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The Zweihander is a type of two-handed sword used in Rennaissance Germany and the surrounding areas during the first half of the 1500s. The zweihander is characterized by a very long blade, sometime reaching over 180 cm in length, and, oftentimes a second set of quillons, or parierhaken, separating the ricasso (unsharpened part of the blade) from the rest of the blade. In addition to parrying enemy blades, the parierhaken protected the hand, allowing the sword to be gripped by both the handle and ricasso to use it in a manner similar to a spear at close ranges. The primary way the blade was employed was for soldiers to charge into a pike formation, slashing in a figure-8 pattern to knock aside pikes and get in among the pike formation, at which point they would often thrust with the sword like a short spear as described above.

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