Today I Learned Writer

Viking battle tactics where successful because a lack of respect

In recent years the interest in vikings has soared, probably due to the successful history channel series called 'Vikings'. The show has a authentic feel and especially in the first seasons a lot of attention was given to setting the stage of the viking era, cold and harsh climate, a hardened people, their politics, beliefs, customs, and also their battle tactics.

One of the things that became truly apparent from the show is that the Vikings were not a bunch of stupid backward hillbillies. They are (depicted as being) highly intelligent, pragmatic, logical thinkers and with a strongly developed sense of ethics. Now according to this wikipedia article on Vikings the success of Vikings in the battle field can be attributed to "their disregard for the conventional battle tactics, methods and customs of the time". Unspoken rules, such as not attacking holy sites or arranging battle times, were disregarded. The Vikings didn't really care if they were seen as cowards and didn't take issue with targeting the weak and vulnerable. As far as they were concerned it must have been really easy prey with riches for the grabs. By Odin, how barbaric!