Shield / Dhal
Shield / Dhal is a hand held weapon nearly always round convex but varies in diameter. They are used to intercept specific attacks whether from close range weaponry or projectiles. The shield / Dhal ( Native name in Indian language ) was the most widespread defensive weapon in the world. It protected the warrior from his enemies bows and could be used to deflect thrown spears and arrows . A shield / dhal is a piece of personal armour held in the hand which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. They vary greatly in size and shape ranging from large panels that protect the users whole body to small models (such as the bucklers ) that were intended for hand to hand combat use. They also vary a great deal in thickness, whereas some shields were made of relatively deep, absorbent, wooden planking to protect soldiers from the impact of spears and crossbow bolts, other were thinner and lighter and designed mainly for deflecting blade strikes. Depending on time and place, shields could be round, oval, square, rectangle, triangular, bilabial or scalloped. They were made from variety of materials varying from locality to locality, earlier they were made of wood, animal hide, woven reeds or wicker reinforced with a metal boss, rim or banding. Some shields were decorated with a painted pattern or an animal representation to show there army or clan. These designs developed into systematized heraldic devices during a high middle ages for purpose of battlefield identification. They palyed a major role in the formation of the army strategies in the battlefield. Shields that were carried by the kings and general were decorated with pure gold and silver studded with gems varying there military ranks. Even after the introduction of gun powder and firearms to the battlefield, shields continued to be used by certain groups. In the 20th and 21st centuary, shields have been used by military and police units that specialize in anti tourist actions, hostage rescues, riot control and siege- breaking.