Encyclopedia of historical weapons - Zweihander

The two-handed sword of medieval Europe had a number of names, most fairly self-explanatory. Great in size and weight (some weighed as much as 15-20 pounds), they required two hands to use (zweihander is German for two handed). Most simple two-handed swords were characterized by long straight blades, straight quillons, and a long hilt sufficient for grasping with two hands. Some two-handed swords such as the claymore and flamberge were unique enough to have their own names. Despite their straight blades, two-handed swords were designed for swinging, rather than just thrusting. It was one of the few swords designed to and capable of crushing through heavy armor. A great deal of strength and space were needed to use a two-handed sword well.

Encyclopedia of historical weapons

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