Miloserdov D. (2018). Boevye topory Afganistana [The Battle Axes of Afghanistan]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 5-6, pp. 66 — 76.

Miloserdov D.

Abstract: Axe is a short-bladed weapon of slashing blow and simultaneously one of the oldest weapons for a close combat. Because of its great effectiveness stemming from the combination of arm-handle and relatively heavy and massive blade with short and hence well centered striking surface axe was very handy and consequently favored weapon to fight close-in from day one. In the eastern countries it was also quite popular and widespread. Good number of battle axes being used in India and Persia were known and described while axes which were current in near by Afghanistan haven’t deserved the scholarly attention yet.

Two main types of battle axes which could be called the “afghan” one are distinguished today and several their variants appear to have been typical for the kafirs of Hindu Kush. Each of these types and variants is described in the article in details.

Based upon primary sources of the 19th century the author examines and discusses the cases of battle axe usage both in local intertribal conflicts and in the combats with foreign rivals.

The battle axes of the kafirs of Hindu Kush are analyzed not only as a weapon but as a special ethnocultural phenomenon as well.

Keywords: axe, weapons of Afghanistan, kafirs, Hindu Kush.