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Brian Nelson




Location: Houghton, MI
Joined: 17 Mar 2012

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon 04 Aug, 2014 11:14 am    Post subject: An article on arrow wound lethality         Reply with quote

A very interesting read on arrow wounds compiled from first-hand accounts (from America).

http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/05/battle-wo...of-a-body/
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 04 Aug, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: An article on arrow wound lethality         Reply with quote

Brian Nelson wrote:
A very interesting read on arrow wounds compiled from first-hand accounts (from America).

http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/05/battle-wo...of-a-body/


Very interesting indeed, but if these American doctors had read a little Galen they might have known better how to deal with arrow wounds Wink

The Greeks and Romans, through centuries of practical experience, devised a number of ways to extract arrows, such as the spoon of Diokles, which was a form of forceps with large duck-bill tips. It was inserted into the original wound along the shaft of the arrow, the head of the arrow was covered by the broad tips, and thus extracted. The medievals lost this knowledge, and it was only really resurrected during the Renaissance.

I would say the original article is one of the last most contemporary records of arrow injury in battle. There may be some experiences from the further reaches of the British or other colonial empires, though. Be interesting to see accounts of those!
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Aug, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The reference to Bill's paper in the article is wrong. The article can be found at http://journals.lww.com/amjmedsci/Citation/18...ds_.2.aspx (vol 40, issue 88, 1862)
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Brian Nelson




Location: Houghton, MI
Joined: 17 Mar 2012

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: An article on arrow wound lethality         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
Brian Nelson wrote:
A very interesting read on arrow wounds compiled from first-hand accounts (from America).

http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/05/battle-wo...of-a-body/


Very interesting indeed, but if these American doctors had read a little Galen they might have known better how to deal with arrow wounds Wink

The Greeks and Romans, through centuries of practical experience, devised a number of ways to extract arrows, such as the spoon of Diokles, which was a form of forceps with large duck-bill tips. It was inserted into the original wound along the shaft of the arrow, the head of the arrow was covered by the broad tips, and thus extracted. The medievals lost this knowledge, and it was only really resurrected during the Renaissance.

I would say the original article is one of the last most contemporary records of arrow injury in battle. There may be some experiences from the further reaches of the British or other colonial empires, though. Be interesting to see accounts of those!


I'm curious as to how much of this information was available in 1862, particularly in America. Quite possibly the country or maybe even most of the world had no knowledge of the older texts and artifacts.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: An article on arrow wound lethality         Reply with quote

Brian Nelson wrote:

I'm curious as to how much of this information was available in 1862, particularly in America. Quite possibly the country or maybe even most of the world had no knowledge of the older texts and artifacts.


They would absolutely have had Galen and Cornelius Celsus, as well as more 'modern' sources such as Ambroise Pare, in any reasonable medical institution.

That said, the thorough licensing and training of a doctor/surgeon is a fairly recent thing, and it was not uncommon until the latter years of the 19th century for doctors to be largely self-trained. So it can certainly go both ways.

Edit to add: Here is a delightful little article, which appears to be approximately turn of the century, for illustration:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/aa...a00070/pdf (PDF warning)
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can find the original piece here. It's interesting that Dr. Bill recommended an arrow-proof bull-hide cuirass, which he thought would weigh 8-10lbs.

Pages 144-163 of this report cover many arrow injuries in the U.S. army and reference Dr. Bill. These sources show how the bow remained a dangerous weapon throughout the nineteenth century.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
You can find the original piece here. It's interesting that Dr. Bill recommended an arrow-proof bull-hide cuirass, which he thought would weigh 8-10lbs.

Pages 144-163 of this report cover many arrow injuries in the U.S. army and reference Dr. Bill. These sources show how the bow remained a dangerous weapon throughout the nineteenth century.


I think it's a dangerous weapon in ANY century Wink The only difference is that you're a bit less likely to be on the receiving end of one these days... unless you're in one of those crazy Polish bohurt groups!
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps I should say the bow remained a militarily useful weapon through the nineteenth century. Here in the twenty-first century there aren't any examples of U.S. soldiers falling to arrow wounds that I know of. I suspect contemporary body armor would be at least highly resistant to arrows, too.
Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The bow can compete successfully on the battlefield with smoothbore muzzle loaders. Maybe rifled muzzle loaders, too. Bow and gun each have their advantages and disadvantages, and both are militarily viable. Muskets on the battlefield actually make the bow a better weapon, by reducing the amount of armour on the battlefield.

Breechloading cartridge rifles make the bow much less competitive as a battlefield weapon.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Tue 05 Aug, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Perhaps I should say the bow remained a militarily useful weapon through the nineteenth century. Here in the twenty-first century there aren't any examples of U.S. soldiers falling to arrow wounds that I know of. I suspect contemporary body armor would be at least highly resistant to arrows, too.


There was this guy in WW2.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 06 Aug, 2014 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan P wrote:
Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Perhaps I should say the bow remained a militarily useful weapon through the nineteenth century. Here in the twenty-first century there aren't any examples of U.S. soldiers falling to arrow wounds that I know of. I suspect contemporary body armor would be at least highly resistant to arrows, too.


There was this guy in WW2.

There were also Degar and other's using crossbows in Vietnam, as well as other modern military and indigenous occurrences; however a bit off ther beaten path. IIRC, there was another WWII instance of a group of US army archers but I do not have the context or reference.

Cheers

GC
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Sep, 2014 12:38 am    Post subject: Re: An article on arrow wound lethality         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
The Greeks and Romans, through centuries of practical experience, devised a number of ways to extract arrows, such as the spoon of Diokles, which was a form of forceps with large duck-bill tips. It was inserted into the original wound along the shaft of the arrow, the head of the arrow was covered by the broad tips, and thus extracted. The medievals lost this knowledge, and it was only really resurrected during the Renaissance


How "lost," though? Henry V took an arrow to the face, and his physician was already able to extricate it safely with a device whose description makes it sound like a specialised arrow-extraction forceps. That's in the early 15th century, before the usual timeline attributed to the Renaissance (especially north of the Alps). Somehow I doubt that medieval surgeons never reinvented the same kind of device -- if they ever lost it in the first place.


Glen A Cleeton wrote:
IIRC, there was another WWII instance of a group of US army archers but I do not have the context or reference.


I've heard that too about US Marine or Army counter-sniper teams in the Pacific, though I haven't been able to track down the primary sources on it.
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Seth C




Location: United States
Joined: 02 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the article. I bow hunt and much of this applicable to modern bow hunting. A good kill shot is to heart and lungs of the animal. Arrows kill by bleeding the animal out and a hit to heart or lungs will do this quickly. If your arrows are sharp, they will often pass right through the animal--sometimes the animal continues feeding until it collapses. Very little energy is transferred. A hit to the GI area will be fatal, but the animal can run a long distance resulting in losing the animal--which is unethical and wasteful.

Also sharp arrows will go right through modern soft body armor such as kevlar. The trauma plates would likely stop an arrow. My bow hunting instructor demonstrated his 60 lb longbow by shooting a sharpened broadhead through a 55 gallon steel drum. It passed through both sides. Trauma plates are much thicker though and the padding beneath would absorb the energy.

Seth
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2014 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seth C wrote:
Thank you for the article. I bow hunt and much of this applicable to modern bow hunting. A good kill shot is to heart and lungs of the animal. Arrows kill by bleeding the animal out and a hit to heart or lungs will do this quickly. If your arrows are sharp, they will often pass right through the animal--sometimes the animal continues feeding until it collapses. Very little energy is transferred. A hit to the GI area will be fatal, but the animal can run a long distance resulting in losing the animal--which is unethical and wasteful.

Also sharp arrows will go right through modern soft body armor such as kevlar. The trauma plates would likely stop an arrow. My bow hunting instructor demonstrated his 60 lb longbow by shooting a sharpened broadhead through a 55 gallon steel drum. It passed through both sides. Trauma plates are much thicker though and the padding beneath would absorb the energy.

I've heard that police had also has problem with criminals stabbing through there vest because a kinfe can cut the threads like broadhead and a point on a knife is much finer that point on a bullet so the kelvar threads don't catch knife points like they catch bullet points.
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Brian Nelson




Location: Houghton, MI
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes. The kevlar works because it is almost impossible to tear (stretch it until the fibers snap). When the bullet tries to pass through, it has to tear the fibers. When any edged weapon, knife, arrow, etc. hits it the kevlar fails because it is so easy to cut.
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