Short spears

A fantastic, detailed survey of the uses of a sort of weapon that’s a short, heavy-bladed spear, sometimes called a partisan (this caused me to pause because that’s not the meaning of partisan with which I was familiar) or a spontoon (this caused me to pause because wow does my brain want to read that at “spitoon.”)

Anyway, this Quora answer was (of course!) written by Eric Lowe, who provides much commentary and many pictures, plus this:

Lastly, I should mention that spontoons as such are really short, heavy-bladed spears from the 18th and 19th centuries, long past the period in which such a weapon could be expected to be used with any sort of regularity. By then, the spontoon was really more a badge of office than anything else, and more likely to be used as a long stick to help its wielder dress the line of battle than to stab the enemy. … But just why this should be a badge of office is often kind of confusing to people. On the other hand, if you know that the short-ish, heavy-bladed spear was a weapon associated with the skirmishes and patrols that history forgets and of being ready to fight in a variety of situations at the drop of a hat, the spontoon was just the sort of weapon that a hard-charging, ready-for-anything, if-it-was-good-enough-for-my-grandpappy-it’s-good-enough-for-me kind of noncom or platoon leader might want as a symbol.

And this shows yet again that Eric Lowe understands history and people in a way that is useful in story terms. If you want to include this sort of hard-charging character in a novel, well, this is the kind of weapon he might use as a badge of office, and the linked post explains why.

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