The middle ages had witnessed an array of wars, bloody battles, victories and defeats as well. This showed us multifarious usages of technically developed weapons, arms, ammunitions. Flail is one such weapon that was used in wars and had a different technique to be used. This arm was widely in vogue in those days. This flail was mostly used by the knights and the foot soldiers; the knights used the lighter and the smaller versions.

Structure and more; flail:

The structure was a steel ball hanging from a large, thin, tubular hard structure and the hanging ball has spikes on the body. The handle generally used to be wooden and the spiked balls were heavy and made of steel. The medieval people used to mount the flail on a short shaft.


This was a violent weapon as a single blow could have been really hard and tremendous. This was a new invention by the armoury and a great weapon instrumental in fighting battles. An array of flail structures were used and for various purposes to be served as well.

Crossroad about flail:

Many have raised questions regarding the ambiguity and confusion arising from the similarity of a chain mace and this weapon; a flail. These are almost similar in usage and structure but are different at their core.


Genre of weapon:

An array of weapons were used in the middle ages and hence, the arms were differently classified and categorised in accordance with purpose of use and structure too. The flail hence, comes under the genre ‘bludgeoning weapons ‘.

Basic motto of using the flail:

Generally the hard steel plated shields used to protect the army personals, and to reduce the effect of this shield and its protection, the flail was really instrumental.  The flail could posse’s serious injury upon a person. This arm was a real breakthrough in those days.

Training needed to use a flail:

A flail was a weapon that needed sufficient training to be used by any soldier or knight and hence,

  • firstly their strength was checked
  • secondly their hitting techniques were checked
  • Thirdly came the testing of aim , the really important part of training

The weapon had to be scientifically used and had a specific technique for the bashing, moving the spiked balls and spinning that before the final hit. This entire process was completely mastered by a few knights and was tough too.

Materials used to make a flail:

Generally the skilled blacksmiths used to make these flail quite scientifically. This was a huge responsibility as well.

  • Steel
  • Wood

Were the 2 most common and basic components that were used in making of a flail.

Making the arm strong:

Multifarious chains, spikes, shafts were later attached to the body of the flail so that it could be more strong rather more violent.

Well… with this we can summarise that this weapon was a real breakthrough in the arena of arms in those days. The flail has many varieties too and with the passage of time it went through an array of modifications in structure and usage. The flail was really one of the most important weapons in those medieval days.



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