The Instigator
Dufflepud
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Truthorfiction
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Polearm vs Sword

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Dufflepud
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 849 times Debate No: 48093
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

Dufflepud

Pro

In this debate, I will be arguing that spears or other polearms designed for single combat (that is, exclusive of enormous weapons such as pikes that were used defensively in large group formations) hold a massive advantage over swords. Con may either argue that, generally speaking, a sword wielder would hold the advantage in a duel, or that there would be no clear advantage. For the purposes of their argument, Con may refer to a single sword design, or speak generically.

It is to be assumed that both combatants are completely equal in terms of variables such as training, skill, size, strength, etc. Round structure is as follows:

Round One - Acceptance ONLY

Round Two - Arguments ONLY

Round Three - Arguments and/or Rebuttals

Round Four - Rebuttals ONLY
Truthorfiction

Con

I accept and await your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Dufflepud

Pro

The spear, one of human kind’s oldest weapons, is also one of its most effective - at least, in the melee department. Although in modern times, the common view is that the sword was the superior weapon of choice on the battlefield, I will attempt to demonstrate why, in fact, the opposite was true.


Distance

One of the key advantages the spear holds over the sword is distance. Now, I don’t say “range” here, because obviously a weapon can have immense advantage at longer ranges, but be found to be lacking in close quarters. The spear, on the other hand, can be retracted to any length, allowing it to perform effectively well outside and even well inside the reach of a sword. This means that throughout a fight, the spear wielder would have complete control of distance, as they can keep the sword wielder at bay, with far reaching thrusts and cuts, while simultaneously being able to pull the length back should the sword wielder manage to close in. In my first video, this is explained wonderfully[1].



Offensive Ability

Unlike a sword,, a spear can change the direction of an attack incredibly quickly, oscillating between the feet and the head with barely any motion. This is because of the length of the spear. Much like a lever, a small amount of motion in the back translates to enormous motion on the front, so a small movement of the arms can extraordinarily quickly bring the weapon to bear on a new target. The result is that parrying a spear thrust or cut, even if you have a shield or buckler, is incredibly difficult. As my second video demonstrates (and as is explained in my first video), while a swordsman’s arm needs to make an enormous motion going from the head to the feet, it takes little effort on the spearman’s part to make the same transition[2]. The result is that if a swordsman is deceived by a feint for even the tiniest fraction of a second, the spear can already be thrusting into a completely different part of their body. Even if they do manage to catch this, the spearman’s disengage can be made so quickly that any opening the sword wielder leaves will be taken advantage of.


Defensive Ability

Contrary to popular belief, the spear is an excellent weapon for parrying. It is speedier than the sword, but it also holds another key advantage - that of leverage. Because of the length of the weapon, and the wide placement of the wielder’s two hands, a spear is incredibly hard to displace. Not only can it easily disengage from a swordsman’s cut or attempt to displace the head, but even at direct contact, a spearman would have little difficult shoving aside a sword blade before lunging in for the kill.

Now, many might think that the solution to this is to cut off the spear’s head, but this is not at simple or easy as it might seem. The blow itself would be difficult to land on the ever moving spear, but even beyond that, it would take significant force, meaning that the blade itself would need to be heavy (and therefore harder to land a blow with) and the perfect angle to prevent it from simply bouncing away. This is a likely occurrence, especially when one considers that the spear is suspended in the air, not supported firmly from underneath. In addition to that, as shown in the picture below, many spears or other polearms had metal langets running down the sides (or were made entirely out of metal), resulting in almost zero chance of the swordsman effectively carrying out a decapitation[3].


Weapon of Choice

Throughout medieval history, the polearm has been the weapon of choice, not only of the foot soldier, but of the military nobles such as the Samurai or Knight. In Japan, the Naginata or Yari was used as a primary weapon in battle over the Katana, and in Europe, Knights would usually carry lances, or other weapons such as the bardiche, only using the sword out of necessity. The sword was known as a “sidearm,” as it was an easily carried weapon in civilian life, and a great backup on the battlefield. However, few soldiers ever charged into battle with only their swords in hand.



Sources:

1.

2.

Truthorfiction

Con

Truthorfiction forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Dufflepud

Pro

Evidently Con has decided not to engage in this debate. However, I will give them a chance to post their opening argument in round three and have rebuttals in the last round. This is unfortunate, as I was hoping this debate would be an interesting one.
Truthorfiction

Con

Truthorfiction forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Dufflepud

Pro

Due to Con's absence, I will be posting this debate again...
Truthorfiction

Con

Truthorfiction forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
DufflepudTruthorfictionTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
DufflepudTruthorfictionTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made an entirely uncontested argument, whilst Con simply forfeited. Pro gets points for the unconventional, but effective sources, too.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
DufflepudTruthorfictionTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF