Morgenstern: the terrible star of the Middle Ages

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A cudgel is perhaps the most ancient of all varieties of cold weapons. Simple design, comfortable shape and stunning efficiency. But sometimes a simple mace or kisteni was not enough to pick out too impudent neighbors from the plate armor who came to declare their rights to your lands. We present you a mornstern - a great remedy against heavy armor!

Morgenstern: the terrible star of the Middle Ages


Morgenstern (German: Morgenstern, “morning star”) is a special type of strike weapon, the combat part of which (“beat”) was a metal ball with pointed spikes protruding from different angles. This form gave him a certain resemblance to a star, for which the Morganstern got its nickname.

It is considered that the term "mornstern" first appeared in Switzerland. First of all, it meant a mace with a spike top, but there was also a kettenmorgenstern (“chain morsenstern”) - a kind of Kysten with a similar bil.



Making a moronstern was a very simple matter. In the event that the shock part was made of iron, the spikes were simply welded. If bronze or cast iron were used as the base material, then the steel spikes tails produced a slightly larger diameter than the mounting hole. When such a spike was inserted into the top with the maximum heat, after equalizing the temperature the metal “grabbed” the steel and very reliably held the spikes. The cheapest option was simply to drive the iron spikes into the club, entirely carved out of wood, but this did not ensure the proper strength of the structure, and the tree quickly cracked.

Advantages

Eerie weapons look spectacular, but usually spikes are more decoration than real help in the battle. Transportation of any weapon with spikes is troublesome: you can’t sew scabbards and covers under it, it constantly clings to clothes and prevents you from walking, and if you do not carelessly swing them in combat, then in tight formation the risk of injuring your comrades sharply increases. However, Morgenstern received a well-deserved vocation as a great tool against heavily armed infantry and cavalry. Faceted spikes perfectly pierced the chain mail, and the rider with such a mace could break through with plate armor.



The second significant plus is the simplicity of the design. Kettenmorgenstern is a common threshing flail, which (if you remove the studded dummy) could easily be used in peacetime. Unlike a two-handed sword, requiring long and hard training, it was a very easy-to-use weapon. Every peasant knew how to deal with the flail and baton, which made the Morganstern quite popular. But, of course, the simplicity of the design carried certain disadvantages.

Disadvantages

First, the battle tactics of a studded mace or flail was very primitive. It was a rude inertial weapon, which in the ranks allowed only vertical blows in the hope that the enemy who did not expect the blow would open up and get a head injury — no helmet would save the blow at the right angle.



Paul Hector Mayr, author of the famous fencing book, illustrated several ways of effective fencing on flail, but they are more suitable for sparring than for a real combat situation.

The second minus is a blind zone: as with any weapon with a long shaft, the mortar allowed to strike only with a tip, and when the enemy cut the distance, the weapon turned out to be useless.

The end of the era of the moronstern came about the same time as the armor disappeared, namely with the advent of the first more or less effective firearms. However, a cudgel with nails, the budget version of a moronstern, is still the favorite weapon of street gangs.
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  1. +21
    August 7 2016
    The "younger brother of the Morgenshtern" is still in use - a brush. As the saying goes: the classic "gentleman's set" - a knife, brass knuckles, brush. The whole set is easy to carry, hide and use in street "showdowns". (NOT advertising! Application is punishable in accordance with the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation bully )
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. +7
      August 7 2016
      A long sock with a trifle - here you have a brush. In which case - a little thing poured out in one motion and figs who will prove something. Nobody in my memory has ever been planted for carrying a sock in his pocket. wink
      1. 0
        August 9 2016
        Quote: g1v2
        A long sock with a trifle - here you have a brush.

        Ineffectively. Ever since the hooliganism of the beginning of the 20th century, MUCH has been known for a MUCH more deadly and also unprovable means - a billiard ball in a handkerchief.
    3. +4
      August 7 2016
      Quote: sub307
      classic "gentleman's set" - a knife, brass knuckles, brush.


      Brass knuckles in Russia appeared a maximum of a century and a half ago - and about the rest back in the Middle Ages there was a proverb: "Stock: there is a brush in the sleeve, a knife behind the bootleg!"
    4. +6
      August 7 2016
      Kisten is more likely an "elder cousin", for it appeared in the 8th century, while the Morgenstern only in the Middle Ages, with the development of plate armor (14th century).
      But, PMSM, the first morgenstern will be better, because it breaks the bones without noticing the chain mail, the small-plate brigantine and the plate armor do not push through much worse, the blade is more difficult to bend, and the spike can get stuck in the armor. And after that, either throw the Morgenstern, or try to extract it from the corpse, substituting under attack.
    5. 0
      August 9 2016
      There is also such a wonderful contraption - Macuaitl nashchaivatsya (first on the left):
  2. +2
    August 7 2016
    Creepy weapon! What just did not come up to kill a man!
    1. +6
      August 7 2016
      Quote: aszzz888
      Creepy weapon! What just did not come up to kill a man!

      Yes, what do you "say"? Firearms, skpzhem - blunderbuss, for example, loaded "to the eyeballs" than not by means of stones, glass, and other "bolts and bolts" gives a much more "eerie" impression from an impressionable observer of the result of hitting a living (so far) human body. That is why, during regular combat "showdowns" between various "sovereigns," all sorts of "morgensterns" were "thrown into the bushes" and began to try to make the most of the advantages of gunpowder in the "glorious deed" of destroying their own kind, but "at the moment" acting as enemies , opponents, criminals, etc., etc ...
      wassat
      1. +2
        August 7 2016
        sub307 (1) Today, 06:32 ↑ New
        Quote: aszzz888
        Creepy weapon! What just did not come up to kill a man!
        Yes, what do you "say"? Firearms, skpzhem - blunderbuss, for example, loaded "to the eyeballs" than not by means of stones, glass, and other "bolts and bolts" gives a much more "eerie" impression from an impressionable observer of the result of hitting a living (so far) human body. That is why, during regular combat "showdowns" between various "sovereigns," all sorts of "morgensterns" were "thrown into the bushes" and began to try to make the most of the advantages of gunpowder in the "glorious deed" of destroying their own kind, but "at the moment" acting as enemies , opponents, criminals, etc., etc ...
        wassat
        Reply Quote Report Abuse
        They themselves read what they wrote? I’m silent about the mistakes ...
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. 0
      August 7 2016
      If a person carries such a weapon, this is no longer a person, but a criminal. And now man has become worse than the beast. I do not mean the real defender of my Fatherland.
      1. 0
        August 7 2016
        Quote: chelentanchik
        If a person carries such a weapon with him, this is no longer a person, but a criminal


        Morgenstern (unlike an ordinary brush) in a pocket you do not drag! it combat punching weapons helmets - to pierce the head without a helmet, and the usual cyst for the eyes is enough! So if a person carries a real Morgenstern around the city - he is more likely to be in a psychiatric hospital than in prison (unless, of course, this is reconstructed, but the Recons, if they occasionally use Morgensterns, are only in katA: it is forbidden for tournament fights due to injury risk Yes, and if they are worn in the city, they are packed)
      2. 0
        August 7 2016
        Quote: chelentanchik
        If a person carries such a weapon with him, this is no longer a person, but a criminal


        Morgenstern (unlike an ordinary brush) in a pocket you do not drag! it combat punching weapons helmets - to pierce the head without a helmet, and the usual cyst for the eyes is enough! So if a person carries a real Morgenstern around the city - he is more likely to be in a psychiatric hospital than in prison (unless, of course, this is reconstructed, but the Recons, if they occasionally use Morgensterns, are only in katA: it is forbidden for tournament fights due to injury risk Yes, and if they are worn in the city, they are packed)
      3. 0
        August 7 2016
        Quote: chelentanchik
        If a person carries such a weapon, this is no longer a person, but a criminal.

        All weapons can be used both for attack and for self-defense. Especially a sock with a trifle.
    4. +4
      August 7 2016
      Quote: aszzz888
      Creepy weapon! What just did not come up to kill a man!

      Not so long ago used. In the First World War. And here you can read:
      http://www.nakop.ru/topic/8055-transheinie-dubinki/
  3. +8
    August 7 2016
    In folk "folklore", such as popular prints, this "device" also left a mark;
    1. +6
      August 7 2016
      This is still a brush.
    2. Riv
      +1
      August 8 2016
      Some kind of folklore ... wrong. Firstly: the text is not in "boyar", and secondly: the peasant with the knife here is the khan, definitely. Here is the correct splint. :)
  4. +12
    August 7 2016
    For sub307.
    Now the "gentleman's set" includes a bit rather than the items you named. And it is closer to the Morgenstern, except perhaps without thorns.
  5. PKK
    +7
    August 7 2016
    The author reveals details that speaks about professionalism. As they say, it’s good for someone who has a morgenstern and badly for someone who does not.
  6. +4
    August 7 2016
    I wonder who gave this weapon such a poetic name? Or is it a kind of humor?
    1. +3
      August 7 2016
      Quote: martin-159
      Or is it a kind of humor?


      What kind of humor? This is poetry! If you want a portion of black humor: the morgenstern in Flanders was called "godendac" (i.e. "good afternoon")!
      1. +2
        August 7 2016
        Godendak is a short peak tied at the end with metal and with a spike. Not really Morgenstern.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. +1
      August 7 2016
      Quote: martin-159
      Or is it a kind of humor?

      The originality of the German language. They have a common surname. For example, Oskar Morgenstern, the founder of game theory:
  7. Cat
    0
    August 7 2016
    Quote: PKK
    The author reveals details that speaks about professionalism. As they say, it’s good for someone who has a morgenstern and badly for someone who does not.

    About times, about morals.
  8. Cat
    +7
    August 7 2016
    A few illustrations.
    Elite weapons of the Russian nobility and the local cavalry.
    1. +15
      August 7 2016
      This is the same sixth.
    2. +5
      August 7 2016
      Quote: Kotischa
      A few illustrations.
      Elite weapons of the Russian nobility and the local cavalry.

      this is the famous sixth - an effective weapon against a shield and helmet.
  9. Cat
    +5
    August 7 2016
    And this is a weapon of epic Russian heroes:
    Mace
    1. +1
      August 7 2016
      Quote: Kotischa
      And this is a weapon of epic Russian heroes:
      Mace

      The club was made of wood and was a "budget" weapon with low effectiveness. Maces were used by robbers rather than warriors and warriors.
      1. Cat
        +3
        August 7 2016
        If possible, visit the Armory in Moscow. Mace with a base of bronze, copper, whole iron any to choose from. The Rome Ethnographic Museum has clubs with a bone base.
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. The comment was deleted.
      4. +2
        August 9 2016
        Quote: Verdun
        Maces were wielded by robbers rather than heroes and wars.

        Yes, yes ... that's just the mace of many nations adopted as a symbol of power? And in many graves of warriors they are found, much more often than swords.
        Troop chieftain with a mace and a notch

        Troop chieftain with a mace and a notch

        coat of arms of the Bryukhovetsky district (Krasnodar Territory)
        “In a field intersected by purple and green, on top of a silver scroll is a golden notch with two golden tassels on cords. On top of all the mace and parnach of the same metal crosswise ”
      5. +2
        August 9 2016
        Quote: Verdun
        Maces were wielded by robbers rather than heroes and wars.

        Maces of factory and handicraft manufacture, as a melee weapon, were used in the First World War by soldiers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, England, Italy and France. This weapon was used for hand-to-hand combat in trenches and went down in history as the "trench club".
    2. +6
      August 7 2016
      This is a Mace, not a club! The club is a hefty two-handed fool, and wooden (in fact - a club, additionally equipped with spikes)
      1. Cat
        +1
        August 7 2016
        An example from the legend “About the Battle of Mamaev” is “The Great Prince ... (Dmitry was not yet Donskoy at that time)” And he mounted his best horse, and princes and their warriors willingly used their spears and Palitsy, as is said, for example, in the legend “About the Battle of Mamaev” - the great prince Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy armed with a club before the battle: “The great prince ... And he mounted his best horse, and taking his spear and "an iron club, he left the ranks, he wanted to fight the filthy first."
        Mace - an ancient (from the Paleolithic era) strike or throwing weapon made of strong and heavy types of wood, later with a stone or bronze top (excerpt from BES).
        1. Cat
          0
          August 7 2016
          I apologize for the tautlogy. The phone is dumb, I can’t change or delete the comments.
        2. Cat
          0
          August 7 2016
          Bulova 1. An old strike weapon in the form of a heavy stone or metal head, mounted on a short (about half a meter) handle. Mace smb. 2. In Ukraine and Poland: a rod with a spherical knob, which was a symbol ... ...
          encyclopedic Dictionary
          2BULAVA - Women knob, head; | a club, like a weapon, a prominent club or a brush. | The same weapons as a sign of authority, buzdyhan, rod, bunchuk, preserved by the Don army; to be at the mace, ataman, at headquarters. Have maloros. ... ...
          Explanatory Dictionary of Dahl
        3. 0
          August 9 2016
          Quote: Kotischa
          "The great prince ... And he mounted his best horse, and taking his spear and iron mace, left the ranks, he wanted to fight the filthy himself before anyone else."

          The "Iron Mace" is clearly a mace or a sixopier.

          And "left the ranks" - so generally a fake, he would have been killed one of the first.
    3. The comment was deleted.
    4. +1
      August 9 2016
      Perhaps it would be more correct to call the BOULAVE.
  10. Cat
    +5
    August 7 2016
    And this is a more status thing:
    MACE
    1. +11
      August 7 2016
      Hmm ... The current "Bulava" is even more status ...
  11. +4
    August 7 2016
    In "Jeanne d'Arc" Vincent Cassel is not bad with double chains, I don't know who put him in fights, but it looked good.
  12. Cat
    +1
    August 7 2016
    Well, these are purely status regalia of Russian emperors. But look at the root, what is the brush, and what is the club.
    POWER AND SCEPTER.
  13. Cat
    +3
    August 7 2016
    A bit clumsy, the phone is dumb. Sincerely.
  14. +9
    August 7 2016
    It is worth adding a little to the advantages / disadvantages of what is not mentioned in the article:
    1. The spikes, which gave, in fact, a characteristic appearance and name to this weapon, have an unpleasant property - getting stuck in the enemy’s armor in case of a successful hit. So in the heat of battle, you can easily remain unarmed, and the likelihood of such an outcome will increase with the length of the thorns (well, if we consider the duel situation, then the problem is not great - after such a successful strike the battle should end).
    2. A relatively large amount of metal required for the production and building of spikes (and the power of the impact directly depends on the mass). Flowing from here
    3. Demanding weapons for physical preparation of the user (the center of mass, shifted to the very end of the weapon, will make you sweat when swinging).
    4. The flashed version (when the "star" is attached to the handle with a chain) has a very modest ability to parry blows, which, in case of loss of the shield, for example, can be expensive. Well, this is typical for all chain weapons.
    5. The moral side. No, I'm not talking about "humanity and philanthropy", but on the contrary, about a demoralizing appearance. Contemporaries knew what a hit with such a thing or, for example, a healthy battle ax, did to a person, they knew well.

    Quote: sub307
    In folk "folklore", such as popular prints, this "device" also left a mark;

    And this is just the same Russian folk flail: a load attached with a rope / chain to a small handle (and, possibly, "extinguished" - which has only a loop instead of a handle, put on the wrists). The ancestors used and usually did not steam with the build-up of long spikes (which can become blunt / bent / fall off / cause jamming) - the "armor action" of the shock impulse itself was enough.
  15. +3
    August 7 2016
    Morgenstern - him. Morgenstern "morning star".

    German Morgen "morning" does not convey the meaning of this type of weapon. It is more appropriate to translate "if sickly straight to the morgue" from the English morgue "morgue, dead" as payment for "arrogance" and the steering wheel acting as a club stern "tail, rule" and "firm, stern, stern, unyielding, unforgiving".
    1. +2
      August 7 2016
      Military man loves romance smile
      1. +1
        August 7 2016
        In this regard, the expression pleases: the Morning Star appeared. People mistakenly called it Venus, but it’s like that! Joke.

        In general, as I understand it, skillfully mastering the kattermorgenstern is not easy because of the displacement of the center of mass. To deftly wield in battle and not hurt your comrades --- training is needed!
  16. Cat
    +10
    August 7 2016
    And here is the Hussite folk weapon - Faustbrügel
    1. +1
      August 9 2016
      Quote: Kotischa
      And here is the Hussite folk weapon - Faustbrügel

      As practice has shown, all their weapons were useless in an open battle if they did not rely on the Wagenburg from their famous "carts", in fact a mobile fortress (and perhaps our distant ancestors adopted this idea from them, creating a "walk-city").
  17. 0
    August 7 2016
    Good club Morgenstern! But the brush is much better! And coinage is a pleasant thing! The knights were not offended.
  18. +6
    August 7 2016
    As for the sticking of the Spikes in the armor / body of the enemy (or in the shield!), It says that such a weapon is a weapon of mighty, but INCORRECT fighters, counting on the "mass" use against armored vigilantes or knightly cavalry. The shields were made of wood! Reflection of such a "star" by a shield - and a heavy contraption gets stuck in your shield, and even with a sticking handle. The shield is easier to throw. And in battle, when a sharp iron is poked from all sides, it is not comfortable to be left without a shield.
  19. +2
    August 7 2016
    A terrible weapon in skilled hands, we certainly do not have a morning star (Mace), but rather the last sunset, for any adversary.
    1. Cat
      0
      August 7 2016
      Mace, shestoper, flail, brush - an incomplete list of shock, shock-chain weapons.
  20. +2
    August 7 2016
    Thank God that the era of such weapons has passed.
  21. +2
    August 7 2016
    Ascending nuclear dome - why not a mace?
    An ancient weapon in comparison with the present, a simple enforcement of peace, a peacekeeping accent - not otherwise ...
  22. Riv
    +3
    August 8 2016
    Well then, and from technofascist five cents.

    The kinetic energy of a moving body is proportional to: 1) its mass and 2) the square of its speed. Squared, Carl! Therefore, there is a certain mass balance of strike weapons. On the one hand, it is obvious that a heavy ball near the cyst is more severe. On the other hand, speed is more important and to give it high speed it is desirable to have a handle, or a chain more authentic. But the very long handle itself has a strong weight. As a result, hefty battle chains were not widespread. The optimum is somewhere in the area of ​​the meter handle and core weighing 300-500 grams.

    The purpose of the Morgenstern spikes is not to break through the armor. It will strike - well, of course, but the main thing is not to let the ball slip on impact. Therefore, the spikes were made short, in the form of faceted pyramids. Or the core itself was forged in the form of a polyhedron. Here is a similar sample of folk art, on the left.
    1. +1
      August 9 2016
      Well, she’s so insidious! relying on it alone, you can get a rebound, but a massive ball with spikes is guaranteed to transmit the energy of the target. Yes, and you can swing without standing, but for example with a galloping horse - at the same speed and even with a heavy ball, the effect of an exploding enema will be ensured am due to the fact that the thorns are not for penetration, there is a question of tactics, when the armor is weak (chain mail or thin plates), then it is possible without long thorns. but if, according to full-fledged armor of the 15th century ... here it is necessary to concentrate your speed and energy on the minimum surface, otherwise the enemy will only get a bruise. Yes, and the article does not give the dimensions of the samples, if there is such data, please post it with the date - for sure, depending on the period and place of use, the gradation took place (not that I so badly wanted to get to the bottom of the words about "not widespread", just really interesting).
      On the other hand, the ancestors were also fools. especially the knights (professional warriors, after all!) who used this thing, they had plenty to choose from. and if a heavy morgenstern found a place in their "gentleman's set" (even in spite of the heaviness, bastard thorns, uncomfortable chain) - then there was still a sense in it!
  23. 0
    August 9 2016
    Here is another from the same "project", the Aztecs from the Maya used Gauvreau:
  24. 0
    12 May 2018
    Quote: g1v2
    A long sock with a trifle - here you have a brush. In which case - a little thing poured out in one motion and figs who will prove something. Nobody in my memory has ever been planted for carrying a sock in his pocket. wink

    Or with sand. Bitch and ready!

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