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Alain D.





Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 81

PostPosted: Fri 06 May, 2011 12:28 pm    Post subject: The Great Warbow Reprinted         Reply with quote

This may be common knowledge and my apologies if this has been mentioned already, but I thought it was worth mentioning that The Great Warbow by Matthew Strickland and Robert Hardy is being reprinted and should be available in stores this summer (earlier in the UK than US from what I've gathered). I've been looking for a reasonably priced copy of this book for years and I thought it might be of interest to others on the site.
-Alain
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,162

PostPosted: Fri 06 May, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Exellent news. It is definitely the best work on the subject - especially Strickland's part. Hardy's chapter is useful for the raw data and physical properties of the warbow, but he can't help misusing the data to support his biases about the weapon's capabilities in battle.
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Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Sat 07 May, 2011 1:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Strickland's chapters are not without problems as well, he repeatedly cherry-picks the sources and leaves out events that would contradict the image of English archers & archery he would like to present. For example the fact that the French crossbowmen were not defeated by achery at Poitiers but instead fought on through the entire battle is hidden from the reader as is the mutually destructive archery duel between the Scots & English archers at Verneuil. The chapter about the French & Burgundian use of archery have notable gaps and both tend to focus more on failures while leaving out success. (The research done is also rather limited with only a few sources used out of those that are available)
"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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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Sat 07 May, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel,

Having just reread the chapter on Poitiers he does in fact indicate the crossbowmen were able to hold up against the English bows, though it is not what he focuses on. Personally I figure the good performance of the crossbowmen is just as important, if not more important than the armour Strickland goes on and on about as it keeps the already small number of archers tied down between multiple targets but that is one of his chief arguments in Warbow.

I think he sort of cherry picks the opposite way actually to support his armour and bow concept as there are a number of later accounts that would not support his argument. That said the practice of mentioning but not focusing on such accounts is not unjustifiable. He is trying to prove his argument and is trying to not complicate it. I do not mind complicating things but in such a large work this is perhaps forgivable.

It is an excellent book and I hope they come out in paper back so I can get a copy for the reenactment group. I might not support 100% all their conclusions but it is such a good resource generally something not to be passed up by later period historians and reenactors.

RPM
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