Svinfylking: The Boar Formation (A Viking War Tactic)
No man is an island, hands down! This is true because as human beings, we need other people to survive and get through challenges, difficulties and obstacles in life. Even though some of us prefer to be independent, it’s still beneficial for our well being to have people who are there for us and who will genuinely support us in our future endeavors. Having said that, no matter how strong we are and how we’re capable of standing up on our own, there are certain situations in life when we need the support of others to become triumphant.
The same goes with the Vikings who are still known up to this day and age for their undeniable fighting prowess. They didn’t go to battles alone because they knew that there was power in teaming up and harmonious collaboration. They knew that the phenomenal skill of a single fearless warrior wasn’t enough to survive and make it out alive during bloody battles. This was the reason why they not only utilized weapons, but they also made sure to apply certain Viking war tactics to defeat their enemies and emerge victorious in the end.
Being skillful, courageously brave and united definitely made the Vikings a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. And their success wouldn’t have been possible without being armed to the teeth and applying different tactics like Svinfylking or also known as the Boar Formation.
The Svinfylking tactic was said to be one of their coolest Viking warfare tactics and its purpose was to break through the lines of their enemies. So what happens is that the warriors who were taking part in battles would interlock their shields in order for them to construct a wedge pointing to the lines of their opponents (the wedge that they formed would somewhat look like a tight spearhead).
Once these Viking warriors managed to form the boar formation, they would then head towards their opponents and apply sheer force to break through their lines. And since the strength of one Viking alone was commendable, there was no doubt that the combined forces of all the Viking battle warriors were even powerful enough to create a hole in their enemies’ frontline formation. After they’d done that, they would then turn the battle into their favor.
Another cool fact worth sharing was that there were archers behind their formation most of the time to help and protect the warriors on the frontline. But keep in mind that even though their efforts were a big help during the formation, we can’t hide the fact that this particular Viking tactic also had downsides to it.
One of the disadvantages of this tactic was that when forming the Svinfylking, the warriors could be hit from both sides, especially when they only focused their attention on the tip of the spearhead formation. Aside from that, the Vikings couldn't immediately break the line of their enemies from the get go; thus, some of them couldn't hold the formation for too long and needed to reform.
Thanks to their practices and training in the past, the Vikings were able to apply this tactic during battles. While it certainly had a few weaknesses, there’s no denying that it helped them defeat their enemies faster once they successfully executed this.