The Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Longswords

Types of Longswords

Longswords are two-handed swords characterized by their extended handles and straight double-edged blades. They were widely used during the medieval period and played a significant role in historical European martial arts. Here are some common types of longswords:

1. Oakeshott Type XII

The Oakeshott Type XII longsword is a classic design characterized by a straight blade with a tapering point and a fuller (groove) running down the center. It typically has a shorter grip, allowing for one or two-handed use. Type XII swords were prevalent in the 13th and 14th centuries and offered a versatile balance between cutting and thrusting.

2. Oakeshott Type XV

The Oakeshott Type XV longsword is known for its long and narrow blade, with a pronounced taper and a sharp point. It is primarily designed for thrusting attacks, making it effective against armored opponents. Type XV swords were prominent in the 14th and 15th centuries and reflected advancements in plate armor technology.

3. Oakeshott Type XIII

The Oakeshott Type XIII longsword features a strong and wide blade with a diamond-shaped cross-section. It is optimized for powerful cutting techniques and thrusts. Type XIII swords were popular in the 13th and 14th centuries and were commonly used by knights and men-at-arms.

4. Oakeshott Type XVI

The Oakeshott Type XVI longsword is characterized by a long and slender blade with a flattened diamond-shaped cross-section. It offers excellent cutting capabilities while retaining good thrusting potential. Type XVI swords were prevalent in the 14th and 15th centuries and were favored by knights and skilled combatants.

5. Oakeshott Type XVIII

The Oakeshott Type XVIII longsword features a stiff and tapering blade optimized for thrusting attacks. It typically has a longer grip, allowing for versatile gripping techniques. Type XVIII swords were popular in the 15th and 16th centuries and were often used by highly skilled and well-trained fighters.

6. Oakeshott Type XIX

The Oakeshott Type XIX longsword is recognized for its wide blade, often with a flattened diamond-shaped cross-section, and a prominent taper towards the point. It is designed for powerful cuts and thrusts. Type XIX swords were used during the late medieval period and reflected developments in armor technology.

These are just a few examples of the many types of longswords that existed throughout history. Each type had its own characteristics, blade geometry, and intended use, depending on the era and the advancements in armor and combat techniques. Longswords played a vital role in the martial arts and warfare of the medieval period, and their designs continue to fascinate enthusiasts and practitioners of historical European martial arts today.