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A pole axe (also poll axe) was a weapon used frequently in the era of plate armour. It consisted of a wooden shaft with an axe or hammer-like projection on one side on the shaft, and a spike or hammer on the opposing side. There would also be a spike or dagger-like section protruding from the top of the head. A rondel hand guard was frequently seen to protect the hands when in use.
This weapon gained increased usage when shields became less necessary and the increased force that resulted from using a weapon in two hands became desirable.