Just in case folks were curious, I am back in Paraguay (have been back for a few days), after a rather delightful trip to Spain. I won't bore folks with the details, save to once again reiterate that it's a country I highly recommend visiting. I might get around to posting some pictures one of these days...
I will say that I had to chance to check out some actual battle axes from the 12th to 14th century while I was there (one of the nice things about a country that fought a lot of medieval wars both within and without its borders: it's got a lot of D&D-flavored museums). None of them were of of the long, "Dane axe" type made famous by the English housecarls, but even so...with a single exception...ALL of them would have required two-hands to use properly. A battle axe is just so damn unwieldy given the length of the haft, and the size of the blade. Even the one "exception" which I judged as single-handed based on its (relatively smaller) scale, was still a damn burly weapon. The shortness of the its haft would have allowed it to be used one-handed (presumably with a shield), but you would have had to have really tremendous arm strength, especially in any kind of protracted battle. We're talking forearms like tree trunks.
Consequently, I'm inclined to revise most everything I've written about battle axes over the years. That is, the B/X battle axe may actually be perfectly fine as modeled. *sigh*
Hope all the Americanos out there are having a good 4th. I really wish I could celebrate it with you.
1 hour ago