The Drakkar, or the dragon ship, was a term often coined by the subjects of the Viking raids, rather than the Vikings themselves. The Dragon ships could have been any of the other other classes, a Busse, a Snekkja, Skeid or a Karv. The distinction was that the Drakkar would have a animal head typically a dragon or serpent head stem on the bow. In some cases the animal design would have moved down to the stern as well, with a matching animal tail.
This Drakkar design was thought to be reserved for the largest ship in the Viking fleets, the flagships boats that would head up the landing parties and raids. It’s thought that the name originated from this, when the raid subjects would spot the dragons ships off the shorelines, and fear would likely strike them.
The primary vessel used by the Vikings in their raids, the Viking longboat or longship was a good sign for anyone on shore that carnage was soon to ensue. The Viking longboats were visually beautiful with their ornate wooden carvings and designs. They had fearsome looking bows, often adorned with ferocious animal heads like dragons and would likely have struck fear into the land loving folks as they were rowing to shore.
HAIL PAGAN REBELS!
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