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J. Douglas





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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On a similar subject, I once read a book (it was in Spanish, I had to get it translated through a mixture of asking my sister who had done an A-level in Spanish the year before, google translate, and guesswork)

Anyway, in this book it gave an overview of a medieval light cavalryman' equipment. I disagreed with it personally. I think it's a bit much. But what would your opinions be? Is it plausible?

Anyway, the book said- (this isn't quoted, just a rough version from my memory. Big Grin )

-a short spear or lance
- a bow, most probably a recurve bow.
- a light sword
- a small sheild, targe, or large buckler
-a rondel dagger
- a small axe or mace
- a Gamberson, aketon, arming doublet, jack of plates, coat of plates, or chainmail.
- a Norman-style helmet (can't remember the name, more or less a steel skull-cap), a kettle helm, or a Sallet.

Do you think this is realistic, or is there too-much equipment? (Note- it gave this as what would be always carried, there was another section of what could be carried if you had a page of some sort. Overall, by the way, I was a bit disappointed with the book. But it only cost €7...so, you get what you pay for!)

I wondered why he was unscrewing his pommel.

Then it hit me.

~JD (call me James if you want to quote me)
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know of much evidence that Western European light cavalry carried bows by default in the medieval period, though some probably did.

In broad terms, though, the above kit matches what elite (or at least higher-status) cavalry used across much of the Middle East and Asia. A common Turkish-style setup included bow, arrows, saber, lance, mace, dagger, shield, and armor. Sometimes the horse would be armored too, and in the 16th century there might be an arquebus in addition to the bow. I believe Eastern European cavalry often carried a estoc alongside the saber and mace/hammer/axe.

In the Chinese region and in Korea, armored horse archers at times carried various polearms instead of a lance.

Sir John Smythe, 1594 wrote:
But because their so many weapons, as are before mentioned for one horseman to vse may seeme strange to such of this time as do not loue to trouble themselues but with very few weapons, I say it is no strange matter, considering that such as doo meane to fight wel, do like to haue store of weapons, that incase one or two should faile, they may presentlie betake themselues to the choise and vse of others, according to the time and occasion: But such as would thinke those weapons by me before mentioned to be too many for one man to vse, woulde thinke it a great deale more strange, to see a Turky horsman that trauelling by the way doth besides his Cemeterie, and his crooked dagger, voluntarily carrie his Launce, his harquebuze, and his Turkie bowe, with his sheafe of arrowes, with another weapon which now I haue forgot, and all those weapons they doo weare and carie so conuenientlie, and aptlie, as they may vse euery one of them in his most conuenient time and place.


It all seems somewhat excessive, but the evidence indicates such extensive cavalry kits were widespread and effective. Medieval Western European cavalry used bows much less frequently, so they didn't have quite the same grab bag of weapons. I can't think of any mounted crossbowers that carried lances as well, but there may have been some. Perhaps the French mounted archers circa 1500? The heavy lance, the type used with a rest, of that period doesn't strike me as suited to stowing anywhere.

And of course light cavalry in certain times and places might carry only swords or only bows. As usual, it depends.

Edit: Also note that a 12th-century Middle Eastern manual instructs putting the lance under the left or right thigh when shooting the bow. Presumably that's for stationary shooting.

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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Gene Green





Joined: 13 Mar 2007

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Mon 20 Mar, 2017 7:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Sean Manning wrote:
Charles Dooley wrote:
In this 19th century drawing at least one of the Bashkir horsemen has a lance on a sling.

That is a very interesting drawing. I hope you can find a larger version so we can decide whether the lance has a second strap near the stirrup or just the one over the right shoulder.

Procopius and Maurice are the first clear sources for cavalry carrying both weapons which I know, and they wrote just at the time that the stirrup was being adopted by Roman cavalry. I suspect that the right kind of stirrup or saddle makes it easier to sling a lance over your shoulder on horseback.

I believe that some of the cavalry lances used at the beginning of the last century had shoulder straps or spiked butts so that they could be slung or stuck in the ground when the cavalry were using their rifles and machine guns. Photos and paintings should not be too hard to find, like http://angloboerwarmuseum.com/Boer20c_techofwar_lance.html Although we don't like to remember it, sabres and lances were still effective weapons in the First World War, and sometimes the cavalry machine-gunned the infantry rather than vice versa.



This should supposedly be a Russian military painting from 1812 of a Bashkir cavalryman [doubtful with the "86" in the bottom right, so perhaps a 1886 edition of Napoleonic era soldier from 1812?].
Here the spear and straps are more visible though. It does look like the spear is resting on a strap attached to the stirrups?!


Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/516928863450981467/


Hate to be a party pooper but this is most certainly 1986. The caption is written in modern (post-1918) Russian orthography, and the style of the picture (esp the clouds) and artist's signature is also very modern.
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Gene Green





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PostPosted: Mon 20 Mar, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Got curious and found this picture, according to the source drawn by A. Orlowski in the first quarter of XIX century. Hard to see if there's a tie to the stirrup, but by the way the spear is hanging, it seems very probable.

[/img]
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Apr, 2017 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
Procopius and Maurice are the first clear sources for cavalry carrying both weapons which I know, and they wrote just at the time that the stirrup was being adopted by Roman cavalry. I suspect that the right kind of stirrup or saddle makes it easier to sling a lance over your shoulder on horseback.


I wouldn't be so sure about that -- the lance and bow was probably first attested for Parthian or Seleucid cataphracts (or maybe Sogdian?).


J. Douglas wrote:
Quote:

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/516928863450981467/


Great image! Is that a Cossack, by any chance? Anyway, amazing picture! Seems very useful!


Not really. Anybody who knows the slightest thing about Bashkirs and similar Caucasian/Central Asian peoples would immediately see that the clothes are wrong, the bow is wrong, the way he draws the bow is wrong -- basically too many problematic things even at a cursory glance, so it's a safe assumption that this shouldn't be treated as a reliable reference.


J. Douglas wrote:
On a similar note, what do you think of this? I believe this is a foot archer, but I'm not sure.

As you can see, the man on the left keeps a longbow (I've heard of this happening with recurve bows, but I'm not sure about longbows) slung on his back.


Basically rubbish. This seems to depict a French or Burgundian Ordonnance mounted archer, and the kind of bow they were supposed to have was basically too strong and heavy (in terms of draw weight, not carry weight). It would have compressed the chest and made it very hard to breathe.


Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Perhaps the French mounted archers circa 1500? The heavy lance, the type used with a rest, of that period doesn't strike me as suited to stowing anywhere.


French Ordonnance archers who shifted to lances basically had discarded their bows. There's no evidence of them ever carrying both.


Coming back to the original question, there's one presumption I find very odd: why do we always have to assume that the horseman must carry all of his weapons on his person or horse? Somebody with that much weaponry was likely to have been rich enough to afford a servant or slave, preferably riding a remount (or a packhorse), and the weapons that weren't being currently used could simply have been left behind some distance to the rear with these slaves or attendants. We know that medieval European men-at-arms sometimes rode back to get spare lances from their pages. It wasn't something unknown in the East either -- Parthian horse archers at Carrhae were said to have been resupplied from camels carrying bags of spare arrows, and it's really hard to envision how this could be done if there wasn't some sort of circulation between the active FLOT (forward line of own troops) and the forward logistical nodes slightly to the rear.
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J. Douglas





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PostPosted: Wed 19 Apr, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, thank you for your response.

i have to say I really do not know much about the Russian and Eastern European armies at all, so I missed that completely.

About the picture with the man carrying the longbow-
I had thought that, but wasn't so sure, as I thought the Gamberson and armour would provide some protection from that.

But then again I guess 110 pounds pushing agaisnt you would be pretty unbearable. Eek!

As for the weapons being carried by squires or the like, I believe so,done already mentioned that, but it is of course a very very viable option.

But what was my main focus on the question would be types of cavalry such as hobelars (in their Irish and Scottish use) or Cossack* like troops- who would be perhaps less well off, and used a lot for ambushes and scouting and things. But your method still works- but perhaps not just as good for certain types of troops, potentially. Happy

You are obviously someone who knows what they are talking about, so I apologise if what I speaks is rubbish. I don't claim to know much about this at all Laughing Out Loud



*not an entirely correct use of the word I know, but i don't know what else to call them, and it describes the type of cavalry I mean pretty well.

I wondered why he was unscrewing his pommel.

Then it hit me.

~JD (call me James if you want to quote me)
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Wed 19 Apr, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gene Green wrote:

Hate to be a party pooper but this is most certainly 1986. The caption is written in modern (post-1918) Russian orthography, and the style of the picture (esp the clouds) and artist's signature is also very modern.


You aren't!
Very useful information - as we then can discount the image as original!
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Gregg Sobocinski




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PostPosted: Wed 19 Apr, 2017 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Based on Charles' posted image on March 13, I believe the strap was attached to the butt end of the spear, and looped onto the foot or a stub on the stirrup. This would make for easy removal, side switching, and no dangling loops on the stirrups during battle. Simple, but effective, which leads me to believe it was used. (Occam's Razor)
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Apr, 2017 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Douglas wrote:
About the picture with the man carrying the longbow-
I had thought that, but wasn't so sure, as I thought the Gamberson and armour would provide some protection from that.

But then again I guess 110 pounds pushing agaisnt you would be pretty unbearable.


That's the downside of trying to figure these things out by mere thought experiments. Try to do it yourself and it soon becomes obvious that anything heavier than light small-game hunting bows would be quite uncomfortable when worn this way.



Quote:
But what was my main focus on the question would be types of cavalry such as hobelars (in their Irish and Scottish use)


The hobelars were something the English used. As part of a whole system that included men-at-arms and infantry (especially archers). They didn't carry bows by themselves.


Quote:
or Cossack* like troops- who would be perhaps less well off, and used a lot for ambushes and scouting and things.


Late-medieval and early modern Cossacks were mostly infantry and relied heavily on firearms, not bows. Firearms could easily be slung on the back or down the chest.


Quote:
But your method still works- but perhaps not just as good for certain types of troops, potentially.


By and large, you're greatly underestimating the wealth and social status of troops that carried both bow and lance. Eurasian composite bows weren't cheap; if a horseman could have both a lance and a bow (and almost certainly a sword too), he simply couldn't have been poor. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of troop types that carried both bow and lance were well-armoured elites -- cataphracts, Mamluks, Central Asian heavy cavalry, Tibetan heavy cavalry, and the like. The difference might have become less visually obvious in the gunpowder era but it's probably still a safe assumption that if somebody had both bow and lance then they were probably not poor.


Quote:
*not an entirely correct use of the word I know, but i don't know what else to call them, and it describes the type of cavalry I mean pretty well.


I'm afraid that's not really the case. Cossacks were ethnically Russian or Ukrainian and settled from the west eastwards under some fairly specific legal incentives and regulations issued by Russian authorities. Don't be misled by their adoption of Caucasian dress in the late 19th century or so -- they remained ethnically and culturally distinct from the "natives" and their fighting methods were distinctly European rather than Caucasian or Central Asian. See these pages for some information about the uniform differences in the WW1 and Civil War eras:

http://pygmy-wars.50megs.com/barendspages/barendmain.html

http://pygmy-wars.50megs.com/barendspages/ste...dress.html

http://pygmy-wars.50megs.com/barendspages/mou...dress.html
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J. Douglas





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Apr, 2017 2:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
J. Douglas wrote:
About the picture with the man carrying the longbow-
I had thought that, but wasn't so sure, as I thought the Gamberson and armour would provide some protection from that.

But then again I guess 110 pounds pushing agaisnt you would be pretty unbearable.


That's the downside of trying to figure these things out by mere thought experiments. Try to do it yourself and it soon becomes obvious that anything heavier than light small-game hunting bows would be quite uncomfortable when worn this way.


True.

Quote:
But what was my main focus on the question would be types of cavalry such as hobelars (in their Irish and Scottish use)


The hobelars were something the English used. As part of a whole system that included men-at-arms and infantry (especially archers). They didn't carry bows by themselves.

Actully, they were originally an Irish invention.

Quote:
or Cossack* like troops- who would be perhaps less well off, and used a lot for ambushes and scouting and things.


Late-medieval and early modern Cossacks were mostly infantry and relied heavily on firearms, not bows. Firearms could easily be slung on the back or down the chest.

Had no idea. .
Quote:
But your method still works- but perhaps not just as good for certain types of troops, potentially.


By and large, you're greatly underestimating the wealth and social status of troops that carried both bow and lance. Eurasian composite bows weren't cheap; if a horseman could have both a lance and a bow (and almost certainly a sword too), he simply couldn't have been poor. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of troop types that carried both bow and lance were well-armoured elites -- cataphracts, Mamluks, Central Asian heavy cavalry, Tibetan heavy cavalry, and the like. The difference might have become less visually obvious in the gunpowder era but it's probably still a safe assumption that if somebody had both bow and lance then they were probably not poor.


Quote:
*not an entirely correct use of the word I know, but i don't know what else to call them, and it describes the type of cavalry I mean pretty well.


I'm afraid that's not really the case. Cossacks were ethnically Russian or Ukrainian and settled from the west eastwards under some fairly specific legal incentives and regulations issued by Russian authorities. Don't be misled by their adoption of Caucasian dress in the late 19th century or so -- they remained ethnically and culturally distinct from the "natives" and their fighting methods were distinctly European rather than Caucasian or Central Asian. See these pages for some information about the uniform differences in the WW1 and Civil War eras:

http://pygmy-wars.50megs.com/barendspages/barendmain.html

http://pygmy-wars.50megs.com/barendspages/ste...dress.html

http://pygmy-wars.50megs.com/barendspages/mou...dress.html


I know. But when most poeple hear the word "Cossack" they would imagine a light lancer (of some description)

I wondered why he was unscrewing his pommel.

Then it hit me.

~JD (call me James if you want to quote me)
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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Apr, 2017 3:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as Irish light cavalry goes. They had "horse boys" to ride behind them to carry extra spears and javelins for their masters.

Jason
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J. Douglas





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Apr, 2017 3:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason O C wrote:
As far as Irish light cavalry goes. They had "horse boys" to ride behind them to carry extra spears and javelins for their masters.

Jason



Okay, thanks. Happy

I wondered why he was unscrewing his pommel.

Then it hit me.

~JD (call me James if you want to quote me)
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Apr, 2017 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See here for some later but perhaps less controversial images of how the light lance could be stowed on horseback and thus carried in conjunction with the carbine.

Again, Sir John Smythe claimed he saw Turkish cavalry who carried lance, bow, and arquebus at once, ready to use any of them. I'm sure elite and well-off cavalry did often have servants carrying various weapons for them, but that wasn't always the case.

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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Henry O.





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Apr, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Technically a 100 lb warbow is only 100 pounds at full draw, so you wouldn't have to deal with the full weight if you tried to carry a bow Hollywood-style. It would still be enough to be extremely uncomfortable though.

-

On the subject of carrying lances and bows. I wonder how much carrying a lance like that actually impacted riding and archery. Just because it could be done doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't cumbersome, and while it was done sometimes it doesn't seem to have been the norm for horse archers.

Baron Marbot claimed that the Bashkirs he fought near Dresden carried no other arms but their bows.


Last edited by Henry O. on Thu 20 Apr, 2017 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Thu 20 Apr, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henry O. wrote:
On the subject of carrying lances and bows. I wonder how much carrying a lance like that actually impacted riding and archery. Just because it could be done doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't cumbersome, and while it was done sometimes it doesn't seem to have been the norm for horse archers.


Having access to both bow and light lance was common for various armored horse archers. Now, whether such armored horse archers carried both weapons themselves or had a servant or two remains unclear.


Quote:
Blaise de Montluc claimed that the Bashkirs he fought near Dresden carried no other arms but their bows.


Do you mean General Baron de Marbot?

Writing the first half of the 15th century, Bertrandon de la Broquière noted that some Turkish soldiers only had either a sword or bow and arrows, and some infantry only had big sticks. Poverty strikes me as the sole plausible explanation for carrying only bow and arrows as a horse archer. On horseback, a sword constitutes a negligible inconvenience, so even the lightest of light cavalry should still have one. Baron de Marbot's account indicates the importance of having a sabre or some other close-combat weapon.

On foot, however, a sword was a apparently enough of hassle that some 16th century arquebusiers declined to carry one. (They may have carried a dagger, though there's no indication of this.) For skirmishing in rough terrain, as 16th-century arquebusiers frequently did, I can see how three or more feet of steel at the side would be annoying. It would catch on everything when walking from brush, trying to hide in a hedge or ditch, etc. Needless to day, such arquebusiers without swords had a rough time of it when arquebusiers who did carry swords caught them in close combat.

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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Henry O.





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Apr, 2017 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Do you mean General Baron de Marbot?


. . . yes, sorry. Blaise lived in the early 16th century didn't he.

Quote:
Writing the first half of the 15th century, Bertrandon de la Broquière noted that some Turkish soldiers only had either a sword or bow and arrows, and some infantry only had big sticks. Poverty strikes me as the sole plausible explanation for carrying only bow and arrows as a horse archer. On horseback, a sword constitutes a negligible inconvenience, so even the lightest of light cavalry should still have one. Baron de Marbot's account indicates the importance of having a sabre or some other close-combat weapon.

On foot, however, a sword was a apparently enough of hassle that some 16th century arquebusiers declined to carry one. (They may have carried a dagger, though there's no indication of this.) For skirmishing in rough terrain, as 16th-century arquebusiers frequently did, I can see how three or more feet of steel at the side would be annoying. It would catch on everything when walking from brush, trying to hide in a hedge or ditch, etc. Needless to day, such arquebusiers without swords had a rough time of it when arquebusiers who did carry swords caught them in close combat.


According to Christopher Duffy, inconvienence and the fact that it got in the way when reloading was one of the main reasons the sword was discarded from infantry kits after the bayonet was introduced.

I can't remember the source right now but I believe one of the reasons some 16th century arquebusiers didn't carry swords is that they claimed "their feet would be their protection".
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