Here is a list of some of the most badass ancient weapons ever used.
A man catcher, also known as catchpole, is an esoteric type of pole weapon which was used in Europe as late as the 18th century. It consisted of a pole mounted with a two-pronged head. Each prong was semi-circular in shape with a spring-loaded “door” on the front.
The lantern shield is a small shield combined with a lantern used during the Italian Renaissance (15th and 16th century Italy), especially for nighttime duels. A number of specimens survive. Their defining feature is a small circular shield – a buckler – combined with a lantern, or a hook from which to hang a lantern, intended to blind the opponent at night or in duels fought at dawn.
Pata (Gauntlet Sword)
The pata or patta is an Indian sword with a gauntlet integrated as a handguard. Often referred to in its native Marathi as a dandpatta, it is commonly called a gauntlet-sword in English. Traditionally, Maratha warriors were trained to fight with dual pata by bearing one in each hand. Alternatively, a single pata was used in addition to a belt, javelin, or axe in the other hand. The sword was also used by cavalry soldiers for its thrusting ability and was found more effective when two soldiers fought together as pairs.
What is the oldest weapon?
The oldest stone-tipped projectile weapons date to 280,000 years, study says. The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been discovered in Ethiopia. The javelins are roughly 280,000 years old and predate the earliest known fossils of our species, Homo sapiens, by about 80,000 years. *
Fu-Go Balloon Bomb
Fu-Go was an incendiary balloon weapon deployed by Japan against the United States during World War II. A hydrogen balloon measuring 10 meters in diameter, it carried a payload of two 11-pound incendiary devices plus one 33-pound anti-personnel bomb and was intended to start large forest fires in the Pacific Northwest.
Goedendag was developed to counter armored knights. Its simple effectiveness and ease of manufacture resulted in a very efficient weapon for the foot soldier against the mounted knight. This replica was done to specs supplied by the client to replicate an average weapon of the period. Shown here in a polished state and rough and black from the hammer. The spike is nearly an inch square at the base and over 10″ long. The shaft is turned ash about 2 inches across at the top tapering to approximately an inch.
Tecpatl (Obsidian Knife)
In the Aztec culture, a tecpatl was a flint or obsidian knife with a lanceolate figure and double-edged blade, with elongated ends. Both ends could be rounded or pointed, but other designs were made with a blade attached to a handle. It can be represented with the top half red, reminiscent of the color of blood, in representations of human sacrifice and the rest white, indicating the color of the flint blade.
Duck’s Foot Pistol
The Duck’s Foot Pistol (named so because of its design) was made in order to attack large groups at close quarters. The demerit (and a major one), however, was that none of the four barrels of the pistol point straight ahead. And therefore, the pistol was dangerous, but definitely not for the aim. The pistol was popular among bank guards, prison wardens, and sea captains in the early 19th century.
Continental Four-Barrel Flintlock Pistol
Continental Four-barrel Flintlock Pistol, c. late 18th century, iron butt and frame engraved with foliate designs, four rifled barrels, two hammers, and four steels.
World War I involved a lot of trench warfare (a type of combat in which opposing troops fight from trenches facing each other). And in order to be able to fight at close proximities effectively, soldiers invented makeshift lethal weapons, such as Gauntlet Daggers. This gauntlet dagger – sometimes also known as a ‘punching’ dagger – is designed to be worn on the bearer’s arm like a glove during close-quarter combat. The weapon itself comprises a crudely made blade and a protective ‘gauntlet’ made from light sheet steel.
Caltrops were medieval area-denial weapons made up of sharp spines arranged so that however it’s thrown on the ground, one spike always points upwards. Historically, caltrops were ideal as defenses to slow troops’ advance, especially horses, chariots, and war elephants. The name is derived from the Latin calcitrapa (foot-trap).
The Morning Star is a club-like weapon consisting of a shaft with an attached ball adorned with spikes. This medieval weapon combines blunt-force and puncture attacks. The Morning Star dates back to the 14th century and its use was particularly widespread in Germany (where it was called Morgenstern). They are frequently confused with the Morning Star Flail, a wooden shaft joined by a chain to one or more iron-shod bars.
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Eastern Roman Empire beginning c. 672. Used to set fire to enemy ships, it consisted of a combustible compound emitted by a flame-throwing weapon. Some historians believe it could be ignited on contact with water and was probably based on naphtha and quicklime.