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Thread: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

  1. #11
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    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.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
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    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

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  2. #12
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    https://forums.spacebattles.com/thre...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.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  3. #13
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    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.
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaskedOne View Post
    https://forums.spacebattles.com/thre...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...
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    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    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.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  6. #16
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaskedOne View Post
    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.
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    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.
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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaskedOne View Post
    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.
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  9. #19
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    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.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  10. #20
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Did Vikings use swords, or just wave them around?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    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.
    Last edited by monsno_leedra; 18 Apr 2017 at 16:21.
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