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?The Shield wall vrs the" all blades flashing Melee'

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  • ?The Shield wall vrs the" all blades flashing Melee'

    I've been reading Bernard Cornwall, and the organised shield wall seems to have been a standard of pre gunpowder warfare.
    However, when watching the Vikings series, the shield wall seems to have been a last minute ad hoc response to an enemy charging on the run.

    Which version is more common?
    The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

  • #2
    Vikings is a TV series, it isn't real.

    Shield walls were the standard west European tactic from the dying days of the Western Empire until Hastings.
    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Surrey View Post
      Vikings is a TV series, it isn't real.

      Shield walls were the standard west European tactic from the dying days of the Western Empire until Hastings.
      the vikings look skeptical
      The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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      • #4
        https://thornews.com/2017/08/30/rese...-shield-walls/

        Interesting debate here.......


        I will admit that Katherine Winnick looks better in this shield wall...
        Last edited by marktwain; 15 Feb 20, 10:00.
        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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        • #5
          'Fighting ferociously, forming a dense shield-wall against the whole army of the Pagans, and striving long and bravely...at last he [Alfred] gained the victory. He overthrew the Pagans with great slaughter, and smiting the fugitives, he pursued them as far as the fortress ."'

          From the life of Alfred. Contemporary description of the Battle of Edington.

          The ikings themselves formed a shield wall at Stamford Bridge but were oerwhelemed.
          "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Surrey View Post
            'Fighting ferociously, forming a dense shield-wall against the whole army of the Pagans, and striving long and bravely...at last he [Alfred] gained the victory. He overthrew the Pagans with great slaughter, and smiting the fugitives, he pursued them as far as the fortress ."'

            From the life of Alfred. Contemporary description of the Battle of Edington.

            The ikings themselves formed a shield wall at Stamford Bridge but were overwhelmed.
            I've always wondered if William of Normandy had some sort of - information? on Tostig and Harad's timetable and invasion site.

            It is amazing that the two invasions so closely coincide. If Harold had had an extra week, even, he could have persuaded his Jarls of the North to accompany him south. Then the hastings Shield wall - holds.
            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Surrey View Post
              'Fighting ferociously, forming a dense shield-wall against the whole army of the Pagans, and striving long and bravely...at last he [Alfred] gained the victory. He overthrew the Pagans with great slaughter, and smiting the fugitives, he pursued them as far as the fortress ."'

              From the life of Alfred. Contemporary description of the Battle of Edington.

              The Vikings themselves formed a shield wall at Stamford Bridge but were overwhelmed.
              Iirc, the Hussite wars spelled the beginning of the end for both the shield walls and the Cavalry charge by mounted knights. Jan Zwika's defensive laager of wagons with guns took the Bohemian nobility by storm.

              Shield walls led to a 'brutal mindset' in warriors. your chances of death were high, and they lived fast and died hard. Take no prisoners, except virgins.
              The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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              • #8
                Originally posted by marktwain View Post

                Iirc, the Hussite wars spelled the beginning of the end for both the shield walls and the Cavalry charge by mounted knights. Jan Zwika's defensive laager of wagons with guns took the Bohemian nobility by storm.

                Shield walls led to a 'brutal mindset' in warriors. your chances of death were high, and they lived fast and died hard. Take no prisoners, except virgins.
                Shield walls were on the way out long before the Hussite wars. For a start shields themselves weren't much used in the c15th.

                The mixture of cavalry and archers did for the shield wall at Hastings.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Surrey View Post

                  Shield walls were on the way out long before the Hussite wars. For a start shields themselves weren't much used in the c15th.

                  The mixture of cavalry and archers did for the shield wall at Hastings.
                  good point.Harold , having broke with the Goodwine family, was short of captains to hold the Fyrd together with his Housecarls. The Fyrd, IIRC, broke the wall and pursued a false retreat. bu the Bretons.

                  shield wall work as Cornwell points out in his novels, was extreme stress , esp. for a new warrior.
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                  • #10
                    Veterans could form a shield wall without much trouble. The Fyrd not so much. At Stamford Bridge Harold caught the Vikings without their armor on. It was a hot day. Vikings is TV entertainment, not true History. Vikings went raiding to get LOOT! Armor and weapons were primo loot! Each Jarl tended to have a Bodyguard with better than average armor and arms. In the TV show, most actors were in fake armor and there was a lot of rubber! The Mail was usually painted rubber. I doubt that the insurance company would have approved of much charges of the walls at each other, and that ruled out much Archery. Did anyone notice any Slingers? Too many stars were fighting without a helmet on! Take out the leader and the rest just might lose heart and run. Even the guys with helmets did not wear a padded cap or suspension under the helmet. Take a pot out of the kitchen and place it on your head. Lightly tap on it! This is how the phrase: "Ring My Bell!" came about.

                    Pruitt
                    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                    • #11
                      That's not a shield wall, more a shield pile

                      Reminds me of the Roman "testudo" which was reportedly also used on occasion by later Viking/Norman commanders in the 10th century…

                      https://books.google.be/books?id=bfg...estudo&f=false
                      Last edited by Snowygerry; 21 Feb 20, 03:48.
                      Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Game.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                        Veterans could form a shield wall without much trouble. The Fyrd not so much. At Stamford Bridge Harold caught the Vikings without their armor on. It was a hot day. Vikings is TV entertainment, not true History. Vikings went raiding to get LOOT! Armor and weapons were primo loot! Each Jarl tended to have a Bodyguard with better than average armor and arms. In the TV show, most actors were in fake armor and there was a lot of rubber! The Mail was usually painted rubber. I doubt that the insurance company would have approved of much charges of the walls at each other, and that ruled out much Archery. Did anyone notice any Slingers? Too many stars were fighting without a helmet on! Take out the leader and the rest just might lose heart and run. Even the guys with helmets did not wear a padded cap or suspension under the helmet. Take a pot out of the kitchen and place it on your head. Lightly tap on it! This is how the phrase: "Ring My Bell!" came about.

                        Pruitt
                        TV and films are notorious for their depiction of armour. Though there is an excuse for the helmet thing. If all the characters were wearing historically accurate helmets viewers wouldn't be able to see the stars' faces.

                        According to Hollywood light sabres were standard issue in the Middle Ages from how easily swords can penetrate metal armour.
                        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by marktwain View Post
                          Shield walls led to a 'brutal mindset' in warriors. your chances of death were high, and they lived fast and died hard. Take no prisoners, except virgins.
                          Shield walls show more of a defensive mindset. It being pretty hard to kill or be killed whilst fighting in them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                            Shield walls show more of a defensive mindset. It being pretty hard to kill or be killed whilst fighting in them.
                            One huge risk was infection. Being stabbed in the abdominal cavity was a death sentence. chest cavity - probable death. Amputation - you are on your own. Slow death from beggary.
                            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by marktwain View Post

                              One huge risk was infection. Being stabbed in the abdominal cavity was a death sentence. chest cavity - probable death. Amputation - you are on your own. Slow death from beggary.
                              It was only once the shield wall broke that the slaughter began. Casualties were mostly inflicted during the rout.
                              "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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