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Old January 3rd, 2017, 08:47 PM   #1
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why didn't West Frankia attack Vikings village at Danmark or German beach which were

We know the Vikings raided West Frank in paris/france, itaily, etc in arround 900AC. These Vikings were from Danmark or German beach villiage.
If we look at the Europe map, Danmark is not far from France. It would only take a few days to ride a horse to go to Danmark from Paris. So why the West Frank sent troop to Danmark to destory Vikings home villiage which were not well protected.

From the the map, we dont see barriers like high mountain or wild forrest between France and Danmark. How can these Frankia and Vikings isolated to each other so largely?
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Old January 4th, 2017, 12:04 AM   #2
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I think you very very seriously underestimate the time it takes for an army to march from Paris to Denmark. Looking at Google Maps, from Paris to Hedeby is 1069 km by walking on modern roads (seems pretty straight, too). Even assuming that there would be suitable cart paths there in Early Middle Ages, even 20km per day is a very good speed for a Medieval Army. That means it would take about two months to get there and another two months to get back.

Logistics are an issue, too. If you are using ox wagons, the best speed you can expect is like 15km per day, meaning that it will take you closer to three months. You can't carry supplies for three months, it is simply impossible. So you will have to reprovision along the way.

There is another kingdom in the way, East Frankia, which might not be happy with you marching your army through their lands and likely plundering them for provisions.

While your army is marching that three months there and another three months back, your own kingdom is open to be raided. Also, those Vikings can easily sail back to Denmark while you are slowly, so slowly, marching overland.

In short, it was not practicable for West Frankia to send an invasion to Denmark, assuming that they even had a good idea where to go.

By contrast, East Frankia (later Holy Roman Empire) did attack the Danes in their homes, and under Henry the Fowler, conquered Schleswig in 934. But that was literally just across the border from them.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 12:30 AM   #3
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Many "vikings" harrying the "west" came from Norway too, and some from Sweden. But it is correct there was some possible threat of at least southern scandinavia- Denmark, from the south. There were also fortified walls form long before the known viking raids at the danish (or local polities?) southern border. Since we have no contemporary written sources - except very short runic inscriptions - that tell us about motives and thoughts of the northern peoples at that time we can only speculate about their motives. One question is about the reasons and motives for "viking" attacks. What if those peoples felt there was a "threat from the south", but their reaction was, rather than staying as "quiet as possible" was "the best defense is an attack"? There could have been some refugees from the neighouring recently conquered territories (by Charlemagne and other frankish rulers) giving the danish and perhaps other princes such an impression.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 12:39 AM   #4

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Because mounting a defense was the most logical thing you could do.

Should the raids not pay off economically, the vikings would stop coming. It's far most cost-effective to mount this kind of operation rather than an offensive, and a natural thing to do.

Yeah, striking back at the invaders who rape and pillage is more emotionally satisfying but far less objectively reasonable.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 01:22 AM   #5

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Wonder what would happen whilst your army was on this long march? Especially seeing the Norsemen could come from many sources.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 01:32 AM   #6

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A couple of the initial assumptions are not correct. Firstly the area you had to get through was hostile territory belonging to the middle kingdom and Saxony. Secondly the area you had to get through was tough. The whole Rhine delta was either forest, bog or swamp or all of the above. Thirdly the western Franks were hardly unified, calling up an army to invade something 1000 kilometers away would not work. Lastly attacking them on their turf wouldn't help that much. Either they would withdraw to the next village or they would bribe whichever nobles would be in charge in the army.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 03:28 AM   #7
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I guess there were more Norwegian and Swedish vikings than Danish vikings among raiders. I think the Raiders did not present themselves as the official emissaries of the Danish government so the imaginary retribution project against Norse kingdoms would be unjustified just like George Bush war on terrorism which ended up attacking iraq.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 04:46 AM   #8

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Were there records of Frankish naval attempts to intercept them or launch reprisals in that fashion?
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Old January 5th, 2017, 07:57 AM   #9

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Danes were atacked by Franks. This is the proof: Danevirke
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Old January 5th, 2017, 08:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Slavon View Post
Danes were atacked by Franks. This is the proof: Danevirke
It was more likely that Danes were making pre-emptive raids? Walls for defense? That Widukind had gone there to bring the message of christian expansion under Charlemagne?
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