Review: “Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques” by William R. Short

Thumbs up for Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques by William R. Short. History.

There are a very limited number of people who should read this book. 1: Hardcore Viking re-enactors. 2: Historians specializing in ancient weaponry and fighting techniques. 3: Ultra-nerdy authors trying to write realistic battle scenes. If you fall into any of those groups, buy this book right now. It’s the kind of reference book that gives me shivers of happiness.

Evidence suggests that sword and shield combat targeted every part of the body. Forensic evidence from Viking-age skeletal remains shows evidence of wounds from head to lower leg. When targets are mentioned in the sagas, the head, upper body, and legs are all mentioned with nearly equal frequency, whereas arms and back and shoulders are mentioned less frequently.

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