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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Turkish war arrows apparently rarely if ever exceeded 650 grains. Heavier arrows would have done better against armor, but there's no evidence for their use.


Actually, the Turkish arrows at short range even at 650 grains should have been good armour pircers, at least on something other than plate.

They are not quite as efficient loosing a 650 grain arrow as they would a 1000+ grain arrow - however mass times velocity squared means velocity plays a huge role, and these arrows would come out with a very high velocity.

IIRC the numbers correctly, a 120 pound turkish bow has more joules in it's projectile at close range than a 140 pound longbow with a 1000+ grain arrow. Due to a higher velovity it shouldalso be more accurate, and have further range.

Quote:
The negative is that with little mass, the Turkish arrow bleeds penetrative quality rather rapidly, as velocity is what makes it effective. The longbow arrow has better penetrative qualities at range. Though whether either could penetrate nail with Quite superior. Williams rates hardened Innsbruck steel as 50% more difficult to pierce than mild steel, and hardened breastplates were often 2.5-3mm in the important places. Because of how the energy required increases to the power of 1.6, that means a 2.5mm Innsbruck breastplate can take up to 357 J. The padding then adds an additional 50 J for a total of 400 J for a perpendicular shot to penetrate. padding at range is very questionable.


Interesting. There is a huge difference in protective values on plate from iron to the higher quality steel you think of. Iron, even 2-3mm thick could be pentrated by a heavy crossbow, even 1.5mm mild steel was vulnerable if the angle is right, while top quality harness seems to make one almost invulnerable.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
but there is barely any clue as to whether the instructions about archery refer to foot or horse archery it almost sounds like its meant to more or less apply to both equally... maybe..


So what? We're dealing with things that happened nearly one and a half millennia ago. You should expect the sources to be incomplete and to leave tantalising gaps in the evidence. All the same, I'd think that the Byzantine manuals from this period would have naturally concentrated upon horse archery, as it was the newer and (so to say) sexier subject in addition to being the one that had not been commented upon in great detail by earlier Roman authors--though of course I have NO way of proving that beyond reasonable doubt.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It might be worth noting that Tod (Leo Todeschini) who has been making powerful crossbow replicas, has noted to his surprise that much heavier bolts seem to improve effective performance dramatically. A 125 gram bolt shot from an 850 lb prod crossbow at 48.5 m/s reached 147 joules.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...;start=198

So it does seem likely that in period, we would see the more powerful (i.e. 1200 lb on up) crossbows shooting quite heavy bolts. One of the things I'd really like to see is a survey of the weights of Medieval crossbow bolts, even though this might have to be estimated just from the bolt-heads in many cases, we should be able to get a decent general idea. I suspect we will find some surprisingly heavy ones in use, though I would really like to know what the data actually tells us.

J

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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
So it does seem likely that in period, we would see the more powerful (i.e. 1200 lb on up) crossbows shooting quite heavy bolts.


That would indeed make sense, Jean, but:

Quote:
One of the things I'd really like to see is a survey of the weights of Medieval crossbow bolts, even though this might have to be estimated just from the bolt-heads in many cases, we should be able to get a decent general idea. I suspect we will find some surprisingly heavy ones in use, though I would really like to know what the data actually tells us.


I agree as well on this point, that a true measure of what was used would provide better insight.

The only concern here is we are likely to get a representation numerically skewed to the 15-17th centuries, when the crossbow was losing ground to firearms, so we may get more hunting bolts, which would probably be lighter than those for military usage.
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Jason Daub




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding bolt weight, I don't think that we will see any light weight hunting bolts or the like. To maximize penetration all of the traditional bowyers that I know use the heaviest arrows that can be cast without a drop off in speed, I would cautiously assume that the same approach would be used by a period crossbowyer.
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To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.'
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
Actually, the Turkish arrows at short range even at 650 grains should have been good armour pircers, at least on something other than plate.


Depends on the weight of the bow and the design of the arrowhead. Many cavalry bows in the common 80-120lb range might have had difficulty with mail. The Manchu, for example, used much heavier arrows (1543+ grains).

Quote:
Due to a higher velovity it shouldalso be more accurate, and have further range.


Yeah, that's the tradeoff that comes with arrow weight.

Quote:
Iron, even 2-3mm thick could be pentrated by a heavy crossbow, even 1.5mm mild steel was vulnerable if the angle is right, while top quality harness seems to make one almost invulnerable.


Indeed. This matches most period sources. While suggesting in one section that a close-range barrage of bolts and/or arrows could overwhelm lower-quality harness, Fourquevaux also wrote that armor protects the wearer against everything except gunpowder weapons.

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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2012 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Depends on the weight of the bow and the design of the arrowhead. Many cavalry bows in the common 80-120lb range might have had difficulty with mail. The Manchu, for example, used much heavier arrows (1543+ grains).


I don't know why there is this assumption that turkish bows where of a low draw weight..

Here is an excerpt from Karpowicz article on turkish bows, this is one of the best articles on turkish bows I have read.

Quote:
The thickness of limbs for the flight bows was close to published measurements.6,7 These bows turned out to be over 100lb draw weight. Other bows, seen by the author in museums, had even thicker limbs.7, 8 It can be estimated Turkish bows in the range 90 to 160lb were common. The masses of tested bows were comparable to masses of old bows.4


Looks like an "average" of 125 pound draw would be about right. And these bows, due to their better efficiency, would be close to a 150 pound long bow in energy transmitted to the arrow. And the testing bears that out.

A 125 pound bow with a 739 grain arrow released 117 joules.

I know Williams testing points to somewhere between 100-120 joules to penetrate mail and jack. However, as pointed out by others the head he used was not a real effective design against mail - bodkins or lozenge types would fare better.

But of course at 50 yard these arrow will be at about 75-80% of initial energy, putting them in the 88-93 joule range. And the 739 grain arrow was a bit heavier than estimates for turkish war arrows - a lighter 552 grain arrow is in the 102 joules range or so, maybe 110 joules or so with a 650 grain arrow and 83-88 joules at 50 meters would be most appropriate.


Quote:
Modern Mail & Jack Penetration 100 J
Modern Mail and Tailor's Dummy 100 J (Soar et al)
Modern Mail, Jack Penetration, and 35 mm penetration of Plastilene behind 120 J
15th c. Mail (low carbon steel hardened by quenching) two links broken and jack behind completely penetrated: 120 J
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am sure they can be heavy maybe around what western longbow but estimates by simply looking at a bow are dangerous compared to more stable testing and estimation. " It can be estimated Turkish bows in the range 90 to 160lb were common", seems a major limb to be on by eyeballing bows. This is why the MAry Rose bows are so important. WE have a wide section to look at and as far as I know no one contends the draw weight that has actually examined them now.

RPM.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Turkish cavalry bows were presumably lighter than English warbows because it's easier to manage a monster bow on foot. Taken as a whole, the evidence from England to China suggests that quality horse archers draw 80-120lbs and infantry 140-160lbs. Karpowicz's most recent article surveys 39 extant bows and offers 111lbs as the reasonable mean draw weight. (The excluded bows he considered either too light or too heavy for military service. The original average was 120lbs.) We don't know whether these bows were cavalry or infantry bows, which could inflate the average draw weight. In any case, Karpowicz calculates that an average war arrow would deliver 81-95 J from this average 110lb bow. Even with heaviest know arrow weight - 620 grains - the Turkish bow delivers less energy than a 150lb English yew bow. The lightest arrows tested in for The Great Warbow still managed over 100 J while the heaviest achieved 146 J. According to these tests, Bertrandon de la Broquière's claim that Western European (English/Burgundian?) archers shot stronger has some merit. De la Broquière wrote that Turkish arrows might pierce light mail but wouldn't penetrate any plate armor. While respecting the strength of Turkish bows, he considered Turkish arrows less robust and thus less suitable for defeating defenses.

The Karpowicz figures additionally highlight how powerful crossbows could have seemed in comparison.

Horse bow: 81-95 J
Infantry bow: 110-146 J
Heavy crossbow: 160-200+ J

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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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The lightest arrows tested in for The Great Warbow still managed over 100 J while the heaviest achieved 146 J.


It's funny, you see testing all across the board.

The Warbow testing done in 2005 by The Royal Armouries used a 140 pound bow and a 32 inch drawlength (which IMO is 2-3" too long).

The heaviest arrows they used were a 87 gram, equivalent to a 1350 grain. I know there is merit for a 1500 grain arrow being used, I'm not sure about a 1750 grain arrow.

at 87 grams and 46 meters per second, these arrows generated 92 Joules. I don't know why their testing would be that far from the testing of the "great warbow". Perhaps some national pride on the "great warbow" influenced the results, I really don't know.

It probably deserves a bit more research as to why the discrepancies. Modern string can give about 10-15% more energy than period materials.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep, 2012 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IIRC that test wasn't conducted by the Royal Armouries. It was done by a third party using the RA facilities. I've read a lot of studies now that were done at the Royal Armouries but the RA aren't associated with them in any way. I just thought I'd mention it because some of those studies were pretty lousy and I doubt that the RA would want their name associated with them. The 2005 Defence Academy trial was one of the better ones, though.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:

at 87 grams and 46 meters per second, these arrows generated 92 Joules. I don't know why their testing would be that far from the testing of the "great warbow". Perhaps some national pride on the "great warbow" influenced the results, I really don't know.
.


It really depends on the bow, one can make quite a dynamic beast, or rather slow bow from similar piece of yew.

That would be simplest guess at least.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Sep, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Performance of course varies, but I suspect the painstaking reconstructions used in The Great Warbow tests better reflect the power of quality period bows. With both those tests and the Turkish bow numbers, I tend to assume they apply to well-made weapons. A number of bows actually employed on the battlefield did worse; a few truly exceptional pieces did a bit better. So runs my speculation.
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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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So based on the testing Todd did with his 850 lb prod and the heavy bolts, anyone care to speculate on the power of the 1,000 lb or 1,200 lbs draw crossbow, and what that might mean in terms of range and armor penetration?


With regard to the English longbow vs. the Turkish / Mongol / Mughal style recurves, my understanding is that the English / Burgundian type bow did shoot heavier arrows and 'hit harder', being designed to kill in area-shots at long range. But the point of the steppe recurve was to use flight arrows at extreme range, (using mobility to always stay at the limits of range) and then come in close when the morale of the other side began to waver. I think with flight arrows (incluiding the very small ones used with arrow-guides) the more powerful recurves outranged every other missile on the battlefield. I have also read that two different bows were sometimes carried, one for speed and a stronger one for long range. Once the battle shifted to closer range heavier armor-piercing arrows were used.


I also wonder, has any serious testing been done on south - Asian steel self-bows? They seem to have become quite popular and widespread in the 17th Century, as they appear in Mughal as well as Hindu and Sikh contexts, in artwork and so on

J

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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
But the point of the steppe recurve was to use flight arrows at extreme range, (using mobility to always stay at the limits of range) and then come in close when the morale of the other side began to waver.


The preferred method of attack was to close to very short range and loose an arrow, thinking of the bow as a very long lance.

Now, if for an example Crusader crossbows were effective at keeping them at range (worked from time to time but failed as well), they would loose from a distance.

This is likely where you see crusaders looking like hedgehoogs but continuing on the March.

Quote:
It really depends on the bow, one can make quite a dynamic beast, or rather slow bow from similar piece of yew.


Well, suprisingly enough it depends on the string as well. Anyone know what they used for string in "The Great Warbow"?
Modern vs period string can easily make a 10% difference in transferred energy.
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They only came close like that when it was safe to do so. The normal pattern was to shoot at long range first and then to come in close when the opportunity was ripe.

This was the way people described it in period, at any rate.

From Jan Dlugosz Annales of Poland, entry for 1287:

"The Tartars wage war in a way quite different to that of other nations. They fight from a distance, pour a rain of arrows around and on the enemy, then dart in to attack and swiftly withdraw; and always they are on horseback. Often they pretend to flee and then wound or kill those who thoughlessly pursue them. They use neither drums nor trumpets. Often they leave the battlefield in the full fervour of the fight, only to return to it shortly afterwards."

The Turks are described the same way, over and over..

J

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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it's worth noting that Długosz was very disconnected from those times, by at some 150 years, and his descriptions aren't most accurate.

In this case, the fragment doesn't really precise distance very much, only " z daleka', so from afar, from distance. So not in melee.

Theoretically, long range shooting from the horse wouldn't be very practical at hitting any reasonable group of people, unstable platform, horses and riders obscuring view and trajectory, while still forming rather loose groups..

Obviosuly, theorizing about such thing is usually somehow flawed.
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a Muslim treatise on being a warrior in general, but had secifics regarding horse archery. Unfortnately I cannot find it now.

But a quation is asked, "what is the best racng to loose arrows at?" And the answer was just out of range of the lance.
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Kurt Scholz





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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


This image of gunpowder New World combat under targeteer protection highlights what I suggested as possible combined arms use of crossbows and close combat weapons. I do not know a depiction of such a setting other than in stationary defence such as the Hussite war waggons.

If the horse archer shot at the range of a lance then the cavalry charges during the crusades might not have looked as dumb and hopeless as I always imagined.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Sep, 2012 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Turks definitely used long distance shower shooting at times, but they also apparently favored closing to moderately close range according to Bertrandon de la Broquière. He claimed Anglo-Burgundian archer shot farther, which is overwhelming wrong if you look at the maximum range of the two types of bows in question. However, if the Turks he encountered preferred accurate shooting up close, the claim makes sense.
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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