Berdysh

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Berdysh

 

(Polish, berdysz), a silent weapon (cold steel), a long wide ax with a blade in the shape of a half-moon, set on a long pole. The length of the blade is from 40 to 100 cm and the pole, more than 2 m. Berdyshi were used in Russia in the 15—17th centuries along with sabers and shotguns as the armament of streltsy (semiprofessional musketeers). Berdyshi were carried on a strap over the shoulders. Similar to the berdysh as a type of weapon was the halberd, which had a pole with a spearhead attached to it.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.