Did the Vikings Use Archery, Cavalry, and Siege Weapons?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Did the Vikings Use Archery, Cavalry, and Siege Weapons?

Either in books, movies, and games, we often see the Vikings use axes, swords, and shields when in combat. But besides these weapons, did the Viking warriors use any other types of weapons in battle?

The answer is, yes, they did. The Vikings historically used some other types of weapons like archery, cavalry, and siege weapons. But they were not their forte. The Vikings learned new things quickly. When in combat, of course, they would learn to use new weapons and tactics. 

The Vikings did use bows and arrows. Both literal and archaeological can prove that. In many Viking graves, the archaeologists found out the deceased was buried with a set of weapons including bow and arrows. 

Viking bows and arrows

Viking warriors did use archery. But after all, they still preferred man-to-man techniques either to win by an axe or to die by an axe. 

Cavalry was quite a different thing from archery. The Vikings were likely to approach the enemies' land with their boats which were too small to carry horses with. So instead of carrying horses along with the boats, Vikings would steal horses upon their arrival on new land. 

The Normans originated from the Vikings. They established themselves in the new land of the Franks and within a century, they became the most dangerous and formidable heavy cavalry in Europe. 

Regarding the siege weapons, the Vikings also used some types of siege weapons in some battles. But seemingly, they were not good at using these new tactics. Because many Viking battles with siege weapons failed. 

Viking siege of Paris

Viking battle siege of Paris using siege weapons 

Viking sieges of Paris and Constantinople turned out to be quite unsuccessful with siege weapons ranging from battering rams to other complicated siege engines. 

In conclusion, the Vikings were still experts on maritime raids and hit-and-run attacks with swords and axes. They could flexibly use other weapons yet not really skillfully.  

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