Today we will talk about one of the Medieval European swords which proved to be one of the most efficient on the battlefields.
Appearance and Nomenclature
It is the Estoc Sword! The appearance of the Estoc sword dates back to 14th century. This sword was used all over the Europe and is differently called by European nations. The term Estoc itself is of French origins and means to point, or thrust. In Italian the same sword was called Stucco; in Spanish Estoque, in German Dreiecker or Panzersteche. English version for the Estoc sword is Tuck. This sword was so widely spread that reached even Eastern Europe where was known as Kanzer. The Estoc sword is considered the forerunner of the rapier, which is just a supposition.
The Estoc sword is an anti-armor weapon! It was improved when the armor developed. It was a mean destined to attack as the cutting and slicing weapons were losing their effectiveness. At the same time this sword was designed to replace crushing weapons such as maces and axes which were extremely heavy to wear. The Estoc was able, as well as the maces, to split the rings of mail, or to find the joints and crevices of plate.
The Estoc sword is a two hander! Which means it was usually wielded with two hands; the second hand often gripped the blade to enforce the thrusting movement. Generally, it represents a long, rigid, pointed, triangular or square bladed piece. Sometimes there was even diamond shaped cross-section. The edges of an Estoc sword usually were unsharpened as it was designed for thrusting into heavy plated armor or steel shields. Only the point was sharpened in order to penetrate through any kind of steel.
A distinctive feature of an Estoc sword is the doubled hand guard construction. This indeed looked like a compound hilt. Usually the guard elements are situated at some distance from one another and feature cross guards for perfect protection of the hand.
Sizes and Possessors
Some of the exemplars of this sword reach 62 inches, but these are exceptions. The maneuverable exemplars are around 46 inches. The geometric cross-section hardens the cutting ability, but allows the weapon to become lengthy, stiff, and act accurately.
The Estoc was the weapon mainly of cavalry. It was hanged by the saddle when on horseback.
Later the Estoc became a characteristic weapon for infantry for this purpose there were provided scabbards. Some forms provided finger rings, curved quillons, or other forms of a compound hilt.
The Estoc sword is one of the rare Medieval cold steel weapons, and probably the unique sword that was able to get through heavy armor and mails.