The description of the Medieval Pike which provides basic facts and information about the weapon is as follows:
- 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 Medieval Pike, was extremely effective against horses. The Medieval horse, called a Destrier was the favored horses of knights in Medieval Times
- Pike men were also armed with a dagger and a sword to enable them to battle enemies who had been unhorsed. The Medieval 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 Medieval times were 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 and their men at arms used such weapons as the Medieval 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 Medieval times. Warfare during the Medieval era called for a variety of weapon expertise. Knights and men-at-arms ( Foot Soldier, Pike man, or archers ) used different types of weapons. The Medieval 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.
Medieval 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 Pike man to use the Medieval 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 Medieval 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
The Makers and Making of the Medieval Pike
This Medieval weapon was made by a Blacksmith. The materials required to make this weapon were:
Langets were added to strengthen this type of weapon. These were metal strips riveted to the the shaft of polearms to reinforce the torque against the head, and to provide protection to the potentially weak point between the weapon-head and the shaft. Blacksmiths are usually associated with making weapons in a village smithy but Medieval blacksmiths were also an important part of a fighting army, making new weapons and repairing and the maintenance of old weapons.