How tight were shield walls in Saxon England?

A shield wall formation could be as tight and as complex as the officers in charge would have been able to imagine and to teach, adapted always to their combat style, ofcourse.Jul 21, 2016

Did Saxons use shield walls?

The shield-wall was commonly used in many parts of Northern Europe, such as England and Scandinavia. In the battles between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes, most of the Saxon army would have been the fierce but inexperienced Fyrd—a militia composed of middle class freemen.

Did the English use shield walls?

Early medieval

The shield-wall was commonly used in many parts of Northern Europe such as in England and Scandinavia.

What was the Anglo-Saxon shield wall?

As the Battle of Hastings began, and the Normans climbed the hill towards the Saxons who locked their shields together into a ‘shield wall’. This was their traditional way of defending themselves and it was very hard for the Normans to break through it, even whilst mounted on their horses.

What caused the Saxons to break the shield wall?

The discipline of the Norman troops meant that they continued to form co-ordinated attacks using a variety of tactics, while the lack of discipline in the Anglo-Saxon army led to the breaking of the shield wall.

Did Vikings use shield wall?

The Viking shield wall (or skjaldborg in Old Norse) was a pretty conventional tactic used by the Norsemen in land battles. It entailed a phalanx-like formation of warriors who were up to five ranks deep.

When did shields become obsolete?

Used by foot and mounted troops alike, it gradually came to replace the round shield as the common choice until the end of the 12th century, when more efficient limb armour allowed the shields to grow shorter, and be entirely replaced by the 14th century.

What did Norman shields look like?

Norman round shields were typically made from wooden planks glued together so that they form a circular structure 30 to 40 inches in diameter. Most round shields had a rim around the perimeter, reinforcing their basic wood structure.

Why did soldiers stop using shields?

European armies did not use shields because they ceased being useful well before the British employed musket mass volley fire tactics. The shield is important in ancient hoplite-style warfare, the soldier holds a sword or a spear in one hand while the other hand holds the shield.

Why did samurai not use shields?

A shield was impractical for horseback fighting. Fighting on foot was for the low classes of Japan, their force of ashigaru surrounded the samurai on foot. So basically, two handed spears and bows were hugely popular in Japan and hand held shields aren’t particularly useful for archers and spearmen.

How did knights go to the bathroom in armor?

While wearing all that, a knight desperate for the toilet would have most likely needed the assistance of his squire to lift or remove the rear culet, so that he could squat down.

How thick was full plate armor?

Medieval plate armor ranged any between 1–3 millimeters thick, but the thickness varied at different periods and by different armorers.

What shields did the Saxons use?

Evidence indicates that alder, willow, and poplar wood were the most common types; shields of maple, birch, ash, and oak have also been discovered.

How were kite shields held?

To compensate for their awkward nature, kite shields were equipped with enarmes, which gripped the shield tightly to the arm and facilitated keeping it in place even when a knight relaxed their arm; this was a significant departure from most earlier circular shields, which possessed only a single handle.

Did Anglo-Saxons use round shields?

Shield Size and Shape

Shields of many different sizes were used by the Anglo-Saxons although the shape of most of them was consistently circular. The shields ranged in diameter from 1 foot to 3 feet.

Did the Saxons have metal shields?

Richer Anglo-Saxons would sometimes cover their shields with a metal, like bronze, to make them stronger. Shields were essential in battle. They would be used to create a defensive ‘shield wall’ and throw their javelins from behind this.

Did Anglo-Saxons use bow and arrows?

Anglo-Saxon warriors fought on foot during battles. They carried spears, axes, swords, and bows and arrows. They wore helmets and carried shields that were usually made of wood. The most common Anglo-Saxon weapon was a spear, the most feared weapon was a battle-axe, and the most precious was a sword.

Did Anglo-Saxons use square shields?

Vikings get round shields and Anglo-Saxons get rather pathetic small rectangular shields, clearly inferior in terms of how much of their body they cover and also in terms of manufacture (the Viking shields have metal rims, or actually if you look close, painted details designed to look like metal rims).

Did Anglo-Saxons use kite shields?

Kite shields were definitely in use by the Anglo Saxons at least by the Battle of Hastings where both kite and round shields were in use, however I am unsure as to the prevalence of the design among Saxon warriors only that they were in use among the Huscarls.

What is a Viking shield?

The type of shield used by the Vikings can be traced back to the Iron Age. It consists of thin planking, which forms a circular shape. In the middle is a dome of iron to protect the shield bearer’s hand.

What armour did Anglo-Saxons wear?

The main type of body armour in Anglo-Saxon times was mail. The term ‘chainmail’ not being coined until the 1700’s. Mail of the period was made by cutting thin strips of iron from a piece of sheet, or drawing iron wire through a draw-plate, and winding this around a cylindrical former.

Did Anglo-Saxons have guns?

3. Seaxes and Sidearms. The Anglo-Saxons were known by their contemporaries to carry with them a distinctive form of sidearm known as a seax from an early age.

Did Anglo-Saxons use crossbows?

Crossbows, a relatively new kind of weapon in 1066, shot much more slowly than ordinary bows, but their ‘bolts’ could penetrate right through shields. Only one Anglo-Saxon archer is shown in the Tapestry, symbolising that Harold’s army included very few bowmen.

Did Anglo-Saxons wear chain mail?

Anglo Saxon Mail

Mailcoats made from chain mail were also a notable part of Anglo Saxon armour although its widespread use hasn’t been established through archaeological evidence. The Anglo Saxon mail was typically made by linking riveted rings of metal into a shirt which was then worn during battlefield combat.

Did the Saxons have steel?

In the Anglo-Saxon period steel was very difficult to make and not very good. So the Anglo-Saxon’s used a mixture of steel and iron in their swords. They used steel on the outside of the sword to give a strong and sharp blade.

Did Anglo-Saxons use swords?

The most common Anglo-Saxon weapon was a spear, and the most precious was a sword. It took hours for a blacksmith to craft an iron sword into shape. Anglo-Saxon swords were made of two-edged straight, flat blades, and the handle (or hilt) had an upper and lower guard, and a grip by which the sword was held.

Was chainmail heavy?

Chain mail garments were heavy. A coif, such as the hood pictured here, could weigh as much as 11kg (25lbs) and mailshirts in excess of 27kg (60lbs). In European armor, there are two main types of mailshirts: the hauberk and the haburgeon (the latter being a sleeveless garment).

Can chainmail stop a bullet?

Chainmail , and even the kind of full armor that knights wore, is useless against firearms. Or, as they say, yes, chainmail will stop a bullet, as long as you don’t throw it too hard. Soft body armor, whether made from silk or paper, is actually more effective than metal armor.

What was a weakness of chainmail?

However, chainmail also suffered from a notable weakness in that sword and spear tips, or arrow heads, could penetrate individual ringlets at a direct-on angle. As such, knights would commonly wear a cuirass over the chainmail shirt for extra protection.

At what age did a person officially become a knight?


Most future knights worked as a squire for five or six years. If a squire had proven his bravery and skill at battle, he would become a knight at the age of twenty-one. He gained the title of knight at a “dubbing” ceremony.

Can knights get married?

The answer, paradoxically, is yes. In the period up to roughly the thirteenth century, male bonding ceremonies were performed in churches all over the Mediterranean. These unions were sanctified by priests with many of the same prayers and rituals used to join men and women in marriage.

Could a serf become a knight?

It really wasn’t possible. If you were extremely capable, you might move up a rank or two in the social hierarchy in the course of one generation, but to move from peasantry to nobility would likely take a hundred years or more of consistent success.