Thursday, January 8, 2015

Who Handled an Axe Better?

Axe fighters were important combatants for thousands of years until the application of firearms to the battlefield. In the past, some warriors would use battle-axes instead of swords during armed conflicts. The battle-axe was not as popular as the sword but it was a staple fighting tool among some historical nations, tribes and groups. Three cultural groups from the past that have been known to use axes included Native Americans (different nations), the Vikings and various Barbarian tribes in medieval Europe.

Each of these groups were exceptional warriors with the axe as their weapon but only one could be considered the best axe fighters. The following information will explain which group is the best axe fighters between the three.

The Barbarians
Historically speaking, there’s no such group of people known specifically as the "barbarians". Barbarian was the name that civilized empires and kingdoms (Romans, Greeks, French, etc.) gave to people who didn't live up to their standards. This means that a variety of ancient people were known as barbarians. The Saxons, Celts, Magyars, Norsemen and Germans were all known as barbarians during some time during their history.

When many "barbarians" fought against the civilized empires, they often used a variety of weapons other than the sword. Spears, daggers, maces and battle-axes were often used to combat well-trained ancient fighting forces. Barbarian fighters of the past used light weight axes that were easy to wield and maneuver. The axes that were used for combat by these groups generally had long handles and a thin single-edged blade.

Most barbarian fighters would either attack as part of a first or second wave of infantry soldiers during a battle. Many historical armies would not necessarily use them on the front lines but sometimes they could be sent out ahead of the elite forces to soften up the enemy. Depending on the tribal group, axe warriors were sometimes used as an elite unit. German tribal groups used elite axe troops and so did Saxon warriors.

The Vikings
Vikings were a group of people who evolved from northern European tribes from the lands Denmark, Norway and Sweden. This particular group of people have been known as axe warriors. Many used the axe in their everyday life and if a fight was to break out they would quickly pick up this weapon for combat purposes. Also, Vikings that went on raids would often times use axes.

Keep in mind that many Vikings are often depicted with double-bladed battle axes. This is also a misconception. Viking axes in those days had single wide blades and were easy to maneuver. The axes were lightweight for slashing enemies and the handles had a medium-sized length.

Vikings often slashed their axes in a similar fashion to swords. Also, in combat they would sometimes throw their axes at their enemies. Vikings were efficient at wielding their axes and could rapidly destroy an area with their use.

The Native Americans
Native American fighters of the past used a lightweight weapon called a Tomahawk. The Tomahawk was a small and lightweight axe that could be used in hand to hand combat or as a short-ranged attack weapon. Native American fighters who used this weapons were fast and deadly. They could throw these axes at people with killer precision. The warriors were also good at wielding them in close combat situations. Many Tomahawks had single blades and short handles. They were light enough for warriors to carry more than one.

When all three groups are compared; the best axe fighter would have to be the Viking. Why? In a battle, an armored Viking would probably last longer than an unarmored Native American warrior. When compared to a barbarian axe warrior, Vikings had the ability to smash quickly through an enemies defenses and render them powerless. Ultimately, the Vikings were the best axe warriors of the ancient world. 

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