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B. de Corbin
18 Apr 2017, 07:39
Interesting article on the metallurgical analysis of a few Viking swords:


High-tech scans of Viking swords are revealing details of how the weapons were made and how their role changed in Viking society over time.

A new analysis of three Viking swords has found that, as fearsome as these seafaring people were, these specific "weapons" were probably not sturdy enough for battle or raiding, and instead were likely decorative.

This finding, along with similar examples of non-fighting swords from the Viking Age, described previously by scientists, indicate that swords became symbols of power and status that were only rarely used, the scientists said. (http://www.livescience.com/58654-viking-sword-scans-reveal-norse-culture.html)

I found this interesting. I tried checking the original scholarly article, but I can only read the abstract (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X17301025), and the abstract says nothing about the usability of the weapons.


Abstract
Vikings (8001050 CE) are famous for being fearsome seafarers and their weapons represented an indispensable tool in their plundering raids. Sword from the Viking age often showed pattern-welding, made by welding together thin strips of iron and steel that were twisted and forged in various ways, producing a decorative pattern on the surface. In this work we present a neutron diffraction study of three swords from the Viking age belonging to the National Museum of Denmark. This non-invasive approach was used to allow us to characterize the blades in terms of composition and manufacturing processes involved. The study shows how the effects of past conservation treatments can either help or obstruct the extraction of archaeological information.

The article is correct in stating that the BEST way to take advantage of the different qualities of iron and steel is to steel line an iron core (as the Japanese did, and some higher quality European swordsmiths did), but that requires a hugely advanced metal technology that may not have been available to the Vikings of (at least) the earlier period. The second best - often used when highly refined iron/steel is not available - is to twist steel of differing carbon content together, as these Viking swordsmiths did.

Anyway, for what it's worth...

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 09:15
Swords, IIRC, were frequently a secondary weapon instead of a major killer on the battlefield anyway (pikes are cheaper to make and train) so viking swords not being their primary tools of killing wouldn't shock me. I'd expect that there were.swords designed for battle floating around and either they haven't made it to present day or simply haven't been examined yet but they were probably sidearms in most* cases.

* There was a nation that employed elite units packing great swords but I don't remember who. Vikings may have pulled similar.

B. de Corbin
18 Apr 2017, 10:40
Yeah - swords would have been enormously expensive because they are very complicated to make correctly, and not the best battlefield weapon - when compared to a pole arm or an ax - so I wouldn't be surprised that few Vikings actually used them.

(the guys with the huge swords were the German Landsknecht. They used them to break up the formations and chop the poles of the Swiss Pikesmen who were acting as mercenaries all over Europe)

monsno_leedra
18 Apr 2017, 11:11
This might be of interest then to this discussion http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/index.php/gladius/article/viewFile/218/222

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Personal opinion I think it would depend upon who they were fighting and where regarding whether they used swords or not. Figure they raided into Russia and such probably did use them up close. In Northern Europe and England maybe, maybe not as the landscape and defenses would dictate weapon choices. Pikes and such no to effective against walled cities or castles but good in open fields or mounted defenders. But admit my history is sort of cloudy though most viking raids I recall seem to occur at night or early / late in the day not in middle of the day when defenders are wide awake and well prepared. Again not times favoring the usage of the pike or other long staved weapons.

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 12:22
This might be of interest then to this discussion http://gladius.revistas.csic.es/index.php/gladius/article/viewFile/218/222

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Personal opinion I think it would depend upon who they were fighting and where regarding whether they used swords or not. Figure they raided into Russia and such probably did use them up close. In Northern Europe and England maybe, maybe not as the landscape and defenses would dictate weapon choices. Pikes and such no to effective against walled cities or castles but good in open fields or mounted defenders. But admit my history is sort of cloudy though most viking raids I recall seem to occur at night or early / late in the day not in middle of the day when defenders are wide awake and well prepared. Again not times favoring the usage of the pike or other long staved weapons.

Forgive my ignorance on this but when we talk "viking raiders", are we talking about small, light forces with a goal of hit soft targets fast and then move on to new targets or head home before any serious response comes or are we talking about armies? The former has no business screwing with castles or walled cities. I'm in full agreement that circumstances and doctrine influence weapon choice. I just want to be sure I've got the right idea of what we're talking about here because one of these has almost as much business screwing with a walled city as somali pirates do charging a carrier strike group.

ThePaganMafia
18 Apr 2017, 12:59
The Vikings fought in larger armies as well. The Danes raided England in the 800's and eventually the raiders formed a larger force and invaded England. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle called it "The Great Heathen Army". Though most of their operations even in that time period constituted mostly raiding.

In those larger battles they generally used axes and shields. Swords were not commonly used.

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 13:11
The Vikings fought in larger armies as well. The Danes raided England in the 800's and eventually the raiders formed a larger force and invaded England. The Anglo Saxon Chronicle called it "The Great Heathen Army". Though most of their operations even in that time period constituted mostly raiding.

In those larger battles they generally used axes and shields. Swords were not commonly used.

Cool, thanks for the info. Any idea why they went for the specific combo of axe and shield? Axes as weapons aren't something I'm particularly familiar with and I'm curious if they specifically liked the pair or if axe and shield was just cheaper than sword and shield.

B. de Corbin
18 Apr 2017, 13:20
Forgive my ignorance on this but when we talk "viking raiders", are we talking about small, light forces with a goal of hit soft targets fast and then move on to new targets or head home before any serious response comes or are we talking about armies? The former has no business screwing with castles or walled cities. I'm in full agreement that circumstances and doctrine influence weapon choice. I just want to be sure I've got the right idea of what we're talking about here because one of these has almost as much business screwing with a walled city as somali pirates do charging a carrier strike group.

There's actually no good hand weapon to attack fortifications, anyway.

That's a long-term dig-in-and-starve-em-out situation. Seige engines would be nice, though ;) -generally when used they're built on site.

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Cool, thanks for the info. Any idea why they went for the specific combo of axe and shield? Axes as weapons aren't something I'm particularly familiar with and I'm curious if they specifically liked the pair or if axe and shield was just cheaper than sword and shield.

Much cheaper. Any aprentice 'smith can make an ax, but a sword requires special training.

Aside from that, an ax is easier to use and learn. It's a simple fake high, chop low, or fake low, chop high movement. Also, in a melee, swords actually get in the way. They require space to use, and the methods of using one are intended for one-on-one or judicial combat.

Or you're on a horse and use shock tactics...

Added, 'cause I'm a weapons nerd: when the fighting gets close, pole arms get tossed. The back-up weapon is going to be an ax, hammer, mace, or very short sword. Something like a big knife.

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 13:30
Or a Roman shield wall but I've seen some interesting arguments that the iconic Roman forces were actually primarily close range missile troops and stabby time didn't start till the enemy morale broke. Also Roman blades were rather specialized to the role of stabbing in confined space if memory serves.

Thanks.

B. de Corbin
18 Apr 2017, 13:47
As I recall (not an area of specific interest, execpt regarding regarding tactics) the Roman throwing javelin (pillum?) had a two foot long soft iron shaft ahead of the wooden shaft. The idea was to begin by throwing the spears. If they struck anything, like a sheild, the iron shaft would bend making it impossible to manuver the sheild effectively, or to pull the spear, or to toss it back at the legionare.

For the Romans, warfare was a pretty industrial procedure.

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 13:56
There are one or two debate threads that I need to hunt down and link regarding Rome but yeah the pila were built to screw with shields. It's one of the more amusing tricks I've seen.

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 14:11
https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/primary-weapon-of-the-roman-legion.502036/

Had an interesting time reading the above a while back. I'm not entirely happy with either side but there are some fun points to be found.

anunitu
18 Apr 2017, 14:14
In the Jackie Chan movie,"Dragon Sword" Jackie is a Chinese general who joins up with a lost Roman legion. The battle scenes with the Roman troops gives a nice idea of how their tactics were used. I think the Movie is from 2015..It is on HBO right now.

B. de Corbin
18 Apr 2017, 14:49
https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/primary-weapon-of-the-roman-legion.502036/

Had an interesting time reading the above a while back. I'm not entirely happy with either side but there are some fun points to be found.

LOL - I can't input. Too much history talk of an unfamiliar era...

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 15:07
LOL - I can't input. Too much history talk of an unfamiliar era...

Like most war room debates, I stayed out of that one. I tend to think the argument that pila saw the most use while gladii (is that the right spelling for plural of gladius) did the most killing makes sense but my knowledge of Rome is fragmented and shallow at best.

monsno_leedra
18 Apr 2017, 15:33
Or a Roman shield wall but I've seen some interesting arguments that the iconic Roman forces were actually primarily close range missile troops and stabby time didn't start till the enemy morale broke. Also Roman blades were rather specialized to the role of stabbing in confined space if memory serves.

Thanks.

Stabby time with Hellene troops was pretty much the same. The short sword (xiphos) or a slightly larger short sword (kopis) really didn't get used till the longer Dory was broken or dropped or things were really in a tight and confined space from what I understand. Confined space could also be the front rank of the phalanx where the short sword could be thrust through gaps in the shield front to stab the attacking force. Admit though never quite understood if it was the second rank doing this or even third rank as first rank would be engaging using the Dory as would the second rank.

B. de Corbin
18 Apr 2017, 15:59
Just a guess, but the kopis, which looks like a forrunner of the Ghurka kukri, would be pretty useless as a stabbing weapon, but devestating as a chopping weapon. That makes it likely that it was used for in-fighting.

So if the enemy got through the first two ranks the third rank would be ready to hack them down.

I've never handled a kopis, but I do know kukris. They are still standard military issue for Ghurka regiments, and are horrendously devestating. They combine the best features of and ax and knife, with the cutting power of an ax and handling characteristics more like a knife.

The big problem with an ax is that all the weight is at the end, making recovery time long. With the weight spread out along the blade a kukri is much faster in regards to recovery time. Still somewhat awkward, but better than the ax. Plus, the blade edge allows to draw-cuts and slashing when in close combat. That weight at the end of the blade would make slashing extra devestating.

monsno_leedra
18 Apr 2017, 16:02
Cool, thanks for the info. Any idea why they went for the specific combo of axe and shield? Axes as weapons aren't something I'm particularly familiar with and I'm curious if they specifically liked the pair or if axe and shield was just cheaper than sword and shield.

Militarily off topic but perhaps culturally on topic. I wonder if the idea of barbarian's and civilized people come into play here. In literature, in folk lore, in films the axe as a weapon often denotes the barbarian while the sword frequently denotes civilized societies. Whether it be Civilized England against the raiding Viking; Civilized Rome against the Goths, G ermantic tribes, Celts tribes, etc; The Roman Church against the uncivilized Germanic tribes, The so called Civilized Southern Europe against the Barbarian Northern European's it seem's it's always the civilized nations with the sword against the barbarians with their axes. Not so much so in the east but to a limited degree you see it with the Mongols and the invasions into Europe. Even if they had swords, the axe as a sign of the barbarian or inferior placement is what is recognized and pushed. Even our modern media continues to push that sterotype, sort of the same with regards to Indians being savages with bow's and arrows and nothing more.

MaskedOne
18 Apr 2017, 16:14
Militarily off topic but perhaps culturally on topic. I wonder if the idea of barbarian's and civilized people come into play here. In literature, in folk lore, in films the axe as a weapon often denotes the barbarian while the sword frequently denotes civilized societies. Whether it be Civilized England against the raiding Viking; Civilized Rome against the Goths, G ermantic tribes, Celts tribes, etc; The Roman Church against the uncivilized Germanic tribes, The so called Civilized Southern Europe against the Barbarian Northern European's it seem's it's always the civilized nations with the sword against the barbarians with their axes. Not so much so in the east but to a limited degree you see it with the Mongols and the invasions into Europe. Even if they had swords, the axe as a sign of the barbarian or inferior placement is what is recognized and pushed. Even our modern media continues to push that sterotype, sort of the same with regards to Indians being savages with bow's and arrows and nothing more.
.....

That's one of the more interesting tangents I've seen recently. Media has a tendency not to arm people with axes unless they are pushing a savage theme with that character. I'm not sure it's a point that I would explore in depth here. This thread tends more toward military practicalities (and fiction screws up portrayals of the military so often it isn't funny) but it could be an interesting discussion of its own.

monsno_leedra
18 Apr 2017, 16:18
Just a guess, but the kopis, which looks like a forrunner of the Ghurka kukri, would be pretty useless as a stabbing weapon, but devestating as a chopping weapon. That makes it likely that it was used for in-fighting.

So if the enemy got through the first two ranks the third rank would be ready to hack them down.

I've never handled a kopis, but I do know kukris. They are still standard military issue for Ghurka regiments, and are horrendously devestating. They combine the best features of and ax and knife, with the cutting power of an ax and handling characteristics more like a knife.

The big problem with an ax is that all the weight is at the end, making recovery time long. With the weight spread out along the blade a kukri is much faster in regards to recovery time. Still somewhat awkward, but better than the ax. Plus, the blade edge allows to draw-cuts and slashing when in close combat. That weight at the end of the blade would make slashing extra devestating.

I agree about the kopis. It looks like it came along a bit later after the xiphos. Where the xiphos was made for thrusting and stabbing probably not much use as a slicing weapon or against a foe coming in from the sides. The kopis would be a development for slicing especially against a foe advancing from the side and not having to turn to directly face to engage them. Figure once the phalanx broke you no longer had the locking shields to protect your sides and probability wise might not have a friend there either to cover you. Add a bit of weight to the back of the blade and it's a heavy swing you can control but not awkward like an axe.

Ironically though I can't think of an equal weapon in the Roman Army as part of a Roman legionnaires Equipment.

B. de Corbin
18 Apr 2017, 16:22
It's a good observation.

The sword - particularly if it has a straight blade - often seems, both in art and in life, to represent "civilization," with other weapons being "barbarian." It holds the primary place in European imagination, despite being a less effective, and even less common weapon - even in Europe. This might be tied to the mythos of the noble (but largely non-existant) knight (in medieval times, knights were much closer to organized bandits than examples of nobility).

monsno_leedra
18 Apr 2017, 16:34
Another item just for consideration is what does the average person imagine when they think of what an axe looks like?

Lots of people probably think of the bi-pedal (double bladed) axe head you tend to see in the movies or a single pedal axe head that looks like something from LOTR's. Yet the average foot solider probably had something that looked nothing like the pedal headed axes but more like hatchet headed axe we are familiar with today. Maybe a bit longer on the head and thicker perhaps with a spike on the back but nothing like the bi-pedal or single pedal axe heads most people probably think of. Not to say those didn't exist but not as common as the movies and fantasy weapons makers make them out to be.

Tylluan Penry
18 Apr 2017, 23:31
Even in ancient Greece, the bow was seen as somehow 'cheating' because it allowed archers to kill at a distance, while the armed hoplites tended to come from wealthy families (on account of their armour and weaponry being so expensive.) The Greeks did use archers of course, but rarely against themselves. They saw nothing wrong with using them against outsiders, since these were considered barbarians anyway. Of course, the Scythian archers - and the Greeks used these - went a step further with poisoned arrows...

One point about the Anglo-Saxons - they didn't (generally) build stone castles. That was the Normans who didn't arrive until much later, 1066.

B. de Corbin
19 Apr 2017, 00:35
It's always important to kill politely...

Tylluan Penry
19 Apr 2017, 01:36
It's always important to kill politely...
At least, when Greeks were fighting Greeks. I've gone off topic a bit though.

I must say here that I'm not sure the original article is all that accurate. It does depend on the context of the find. Swords intended as offerings to the gods are never always all that good - they were intended to be symbolic with real swords used for fighting. Swords found in graves ought to be properly used for fighting - but of course, again they might have been symbolic of status.

I've managed to find an interesting article about Viking swords and if anyone is interested do please pm me.

B. de Corbin
19 Apr 2017, 01:54
Huh... I wonder if burial swords might have been something like the paper money used in some Asian funerals - not intended to be real, but more symbolic?

If so, that would mean that you can't judge tool swords by examining burial swords. You'd have to look at battlefeild artifacts...

I think, maybe, we've hit the nail on the head..?

Rae'ya
19 Apr 2017, 03:20
What about the Ulfberht swords and crucible steel? Weren't they thought to be of Viking origin? Granted, I've never looked into this academically or done any particular fact checking, and weapons are well outside of my sphere of knowledge... so I could be completely and utterly misguided on this. But if the Ulfberht swords are truly Viking Age then we have like 150 or so examples of strong swords that were well ahead of their time, don't we?

ThePaganMafia
19 Apr 2017, 06:08
There is a really good series called "The Saxon Tales" which is a series of historical novels set in the time of the Danish invasions of England. The author is Bernard Cornwell is famous for the Richard Sharpe series. He goes into fairly good detail on combat and has a section at the end of each book explaining the historical events and what he did and did not embellish for the sake of the novel.

It was also turned into a BBC series which is really, really good and on Netflix. The television series is called "The Last Kingdom".

B. de Corbin
19 Apr 2017, 07:45
What about the Ulfberht swords and crucible steel? Weren't they thought to be of Viking origin? Granted, I've never looked into this academically or done any particular fact checking, and weapons are well outside of my sphere of knowledge... so I could be completely and utterly misguided on this. But if the Ulfberht swords are truly Viking Age then we have like 150 or so examples of strong swords that were well ahead of their time, don't we?

This is something I was actually thinking about when I read that article. There are examples of outstanding Viking swords - most notably those marked "Ulfberht," that are made from crucible (or wootz) steel, and are definitely usable. It's the same steel used in the Middle East to make the legendary scimitar blades, and it's not exactly rare, either (I have a Bedouin scimitar made of wootz steel in my collection).

Anyway, they ARE of the right time period, and the right culture. The question about them is more about whether they were made of home-made steel or imported steel. The Norse could have learned to make the steel in the Middle East - they were there at a pretty early date, or they could have traded for it. The the swords were definitely usable, and of high quality.

I think that the pop articles (I got to the Livescience article from a repeat on Fox) claiming that Viking swords were decorative are drawing overly broad conclusions based on a limited number of example. That's why I wanted to read the original article...

(this is where Thalassa jumps in to talk about the deplorable state of science reporting in pop media. And would be absolutely right...)

anunitu
19 Apr 2017, 08:38
When you say "It's the same steel used in the Middle East to make the legendary scimitar blades",is that what is known as a Damascus blade?

B. de Corbin
19 Apr 2017, 08:50
When you say "It's the same steel used in the Middle East to make the legendary scimitar blades",is that what is known as a Damascus blade?

Yup - same. Historically. What we call Damascus steel now, though, is pattern wielded & twisted steel, which is what the Viking swords in the studies were made of. That's known because there are known examples of cast ingots.

I'm not sure if anybody has refound the technology to make wootz steel (last time I got curious the answer was "no"), and the pattern wielded and twisted steel was an attempt to replicate it. Wootz steel, though, is made in the refining process, somehow.

Wootz steel:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/26/4b/e0/264be00377b5670726721167dbcedec0.jpg

"Damascus" steel:
https://www.mastrolivirazors.com/images/DamascoCarbonioRitorto.jpg

monsno_leedra
19 Apr 2017, 08:59
Even in ancient Greece, the bow was seen as somehow 'cheating' because it allowed archers to kill at a distance, while the armed hoplites tended to come from wealthy families (on account of their armour and weaponry being so expensive.) The Greeks did use archers of course, but rarely against themselves. They saw nothing wrong with using them against outsiders, since these were considered barbarians anyway. Of course, the Scythian archers - and the Greeks used these - went a step further with poisoned arrows...

One point about the Anglo-Saxons - they didn't (generally) build stone castles. That was the Normans who didn't arrive until much later, 1066.

Not exactly stone castles but didn't the Celts and maybe other northern groups use the heat-melted stone forts in Scotland, perhaps parts of Ireland and northern section of England? Not sure how high they might have been but vaguely recall stone walls that show signs of being submitted to high heat and stockade's probably built upon them with villages or forts inside of them. Definitely not the castle type structure we think of now but still something like 8 - 12 foot tall mound walls is what I seem to recall reading about. Sorry been sometime since I read about them so not real fresh in my mind.

Don't recall when the English long bow made it's appearance but it played havoc against opposing forces. It's range deceived a lot of opposing forces as they underestimated it. So many were using the short bow which had about 2/3 to 1/2 the range of the long bow near as I recall.

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At least, when Greeks were fighting Greeks. I've gone off topic a bit though.

I must say here that I'm not sure the original article is all that accurate. It does depend on the context of the find. Swords intended as offerings to the gods are never always all that good - they were intended to be symbolic with real swords used for fighting. Swords found in graves ought to be properly used for fighting - but of course, again they might have been symbolic of status.

I've managed to find an interesting article about Viking swords and if anyone is interested do please pm me.

That reminds me of some of the bog swords that were found. Some were gold or copper I think it was and highly ornate but very poor as actual combat swords. Similar to some of the sacrificed swords found in Nippon (Japan) or their ceremonial swords that date back sometime.

Ula
19 Apr 2017, 09:29
When you think of the Viking gods Odin and Tyr carried a spear and Thor a "hammer" though I found an article once that stated his hammer may have really been an axe and that hammer would have been a general word for a pounding tool. It makes more sense given the shape of it. Other than Freyr I can't think of any Norse god with a sword.

thalassa
26 Apr 2017, 08:32
I think that the pop articles (I got to the Livescience article from a repeat on Fox) claiming that Viking swords were decorative are drawing overly broad conclusions based on a limited number of example. That's why I wanted to read the original article...

(this is where Thalassa jumps in to talk about the deplorable state of science reporting in pop media. And would be absolutely right...)

Lol, right!

Find me the article title and author and publication and I'll see if I can get my hands on it (grad school library acess).

B. de Corbin
26 Apr 2017, 09:21
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume 12, April 2017, Pages 425–436

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X17301025


Abstract
Vikings (800–1050 CE) are famous for being fearsome seafarers and their weapons represented an indispensable tool in their plundering raids. Sword from the Viking age often showed pattern-welding, made by welding together thin strips of iron and steel that were twisted and forged in various ways, producing a decorative pattern on the surface. In this work we present a neutron diffraction study of three swords from the Viking age belonging to the National Museum of Denmark. This non-invasive approach was used to allow us to characterise the blades in terms of composition and manufacturing processes involved. The study shows how the effects of past conservation treatments can either help or obstruct the extraction of archaeological information.

thalassa
04 May 2017, 15:20
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume 12, April 2017, Pages 425–436

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X17301025

send me your email address via pm :D

B. de Corbin
05 May 2017, 13:23
send me your email address via pm :D

Thanks! You are a poor amature scholar living in the wilderness of ignorance's best friend!

Tylluan Penry
06 May 2017, 04:26
When you think of the Viking gods Odin and Tyr carried a spear and Thor a "hammer" though I found an article once that stated his hammer may have really been an axe and that hammer would have been a general word for a pounding tool. It makes more sense given the shape of it. Other than Freyr I can't think of any Norse god with a sword.

In England, the Tyr Rune is the most popular on swords and interestingly the military still stamp weapons with it (or at least, I know they did on shell casings up until WW2 - it may still be the case but i'm not sure).

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Don't recall when the English long bow made it's appearance but it played havoc against opposing forces. It's range deceived a lot of opposing forces as they underestimated it. So many were using the short bow which had about 2/3 to 1/2 the range of the long bow near as I recall.

- - - Updated - - -



That reminds me of some of the bog swords that were found. Some were gold or copper I think it was and highly ornate but very poor as actual combat swords. Similar to some of the sacrificed swords found in Nippon (Japan) or their ceremonial swords that date back sometime.

Yes, spot on about the bog swords. Archaeological finds depend a great deal on the context and they don't always tell us whether weaponry was for show or for us. For example, in Anglo-Saxon graves, really large swords have been found in burials of men who were much too old to use them. It suggests they could have been carried for status possibly.

The medieval long bow really started to make its mark (pardon the pun, monsno) by the 12th century - and especially during the hundred years war. Many of the French archers used crossbows - very effective at short range, but useless over a distance.

Long bows are very hard to pull if they are to be effective, and archers on the Mary Rose were noticed to have a distinctive anatomy caused by the strain. Very effective though - could shoot through armour, a knight's leg, the other side of his armour, his horse's armour and kill the horse.
;)

B. de Corbin
07 May 2017, 15:21
In England, the Tyr Rune is the most popular on swords and interestingly the military still stamp weapons with it (or at least, I know they did on shell casings up until WW2 - it may still be the case but i'm not sure).

It is generally referred to as the "broad arrow," and has been used by Australia, Canada, and India as well.

I think that my WWII SMLE (UK) and my WWI-WWII SMLE (Australia) are both marked with the broad arrow. I'll have to check when I get a minute...

thalassa
08 May 2017, 14:34
Thanks! You are a poor amature scholar living in the wilderness of ignorance's best friend!


Lol, I had to request it, I couldn't get it online. Might take a few days...