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was a single-bladed anti-cavalry Chinese sword of the Song Dynasty.
The zhanmadao is a sabre
Daois a category of single-edge Chinese swords primarily used for slashing and chopping , often called a broadsword in English translation because some varieties have wide blades. In China, the dao is known as one of the four major weapons, along with the gun , qiang , and the jian , and referred...
with a single long broad blade, and a long handle suitable for two-handed use.
It was used as an anti-cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...
weapon, dating from Emperor Cheng of Han
Emperor Cheng of Han was an emperor of the Chinese Han Dynasty ruling from 33 BC until 7 BC.Under Emperor Cheng, the Han dynasty continued its slide into disintegration while the Wang clan continued its slow grip on power and on governmental affairs as promoted by the previous emperor...
. This is mentioned in the "Wu Jing Zong Yao Song Military Manual" from 1072.
Surviving examples include a sword that might resemble a nagamaki
The nagamaki is a Japanese pole weapon with a long and heavy blade with an equally long hilt, used by the samurai warriors of medieval Japan. The nagamaki is very much like the Japanese naginata or a glaive.-History:...
in construction; it had a wrapped handle 37 centimetres long making it easy to grip with two hands. The blade was 114 centimetres long and very straight with a slight curve in the last half.
Possible variations of these Chinese swords were the changdao, miao dao
The Miao Dao is a Chinese two-handed dao or saber of the Republican era, with a narrow blade of up to 1.2 meters or more and a long hilt. The name means "sprout saber", presumably referring to a likeness between the weapon and a newly sprouted plant...
, and wodao
The sword may have been the inspiration for the Japanese Zanbatō
A is an especially large type of Japanese sword, the historical use of which is disputed. The sword closely resembles the Nodachi or ōdachi, however it differs from the Nodachi by having a ricasso of approximately 12 to 18 inches . This lends more credence to the theory of the sword having a...
as both are written with the same characters, and have been said to have been used for killing the horse and rider in one swing.
In the Western world, swords of an equivalent size such as the Zweihänder may have been used to batter into formations of pikemen or to cut out the front legs of a galloping horse–though the historical accuracy of this information is also a matter of debate.