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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 4:13 am    Post subject: crossbow test & Manchu warfare         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Crossbows confuse me. While some sources - specially Anna Comnena - stress their penetration, the short power stroke on European models almost precludes impressive performance. And these two reconstructions produced thoroughly lackluster results beyond what power stroke calculations would suggest. Even the 616lb piece only manages 95 J with a heavy bolt. A 150lb English warbow would impart 124-134 J to an arrow of similar weight.


This trial has several problems: The draw length is not given, so we don't know if the crossbow stored more energy than the strong longbow you compare it with. Using a windlass for the second, more powerful version is like mounting a truck motor on a Mini. A hook with a sheave would do just fine. We neither know if these bolt weights are correct because we don't have the wood, just the iron and wood density can vary up to twice the weight of a piece with the same volume. These bolts are neither the most heavy versions weighing 200g and look at the draw mechanism Anna describes, it allows a long draw length. This is a feature of powerful and quite fast crossbows, while precision weapons have a short draw length. These are precison weapon: http://www.atarn.org/chinese/yn_xbow/yn_xbow.htm and the Chinese crossbow I linked above is more about speed and power. You also should take into account that for a longbow as well as for a crossbow the kinetic energy of the projectile decreases the lighter it is, so compare equal weight projectiles. Finally the question remains whether these crossbows were meant to be used with these bolts against armour. There's been published a German dissertation on crossbows and he list a very wide range of heads, a lot more than the test you mention used.

The Manchu and the cannon are an interesting case, they combined field artillery with cavalry. I don't know, but I would guess that horse drawn artillery was part of their forces.
Looking at the European armies of the 30 years war, about a third was mounted and had the best equipment, so both versions of warfare aren't that far apart. In Europe the (big) cannons were on the wings of the infantry, next to the cavalry, so they could strike doom into anything that was in a line along their arc of fire, especially seperated linear formations .
Do you have more information on how the Manchu operated?
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 4:22 am    Post subject: Re: crossbow test & Manchu warfare         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:
We neither know if these bolt weights are correct because we don't have the wood, just the iron and wood density can vary up to twice the weight of a piece with the same volume.


Just realized I wrote something totally wrong. We have the wood of these bolts. Normally we don't have the wood and that's the case with most bolts mentioned in the excellent work they refer to. Still, we really have no proof that these bolts were intended against armour with these crossbows and we have no clue about the draw length and total potential energy stored.
You might take a look at the excavation records of of the Battle of Visby (literature list in wikipedia) where we have clear proof of crossbows used in a 13th century battle against opponents well armoured against ranged weapons.
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject: Re: crossbow test & Manchu warfare         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:
The draw length is not given, so we don't know if the crossbow stored more energy than the strong longbow you compare it with.


The power stroke is given for both bows: roughly eight inches for the first and nine for the second. Thus it has the theoretical potential to perform better than a 150lb longbow, but apparently lacks the efficiency.

Quote:
These bolts are neither the most heavy versions weighing 200g and look at the draw mechanism Anna describes, it allows a long draw length.


Yes, sometimes I wonder whether early European crossbows had a long power stroke like the Han model. However, I don't believe there's any iconographic support for this notion whatsoever. Later models have unambiguously short power strokes. Spanish steel crossbows spanned by a goat's foot lever in the New World ranged from 250-500lbs with a power stroke of 5-6 inches. At best these bows might have matched a moderately strong longbow. Now, that's certainly enough to penetrate unarmored folks but nothing terribly exciting. Such weapons must have been favored for accuracy and ease of use rather than impact.
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the battle of Visby the bolts ripped through armour and there are Medieval reports about that. Thanks for finding out the draw length(must have missed it somehow).
Are you comparing a longbow shooting a 100g arrow to a crossbow with a 50g bolt?
I'm not really convinced they mastered the crossbow effectively because the bolt must match the weapon. If there were trials with a succession of different projectile weights for bows and crossbows we might get closer to the answer.
I totally agree with you that the presented combination is less effective in transferring kinetic energy compared to a longbow. But I have grave doubts that from this very limited trial any general information can be derived.
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben,

Have you seen the Springald and Great Crossbow book that the RA puts out? It has a very clear set up for crossbows and their inmpact and initial energy in joules which seem much, much higher than those you are listing.

There are any number of issues with determining crosbow power. One key one is if the crossbow was even used for war or hunting as many of the hunting treatises clearly indicate they were not necesarily the same.


RPM
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Have you seen the Springald and Great Crossbow book that the RA puts out? It has a very clear set up for crossbows and their inmpact and initial energy in joules which seem much, much higher than those you are listing.


From what I remember, that book provided a generic theoretical calculation that put hand-held (one-foot) crossbows in the same ballpark as warbows: 127 J. I'd like to see some careful crossbow reproduction and testing done to get clear idea of the power of these weapons.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 1:16 am    Post subject: Re: crossbow test & Manchu warfare         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:

The Manchu and the cannon are an interesting case, they combined field artillery with cavalry. I don't know, but I would guess that horse drawn artillery was part of their forces.
Looking at the European armies of the 30 years war, about a third was mounted and had the best equipment, so both versions of warfare aren't that far apart. In Europe the (big) cannons were on the wings of the infantry, next to the cavalry, so they could strike doom into anything that was in a line along their arc of fire, especially seperated linear formations .
Do you have more information on how the Manchu operated?


The Ming were the first really large-scale cannon users in China, but their cannon were not especially mobile. They did use them in the field, when possible, but this wasn't always possible against mobile enemies. Siege, however, is another matter, since the enemy is not mobile. Early Ming artillery was excellent for the time, but they didn't continue development at as rapid a pace as, e.g., in Europe, so they were technologically lagging by late Ming times. They did recognise this, and their relative deficiency in musketry, so did plan to update and upgrade, but mismanagement, corruption, economic collapse, etc. stopped this from happening before the Manchu conquest. The Japanese invasion of Korea showed just how effective Ming field artillery could be, but after experiencing it, the Japanese chose to avoid it in open battle, and generally succeeded in such avoidance.

So, the Qing/Manchu government got to implement a lot of these reforms (or they already had, pre-conquest). As soon as the Manchu started to include large numbers of Chinese in their armies (what became the Chinese Banners, the Hanjun Banners), they specified that half of the Chinese recruits would be musketeers or artillerymen. Add to this the various former Ming forces who fought for the Manchu in the conquest of China, and you have a lot of artillery. Manchu artillery of this time doesn't seem to have been particularly mobile.

There was a big increase in Qing/Manchu artillery mobility in their reforms c. 1680. This involved direct import of European technology, via Jesuits. Basically, casting of lightweight cannon. A big part of the motivation was to be able to get artillery into the rather terrible terrain in Yunnan for sieges in the Three Feudatories Revolt. But then they had mobile artilley for field use.

C. 1700 Qing artillery consisted of heavy guns, about 4-5 tonnes, and light guns, 50-500kg or so. Some were mounted on wheeled carriages. Cannon were also carried on camels. I don't know how these were deployed on the battlefield - Chinese sources usually don't go into that kind of detail.

"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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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 3:34 am    Post subject: Re: crossbow test & Manchu warfare         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:

So, the Qing/Manchu government got to implement a lot of these reforms (or they already had, pre-conquest). As soon as the Manchu started to include large numbers of Chinese in their armies (what became the Chinese Banners, the Hanjun Banners), they specified that half of the Chinese recruits would be musketeers or artillerymen. Add to this the various former Ming forces who fought for the Manchu in the conquest of China, and you have a lot of artillery. Manchu artillery of this time doesn't seem to have been particularly mobile.


Half of the foot in the artillery? Does this possibly include the whole logistics needed for such a weapon? Mobility of a heavy gun can also be achieved by a large crew, so I'm not so sure on that case.


I totally agree that the quoted kinetic energy for crossbow projectiles is too low. So far I've only seen tests comparing bows with arrows twice the weight to crossbows of differing strength with bolts half the weight of the arrows. One characteristic is that an increase in the weight of the bolt wouldn't significantly reduce its speed. Sprignals however, are very fast moving machines and may work resonably well with lightweight ammunition.
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Re: crossbow test & Manchu warfare         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:
Timo Nieminen wrote:

So, the Qing/Manchu government got to implement a lot of these reforms (or they already had, pre-conquest). As soon as the Manchu started to include large numbers of Chinese in their armies (what became the Chinese Banners, the Hanjun Banners), they specified that half of the Chinese recruits would be musketeers or artillerymen. Add to this the various former Ming forces who fought for the Manchu in the conquest of China, and you have a lot of artillery. Manchu artillery of this time doesn't seem to have been particularly mobile.


Half of the foot in the artillery? Does this possibly include the whole logistics needed for such a weapon? Mobility of a heavy gun can also be achieved by a large crew, so I'm not so sure on that case.


I don't think it includes the logistics. Not just artillery; it includes musketeers as well. At the time, it did amount to approximately 1/2 of the foot, or up to 1/6 of the whole army. There were also firearms in the Manchu and Mongol Banners (but not as many), and there were independent artillery units, not part of any of the Banners. The 1/2 figure is from the 1620s, but even much later, most of the firearms in the Banners were in the Chinese Banners.

During and after the conquest of China, then you can add the Green Standard troops, basically former Ming units at first. These were later partly downgraded to militia/constabulary, so likely had better weapons in the 17th century than in the 18th.

The Manchu/Qing were pretty heavy users of firearms. From "Diary of a Manchu soldier":
"The fire from cannon and muskets sounded like frying beans, the earth was shaking."
"When our Green Standard troops charged the enemy, the roaring sound of cannons and muskets was incessant, and lasted for such a long time that the ears became used to it."
"Our two Banners yelling went to the assault, but the [enemy’s] fire of cannons, fiery arrows, and the volleys of musket was overwhelming."
"The muskets and cannons fired by the rebels inside the city continued to roar until dawn. Projectiles were falling ceaselessly in front and behind me. Many of my men and horses were injured by the shots."
"[Our troops] moved forward firing cannon."
"we had captured four elephants, and standards, flags, cannon, and muskets in great quantity."
"[General Manggitu] dispatched Green Standard troops, who bombarded [this village] with cannon and destroyed it."
(1680, Three Feudatories Revolt, quotes are from Nicola Di Cosmo (trans), "The diary of a Manchu soldier in seventeenth-century China: my service in the army", Routledge, 2006.)

"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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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben,

Nope Jean Liebel based his figures off prototypes they created and then tested. The larger artillery was the ones they had to be a bit more theoretical as they could not build full sized models of them for whatever reason.

In the end for the 13th century on we have a pretty good idea on bolt length at least because they were, like the longbow arrow, somewhat standardized. From Philip Augustus on the state is ordering bolts of at least 12 inches. Since anything much more than the bolt head past the prod would destroy the functioning of the crossbow I think we can assume that it is at least 10.5 or 11 inches from prod to the nut. From what I can tell they are still requiring the same sized bolts for what seem to be steel prods in the 15th which is odd as it seems to be often seen that the steel prods lowered thus length. At least from the written record this seems an interesting set up. We also have notes for 24 inch bolts listed for crossbows (Liebel states they are for crossbows of the two foot variety) and 3/4 and 4/5 a yard for the larger giant crossbows or springalds.

As well in written sources such as the report before the venetian government in the late 15th the longbows are compared to crossbows both being able to penetrate armour, something that it seems they had assumed was only possible by the crossbow before. That said it may be that they are looking at the best of the best or it being possible over all of them doing this as I am sure some crossbows could not do this. As well it seems crossbows in medieval sources are more likely to penetrate than their warbow counterpart as they seem to show up more often doing so.

Of course I think generally speaking crossbows are very misunderstood. Just like bows we have different bolts in use for crossbows. So we might have arrows that are intended for long distance shooting or close up penetration. The same is true for crossbows. We have at least 3-4 heads that seem to have been in use for crossbows and I am betting it is not the only differences. I figure just like arrows bolts weight is a major factor.

As well more so than bows there is a great variety in power of crossbows. The use of cranks, windlasses, mechanisms for spanning clearly were developed due to major draw weights. If the effect was of no or limited use to older models they would never have been developed. We have a large amount of types of prods which affect the possible power generated. So i am sure some crossbows were less powerful than warbows that said I am sure that there were a large number if military crossbows in use that were stated by contemporaries as being more powerful. My guess is most crossbows on the lower end used for war were in the same ballpark as warbows

You mentioned 240 lb draw for a bow earlier. What is the source on this? I have looked at a fair number of Asian bows and that was the first I have seen close to that high. Was it to show how strong someone was like in the Odyssey, kind of a you think you are a man try this bow sort of account? Seems like such a bow would be rather useless for practical use on a large scale as most people even practices would have a hard time on such a bow.

Timo,


Didn't the Qing draw upon mostly Manchu leadership and officers? Do you think this might have been what reinvigorated the push to upgrade the military after over a hundred years of decay under the Ming. Seems like the decline of firearms was simply tied into a number if issues the dynasty was suffering at the time as some decline is going on in agriculture from Yuan and especially the Song dynasties. Sad how the brilliant dynasty came to an end on such a low note but declines usually come before the end. From my limited readings on the Qing seems cavalry was a major part of their military, why didn't they ever adopt methods to combine the two artillery and cavalry?

RPM
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:

You mentioned 240 lb draw for a bow earlier. What is the source on this? I have looked at a fair number of Asian bows and that was the first I have seen close to that high. Was it to show how strong someone was like in the Odyssey, kind of a you think you are a man try this bow sort of account? Seems like such a bow would be rather useless for practical use on a large scale as most people even practices would have a hard time on such a bow.


Could it refer to one of these animals? The first one is a Chinese Lian Nu, the others are footbows. Xenophon and the conquistadores for example report such weapons, so it might have been a timeless global phenomena.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Liannu.jpg
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/551...-a-footbow
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2151/1779803741_c77a8de6b5.jpg
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Nope Jean Liebel based his figures off prototypes they created and then tested.


That's not what I recall for the one-foot infantry crossbow. Would you post or pm me the relevant details (draw weight, bolt weight, power stroke, etc)? Did they perform any tests against armor with the prototype?

Quote:
Since anything much more than the bolt head past the prod would destroy the functioning of the crossbow I think we can assume that it is at least 10.5 or 11 inches from prod to the nut.


Period artwork suggests otherwise as it often depicts an inch or two of shaft beyond the prod. (For example.)

Quote:
So i am sure some crossbows were less powerful than warbows that said I am sure that there were a large number if military crossbows in use that were stated by contemporaries as being more powerful.


The 1200lb steel crossbow Payne-Gallwey used to shoot a three-ounce bolt 460 yards produced an initial kinetic energy of over 171 J based on the velocity required to achieve that range in a vacuum; I'd guess at least 210 J. With a heavier bolt it might approach 250 J. That's beyond the capacity of any hand bow except perhaps the 240lb Manchu weapon you mentioned. (The source was linked in the thread where I initially mentioned it.) Such bows existed for showing off, not for battle.
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Payne-Gallwey is an excellent source and he brings up an issue we have not yet discussed, arrow gliders. They were something in between the bow and the crossbow because they enabled to shoot shorter projectiles with the bow and hence less aerodynamic resistance. I remember that arrowgliders and crossbows were both used on the warships of the high-late Medieval Eastern Mediterranean by Muslims and the Byzantines. Another source is the Muslim conquest in Central Asia where they were employed by mounted archers to fight other mounted archers.

There's an issue I tried to look up, but have so far not been succesful. The angular speed of the bow/prod, except for compound bows, slows down the more relaxed they become. The projectile becomes faster, while being propelled forward and the speed difference between the propelling spring and the projectile diminishes and in turn the acceleration. These Turkish weapons were recurve bows with very long levers, greatly increasing the speed this relaxing spring could transfer . In turn outstanding feats with ultra-light projectiles were feasible.
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben,

It really is a great book. The info is also in the Appdx. on how the models were created and employed.

The PG bolt likely was too light for such a beast of a crossbow to get an idea of the max joules possible for it. At least by Liebel's calculations. That said I figure that is along the lines of what I was talking about earlier regarding a wide number of bolts for various uses.

His info for the one foot crossbow is 80 grams bolt and the prod to nut is some 31.5 cm/about 1 foot, 17cm/about 7 inches from rest to nut. 350lb draw

He did no actual tests against armour but makes many conclusions.

Here is his impact joules given

Springalds- 1782

Windlass Crossbow- 627

2 foot crossbow-331

crossbow-126

That picture you linked does not look medieval to me. In fact it has a very modern artist sig at the bottom left. Once again artwork is a dangerous standard. For me text is much more useful, especially inventories from the king. Besides that you likely have much more showing simply the head past the prod. For example a brief look of some 30 crossbows in the Mac Bible showed all but one only having the head past the prod. All the crossbows in the milimete treatise of 1326 show the same thing, only the heads past the prod. While there are clearly examples of the opposite I would hesitate to assume it is accurate by this occurrence. To me it is a problem of basic physics. If you have any more than a few inches hanging past the prod it becomes less efficient to impossible, the bolt would simply fall earthward once discharged. I'd figure once you get in the 2-3 inch range this will take place progressively going from declining efficiency to completely impractical. I
still figure the 1-1.5 inches seems rather correct as what looks to be going on if the shaft is past the prod at all.

I have some pictures one of my students brought to class last Friday of an armoury in Germany from a trip she took some 10 years ago when she was a young teenager. The picture shows several walls full of crossbow bolts (there were some very military style crossbows as well present). The card stated it was 14-16th century war bolts resigned from service but never disposed of. It also said there were some 26,000 bolts in this bunch. They could not remember where they had been specifically but wondered if anyone had ever heard of such a collection. Ring any bells? I do not really read German but a touch and was very interested if the states were available for this collection.

RPM
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:

You mentioned 240 lb draw for a bow earlier. What is the source on this? I have looked at a fair number of Asian bows and that was the first I have seen close to that high. Was it to show how strong someone was like in the Odyssey, kind of a you think you are a man try this bow sort of account? Seems like such a bow would be rather useless for practical use on a large scale as most people even practices would have a hard time on such a bow.


The Chinese (at least during Ming and Qing) had very powerful "examination" or "strength-testing" bows. These bows were higher draw-weight than the standard war bow. I believe these were a test of whether or not the examination candidate trained regularly - without regular practice, you're not going to maintain good form drawing one of these. From documents, Qing examinations used either bows of standard draw-weight (about 110lb), slightly above this (130 & 155lb), which would give them extra points on the exam, and very strong bows (170-190lb) which would give candidates a special grade on the exam. The candidates didn't shoot the extra-strong bows, just drew them to demonstrate good form (and strength). The regular bows (and the slightly stronger extra-credit bows) were shot. There are surviving examples of Qing examination bows of approx 180lb. The use of regular or slightly stronger bows goes back to the Song (at least).

I haven't seen anything at 240lb. There are occasional mis-conversions of Chinese units of weight, since their standards changed over time.

Randall Moffett wrote:

Didn't the Qing draw upon mostly Manchu leadership and officers? Do you think this might have been what reinvigorated the push to upgrade the military after over a hundred years of decay under the Ming. Seems like the decline of firearms was simply tied into a number if issues the dynasty was suffering at the time as some decline is going on in agriculture from Yuan and especially the Song dynasties. Sad how the brilliant dynasty came to an end on such a low note but declines usually come before the end. From my limited readings on the Qing seems cavalry was a major part of their military, why didn't they ever adopt methods to combine the two artillery and cavalry?


When the Ming were in serious decline, suffering from bad government, economic collapse, plague, famine, and revolt, and the Manchu were growing in power, the Ming armies were still much larger and still effective. The Manchu were ambitious (and had already proclaimed themselves as a Chinese-style dynasty, with intent to conquer China), and were thus strongly motivated to have an up-to-date military. They had better government and better economy, so they were able to do it. After the war in Korea, and with war with the Manchu, the Ming were motivated too, but they weren't able to transform that motivation into results. The Manchu banners were Manchu, officers and men. The Chinese banners tended to have Manchu officers. I don't know about the Mongol Banners. There were Manchu officers with the Green Standard as well, of low enough rank to be involved in the fighting, hand-to-hand. Some of the high ranking officers were Chinese; they weren't excluded. There was even at least one (unusual) case of a female general (Princess Kong Sizhen).

Since the Manchu had to keep fighting the Ming remnants for about 2 decades after their capture of Beijing and the official beginning of Qing rule, their army remained efficient, and they kept it modern. Two decades of peace after that left their army poorly prepared and poorly trained, and they learned this in the Three Feudatories revolt. This led to reforms. Kangxi also kept the army busy later in his reign, and kept it modern. Ditto Qianlong. After that, then they suffered from poor government, poor economy, and growth in Western military power and ambition.

They did use artillery and cavalry together in battle. I've never seen any details as to tactical deployment. They didn't always use artillery, especially their heavy artillery, since these slowed their army down. Some of their enemies did the same, notably the Junghars, who were also heavy users of muskets. The Junghars, as a Mongol state, were very cavalry-oriented. I saw an engraving of Junghar soldiers, lots of artillery and muskets. Camel-carried artillery, some horse-drawn artillery on mobile mounts (2 large wheels), all of the infantry had a musket and a bow, all the cavalry had a bow and sword (no muskets visible). (The Qing did use some muskets on horseback, according to art, but they're not very common.)

"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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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't have really much to add, but 620 J with crossbow :

Quote:
Here is his impact joules given

Springalds- 1782

Windlass Crossbow- 627

2 foot crossbow-331

crossbow-126


must be some mistake.

It would require speeding rather monstrous bolt weighing 150 g (I'm not sure if there even were beasties like that) to well over 90 m/s.....

Unless I've read something wrong in your post.

Cheers.
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In this case, the windlass crossbow isn't a personal weapon but a device for defending or assaulting fortified positions. Here is an example of one in action.
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2011 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartok,

No it is right just Liebel has his own terms he likes to use. It is not just any crossbow spanned by a windlass.
Ben is right, Liebel's windlass crossbows in his work refer to giant/gran crossbows. There were not personal weapons unless you were able to heft around 150-200 pounds and aim it....

That said it seems the 2 foot crossbows were sort of personal ones. Seems they were intended more for siege work both for and against. We see them fairly often in inventories of the 13th to 16th centuries.

After the raid of October 1338 on Southampton the town gets a few score sent from Edward III, along all sorts of military gear including a royal keeper and garrison to ensure the town does not fail again...

Regardless the great crossbows and springalds had as much joules of energy as early artillery which is why they hang on well into the 15th and in places the 16th.

RPM
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Mar, 2011 3:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Bartok,
Regardless the great crossbows and springalds had as much joules of energy as early artillery which is why they hang on well into the 15th and in places the 16th.
RPM


1700J and 600J are the kinetic energy of artillery? I'm quite astonished. Can you point me to an overview over early artillery power (I have so far not been successful researching that field)?
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Mar, 2011 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is upon impact not their initial energy. I believe that they are at impacts of 100-120 meters but yesterday misplaced my Great crossbow book.

As far as artillery you have few resources at hand that give specific joules of energy. Of course the great crossbows and Springalds is a good one to start with, though he tends to focus on certain large urban areas in select regions which puts his dating slightly off from what I have seen. For example he claims great crossbows died out around 1450 15th but it is fairly easy to find them until 1500 and after in use.

I'd also look into Bert Hall's Renaissance Warfare and the appendices of Alan Williams Knight and the Blast Furnace. Apart from that cannot think of much. You have to be careful regarding firearms of any size and testing because they rely on faulty information as few to no one uses proper powder and the amounts used is for the most part 100% guess work. Nothing is wrong with doing such testing but making medieval conclusions based on them is almost assuredly not correct. I got to watch some powder made off a 15th century recipe burn and it was visibly different to the modern black powder in how it burns and such.

RPM
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