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Thread: World's deadliest spear

  1. #1
    Interplanetary homesteader domesticated om's Avatar
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    World's deadliest spear

    After reading the "world's strongest sword" thread, I was struck with inspiration.

    As long as there's an interest in re-hashing ancient weapons, why not update one of the oldest weapons in human history - the spear.

    I think nowadays, it is one of the most under-appreciated weapons.
    The spear was the hunter's weapon of choice since the stone age. Heck - as a point of reference, the spear *may* have been responsible for the extinction of numerous forms of ice-age/post ice-age megafauna (IE - the mammoths and so on).
    The spear was a pivotal tool in numerous wars for centuries. I even recall one relatively modern battle where a modern army (armed with guns) was defeated by another army (armed with spears) but I can't remember which one it was.

    Ok----they were overrun, but still.....they were overrun by the spear.

    at any rate, there have been a number of noteworthy advances in the manufacture/application of materials, as well as huge improvements in tools that make weapons more effective.

    I say this----think of the spear.
    The spear is much deadlier than the dagger/sword due to the length of it's "reach". It's capable of both slashing (when used correctly) and stabbing. It is a melee weapon AND a projectile weapon (like any modern day missile or gun).

    Why not update the spear?

    First off, the spear should be constructed of an unbreakable material. The downfall of the wooden spear was that it could be easily broken because it was made from wood,
    The unbreakable material it's made from should be extremely light weight.
    When hurled, it should have the same sort of guidance system as many of the modern day "guided munitions" (IE - wire guided/laser guided/radar guided/smart/fire and forget).

    Furthermore, the spear should have rocket propulsion in its shaft---- or perhaps the shaft can have a threaded end so it can be screwed into a specially designed disposable "launch shaft" (a spear shaft which ignites it's propellant after the user throws it)

    SO whaddya think? Is this a cool idea or what? Can this be done?

  2. #2
    Valued Senior Member Carcano's Avatar
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    Dont know about the high tech stuff...but the most effective spear in history was the Roman Pilum.

    Without it, I doubt there would have been a Roman empire.

    Just as there might have never been an England without the Welsh longbow.

  3. #3
    Be kind to yourself always. cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    As long as there's an interest in re-hashing ancient weapons, why not update one of the oldest weapons in human history - the spear.
    And I thought the oldest weapon was hate.

  4. #4
    Interplanetary homesteader domesticated om's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carcano View Post
    Dont know about the high tech stuff...but the most effective spear in history was the Roman Pilum.

    Without it, I doubt there would have been a Roman empire.

    Just as there might have never been an England without the Welsh longbow.
    Precisely. I think this supports my point that research and development of an updated spear is a worthwhile pursuit.

    Think of how successful the romans would have been had their pilums (pilae?) been rocket propelled. They could have thrown them from several miles away. Not only that, but if they had guidance systems, they would need to have thrown less of them to achieve a successful hit (as opposed to a synchronized barrage). One toss - one kill.

    Whenever the spears stuck in the enemies shields, what if instead of simply weighing down/unbalancing the shield. it exploded? Even better yet - a pilum with a cone shaped armor piercing tip.

  5. #5
    Interplanetary homesteader domesticated om's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    And I thought the oldest weapon was hate.
    I think that's more along the lines of "oldest inspiration"

  6. #6
    Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    I thought the oldest weapon was "the mother-in-law"?

  7. #7
    Interplanetary homesteader domesticated om's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    I thought the oldest weapon was "the mother-in-law"?
    The mother-in-law (the modern version is known as the pu-J36 M&L - mark I) is an extremely effective weapon, but one of the later ones.
    Humans developed the ability to be extremely annoying long after they established a stable enough level of civility to where it was NOT acceptable to impulsively kill each other. Unfortunately, a number of intimidating blunt and sharpened objects (like the spear) preceded the mother-in-law.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    And I thought the oldest weapon was hate.
    You need a combination of "hate" & "Spear" to make a kill.

    Unless you are out to kill an animal, then you need a combination of “Spear” & “Hunger” to make the kill.

  9. #9
    Well the Pilum is a missile weapon, so you could credit it with inspiring rocketry.
    I believe the battle you're thinking of in the opening post is Isandlwana, where a Zulu army overran the British, however to be honest the battle was lost due to tactical error combined with overwhelming weight of numbers. The purpose of the rifle is naturally to prevent close combat occuring; as demonstrated impeccably later that day at Rorke's Drift, something the commanders failed to do in the battle of Isandlwana, the Zulus could have been armed with rocks and would probably still have won.

    Personally I'm more inclined to go with the Sarissa as the best spear and to a lesser extent the Doru, without the Sarissa the Greeks would never have conquered Thrace, let alone Persia on their way to reaching India.

  10. #10
    Valued Senior Member Carcano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti-Flag View Post
    Personally I'm more inclined to go with the Sarissa as the best spear and to a lesser extent the Doru, without the Sarissa the Greeks would never have conquered Thrace, let alone Persia on their way to reaching India.
    The Sarissa was a very long pike, not a throwing spear.

    It enabled the Macedonian ranks to break a charge of mounted warriors.

    They were vastly out numbered by the Persians but their weapons, armour and training were far more advanced.

    It was as revolutionary a weapon as the pilum for the Romans.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Carcano View Post
    The Sarissa was a very long pike, not a throwing spear.

    It enabled the Macedonian ranks to break a charge of mounted warriors.

    They were vastly out numbered by the Persians but their weapons, armour and training were far more advanced.
    I know perfectly well what a Sarissa is! Throwing weapons are not the only form of spears, otherwise that would really narrow things down.
    Presuming the opening post is refering to Zulus then I would have to say close combat spears(including pikes) count too, which would include the Sarissa.
    I should note it wasn't only used against mounted warriors, in fact it wasn't at all mobile enough and would be easily outflanked; and the likelyhood of a head on cavalry charge into such spears is, well, surely no general would be that stupid? It would have most often been used against other infantry, essentially turning most battles into 'push of pike' so to speak. It's success is mostly down to its sheer length, by virtue of not allowing the enemy to get close and to maximise the total number of spear points faced by the enemy. Philip II of Macedon not only played a huge role in the future of Greece with this weapon but eventually the whole of Europe returned to using pikes in massed ranks.

    It was as revolutionary a weapon as the pilum for the Romans.
    Agreed, both effectively helped make an empire, but you beat me to suggesting that.

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