View the H-War Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in H-War's March 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in H-War's March 2010 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the H-War home page.
1st Reply From: Rudnicki, Edward J Mr CIV USA AMC <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: REPLY: Vikings, samurai and energy transfer Date: March 30, 2010 5:30:15 PM EDT To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> From: Jon Alfred <email@example.com> > On a side note how the pirate lost to the armored knight I'll have no idea, >but win the knight did. Actually [in Deadliest Warrior] the pirate beat the knight. That could be seen in advance: the pirate had effective projectile weapons and the knight didn't. That was one of only two episodes I saw. The other pitted a Spartan hoplite against a ninja, which is about as great a disparity in fighting techniques and equipment as one could imagine. The Spartan won, btw. I found it entertaining but silly. After all, a hoplite in full panoply was not going to fight a stealthy assassin one-on-one. Others have mentioned the artificiality of making the contests between single opponents. Ed Rudnicki 2nd Reply There are of course several contextual problem to such a comparison. A warrior is a product of his environment. A viking in pre-meji Japan would be just as out of place as a samurai in pre-modern Europe. First, as I understand it, mineral resources are quite scarece in Japan, where as in Scandinavia, iron ore could be picked up from virtually any marsh and there would be plenty of fire wood to make charcoal to work it. A viking could therefor make all the armor he could he could care to carry while the Japanese samurai probably would not feel the cost worth while. This also explains why Scandinavia, quite low revenue and population compared to larger continental medeval kingdoms, could field substatial armies right up until the early modern period (Gustav Adolf - Charles XII). Also a The natural environment is of course also a matter of consideration. Temprature is not the main issue. While king Harold Hardrade lost at Stamford Bridge (1066) because his men had dropped their armor in the mid day heat, remember that crusaders kept their on and fought well with it in the blisering sun of the Levant. However, anything worth figthing for in medeaval Europe would be surounded by pastures and farmland. This, I would guess, would favour a warrior in armor, figthing in formation (firm, clear ground). I am not that familiar with Japanese topography, but I picture that craggy hills and rice paddies are not suitable for heavy infantry and massed cavalery charges. The physique of vikings and pre-meji Japanese may also have influenced how they would dress up for a night out. Scandinavian diet of the early medeval period were quite similar to a modern western one nutrition wise - rich in fat and heavy protein, while the japanese mostly ate, vegetables, rice and fish. Adding genetics, the average viking would look more like your average biker or truck driver, about 175-180 cm tall and 80-90 kg (sligthly less that modern Scandinavians). At least this is what grave finds suggest. What stature the Japanese warrior of the period where am not sure, but I would guess 160-165 and 55-60 kg given diet and genetics - taken into account that their diet probably were considerably richer than that of an ordinary farmer. My prejudice is that a large bulky man would prefere to use his strength to carry protection, while a slimmer one would not let it hamper is agility. Fgthing style is also important. While the samurai as far as I know fougth as an individual, Europeans fougth in massed formations (quite a paradox concidering modern day conceptions on eastern collectivism vs occidental individualism). Also, consider the pin point horseback oriental bowmanship vs the hail of arrows released by the English longbows. Traditional viking figthing style was forming a thigth box with 360 degree cover, much like modern day units do after landing from helicopter or disembarking from a vehicle. This would allow for swift, yet coordinated movement back to the ships after a raid. But when figthing pitched battles or siges, vikings would adopt more continental styles. Both would give the individual back and side cover which is crucial because of the restrictions of vision, hearing and movement created by armor. For a samurai relying on individual agility and speed, such formations would only handicap him. Frode Lindgjerdet, Archivist, Freelance historian, ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----