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Like the mace, the war hammer became an important knightly weapon after the introduction of full plate armor. Its armor-breaking qualities are indicated by its heavy four-pronged hammer head and rear spike, the bec-de-corbin. For good measure a sharp stabbing spike has been added. In a way comparable to the symbolic use of the mace, the war hammer became an insignia of rank of lower-ranking cavalry officers. Long-shafted war hammers were popular with Swiss infantry, where the so-called Lucerne hammer replaced the ubiquitious halberd in some cantons.
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