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Applied Physics on the Battlefield
by Bran vo Lough Derg

It was the second year of my life in the SCA that I attended my first war. It was a small affair called the Outlands war where I learned about applied physics on the battlefield. This is how the lesson was taught.

THE PLAN for the bridge battle.

Advance to spear contact, shield wall kneels, spears fight over the top. As I was caring a 2 by 4 war shield and being 5 foot 6 inches tall I thought this a great idea!

The oversight in THE PLAN.

Outland spears were 12 ft. long, Ansttorra spears, ours were 9ft.long oops!!!!

As the armies engaged with shouts of glee from the Outland spears a small thread of doubt began to worm its way into my mind prompted by the shouts of dismay from our spearmen. As the fight progressed I noticed a spear with a real spiffy banner working just above my head. I thought to myself, "Wow that looks really spif I WANT IT." Dropping my sword I waited in ambush for the really spiff spear to return it did so and I grabbed it. A short tug of war ensued with much shouting for help on my part. I got the spear, quickly passed it back then regained my sword. It was at this point that I noticed two things:

1. In the fight for the spear I had been drug forward about 3 feet.

2. I now had 3 hooks atop my shield.

This is the physics lesson, 600 pounds pulling on the top of a fulcrum (my shield) WILL overcome 150 pounds (me) anchoring the fulcrum.

The Outland spears pulled with great vigor, I FLEW from my forward position in the shield wall and landed on my back with my shield trapped under me. Looking up I found the Outland shield wall, well actually I found myself looking up the kilt of a Scot in the Outland wall, and it was not a pretty sight. He looked down. I looked up and said, "My lord I think I am dead."

Thus endeth the first lesson.
 

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