Boarding Axe

  • Piracy
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

With the advent of Sailing Ships for warfare, so was a tactic needed to successfully capture an enemies ship. Although the ultimate goal was to sink one's enemy vessel, the desire to take an enemies ship (for prize or use) – was just as important. The method of physically taking a ship was known as “Boarding” and required Sailors and Soldiers to form a “Boarding Party”. When ships were lashed together (via Grappling) or assaulted by small boats (launches) – men would climb onto an enemies ship for fighting at close quarters. Many small weapons were used for this tactic – with one particular favorite known as The Boarding Axe. The presence of an axe on a ship (for cutting wood and rope), was not uncommon. The Boarding Axes were specifically designed for close quarters fighting. The Axe Head was similar in design and shape to The Dane Axe of the 9th and 10th Centuries. Handles made of Oak or Pine Hardwood (roughly 3 to 4 feet long) were preferred for easy of handling and control. Boarding Axes were used a hacking, battering and blunt force impact weapon. Boarding Axes would be used from the 16th  to early 20th Centuries.