Good Explanation for the Viking Strength in Battle
Back to the 8th century, a group of men with a piece of fabric sailed around Europe striking fear into the enemies. It is true that the Vikings did not win all the battles they joined. But their great success on the battlefield cannot be denied. The question here is, what is the reason for Viking power in the battle?
With hindsight, the Vikings were not that formidable. They fought and they lost. If they had won all the time, there would not have been the Christianization of Scandinavia. But at the same time, no one can refuse that the Vikings was a warrior-producing community, even if most of them were farmers. Comparing with the farmers during their time, Viking farmers were better fighters. They started their raiding journey with the monasteries which were both ill-defended and full of treasure.
However, the reason behind the fierceness of the Northmen was not their extremely outstanding military tactics. Rather, it was their faith.
"Fear not death for Odin only welcomed the brave into Valhalla"
The Vikings believed that from the moment they started life until their last breath everything was in the hand of fate. So it meant the place, the time, and the reason why one Viking died was long predestined. Everything was already written in the stars and no one could change it.
So the Vikings could make any risk they wanted in life. If it was not the last day of theirs, nothing bad would befall. But if it was, then you cannot do anything to prevent it.
To the Vikings, if they died in their battle in an honorable way, they would enter Valhalla. An honorable death in battle meant to protect your beloved, your brothers, and your clans. Being reborn in Valhalla was what the Vikings wanted the most. It was their ultimate afterlife.
So they took part in the battle against any odds. They regretted nothing and were always willing to venture all of their life to fight for what they believed. If they were destined to live through the battle, fighting alone did not scare them off. But if they were set to die, they would choose to die and go to Valhalla.
There was a story of a Norse warrior who used all of his lifetime joining the battle. But the fate did not allow him to join his brothers in Valhalla very soon. It let him survive battles after battles until the point he was so tired of fighting.
But to earn a seat in Valhalla, he must fight bravely in any battle that he joined. He wished to be killed in battle but his wish was not granted. In his last battle, he made his ultimate sacrifice to protect the younger brothers.
"My brothers were feasting along the gods and I am stuck here fighting and ageing"
When the war-band leader kneed down next to this old warrior hearing him say that he was ready for this moment. That he was not afraid of death. Rather, he was afraid that his brothers in Valhalla would be angry for his long absence in the feasting table and Odin would not choose him for his army. He was so afraid that he fought to die a warrior death. Finally, his wish was granted: reborn in Valhalla and feasting with brothers.