The Vikings before then XI century, were an immense threat to England and the rest of Europe. They were able to create very fine weaponry which was, in a way, different from other medieval weapons.
For Vikings, weapons were not only used for battle, but they were also used to show each individual's own wealth and social status. For this reason, most Viking weapons were decorated with precious gems which made them very valuable.
The main Viking weapons was the spear - it was normally very big and heavy which could even destroy medieval armor in its early stages. For this reason, the Vikings were greatly feared as they were both strong and good at war.
Additionally, Vikings also used projectiles such as bows - which were not as common as in the South - but were employed nevertheless. Since their bows were not very effective, since the British began employing them, the Vikings had a notorious disadvantage.
Swords were very expensive to make because of the lack of knowledge and resources. For this reason, only important soldiers could afford them. Looting became very common as destroying an European army could result in a huge variety of new weapons which resulted in more swords for the Vikings - this inspired them into fighting more and was a major cause of Viking warfare.
Norse horses were different from the ones in Europe. They were smaller and not as fast, furthermore; they were not as good as the rest. This was another major disadvantage for the Vikings as they almost invariantly fought on their feet while the British, for example, could kill many more by fighting on their horses.
As years passed, some regular horses were stolen from Europe and used for the Viking's own purposes, but due to the weather, horses did not breed as fast as they would have in the South. Furthermore, only the stronger horses survived which were reserved for Viking generals and important soldiers.
Even though the Vikings were at a disadvantage because of a lack of horses and swords - they were still very efficient at conquering villages and terrorising peasants. Their weapons were mostly slow, but since they were so strong, one blow could mean the demise of an enemy soldier.
Furthermore, conquering another village could mean a new settlement for the Vikings - reason for which they rarely pillaged and utterly destroyed an opposing town. Instead, what was normally done is that they simply settled there.
Lack of agriculture led many adventurous Vikings to sail South in search of land. Ireland was the primary target of such attacks which were successful most of the time.
Nevertheless, as the Vikings kept pushing forward into land, they began conquering Scotland - and at their peak, they conquered half of England.
It was during the X century when king Alfred the Great decided to halt the Viking progression so he reorganized his army, built many ships, and made a decisive defeat on them.
Even though the Vikings retreated to Norway, they still sailed and attacked many villages. Even though the Vikings could not defeat the regular army of Scotland, Ireland or England; the Vikings could still terrorize villagers and easily defeat local armies which inspired a lot of fear into the medieval villagers.
Vikings attacked mostly with Dragon Ships which consisted of up to 100 well-trained infantry.
The Dragon Ships were very well designed. They could easily be taken inside a river to attack villages from unexpected positions - giving them a huge advantage.
Vikings also used swords, shields and some armory. Even though the European defenders were frequently better-trained, the Vikings were very ferious and they attacked without mercy.
Viking ships traveled in groups - a normal Viking fleet consisted of approximately 20 dragon ships with 100 soldiers each.
One of the biggest Viking fleets recorded consisted of many hundreds of dragon ships which sailed to Europe.
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