The Lance in Battle

T.H. McGuffe describes how the mounted lancer and the pike-bearing infantryman have appeared on European battlefields from classical times until within living memory.

Norman cavalry attacks the Anglo-Saxon shield wall at the Battle of Hastings as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. The lances are held with a one-handed over-the-head grip.Both lance and pike are variations of the spear; and, since our Anglo-Saxon forbears were essentially a spear-bearing nation, it is strange that British troops have not achieved more fame with this formidable weapon. The only really hostile action possible by a long, pointed pole, however, is that of a thrust, and in general, Britons have a cautious distrust of confiding to any single means of attack.

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