ranking officers or nobles. one such example is the Bohemian Earspoon belonging to Jan Žižka (this guy was a big deal btw), which featured an engraved Hussite chalice.

Now, let’s explore how they used it in battle.

How The Bohemian Earspoon Was Used In Battle?

The Bohemian Earspoon was primarily used as a thrusting weapon in close combat.

Its spoon-shaped blade allowed the wielder to hook and pull an opponent’s armor. This disorientated them and left them vulnerable to further attacks.

The long shaft of the weapon provided its user with the reach necessary to engage an opponent without putting themselves at too much risk. Which made every polearm, not just this one a useful weapon to have.

The Bohemian Earspoon was also often used in conjunction with other weapons such as the flail or the morning star. Which were often used to strike an opponent after they had been disoriented by the Bohemian Earspoon’s hooking action.

So, considering how useful it was, why did the “earspoon” disappear from the battlefield?

Why Did The Bohemian Earspoon Disappear From The Battlefield?

The Bohemian earspoon had a really short period of usage on the battlefield since it disappeared from military use by the mid-16th century.

There were several reasons for its decline. Firstly, firearms were becoming more advanced and widespread, and using melee weapons like the Bohemian earspoon became less common. Since if someone can shoot you before you come close then what good is a long pointy stick?

Finally, improved armor technology meant that armor was becoming more resistant to thrusting weapons like the Bohemian earspoon.

But it’s mainly the introduction of more effective firearms that sealed the earspoons fate. It was cheaper and quicker to equip an army with muskets than with polearms. Hence why the earspoon (despite the cool-sounding name) disappeared from the field of battle.

Similar to what happened with this one.

In Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you gained a thing or two from it. And I will see you at the next one. I suggest continuing to learn about polearms by taking a look at this one. It’s called the fauchard.

Take care!


“Medieval Weapons: An Illustrated History of Their Impact” by Kelly DeVries