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What Made the Viking Longship So Terrifyingly Effective

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What Made the Viking Longship So Terrifyingly Effective

Short | 03:45

The Vikings had dreams of exploration and conquest, and the longship was ideal for that purpose. Soon, they were able to venture as far as the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

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Over the centuries, longships evolved from swift war canoes to become the preeminent fighting machines of the age. For over 200 years, Vikings depended on these vessels to carry them across the ocean to trade and to plunder. With names such as Surf Dragon and Great Serpent, these ships became part of Viking culture and took on almost magical properties. But what was the secret behind their power? We examine the story of longships and those who built them, a people who were often violent and bloody...but also expert craftsmen.

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