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Neil Gagel




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject: Tim Newark's Warlords - Ancient, Celtic, Medieval         Reply with quote

So I was just rereading the above referenced book, and I came across a rather interesting assertion made by Mr. Newark.

In reference to the battles of Poitiers and Crecy he writes:

"These English victories have long been ascribed to the power of their archers. Over the centuries, the English longbowman has been heroised. Through association with these triumphs, his bow has been regarded as the supreme missile weapon of the Middle Ages. In reality, the so-called English longbow was a very ordinary weapon of no great power, considerably inferior to other contemporary continental bows of a more sophisticated design as well as the much maligned crossbow.

To begin with, the word 'longbow' did not exist in medieval vocabulary, it was simply a bow. What is today identified as a 'longbow' is based in design upon the Victorian sporting bow which received its legendary name from manufacturers who saw it as a good selling point. The typical 14th Century English bow, as far as it can be reconstructed, was a simple, thick, often inefficient wooden weapon. Bow design on the continent was far more sophisticated. Lighter, reflexed, composite bows were available. Superior to all was the crossbow: The most powerful missile weapon in western Europe. Often made with a composite bow of sinew, wood, and horn, it could hurl a bolt 300 yards and further, beyond an average range of 200 yards for the 'longbow'." (page 369)

This seems to me to be a rather bold assertion, considering that every thing I've read seems to contradict that. I seem to recall reading that at the battle at Crecy starting with an exchange between English longbowmen and Genoese Pavise Crossbowmen, in which the Genoese got rather decisively mauled. So, now that I'm confronted with two differing accounts and opinions, I gotta ask which one is correct?

I am hardly an expert on medieval warfare, just a bit of a nerd with an interest - so, what do you all say? Is Mr. Newark right, or is he completely full of it?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rate of fire matters. The crossbows dropping those big numbers don't load quickly. Also, though a war bow might look like a stick to some, I suspect that modern bowyers would scoff at the idea that they're unsophisticated. Properly grown, harvested and prepared yew, correct ratio of heartwood to sapwood, overall thickness, taper, degree of recurve at the tips, proper tillering, matching arrows to the power of the bow--not so simple, but because there isn't lots of stuff on the bow, it might look crude to some.
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Eric Hejdström




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, he certainly seems to miss the point with rate of fire. Not that the bow was som extraordinary impressive but the archers had probably more training to use them efiiciently than the crowwbow counterpart across the channel. Archery demands more practice than a crossbow but in return the rate of fire is miltiplied serveral times.

You don't really care wheter it's a powerful bow or not when on the recieving end of an arrow barrage...

He also seems to get hung up on the part of power. The fact that tactics employed and number of archers were greater than the crossbowmen on the other side also matters. And ofcourse, as was with the genoese, if you're hired for the job you might not wanna get killed and rather fall back if casualty numbers start to rise.

It's always dangerous to judge the outcome of a battle from old chronicles (nor winners or losers are very accurate regarding the enemy), but to rule out the english bow itself completely as Mr. Newark does it a bit too much I think.

/Eric
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Neil Gagel




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 1:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm just confused since he's so casually dismissive of the bow's power. I mean the longbows on the Mary Rose had draw weights up to to something like 150 pounds, which is far more powerful than the average sporting bow which he likens them to. Now granted, the Mary Rose came a bit later than the battles at Crecy and Poitiers, but I can't imagine that English bows were that terribly different...
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have that book and a couple of others written by Mr. Newark. They are interesting reading but not always 100% factual. He uses some sources for his books which are also a bit short on fact. However his books are good reads. I am at the point of finishing his latest book, Highlander - The History of the Legendary Highland Soldier and have enjoyed it very much. However, to illustrate the point I just made, Mr. Newark states that the largest concentration of Scots in the world, outside of Scotland, is in Canada - according to the 2006 census 4,709,859 Canadians say they are of Scottish descent. However, when the US Census Bureau has asked the question of ethnicity to respondents, something on the order of 20 million people have replied that they are of Scottish descent. A small point, and I only use it to illustrate a bit of lax fact checking.

I also think he has it wrong in his discussion of the long bow and is ignoring generally accepted theories as to range and power. Certainly volume of fire is greater with the long bow, a very important factor. I also think that Robert Hardy, probably the best authority on the long bow, would disagree with him too.

Lin Robinson

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Tim Newark's Warlords - Ancient, Celtic, Medieval         Reply with quote

Neil Gagel, quoting Newark, wrote:
In reality, the so-called English longbow was a very ordinary weapon of no great power, considerably inferior to other contemporary continental bows of a more sophisticated design as well as the much maligned crossbow.


The magic weasel-word is "considerably". Perhaps for some meaning of it, he is correct. But for what most people would mean by "considerably", no, he is just wrong.

There is no shortage of people who will happily claim that the best bow (non-crossbow) of Europe at the time was the Turkish composite bow. The Turkish bow was an excellent bow. Composite recurve bows can be, generally, excellent bows. They are light-limbed [1], can have high-draw weights, can have a better force-draw curve thus storing more energy at a given maximum draw-weight than a simple bow. But the bow requires more time to make, more skilled labour, and is more delicate is use - much more susceptible to the elements.

The other key word that is wrong is "no great power". Yes, other bows were as powerful, and crossbows even more powerful, but those other equally-powerful bows were also powerful bows, bows of considerable power. The longbow, being comparable to them in power, was also a powerful bow.

Where the longbow will lose against a composite recurve of the same draw-weight is shooting at great range. Where the difference in performance won't matter is in short-range massed fire against an opposing army. Where the longbow will win is in availability (lower cost, faster to make, easy to keep working in the field). Not what I'd call "considerably inferior".

Versus crossbows, less power, quicker shooting. Again, different, but hardly "considerably inferior".

The other "fundamental defect" of the longbow as compared with the composite recurve is that it can't be used on horseback. Artistic and literary evidence showing its use on horseback and the demonstrated (modern) use of the weapon on horseback reveal this "defect" as mistake or propaganda.

Perhaps Newark is over-reacting against the glamorisation of the longbow as the ultimate weapon, the pinnacle of Medieval science and craft, capable of pinning a knight through 2 layers of plate to his horse, etc.? Perhaps researching the matter for long enough to realise that the longbow doesn't live up to its superweapon reputation, but not researching enough to realise that neither do the crossbow or the composite recurve, leads to this kind of statement?

Longbow, crossbow, composite bow, good weapons all (at least the good ones!), but none good enough to not be replaced by the handgun.

[1] There are exceptions, where desire for high power led to heavy limbs, and bows optimised for shooting heavy arrows at short range, such as the Manchu bow. Probably the same power would have been available at lighter weight, but at greater cost and slower manufacture. When equipping an army, cost/speed of manufacture matter.
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Dan McGehee




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 3:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings

I always heard you should buy Tim Newark books for the pictures, because you can't trust the text.

A fellow named Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey wrote an interesting book on crossbows at the turn of the last century, remeniscent of Richard Burtons old Book of the Sword. He claims that crossbows progressed form simple wood bows in the ealiest form, to composite, then to steel bows in the late 15th century. Composite crossbows (like the kind used at Crecy) would outshoot regualr short bows but not lonbgows, but later steel crossbows outshoot everything, even early handguns.
Plus remember at Crecy the French pushed the Genoese out in front of their army without their pavises, and without time to dry their strings after a sudden rainstorm. The story is they had to shorten their strings in order to tighten them, thus reducing their effective range, all the while suffering from the longbowmen. Both sides later fielded mounted longbowman in the wars, and in the War of the Roses. Mounted to get into battle and then dismounting to fight, like 18th century dragoons
I've also heard the theory that Edward III had so many longbowmen on his expedition mainly because of their lower cost compared to men at arms, but once the longbow acheived such sucess at Crecy, they became integral to their armies. At Agincourt decades later, they tried longbows again, but they wouldn't penetrate plate armor. Luckily the English had mud on their side. .
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Peter Lyon
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sounds like Newark overstates his case, by talking up the strengths of crossbows while talking down the successes of the bow. The comparison to Victorian bows is spurious, as their design differs from the medieval bow, notably in having a rigid grip which reduces the energy conversion (stored energy that goes into propelling the projectile, which is what it is all about in the end) to about 40% where the medieval bow flexed through its whole length and achieved efficiencies of 50% to 70%.

The bow has to be seen in perspective too. It is not a war winner on its own, no weapon is. Every English textbook goes on about Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt, but French texts talk too about a lot of encounters where the bow was not a battle winner, or the archers were caught unprepared. Each of the big battles credited solely to the bow had major tactical components that swung things in favour of the English: at Crecy the French army didn't organise before charging and multiple waves of attacks were beaten back; at Poitiers the archers played a role, but the battle winner was a flank attack by the cavalry that broke the French reserves and captured the French king; and at Agincourt the French were again impetuous and allowed the English to select ground that chanelled the French attacks into a killing field.

A couple of books that are worth reading:
Longbow by Robert Hardy
The Great Warbow by Matthew Stricland and Robert Hardy - this is a big book but is supposed to be the "last word" on the longbow, and though I have yet to read my copy, I have heard it is well balanced on the role and use of the bow.

Still hammering away
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just did a bunch of research on this for an RPG book. I got some good feedback from Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatoria and Jonathan Waller from Royal Armories among others, and I bought The Great English Warbow and many other books on this subject, as well as reading a lot of online literature . My conclusions were as follows. (not sure if they would agree with me or not)

Longbows
The Longbow had a long range for indirect area fire, something like a mortar. It was not as long ranged as the strongest Turkish or the Mongol recurve composite bows, but it shot a larger, heavier arrow. There is a difference between the ordinary longbow, a formidable weapon and what people are now calling the "English Warbow", which was really powerful (120 lb draw or possibly more, though the efficiency of the extra draw weight seems to fall off much past that point).

The design of the longbow appears to have been native of both Scandinavia and the British Isles, and was also known in Burgundy and some other places on the continent by Medieval times, but the English are the only ones who really made effective military use of it on a large scale.

These bows were basically used to shoot in a high arc at area targets, a few hundred yards, direct range is much shorter, I'm not going to quote specific numbers for fear of an argument (everyone has their theories on longbows) but say 10% of the indirect range? But they were apparently quite effective in indirect shots when used en-masse. It takes about seven years to be 'trained' to shoot one (mainly to build up the right muscles) and the English Kings and Lords went to a lot of effort to spread the culture of archery from Wales throughout England.

Composite Bows and Recurves
Like somebody said upthread these were difficult to make (could take up to six months to dry) and were very vulnerable to rain and even dampness. They are more efficient than longbows (a 90 lb draw recurve may be equivalent to a 110 lb longow) but more difficult to draw. Like the Longbow they have a long indirect range, to be used something like a light mortar, but fairly short effective direct shooting range. These weapons out-range the Longbow but typically shot smaller, lighter arrows. In fact their longest-ranged arrow was a small dart that was shot with the help of a guide. The Mongols also typically carried two bows, a really heavy one for long range and a lighter one for short range. To protect the bow and the arrows most steppe riders kept both in a case called a gorytos. Moisture was a big problem. The Ottomans had the best recurves apparently. Their main advantages over the longbow were range and being more suitable for use on horseback. The feigned retreat and the Parthian shot. But it helped a lot to grow up with these weapons to be good at using them.

Crossbows
From the early Medieval period increasingly strong crossbows appeared in Europe. Required belt-hooks and foot-stirrups to span, roughly equivalent in power to the most powerful hunting crossbows we have today. These are not very good for indirect shots, but have a longer direct range than any bow, maybe twice or three times the direct range, and can be held in readiness indefinitely. They seem to have been effectively more accurate than bows for a longer distance. They may have been a little better at piercing armor in this direct range . But because they aren't used for indirect shots their overall range is shorter than either the longbow or the recurve, they can't shoot over walls or over the heads of friendly troops. Nevertheless, these were respected by the Mongols and the Arabs. They were used effectively in the Crusades, perhaps most famously by Richard Lionheart against Saladin, but that case was hardly unique. The Arabs called them Caws Ferengi 'Frankish bow' and adopted them especially for seige warfare. In surviving records the Mongols specifically reported heavy losses from crossbows in their various violent incursions into Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia.

I think the rate of fire issue is something of a canard, the advantage of the longbow was range and indirect shots. ROF for a longbow is about 8 or 9 shots a minute. With crossbows, they usually worked in a team behind a pavise, with two weapons. One spanning while the other shoots. By this method they managed as much as 6 or 7 shots per minute supposedly. You could quibble on the numbers but I don't think that is the main difference.

The only crossbow I know of which was used for indirect shooting like a bow was the Chu-ke nu (Chinese repeating crossbow) a very light weapon which shot unfletched darts and relied on poison to cause damage. Mainly used for sieges.

Arbalests
These were more powerful crossbows. The term is a modern convenience (means crossbow). The early (14th-15th Century) arbalests had composite prods, possibly due to Eastern influence from the Crusades. These required a windlass or a goat-foot lever to span. They were more powerful than commercial bows available today. The advent of these weapons led to armor being 'proofed' against crossbows (long before they were proofed against pistols).

The next generation of arbalests (15th - 16th Century) were the steel prod crossbows. Knight and the Blast Furnace reports that these weapon required their own proofing category among Italian armor makers. These were very powerful weapons, so powerful they required a reduction gear device called a cranequin to span them, similar to a jack for your car. An effective direct range of possibly as much as 200 meters or more. But they were expensive to make and somewhat dangerous to use, requiring troops from areas who grew up using them. Specialists who used this weapon were expensive to hire.

The hand cranks obviated the need for a foot-stirrup, and the weapons got smaller, making them more suitable for cavalry use. They were said to be more accurate and have better penetration than contemporary arquebuses.

The steel prod arbalests were less vulnerable to rain than the composites, but the string was always vulnerable so they were kept in leather cases. Their smaller size and utility from horseback eventually made them popular for hunting among aristocrats and remained so long after firearms took over, into the 17th and 18th Centuries, so luckily many very nice examples still survive.

Hand-Culverins
These could be effective at very short range (maybe 20 or 30 yards). But again, it seemed to be a weapon (like the Arbalest, the Lonbow, and the Recurve) which you had to have a certain culture to use well. The Hussites of Bohemia used them to very good effect with tabors (wagon forts) to repel lance charges from the nobility of 5 successive crusades. But nobody else seemed to be able to use the tactic effectively.

Arquebuses
Short effective range (around 50 yards) but long maximum range, all direct fire like the crossbow, but lethal out to a longer distance. Made a loud bang. Relatively cheap to manufacture. Perhaps more important, the culture of using them, while not as easy to develop as some modern writers assume, was transferrable. So everyone used them. The Ottomans were the first to make really long barrels, which led to muskets. But they stuck with the match-locks and eventually got left behind.

I should also point out, javelins and rocks remained popular missile weapons throughout the periods when these weapons were used. Rock throwers were used by the Hussites, the Swiss Reislauffer, etc., in many of the major battles of the age.

The Indians also had a steel bow which was apparently effective enough to be adopted by the Mughals, the Ottomans and the Persians, among others, but I haven't been able to find out much about it yet.

Anyway, FWIW (sorry I didn't mean for this to be so long)

J

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 10:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:

Anyway, FWIW (sorry I didn't mean for this to be so long)

J


Long is good when it's this interesting. Wink Big Grin

With the crossbow or arbalests you say that they where not used for indirect fire, at least not meant to be used this way or normally used this way: I wouldn't dispute this but " theoretically " they still could be fired at 45 degrees or higher angle for maximum range or plunging fire. In small number of individually not very useful because the odds of hitting a specific target would be small, but any large group of at least 30 -50 and even more a few hundred should still give useful long range plunging fire. I would guess that this long range would be much smaller than the range that a longbow could reach and not the best use tactically of the weapon.

Probably best to have something like 75% longbow archers and 25% crossbowman used more like sniper or close range anti armour missile troops ? Good also in defensive positions to fire from behind cover

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Mar, 2010 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
In fact their longest-ranged arrow was a small dart that was shot with the help of a guide.


I've only seen this described for Korean bows (J. L. Boots, Korean weapons and armor, Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 23(2), 1-37 (1934)). Boots notes that these small arrows were hard to see (and therefore, I assume, hard to avoid), and "frequently" poisoned.

If your source is talking about something other that Korean bows, via Boots, I'm interested in knowing.
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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
I just . It takes about seven years to be 'trained' to shoot one (mainly to build up the right muscles) and the English Kings and Lords went to a lot of effort to spread the culture of archery from Wales throughout England.

[
Anyway, FWIW (sorry I didn't mean for this to be so long)

J


I don't believe it took seven years to build up the muscle to pull one of these bows, but I do believe it took at least seven years to build up the bone structure and the corresponding ligaments and tendons to shoot the heavy draws without serious injury. Can't find the source, but I have read archeological descriptions of over developed skeletal remains (on the right side) of English yeomen. IMO that's why it took seven years and that's also why they tried to start the training at a young age while the lads were still growing. If a typical footman tried to pick up a war bow and fire it at the minimum rate of fire required for yeomen without the necessary bone, tendon & muscle conditioning; there would be a lot of popping of tendons; dislocation of joints; straining of ligaments in addition to tearing of muscle.

Like I said though, Just my opinion.

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
In fact their longest-ranged arrow was a small dart that was shot with the help of a guide.


I've only seen this described for Korean bows (J. L. Boots, Korean weapons and armor, Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 23(2), 1-37 (1934)). Boots notes that these small arrows were hard to see (and therefore, I assume, hard to avoid), and "frequently" poisoned.

If your source is talking about something other that Korean bows, via Boots, I'm interested in knowing.


Ottoman, but I'll have to track down the exact source on that. I'll check and get back to you here.

J

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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Foster wrote:
Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
I just . It takes about seven years to be 'trained' to shoot one (mainly to build up the right muscles) and the English Kings and Lords went to a lot of effort to spread the culture of archery from Wales throughout England.

[
Anyway, FWIW (sorry I didn't mean for this to be so long)

J


I don't believe it took seven years to build up the muscle to pull one of these bows, but I do believe it took at least seven years to build up the bone structure and the corresponding ligaments and tendons to shoot the heavy draws without serious injury. Can't find the source, but I have read archeological descriptions of over developed skeletal remains (on the right side) of English yeomen. IMO that's why it took seven years and that's also why they tried to start the training at a young age while the lads were still growing. If a typical footman tried to pick up a war bow and fire it at the minimum rate of fire required for yeomen without the necessary bone, tendon & muscle conditioning; there would be a lot of popping of tendons; dislocation of joints; straining of ligaments in addition to tearing of muscle.

Like I said though, Just my opinion.


Yes I think that is a valid point... the 7 years number was from some people in the English Warbow 'scene' who are shooting with weapons like this now up to 120 lb draw weight. It's probably not an exact figure and I'm sure varies by people.. but the point is it requires some physiological changes.

J

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Lyon wrote:

Longbow by Robert Hardy
The Great Warbow by Matthew Stricland and Robert Hardy - this is a big book but is supposed to be the "last word" on the longbow, and though I have yet to read my copy, I have heard it is well balanced on the role and use of the bow.

The chapters written by Strickland are excellent - balanced and well-researched. The stuff written by Hardy is as biased as ever. The raw data from his experiments are the only things that are useful in his part of the book.


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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Jean Henri Chandler wrote:
In fact their longest-ranged arrow was a small dart that was shot with the help of a guide.


I've only seen this described for Korean bows (J. L. Boots, Korean weapons and armor, Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 23(2), 1-37 (1934)). Boots notes that these small arrows were hard to see (and therefore, I assume, hard to avoid), and "frequently" poisoned.

If your source is talking about something other that Korean bows, via Boots, I'm interested in knowing.



Persian arrow guides were called navak (from the word nav = "gutter"). The short arrows used with this device were called tir-e navak. Manouchehr's book has a section on the subject (pp.309-310).
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Tim Newark's Warlords - Ancient, Celtic, Medieval         Reply with quote

Neil Gagel wrote:


This seems to me to be a rather bold assertion, considering that every thing I've read seems to contradict that. I seem to recall reading that at the battle at Crecy starting with an exchange between English longbowmen and Genoese Pavise Crossbowmen, in which the Genoese got rather decisively mauled. So, now that I'm confronted with two differing accounts and opinions, I gotta ask which one is correct?

I am hardly an expert on medieval warfare, just a bit of a nerd with an interest - so, what do you all say? Is Mr. Newark right, or is he completely full of it?


One thing to keep in mind is that fact the French sent the Genoese "Pavise" Crossbowmen forward with out the pavises. WTF?!

No pavise = no cover = dead latchmen.

It didn't help that the french knights road down the retreating survivors with their charge (as I remember).

When it comes to crossbows vs the English (Welch, cough cough) "long"bow , most try to compare the heavy "defensive" crossbow used in castles (with the windless to cock , 600-1000 pound pull and 1 shot every 2-3 minutes) and not the lighter field crossbow that could be loaded 3- 4 shots a minute and cocked with the foot stirup, goats lever, or a cranican depending on prod weight .

Cheers,

DT

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually the heaviest arbalessts up to 1200 lb draw were spanned with the cranequin, and could spanned fairly quickly.

Though I agree with you the poor performance of the crossbows in French use had to do with mercenaries poorly used. Not too dissimilar to how the Swiss were used at Pavia. The French were heavy-cavalry oriented and had little respect for other types of troops.

J

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

The chapters written by Strickland are excellent - balanced and well-researched. The stuff written by Hardy is as biased as ever. The raw data from his experiments are the only things that are useful in his part of the book.

While not as bad as Hardy and far more scholarly in his approach and "tone" Strickland demonstrates a considerable bias as well. Surprisingly often unpleasant facts which could cast doubt on the performance of English archers or would have shown that Johnny Foreigners archers and crossbowmen could put in an equaly good performance as the vaunt English archers gets left out of the text.

For example in the description of Poitiers the fact that the French crossbowmen had actually held their ground and was in action even in support of the final French attack is oddly left out. Yet Strickland must have known about this because Le Baker's description of this comes immediately before a part of his text quoted by Strickland.

Despite having part of a chapter about the archery in the Scots armies of James I Strickland never once discusses the performance of the Scottish archers at Verneuil 1424. Yet we have a vivid eyewitness account of the archery duel left to us by Waurin. Instead the entire Verneuil text is focused on Jones' not very well supported theories about the Lombard/Milanese cavalry present at the battle.

English failures such as the defeat at the hands of the Burgundian-Flemish army of Duke Philip at Brouwershaven, the route of the Anglo-Gascon army at Blanquefort 1450 or the defeat at Nogent-sur-Seine in 1359 are all absent from Stricklands chapters.
In the same manner the successfull French and Burgundian use of archery in the 15th Century is mostly left out, better to focus on them when they put in a poor performance such as at Guinegate 1479. (Where it should be noted the "poor" quality of the French archers did not prevent them from defeating the Burgundian & English archers, capturing Maximiliands artillery and savaging one of Maximilians pike squares.)
The Burgundians fare a little better, at least some of their successes get mentioned but are given little space compared to the focus given to looking at a supposedly poor performance in 1465. The Picards who made up the bulkof the Burgundian archers bareley get mentioned but of course we get loads on the English archers in Burgundan service...

The parts covering the French and Burgundians are noteworthy for the limited umber of sources used as well, often Strickland relies on a single source, Commines, a man who was very much pushign his own agenda in his texts.
Overall parts dealing with the French & Burgundians are not very well research once you move into the post-Agincourt period.

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Didn't Charles the Rash bring some English Longbowmen to one or two of his catastrophic battles against the Swiss (who preferred crossbows)?

J

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