I recently happened to watch the movie Troy and I noticed something peculiar. When the Trojans learnt of the Greek army sailing to Troy, they set about preparing for a battle. And one of the first things they did was set up huge wooden spikes along the length of the Trojan beach. The spikes were positioned towards the Aegean Sea. When the Greeks, led by Achilles, landed and captured Troy, none of the soldiers or horses were harmed by the huge spikes.

Following the successful capture of the Trojan beach, the Greeks reversed the direction of the spikes towards the Trojan mainland. Initially I suspected that the Trojans set up the spikes when the tide was low, and they would be hidden in shallow waters when the tide rises, to damage the Greek ships as they came ashore, thus destroying their ships and some of their supplies and gaining an edge in the battle. However, none of that happened. So were the spikes placed to simply add flair to the background from a cinematic perspective?

1 Answer 1


They are called Cheval de frise

The cheval de frise (plural: chevaux de frise) was a medieval defensive anti-cavalry measure consisting of a portable frame (sometimes just a simple log) covered with many projecting long iron or wooden spikes or spears.

While you're correct that in the film they don't stop any of the attacking Greeks, embedded stakes were used as far back as the bronze age to hinder attackers.

Archers usually stand behind these when firing to give them protection from charging horses. (And seeing as Trojans had the finest Archers, it makes sense that this small added protection against something they can't outrun would be put up on the beach)

There are many reasons why the Trojans would have used these, above all else they're cheap and easy to put up under time constraints.

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