Gaelic Warfare - Exported Gaelic Warfare - Later Weaponry

Later Weaponry

During the late Middle ages and Renaissance, weapon imports from Europe had an impact on Gaelic weapon design. Take for example the German zweihander sword, a long double-handed weapon used for quick, powerful cuts and thrusts. Irish swords were copied from these models, which had unique furnishings. Many, for example, often featured open rings on the pommel. On any locally designed Irish sword in the Middle Ages, this meant you could see the end of the tang go through the pommel and cap the end. These swords were often of very fine construction and quality. Scottish swords continued to use the more traditional "V" cross-guards that had been on pre-Norse Gaelic swords, culminating in such pieces as the now famous "claymore" design. This was an outgrowth of numerous earlier designs, and has become a symbol of Scotland. The claymore was used together with the typical axes of the galloglaigh until the 18th century, but began to be replaced by pistols and muskets. Also increasingly common at that time were basket-hilted swords, shorter versions of the claymore which were used with one hand in conjunction with a shield. These basket-hilted broadswords are still a symbol of Scotland to this day, as is the typical shield known as a "targe."

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