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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Tokugawa Ieyasu's nanban gusoku         Reply with quote

Here's a link to a photo of the nanban gusoku (composite European/Japanese armor) supposedly worn by Tokugawa Ieyasu at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600:

http://www.toshogu-koyoen.com/toshogu/gif/nanbangusoku.gif

Not the best photo, but still cool nonetheless. This suit is preserved in the Toshogu Shrine.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Tyler Weaver




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always found it interesting how Japanese armorers generally only used the breastplates and helmets of European harnesses and went Japanese-style for the limb defenses. This suggests to me that they appreciated the quality and tempering of European torso armor, but did not see any advantage to conventional plate limb armor versus Japanese limb armor, considering that AFAIK no elements of European limb defenses were adapted to use in Japan. Has anyone ever actually sat down and tried to figure out the protective ability of 16th-century Japanese and European harnesses to perhaps find out why this is? The conventional wisdom is that solid plate provides a superior defense to maille-and-plates and splinted arrangements - given the historical contradictions involved in this case, work should probably be done on the particular dynamic and protective properties of Japanese limb defenses to see how they measure up.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 9:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're assuming that the japanese had exposure to full suits of european harness. Did they? I don't know. The japanese harness that David posted was used, as stated, circa 1600. By that time full plate harness was pretty obsolete on the european battlefield.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 10:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick;

Not sure of the exact dates but weren't the Portuguese and maybe Dutch doing commerce in Japan in the early 16th century when full armour was at its' peak technically but starting to be less used as full armour and more and more as 3/4 or 1/2 armour. ( Also ceremonially armour still seems to appear at least in paintings of military commanders and nobles at least until the mid 17th century or early 18th. )

The Japanese may have had limited exposure to full European armour at least in battle against Europeans.

It is possible that full armour may have been given to high Japanese nobles as diplomatic gifts in the name of European nobles or Kings ?

As with matchlock firearms the Japanese would have been very interested in adapting anything they found useful.
And as Tyler suggested they may have chosen to keep what worked best for them.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Tyler Weaver




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
You're assuming that the japanese had exposure to full suits of european harness. Did they? I don't know. The japanese harness that David posted was used, as stated, circa 1600. By that time full plate harness was pretty obsolete on the european battlefield.


True, but European armor was imported into Japan a lot earlier than 1600, and most of the namban-gusoku I've seen looks like it was made using parts from full harnesses (particularly the peascod breastplates), not later three-quarters curiassier armor, which has a significantly different style and line. Even Thirty Years' War-era cuirassier armor tended to have fairly complete arm defenses, anyways, if not the legs.

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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Japanese imported European weapons and armor from the mid-1540s, when they first saw matchlock arquebuses carried by the Portuguese.

As to why they didn't use European arm defenses, etc.--who knows?

In terms of weaponry, the Japanese were likewise selective. Obviously, they adopted the European matchlock gun, and used it in huge numbers. One other European weapon they may have adopted, which is hardly ever mentioned by writers today, is the pike--what the Japanese called a nagae-yari. These long spears ranged in length from 4 meters up to 5.6 meters. Instead of being made of ash as European pikes were, they were of composite construction, consisting of an oak core covered with laminations of bamboo. The first mention of the use of organized bodies of troops with nagae-yari that I have been able to find concerns Oda Nobunaga (who was also a fan of the gun), and it dates from 1553. This strongly suggests a European influence for the nagae-yari.

But what about swords? Certainly, the bushi do not appear to have ever adopted the straight-bladed, cut-and-thrust swords used by the Europeans they dealt with--the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the English. Suggestions that the nitto (two-sword) style favored by Musashi was inspired by the espada y daga method of the Spanish and Portuguese remain unproven. Ditto for the claim that the sai was inspired by some of the more long-quilloned European left-hand daggers.

Back to those arm defenses, we should also perhaps consider certain cultural factors. Maybe the Japanese simply preferred the aesthetic qualities of their native arm defenses, and thus retained them. Maybe they were content with simply protecting their vitals with solid European steel. After all, it wouldn't be the first time that cultural factors conflicted with pure combative effectiveness. Look at the landsknechte--when they were at their height in the first quarter of the 16th century, the fashion was for long beards, and they indulged in it! Given the role that ringen (wrestling) played in close quarters struggles, one would think that a long beard would be a liability (indeed, Marozzo even shows a beard seizure in the wrestling section of his Opera Nova), but it didn't stop these German mercenaries from wearing them! What about puffed-and-slashed garments? Were these the epitome of practical fighting garb? Certainly not, and yet they were worn judiciously by troops who were considered to be among the best in Europe at that time (the Swiss and Germans).

Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Tyler Weaver




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
In terms of weaponry, the Japanese were likewise selective. Obviously, they adopted the European matchlock gun, and used it in huge numbers. One other European weapon they may have adopted, which is hardly ever mentioned by writers today, is the pike--what the Japanese called a nagae-yari. These long spears ranged in length from 4 meters up to 5.6 meters. Instead of being made of ash as European pikes were, they were of composite construction, consisting of an oak core covered with laminations of bamboo. The first mention of the use of organized bodies of troops with nagae-yari that I have been able to find concerns Oda Nobunaga (who was also a fan of the gun), and it dates from 1553. This strongly suggests a European influence for the nagae-yari.


That's fairly dubious. Spears had been widely used in warfare (both by cavalry and infantry) in Japan since the Onin Wars of the previous century, and almost certainly since well before that - possibly as far back as the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. The Japanese may have seen and possibly been influenced by certain aspects of European pike drill, but there is very little evidence that I am aware of that Europeans were a major influence on the development of Japanese spears or yari ashigaru formations. The socketed construction of fukuro yari may well be imported, but the native style of spear construction remained far more popular. Moreoever, I don't think that there were even sufficient numbers of European soldiers in the Far East by the 1540s and 1550s to use pike tactics widely or effectively, let alone dissemble them to other cultures.

I could also argue that Thirty Years' War-era mass, multirank musketry fire is related somehow to Japanese deployment of their arquebusiers, and it might be vaguely true in some sense (Europeans were certainly exposed to many battles in Japan and might have been in a position to influence doctrine by the TYW - in fact, the end of the Sengoku coincides pretty well with the start of the TYW), but odds are it was a logical development of tactics that would come around sooner or later as an independent development.

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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler,

Tyler Weaver wrote:
Quote:
In terms of weaponry, the Japanese were likewise selective. Obviously, they adopted the European matchlock gun, and used it in huge numbers. One other European weapon they may have adopted, which is hardly ever mentioned by writers today, is the pike--what the Japanese called a nagae-yari. These long spears ranged in length from 4 meters up to 5.6 meters. Instead of being made of ash as European pikes were, they were of composite construction, consisting of an oak core covered with laminations of bamboo. The first mention of the use of organized bodies of troops with nagae-yari that I have been able to find concerns Oda Nobunaga (who was also a fan of the gun), and it dates from 1553. This strongly suggests a European influence for the nagae-yari.


That's fairly dubious. Spears had been widely used in warfare (both by cavalry and infantry) in Japan since the Onin Wars of the previous century, and almost certainly since well before that - possibly as far back as the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. The Japanese may have seen and possibly been influenced by certain aspects of European pike drill, but there is very little evidence that I am aware of that Europeans were a major influence on the development of Japanese spears or yari ashigaru formations. The socketed construction of fukuro yari may well be imported, but the native style of spear construction remained far more popular. Moreoever, I don't think that there were even sufficient numbers of European soldiers in the Far East by the 1540s and 1550s to use pike tactics widely or effectively, let alone dissemble them to other cultures.


If you have evidence for spears the length of pikes being used in Japan prior to the arrival of the Europeans, then by all means post that evidence. I'm always curious to learn more.

But, as far as I have been able to ascertain, such nagae-yari weren't in use until the 16th century. It would make perfect sense for the Japanese not to simply adopt the arquebus, but also its close shock action partner--the pike.

Quote:
I could also argue that Thirty Years' War-era mass, multirank musketry fire is related somehow to Japanese deployment of their arquebusiers, and it might be vaguely true in some sense (Europeans were certainly exposed to many battles in Japan and might have been in a position to influence doctrine by the TYW - in fact, the end of the Sengoku coincides pretty well with the start of the TYW), but odds are it was a logical development of tactics that would come around sooner or later as an independent development.


Actually, your potential argument there is very interesting, and is certainly very possible. Influence is usually a two-way street anyway.

Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Black Mastro wrote:
.

Quote:
I could also argue that Thirty Years' War-era mass, multirank musketry fire is related somehow to Japanese deployment of their arquebusiers, and it might be vaguely true in some sense (Europeans were certainly exposed to many battles in Japan and might have been in a position to influence doctrine by the TYW - in fact, the end of the Sengoku coincides pretty well with the start of the TYW), but odds are it was a logical development of tactics that would come around sooner or later as an independent development.


Actually, your potential argument there is very interesting, and is certainly very possible. Influence is usually a two-way street anyway.

It is highly unlikely that there was any kind of Japanese influence on European tactics, massed multi-rank fire had been a feature on the European battlefield before the arquebuse was introduced to Japan. It didn't seen much use due to a perference for firing methods which allowed for sustanied fire.
The re-introdcution of mulit-rank salvo firing into European tactics by Gustavus Adolphus was based on the tactics emplyed by the French Huguenots led by Henri of Navarre in the 1580's and the writings of Wallhausen in the early 1600's. Japanse influence on either is most unlikely. Furthermore the Swedish adoption of various methods of salve fire was a resutl of the trheat posed by the Polish cavalry, especially the Hussaria against which Dutch and Spanish firing methods had been proved ineffectual.

Regards
Daniel
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George Hill




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 11:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Weaver wrote:

That's fairly dubious. Spears had been widely used in warfare (both by cavalry and infantry) in Japan since the Onin Wars of the previous century,


Cavalry lances in Japan? Do tell!

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:

It is highly unlikely that there was any kind of Japanese influence on European tactics, massed multi-rank fire had been a feature on the European battlefield before the arquebuse was introduced to Japan. It didn't seen much use due to a perference for firing methods which allowed for sustanied fire.


I seem to remember reading about this somewhere (perhaps in one of Heath's books)--do you have more info on this?

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Tyler Weaver




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 8:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If you have evidence for spears the length of pikes being used in Japan prior to the arrival of the Europeans, then by all means post that evidence. I'm always curious to learn more.


Actually, I don't have solid data (of the x many pikes in the castle <1543 variety) to back my conclusion (my reference library is lacking), but it's logically and historically sound. The specific reference you point to is an inventory note about "500 5.6-meter spears" related to Oda Nobunaga in 1553. That is all of ten years after the initial contact with the Portugese (it took six years from contact for even the Shimazu clan that controlled much of Kyushu to employ foreign guns en masse), and given that Nobunaga only assumed (tenuous) control of the Oda clan in 1551, this was almost certainly a continuation of his father's policies with regards to weaponry. The successful employment of such weapons en masse at that point in time thus required the development of native Japanese pike and spear tactics well before contact was made with Europeans. As straight spears had been in massed use in Japan for hundreds of years by then, I can do nothing but conclude that the idea that European pikes had much to do with their Japanese equivalents pretty far-fetched. Occam's Razor cuts it to shreds.

Also, I have seen no evidence whatsoever that European pike drill influenced Japanese warfare, so if you have evidence I'd like to see it. The inherent flaws in this argument (massive lack of evidence, too little time past contact) are, in fact, far greater than supposing that Japanese musketry tactics were responsible for TYW-era volley fire, which was the entire point that argument was intended to demonstrate in the first place.

Quote:
It is highly unlikely that there was any kind of Japanese influence on European tactics, massed multi-rank fire had been a feature on the European battlefield before the arquebuse was introduced to Japan. It didn't seen much use due to a perference for firing methods which allowed for sustanied fire.


I've never seen much evidence for multi-rank fire before the Thirty Years' War - in fact, all the sources I've read have credited Gustavus Adolphus with its first deployment in Europe, before which the usual method had been fire by line. Given its widespread use in Japan well before then (even before the later battles of the Wars of Religion in France), it's not all that preposterous. Big Grin

Quote:
Furthermore the Swedish adoption of various methods of salve fire was a resutl of the trheat posed by the Polish cavalry, especially the Hussaria against which Dutch and Spanish firing methods had been proved ineffectual.


How odd, Nobunaga's musketeer corps saw its finest hour gunning down charging Takeda cavalry at Nagashino. Big Grin

Quote:
Cavalry lances in Japan? Do tell!


Long spears were widely used both two-handed and couched by samurai cavalry in Japan, since at least the Onin Wars of the 15th century and probably much earlier.

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George Hill




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Tyler Weaver"]
Quote:


Long spears were widely used both two-handed and couched by samurai cavalry in Japan, since at least the Onin Wars of the 15th century and probably much earlier.


I'd love to hear more. Are there any good web pages on this topic?

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 3:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Weaver wrote:

Quote:
Furthermore the Swedish adoption of various methods of salve fire was a resutl of the trheat posed by the Polish cavalry, especially the Hussaria against which Dutch and Spanish firing methods had been proved ineffectual.


How odd, Nobunaga's musketeer corps saw its finest hour gunning down charging Takeda cavalry at Nagashino. Big Grin


And Cordoba's arquebusiers did precisely the same thing to French heavy cavalry back in 1503 at Cerignola.

Cerignola and Nagashino were special cases, because in both instances, the gunners were firing from behind cover (at Cerignola, it was a ditch, and at Nagashino, it was a pallisade of sorts).

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 3:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Weaver wrote:
Quote:
If you have evidence for spears the length of pikes being used in Japan prior to the arrival of the Europeans, then by all means post that evidence. I'm always curious to learn more.


Actually, I don't have solid data (of the x many pikes in the castle <1543 variety) to back my conclusion (my reference library is lacking), but it's logically and historically sound. The specific reference you point to is an inventory note about "500 5.6-meter spears" related to Oda Nobunaga in 1553. That is all of ten years after the initial contact with the Portugese (it took six years from contact for even the Shimazu clan that controlled much of Kyushu to employ foreign guns en masse), and given that Nobunaga only assumed (tenuous) control of the Oda clan in 1551, this was almost certainly a continuation of his father's policies with regards to weaponry. The successful employment of such weapons en masse at that point in time thus required the development of native Japanese pike and spear tactics well before contact was made with Europeans. As straight spears had been in massed use in Japan for hundreds of years by then, I can do nothing but conclude that the idea that European pikes had much to do with their Japanese equivalents pretty far-fetched. Occam's Razor cuts it to shreds.


I'm not so sure about that.

10 years is plenty of time to make a change. Gonzalo de Cordoba's Spaniards adopted the long spiess within a much shorter period of time.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 4:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Weaver wrote:

I've never seen much evidence for multi-rank fire before the Thirty Years' War - in fact, all the sources I've read have credited Gustavus Adolphus with its first deployment in Europe, before which the usual method had been fire by line. Given its widespread use in Japan well before then (even before the later battles of the Wars of Religion in France), it's not all that preposterous. Big Grin

How and when did the Japanese use salvee fire? The few detailed descriptions I've rad of Japanse use of the arquebus are conected to Nagashiono where I'm under the impression that the Oda arquebusiers fired by rank, not by salvee?

The Huguenot shot interspersed with the cavalry at Coutras fired by salvee in 1587.
The Spanish miltary writer Mendoza mentions that musketeers coudl fire two ranks at a time in 1595, Wallahusen also suggest the use of a two-rank salvo in his Kriegeskunst zu Fuss (1615-1616). Barrett (1598) records a way in which all ranks of a Spanish shot formation could fire at once, the same method is alluded to in 1560's sources as well.
1560's instructions to the Swedish infantry alludes to a practice which allows all the arquebusiers of a "forlorn hope" to fire at the same time but the details are lost.

The Swedish firing system introduced by Gustavus was quite elaborate compared to earlier versions of salvo fire as it aimed to reduce the inherent weaknesses of the firing method:

Quote:
On paper each Swedish squadron had 192 musketeers not counting those detached as commanded shot, on the battlefield the musketeers were formed into two 'divisions' with two platoons each. Each platoonhad two corporalships made up of 24 musketeers in 4 files of 6 men each. The musketeers would fire their salvoes either by platoon or by division. When firing by division the number of files would be doubled so the entire division only stood 3 ranks deep instead of the normal 6 ranks deep allowing every musketeer in the squadron to fire at once.

The other method of fire was fire by 'platoons', which allowed the squadron to fire four or two salvoes. If the squadron commander gave the order to fire 4 salvoes, the first 3 ranks of the right platoon in each division would fire in the first salvo, the first 3 ranks in the left platoons fired the second. The last 3 ranks of each platoon would fire in the 3rd and 4th salvoes. When the squadron was ordered to fire in 2 salvoes, ranks 1 to 3 in each platoon would fire in the first salvo and ranks 4-6 the second salvo.
(A text I wrote on the subject several years ago)


The Army of Gustavus was indeed the first army to make salvo fire the main firing method but this was in response to a very specific threat. (Polish hussars and their supports). Once that threat was no longer a factor the Swedes went back to firign by rank most of the time as German troops and methods of warfare became dominant in the Swedish army post-1635.
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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've just been informed that nagae-yari date from about 1480 onwards, so I suppose the nagae-yari/pike deal is one of parallel evolution.

However, I still find it interesting how Oda Nobunaga--the real pioneer of firearms use in 16th century Japan--perferred the longest nagae-yari, and I still have to wonder about a potential European influence there.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Tyler Weaver




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm not so sure about that.

10 years is plenty of time to make a change. Gonzalo de Cordoba's Spaniards adopted the long spiess within a much shorter period of time.


It remains pure conjecture regardless. While there are numerous records of arquebuses being demonstrated for and ordered by the Japanese, I have never seen any kind of reference to the same with pikes or other melee weapons. Given the long history of spears in Japan at that point and the lack of evidence otherwise, the usage of pikes by at least 1553 only points to it being a development of native Japanese spear deployment.

If you have any evidence at all, I'd love to see it. Big Grin

Quote:
How and when did the Japanese use salvee fire? The few detailed descriptions I've rad of Japanse use of the arquebus are conected to Nagashiono where I'm under the impression that the Oda arquebusiers fired by rank, not by salvee?


They were firing in organized three-rank volleys. This is 1575, about thirty years before Europeans started doing it with any kind of serious regularity.

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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Weaver wrote:


They were firing in organized three-rank volleys. This is 1575, about thirty years before Europeans started doing it with any kind of serious regularity.


Can you provide a source on this? As all sources I've read so far have the them firing by alternating ranks (one rank at a time using a rotational volley system similar to firign by counter-march) I'm lookign for more information on this angle of the battle .
A couple of possible problems:
Considering how the pallisade was constructed a not insignificant number of bullets would have struck it if firing by salvo. Firing by 3-rank salvo would alos have caused a pause in the firing as all 3000 teppo reloaded, not the continious fire described in just about every accoutn of the battl eI've ben able to find.

I used Google on Nagashino and there are a fair websites about the battle which seems to be the core of another myth of alledged Japanses superiority. It's claimed that the Japanese tactics were 100 years in advance of European tactics, that Japan was the worlds leading manufacturer of matchlocks by 1600 and so on. The common claim is that rotational fire was used 25-30 years before it was used in Europe which of course in wrong since this method was probably used since the late 15th Century or at the latest early 16th Century. The one thing I've yet to find is a claim of the using simultanous 3 rank fire.
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is anyone willing to consider the possibility that artwork and our own perceptions exaggerate the degree to which full arm and leg harness were actually utilized in Europe? Protecting only the chest area and head in plate (other areas protected in leather or existing mail, etc.) achieves a very high % area protection return in terms of effectiveness versus costs. I would argue that this even saves a few pounds of weight compared to alternative full mail plus padding. I would side with Patrick in that full arm and leg harness was not common for a long period of time. Alternatively, basic breast plates or coat of plates with a good helm was the preferred extent of heavy armour as late as Spanich exploration of the Americas.

When I have been able to find english translations of medieval armour inventories, plate is sometimes described as "pairs of plate". To me that implies a possibility that munitions issue plate was sometimes just front and back breast plates and a good helm. Although the upper echelon undisputedly had full plate, and most surviving full plate is traceable to nobility. Inventories often describe equal numbers of hauberks, "jacks" or alternative forms of primary chest area protection at the same time quantities of "plate" are counted. Museum displays of arquebusiers' and curiassier's plate suits fitting for someone who merited blueing and brass trim (at Higgins Armoury) do not seem to include full plate protection for arms and legs. Laws established for minimum protection in tournament joust did not actually prescribe full plate, but permitted helm, coats of plate, gloves, and pretty basic armor. I would guess that there were "men at arms" qualified by lineage (some say that they actually just had to establish that ancestors participated in previous jousts to qualify for many tourneys) who did not necessarily have this full plate harness.......

Maybe I am way off mark here. But, if I were trying to prove that everyone had full harness suits based on arecheology, period texts, and translations of armour inventories, I don't think I could do a decent job of it.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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