Deadliest blogger looks at various weapons of war; examining them by category. This first is a quick look at pole weapons; beginning with spear and pike.
From the the earliest times as hunter-gathers, humans have sought to gain advantages over the large game they hunted and rival clans/tribes they competed against, though the use of various kinds of weapons. One of the earliest weapon used by man was the spear. Useful either at a thrusting or throwing weapon, it had the advantage of keeping the savage animals teeth or tusks at a distance while inflicting lethal wounds; or striking an enemy before he came within reach with stone or club (or stone club). Also, deep puncture wounds were more likely to prove deadly than blows with wooden or stone club; particularly on a very large animal or man.
As the history of man progressed, so did the variety and sophistication of pole weapons. Some, like the spear or pike, were strictly for thrusting (or fending-off attackers). Others, sporting cutting blades or clubs, were used to deliver a more powerful chopping blow. All pole weapons were eventually superseded in the west by the development of the gun (first the musket, followed by the rifle), mounting a spike, sword or knife: the bayonet. This turned the gun into a pole weapon (albeit a rather short one), useful when combat came to close quarters.
SPEARS AND PIKES
The spear is the most ubiquitous of human weapons. Beginning with the earliest clans of human hunter-warriors, the spear (along with the bow) were the weapon of choice. To this day, “primitive” tribesmen of New Guinea muster for battle with long spears or pikes….