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"Length of pikes in Great Northern War" Topic

15 Posts

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Spoercken19 Jan 2023 3:50 a.m. PST

Can anybody tell me how long were the pikes used by the Swedish and the Russian Armies during the Great Northern War?

Thanks and cheers,

3rd5ODeuce Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2023 6:10 a.m. PST

Did you see this post from yesterday?

TMP link

Travellera19 Jan 2023 7:00 a.m. PST

Swedish pikes were 5,5 meter long and made from ash tree

Cuprum219 Jan 2023 7:16 a.m. PST

In the Russian regiments, pikemen lost their importance by 1700 and were recruited by colonels immediately before the campaign, if necessary. But they were again officially introduced into the staff of infantry regiments from 1706 in imitation of the Swedish army. I do not know when the official post of "pikeman" was canceled, but the lances remained in service with the Russian infantry for a long time. Each regiment was supposed to have 114 pikes, but these pikes were issued to ordinary fuselers (armed with standard guns) if necessary. The last mention of the use of pikemen dates back to 1737 – in the war against the Turks).
However, the peaks were again used by the Russian infantry (chasseurs) in the war against the Turks as early as 1786.
I think pikes after the Northern War were used only in wars against the Turks and Asian opponents.

Mark J Wilson19 Jan 2023 9:05 a.m. PST

Travellera, you missed the words 'until a bit broke off'. I've played with 16 ft pikes and they're not the most robust pieces of wood.

Travellera19 Jan 2023 10:24 a.m. PST


You missed the word "Ash" – hardwood that have been used for weaponry since ancient times :)

Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jan 2023 10:36 a.m. PST

Is that 5.5 modern meters? Because in old money that is 18 foot, and that is horrendously long. Given that the Swedish tactical use of foot was all about the assault, that seems too long for much maneuverability.

Royston Papworth19 Jan 2023 11:13 a.m. PST

Thank you Cuprum. Do you know if the pikemen mustered together or were spread out over the length of the regiment?

And was this all regiments having pike or just some, being up to the colonel?

dbf167619 Jan 2023 1:11 p.m. PST

After 1706, every other man in the front rank was to have a pike. There were four ranks in a battalion. The remainder of the first rank and all of the men in the second, third and fourth ranks were armed with muskets. The pike and are usually shown armed with a pistol, as well.

Travellera19 Jan 2023 1:35 p.m. PST


The measurement in the 17-18th century Sweden was "aln" which equals 59,4 cm. The length of the pike seems to have varied a bit between 9-10 alnar=534,6 cm – 594 cm, probably excl the steel point. 5,5 meter is mentioned in "Slaget vid Fraustadt" by Oskar Sjöström

Spoercken19 Jan 2023 2:09 p.m. PST

Thanks everybody! Very interesting and helpful!


Cuprum219 Jan 2023 6:56 p.m. PST

dbf1676 is completely right. In the Russian regiments, the pikemen were located in the first line, alternating through one with the fuselers. Fuselers of the first line did not fire their guns, and if they were armed with plug bayonet, they were inserted into the gun barrels. That is, the first line of the system was always ready for hand-to-hand combat.
The length of Russian pike was not regulated and varied from 4 to 5 meters.

dusty 56220 Jan 2023 2:41 a.m. PST

Thanks for the information very interesting 👍

Royston Papworth20 Jan 2023 10:49 a.m. PST

Thanks guys!

Legionarius20 Jan 2023 4:41 p.m. PST

Long and pointy! :)

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