Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Of Histortical Accountability And Reading For The Fun Of It Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,803

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun, 2006 1:43 pm    Post subject: Of Histortical Accountability And Reading For The Fun Of It         Reply with quote

In doing some scouting around about a current topic, I ran across two Thomas Walsingham accounts I had not seen before. I tend to absorb this stuff, with adequate salt but find the big pictures intriguing.

What follows is a snippet from the first link of a Flemish campaign and a pdf link of a Scot encounter some years later.
~~~~~~

Quote:

Among all the combatants, our archers surpassed all others and deserved praise and glory on that occasion, for they so struck the enemy with their flying arrows that no more of them remained who were protected by their armour than would have done if the very arrows had struck them when unprotected by armour.

Indeed, such was the hail of arrows in the air that the sky was darkened, as if by a black cloud and so dense was the flight of arrows shot at the enemy, that they did not dare raise their faces. For anyone who tried to look into the air soon suffered an arrow through the eye, or one through the head. Many protected their heads with their shields, but the arrows coming at them soon pierced both their shields and their heads.

Despite breastplates, bodies were pierced and men were wounded in their breasts, for the mail could not withstand the arrows; men were shot through the head, their helmets being of no avail, and hands holding lances or stakes were fastened to these very weapons by arrows, gloves being no protection.

To be brief, the difference in the men fighting there was so great that on the one side you could see men ready to kill, on the other side they were like cattle ready to be slaughtered.


http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/sources/walsingham.htm


This, the later account from 1402


http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/upload/pdf/Homildon.pdf

~~~~~~~~~~~

Now honestly, how can one not appreciate writing like

Quote:

To be brief, the difference in the men fighting there was so great that on the one side you could see men ready to kill, on the other side they were like cattle ready to be slaughtered.


;)

I would say I spend a good bit of time reading historical accounts surrounding events like these but none of the really dry stuff has much character.

Cheers

GC
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jun, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Below is somewhat appropriate to the period.

http://www.rotten.com/library/language/the-finger/origin/

Given that surviving arrow inventory accounts indicate multiple stashes of 250,0000 plus available arrows from numerous locations for a single battle, the number of arrows that could be released upon an enemy (particularly considering faint and retreat tactics) is astonishiing. Depending on your assumptions, a longbow archer supposedly capable of hitting a rabbit at half this distance only needed to get the horizon heigth right (hit the horse or the man in a critical locations, either gets the job done) between 1 in 20 to 1 in 100 times to assure the victory.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Rod Parsons




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 5:27 am    Post subject: Comment on longbow effectiveness.         Reply with quote

Given that the typical target for the longbow in a set piece battle would consist of a large body of men, for the longbowman the first criterion is that he be able to accurately make a given distance with a heavy shaft.
If you have conveniently situated your forces at the drop in distance for either the lighter 3 oz flighting arrow or for the 4oz heavy shaft, then making the precise distance is far more readily achievable.
Looking at the kind of spread shown here amongst the heavy bow men at the longer distances, the distance achieved can be pretty consistent, though the lateral spread can be quite large.
No matter, since at the long distances it is barrage fire (the term artillery itself deriving from arc tireur).
It is likely that deliberate concentration upon individuals would become more productive when the distance was reduced to around 100 paces and become truly lethal when firing into a press from the wings at 40 paces or less.
In contemporary accounts, many of which are not first hand, numbers and effectiveness are often greatly exagerrated, but usually I thinkwith some foundation in reality.
With later English romantic writing, the author has a patriotic axe to grind and an experienced archer will read any text in context of what seems probable. Too often the non archer is more easily impressed by such literature.
Simon Stanley, who is probably the most experienced exponent of the heavy war bow here in the UK is on record in Strickland and Hardy's "The Great War Bow" as saying that he thinks it more likely that with the really heavy bows, 5 or 6 arrows a minute more practicable than the assumed 10 to 12 a minute.
The world record for speed shooting in the longbow of over 20 was set with a low weight bow at a very close distance, and I see no reason to doubt Simon's opinion, though it may be that someone with longer habituation to the heavy weights might improve on his suggested rate of fire.
As an aside, I notice on another thread that someone reports a distance of 250 yards with a 3.3 oz arrow out of a 150 lb bow. This is weak shooting indeed since the 3 oz distance should be 100 paces more, 250 yards being closer to a 4 oz arrow distance.
Rod.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,148

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rod;

Welcome to this site and I've enjoyed your posts. Cool Big Grin

With statistics: Weight of arrows, distance etc ....... I find that in some otherwise very good posts by various people there may be the occasional errors with units, or at least confusing to me, when I try to reconcile what I read as possible contradictions.

Units used are one problem i.e. Grains versus oz for instance and weight of arrows or bolts make a lot of difference on target or range if there is a 3X discrepancy on what the actual weight are.

Now, could be wrong, but 1 oz is I think something between 700 and 800 grains ?

So a 3oz arrow would be about 2100 grains to 2400 grains. In other posts i see bolts or arrows quoted as being 500 to maybe 1200 grains in weight. Oh, I'm not criticizing otherwise informative posts, but I do get confused.

Just with arrow / bolt energy: If an arrow and a crossbow bolt move at identical velocities the only way the crossbow bolt could have twice the energy would be to weigh twice as much.

So as far as energy or momentum of the projectile the draw weight of a bow or crossbow is only the means to get the projectile moving fast: Efficient transfer of energy is important when designing the best possible bow or crossbow, but the only numbers that count is speed and mass of the projectile, the target doesn't know the difference if the bow or crossbow wasted a lot of energy only how fast the limbs move the string ........ moving the arrow / bolt.

So, all the above is a general comment and a general question. Confused Laughing Out Loud

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Rod Parsons




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 5:16 pm    Post subject: Ounces and grains.         Reply with quote

Jean,
One grain is the equivalent of one / 7000th of a pound avoirdupois and there are 16 ounces to the lb.
That makes 1 oz = 437.5 grains.
So a 3 oz flighting (distance) war shaft is 1312.5 grains, and a 4 oz heavy war shaft is 1750 grains.
Of course these weights are not carved in stone, and flight shafts for example can be made lighter, gaining distance but losing some momentum on descent.
I have been amusing myself this afternoon by surfing through some other threads on here and find it remarkable that it was necessary for plate armour to be developed, given some of the claims made about the inviolability of the maille and padding combination.
I'm beginning to wonder how my ancestors managed to kill so many well equipped men by shooting them with arrows which were so obviously not up to the task.
Perhaps we triumphed so often through sheer bloody mindedness in our refusal to accept that our equipment did not work.
I recall a conversation a while back where a man was offering to come and stand in his armour and allow himself to be shot at. The general consensus was that should we accept, he should be advised that a return ticket would be an un-necessary expense and that he should set his affairs in order before leaving home.
Although there are still places where there are bye-laws that permit shooting Welshmen or persons careless enough to trespass onto the traditional site of butts, it was felt that in the current climate of political correctness, we might be held responsible for his demise, so we reluctantly declined his kind offer.
I wonder how the chaps feel about Australians, tourists are after all in season.... :-)
Rod.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,148

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Ounces and grains.         Reply with quote

Rod Parsons wrote:
Jean,
One grain is the equivalent of one / 7000th of a pound avoirdupois and there are 16 ounces to the lb.
That makes 1 oz = 437.5 grains.
Rod.


Ah, my memory was really faulty there. Eek! Probably vaguely remembered the 7000 to a pound took off one zero and applied it to the oz instead and got it wrong by a factor of two. Laughing Out Loud

Haven't looked up the value of a grain in a long time I guess.

At least it makes a lot of what I read here not as contradictory.

Glad you are enjoying the site and I look forward to your input from the projectile side of the debates. Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Rod Parsons




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jun, 2006 6:01 pm    Post subject: re         Reply with quote

Thanks Jean,
Best site I have found about swords and armour. I expect I'll be asking more questions than posting about bows and arrows.
Rod.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,803

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2006 5:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Even in the translated contemporary accounts, the original writers styles become apparent. National pride and predjudice, along with personal politics, affect many authors. It is no different with many articles written today.

Something I had mentioned elsewhere recently was that when I read opposing views on a subject, or historical accounts, I'm looking first at the similarities. The really contentious stuff often renders down to proof of numbers, modern interpretation and physical evidence. It is in comparing the undisputed similarities of content that one sees what I feel to be closest to truths.

This wasn't meant to be so much another outlet for the pro-archer camp but it was material I was scouting in relation to that. My real thought was that it would be great to sit with and be able to read the original texts of folk like Walsingham, Froissart et all.
For better, or worse, these were the journalists of the day.

Cheers

GC
View user's profile Send private message
Konstantin Tsvetkov




PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2006 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think bows against cavalry were used mostly to disable horses. Then they finished fallen riders.
View user's profile Send private message
Rod Parsons




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Even in the translated contemporary accounts, the original writers styles become apparent. National pride and predjudice, along with personal politics, affect many authors. It is no different with many articles written today."

And particularly when such an author, who has himself likely no direct experience, but is writing what today might be called a "puff piece" extolling the virtues of his fellows and their equipment.
The quote from the Chronicon Colmariense which says "mailshirts, through which no arrow was able to wound a man."
Whilst I can readily accept that some patterns, types or quality of maille will have been superior in this respect, all maille has holes in it, the question is will a projectile find such a hole, and how often. And will it have enough force to enlarge such a hole?

In most cases, during the mediaeval period, this would be a matter of statistical probability, of the % open area of the maille and the quality of that maille, set against the type of head and the momentum of the shaft in use.

I would suggest that anyone who has shot the various bodkin types from a bow of any significant weight would be more than willing to convince such an author by having him as a target, suitably attired, for a few type 7's on heavy shafts.
Even if the rings withstood the impact, the wearer would be more than likely to suffer at the very least a wound 2" to 4"" inches deep impacting at around 100mph with a net projectile weight between 3 oz and 4 oz from every shaft that found a hole to work with.
That maille shirts do have holes is their weakness when faced with an appropriate projectile weapon.
So it comes down to % open area and strength of the rings and their joining.
That no arrow would ever penetrate is very unlikely.
The serious question is with such and such a maille, such and such padding and this projectile out of such and such a bow, what % of shots would be effective in practice and at what distance?
Rod.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Of Histortical Accountability And Reading For The Fun Of It
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum