Norse Weapons – The Bow

The Vikings used a bow they called a ‘bogi‘ in Old Norse. Bows were predominately used for hunting, but in many cases they were also used for battle, especially in battles or attacks at sea. Even though nautical battles were not common to the Norse who preferred to fight on land, bows were indeed used in sea battles. They could use their bows to fire at an enemy awaiting them on the beach as they tried to land. They used the bow to attack other ships by firing arrows and throwing other…

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Viking Battle Tactics: The Boar Formation

One of the battle formations that Norse warriors formed to break through the enemy’s lines was called the “svinfylking” (boar formation). The svinfylking was a battle formation where a group of heavily armed warriors (usually 20 to 30) would interlock their shields to form a wedge that had the center pointing towards the enemy’s formation. The triangular wedge tapered back on each side from the center point to make a tight spearhead. The Viking warriors would get in a “boar formation” wedge and then charge forward in this tight interlocked…

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The Shield used by the Vikings

There is Skaldic poetry that is specifically dedicated to the Norse shield. They are known as the “shield poems.” The shield was as much a part of Norse culture as was the ax. It was well developed and one of the best shields made. The Viking shield was very different from that of the shields used around the World. The shields were made from wood with a metal center and were colorfully painted. Upon first glance, there doesn’t seem to anything special about these shields but you’d be very wrong…

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