Nursery Rhymes

Pike

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Description of Pike
The weapons used during the Middle Ages include the Pike. The description of the Pike which provides basic facts and information about the weapon is as follows:

  • Pike - This weapon consisted of a sharp spike blade mounted on a wooden shaft, or pole - referred to as a pikestaff

  • This weapon had a wooden shaft, or staff, between 10 and 14 feet (3 and 4 meters) long, mounted with a steel head resembling a spear
  • Used as a versatile weapon against knights on horseback. The weapon was constantly developed and refined to include metal rims over the shaft making it even more effective against cavalry starting with knights on horseback . The pole, or staff, increased in length to become more effective fighting weapon
  • The weapon was used as a means to combat enemies on horseback. The spear end could apply significant injury to a knight in armor, or a knights horse. Horse armor was developed to counteract such injuries but the sheer force applied from a long pole, or pike, was extremely effective against horses. The Medieval horse, called a Destrier was the favored horses of knights in the Middle Ages
  • Pikemen were also armed with a dagger and a sword to enable them to battle enemies who had been unhorsed. The pike was far too unwieldy to use in close combat
  • Type or group of weapons - Polearm - A group of pole-mounted weapons. Were all variations of poles measuring between 4 and 14 feet long with different 'heads' - spikes, hammers, spears, axe etc

The Middle Ages was an extremely violent era in history featuring battles in both Europe and the Holy Land when the crusades, and the crusaders who fought them, were numerous. Feudal Lords and Knights used such weapons as the Pike in different types of warfare. The quest for power led to invasions of lands and territories which had to be fought for. Siege warfare, waged to win a castle or a walled town or city, was a frequent occurrence during the Middle Ages. Warfare during the Middle Ages, or Medieval era called for a variety of weapon expertise. Knights and men-at-arms ( Foot Soldier, or Pikemans, or archers ) used different types of weapons. The Pike was predominantly used by a Foot Soldier, or Pikeman. The weapons used were dictated according to status and position. The weapons, armor and horse of the Knight were extremely expensive - the fighting power of just one knight was worth 10 ordinary soldiers.

Pike Training
Skill in the use of Medieval weapons and understanding the strategy of Medieval Warfare was necessary and a played a vital part in Medieval life. The training required by a Foot Soldier, or Pikeman to use the Pike :

  • Training method - The training methods practised in the use of pikes were directed towards fighting armored knights on horseback
  • Soldiers were trained in various manoeuvres to Strike, Swing, Cleave, Poke and Takedown their enemies by effective use of the pole, or staff, and the spear
  • Training method - The training method practised in the use of the pike was based on strength, agility and accuracy in hitting the target
  • A "hit" was scored in Medieval weapons training by making light contact with a defined target area
Middle Ages Weapons
Middle Ages Index

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