Philippines 1600s Pike and Shot Weapons
Pike and Shot tactics defined the battlefield tactics of the late 1500s and early half of the 1600s. This tactic combined pikemen with units carrying firearms. Since smoothbore firearms were inaccurate at long distances, massed infantry with guns firing at the same time increased the chance of hitting targets. The shooters were then protected by pikemen from cavalry attacks and infantry assaults since the shooters were vulnerable once enemies closed the distance.
The Spanish Tercios ruled European battlefields during this period, making the height of Spanish military power.
The guns used were mainly matchlock weapons. These were smoothbore guns that were loaded at the muzzle with ball and powder. In order to fire them, a match of slow-burning rope was used to ignite the powder in the pan. Shooters would also carry stands for the guns since they were heavy.
On the flanks were located the pikemen, who were armed with pikes. Pikes generally had long wooded poles sometimes 10 to 15 feet, with a pointed metal pike head of 9 to 11 inches. These were especially useful against cavalry.
Most soldiers on patrol in Manila at the time carried pikes and swords.
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