The battle-axe was the main weapon used by King Harold's housecarls at the Battle of Hastings. A battle-axe was used in hand-to-hand fighting or could be hurled as a missile. The wooden handle could be as long as 150 cm (5 feet). The crescent-shaped blade measured about 25 cm (10 inches) between the upper and lower points of its broad cutting edge. Made of steel, the battle-axe was capable of cutting off a limb or a head in one blow. During combat the axe was usually wielded with both hands and so the warrior was not able to carry a shield to protect himself against the enemy.