SX-141516B Three Saxon Fyrdmen
The Anglo Saxon/Danish army’s standard infantry battle formation throughout this era was the shield wall. The “bord-weal” or “scyld-burh”.
The whole army formed up in one massive phalanx several ranks deep. Though there were attempts at outflanking or turning flanks there was basically an absence of tactics. Volleys of spears, javelins and arrows opened a battle, but once shield walls collided it was merely might, determination and often numbers which decided the day, the loser generally suffering considerably in the rout.
The core of the army was made up of the Fyrd. The Fyrd or levy of the common people may have come from the old Germanic custom that all fit men had to be ready to serve in war when the need arose.