Viking Spear – Viking Weapon Belonged to Odin

If Viking axe comes first in the list of Viking common weapons, Viking spear will be in the second rank.

Like Viking axe, it was quite easy to make a Viking spear. It only consisted of two parts: the head and the shaft. Due to this simple construction, the Viking spear became a commonly used weapon of the Viking ancient time. The two main parts of the spear connected with each other with a rivet. The material to make a spear head was iron while the shaft often of wood. The Vikings also decorated their spear with the inlays of precious metals or with aesthetic Viking patterns. The wooden shafts had different lengths, ranging from 2m to 3m (around 7-10 feet long).

Image of Viking Spears
Lines of Viking Warriors with Spears

How Warriors Used their Viking Spear

With the intelligence and great fighting skills, the Viking warriors came up with many fighting tactics with their spears. When in the battles, there were many ways that the Viking warriors could utilize their spears to deprive their enemies of their life. Three primary ways of using Viking spears: thrusting, throwing, and cutting.

Viking Spear as a Thrusting Weapon

Thrusting might be the most common way of using spears in the any times. The way of holding spear to thrust varied from warriors to warriors. Many could place their hands in the middle of the shaft while other could place both in the middle and the end of the shaft. Warriors could hold their spear with one or both hands. But with studies, the most powerful way to use this thrusting weapon was to use both hand, one placing in the middle and the other at the end. From this position, the warriors could utilize all the strength they had to deal a blow to their foes. The deadly level of this position was higher than other ways of spear holding.

Shield war and thrusting spear were the combined fighting tactics of the Vikings. The Viking warriors would stand in lines. The first line held their round shields building up a protective Shield Wall. Behind these walls were the warriors holding Viking spears. These warriors would thrust their spears into their enemies and were still protected by the Shield Wall.

Image of Viking Wall Shield
Viking Wall Shield

Viking Spear as a Throwing Weapon

Throwing spear was one of the most famous fighting method of the Vikings. The practice of throwing spears took place at the beginning of the battle. The Viking warriors would throw their spears into the lines of the enemies regardless whether it could shoot any enemy or not. This traditional practice rooted in the story of Odin throwing his Gungnir spear into his foes just before the battle began. The Viking warriors believed this throwing spear practice would call up Odin and his support during their battles. Skilled Viking warriors could throw two spears with both of his hands and could even catch the spears of their foes.

Image of Viking warrior and Viking spear
Viking warrior with Spear

However, disadvantages of this throwing tactic were obvious. Firstly, the warriors would lose one of their weapon during battle. This somehow reminds us of god Freyr who lost his final battle for losing his weapon before the battle took place. Secondly, those thrown spears could fly back to the warriors. If the spears managed to penetrate the armor of the foes, there would be no debate. But what if the spears had not managed to do so? There were chances that the enemies would take those thrown spears and throw them back to their former owners.

Viking Spear as a Cutting Weapon

With the sharp edges, Viking spears could turn out to be a cutting weapon. The Viking warriors used their spears to cut their enemies. However, using spear as a cutting weapon was not common among the Viking warriors. Because the damage this tactic caused was not extensive. That is not to mention, the head of the spear could easily broke with firm pressure.

Image of Viking warriors fighting with Viking spears
Warriors fighting with their spears

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