Spears are better than swords: scientific proof

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  • Published on:  Sunday, September 23, 2018
  • The spear was the most common weapon in ancient battles. There was a reason: spears work. Here, we try out spears against a variety of foes.
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    The longer version of this video, with more commentary from Matt Easton and me, and all of all 65 bouts is here: https://fapgem.com/video/afqhBODc_8U/video.html

    Thanks to Matt Easton for inviting me to Fight Camp 2018. Thanks also to my cameraman Alex Abdolwahabi, and to all those who participated. No one was hurt, unless you count injuries to pride.

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    Lindybeige: a channel of archaeology, ancient and medieval warfare, rants, swing dance, travelogues, evolution, and whatever else occurs to me to make.

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  • ryan king
    ryan king  12 hours ago

    Hold on!.........why isn't your swords man grabbing the spear? Okay, spears are used in mass because while in ranks swordsmen cannot grab spears because there are too many to grab and one will make it's target. When the ranks break, swords become drawn in chaotic melee. Most kills were spear kills because two to three ranks of spears will make short work of two to three ranks of swordsmen...unless the swordsmen can close break spearmen ranks and turn the battle into one on one at close range. That is why many spearmen carried swords. Breaking spearmen ranks with only swords is close to impossible because of range and number of spearheads. But on a one on one fight a spearmen wants to drop the spear unless they are confident they can keep the spear from being grabbed. Trust me grabbing the spear works like a charm. Spearmen need to be in formation to be lethal. When their formation is broke or the fight is one on one you don't want a spear! You want axes, swords, maces long daggers. That is why spearmen had swords or other short range weapons when the army could afford it. Roman soldiers kept short swords on all their spearmen. Spears need numbers and tight ranks help too but they can be easily grabbed and held powerless while an attack could be made with something as small as a knife.
    The flip side of the coin is a single spearman that can move quick enough on his feet to stay at long range, and move the spear fast enough back and forth with hard enough stabs to cause damage and fast enough to escape a grasping hand. That spearman isn't everyone in your ranks, he is one or two guys in your ranks. Spears in large tight formations are deadly to swordsmen. One guy with a spear better be quick.

  • Nick Tan
    Nick Tan  13 hours ago

    Great tests. It would be really interesting to see an Asian martial artist compete. Chinese spears have a tassel to obscure vision and are made of waxwood so you can bend the spear around a blocking weapon with a circular strike. Strikes to the knee and below are also part of forms training so a strike beneath a shield is more practiced. Finally, the fights are very linear, there is not a lot of lateral movement on a retreat or advance, that creates openings for the spear.

  • Game Czar
    Game Czar  14 hours ago

    The key advantage of the spear is that it is very, very cheap. You could arm a dozen spearmen at the cost of arming a swordsman.

  • Cruz de sangre
    Cruz de sangre  14 hours ago

    But what if the swordsmen had thrown their pommels to the spearmen? They would have won instantly

  • utrémi
    utrémi  18 hours ago

    The bow is better.

  • 可舟Lighter
    可舟Lighter  21 hours ago

    一寸长一寸强 One inch longer, one inch stronger
    一寸短一寸险 One inch shorter, one inch riskier.

  • Jay Maurya
    Jay Maurya  22 hours ago

    Not agreed
    Swords are much more better than spear if you know how to use it

  • Tad Dad
    Tad Dad  yesterday

    yea this video is kinda trash. its all situational in the end and in the end swords have more flexiblity an area of use. field, inside, the sword have be used.
    also the last fight was one sided bullshit too. you know it was cause you wanted ot make it idoitically one sided. you knkew they would have likely won that fight of they had shields themselves they would have beaten the spearmen. can't pull the wool over my eyes. dunno why no one else noted it.
    also the zwehander is designed to eliminate pikes and spears to begin with.

  • Kozy
    Kozy  yesterday

    I think the sword could be more effective, because if the man is wearing armor, the spear can't penetrate from a direct hit, while if the swordsmen gets inside, he can thrust his sword through an opening in the spearman's armor.

  • iamtherepairguy
    iamtherepairguy  yesterday

    You're assuming the spear doesn't break, against the sword.

  • Banka
    Banka  yesterday

    > implying 1v1 fights are historically accurate

    • Banka
      Banka  yesterday

      lmao just shoot an arrow lmaooooo whats he gonna do? block it with the spear?

    • Banka
      Banka  yesterday

      > implying a light blow from a spear would incapacitate an armoured opponent

  • Matheus Terra
    Matheus Terra  yesterday

    I wish I could be in a training drill with Captain Lindybeige... "KEEP YOUR SHIELD IN FRONT OF YOU, MAGGOT!" hahahaha

  • Tigre V
    Tigre V  yesterday

    these low weight weapons would hardly injure the skin, you fink our skin is butter? ofc need more weight heavy weapons to test this , and if weight is added, sword gets a lot better,

  • Tigre V
    Tigre V  yesterday

    these are paper weapons?

  • WongWu
    WongWu  yesterday

    Anyone know what kind of clothing they're wearing in this video and where I can get some? Specifically Lloyd's white jacket, the black quilted knit-top like the swordsman at 4:17, and the side-buttoned white top of one of the spearmen at 3:07

  • Bas
    Bas  yesterday

    what kind of weapons do they use? larp foam swords?

  • Myconix
    Myconix  2 days ago

    You know what's better than a spear?
    A gun.

  • Kevin Dallas
    Kevin Dallas  2 days ago

    Fantastic video. Best I've seen from you yet.

  • Yuneko
    Yuneko  2 days ago

    the sword is better because it has a pommel, to end the enemy rightly, which the spear does not.

  • John Reese
    John Reese  2 days ago

    Scientific proof? What a joke. Gets a lot of things wrong. One of the worst videos to determine if spears are better than swords.