Historical Weapons
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14-06-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 01:05 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(14-06-2016 12:58 PM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  The "release" my friend uses doesn't require any fingers, he "fires" the bow with his thumb. Did they come up with anything like that back then?

There is NO WAY he fires a 100-pound-draw, 2-meter-tall yew wood longbow, which must be drawn back behind the ear, with only his thumb. Many archers had to use three fingers.

However, even if it is possible to do so, I am unfamiliar with any examples of it. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, of course.

No, sorry for the poor word picture. He has a claw-thing that fits on his forearm, and he releases the claw with his thumb. It's a homebrew deal because he has arthritis, so I don't know if the sport has them generally.
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14-06-2016, 03:13 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 01:43 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(14-06-2016 12:52 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Yes, probably, but I suspect it was not a common skill.

The rate of fire I stated is sustained fire.

It was possible to fire it MUCH faster, but because of the 80-100 pound draw, it would quickly tire you out.

Edit to Add: An interesting historical tidbit is that the French hated the longbowmen so much that they would cut off the two "draw fingers" from captured bowmen, in order to ensure their unique skill set could not be employed against them in the future. (And to discourage others from joining the English army, of course.) The archers began to hold up their two fingers to the French as a gesture of defiance, like "I've still got 'em, you bloody frogs!"

As a result, the British version of the American "middle finger" is the first two digits held up.

My husband does traditional archery and he's made a few longbows from osage wood. It wasn't easy, let me tell you. I heard him cursing over Carving it and getting the exact pull correct was a chore. Anyway, he told me that very same thing about cutting off the fingers and waving them at the French.

My understanding is that diseased dead bodies and dead cows were actually flung over castle walls to sicken the enemy so the Monty Python flying cow scene was historically correct.






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14-06-2016, 03:13 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 01:12 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  why didnt the french use the longbow as well? i dont get it.

It is because you can't train an adult longbowman. It takes literally a lifetime of firing gradually-larger bows to develop the back muscles to even draw the thing, and because the bow isn't aimed like normal bows (because you had to draw it past your eye to behind your ear, it was so large), it required muscle-memory in order to hit what you were aiming at... you couldn't "sight down the arrow", so to speak.

The English and Welsh, because of the Celtic culture that had originally developed the dual-wood yew (which naturally has two types of wood, a springy one and a strong one, in layers that could be cut into a bow) longbow in prehistoric times, had a strong tradition among what they called their "yeoman archers" that gave them a pool of longbow-trained recruits to draw upon. The French had nothing of the sort, and were forced to rely on crossbows to achieve the same level of force... the crossbows could not fire at anything like the sustained fire rate of the longbows, and the shorter French recurve bows simply couldn't get through the armor of early 15th century knights.

The French forces believed in smashing the enemy with heavy cavalry charges, which the English, at Crecy and Agincourt, wisely narrowed into a confined front through which the French could attack, and then concentrated longbow fire on the advancing ranks from behind sharpened wood stakes that hindered the French advance. The horses also churned up the ground into mud, due to the rainy season, and resulted in drowning as one of the number one causes of French casualties among the heavily-armored knights, while the lightly-armored yeomen could walk among them delivering killing blows or simply holding them under.

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14-06-2016, 03:15 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 01:35 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(14-06-2016 01:12 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  why didnt the french use the longbow as well? i dont get it.

To many knights, and particularly to the french nobility (who made up the bulk of the force at Agincourt for example), the bow was not a honourable knights weapon, much like the u-boat in WWI. They considered non-hand-to-hand combat dishonorable. The bow was the ultimate dishonourable weapon to them.

That was definitely part of it. Technically the French didn't even have crossbows, but hired mercenaries from Genoa to provide their fire support to the advancing French cavaliers.

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14-06-2016, 03:15 PM (This post was last modified: 14-06-2016 03:19 PM by jabeady.)
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 12:58 PM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  The "release" my friend uses doesn't require any fingers, he "fires" the bow with his thumb. Did they come up with anything like that back then?

I believe that is the Japanese (Samurai) style.

Also, they didn't draw the bow, as we know it. They held it up to their ear, then straightened the arm.

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14-06-2016, 03:18 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 01:43 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  My understanding is that diseased dead bodies and dead cows were actually flung over castle walls to sicken the enemy so the Monty Python flying cow scene was historically correct.

I love that scene. The Frenchman says, "jetez la vache", which literally means "toss the cow!" (or throw it). Even more amusing to me is later, when the Arthur crew makes the giant wooden bunny, the Frenchman keeps saying "C'est un cadeau" and the other Frenchmen say, "What?" and he has to translate: "It's a present!" (Also does it with "c'est un lupin" "what?" "it's a rabbit!".)

I'm pretty sure the dead bodies were flung the other way, though! The idea was to sicken the defenders so they couldn't stay in their nice, comfy fortresses. Wouldn't have had as much effect on the attackers. Unless, of course, you have the accuracy to land the cows right on them, as in that example. Smile

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14-06-2016, 03:28 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 03:15 PM)jabeady Wrote:  
(14-06-2016 12:58 PM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  The "release" my friend uses doesn't require any fingers, he "fires" the bow with his thumb. Did they come up with anything like that back then?

I believe that is the Japanese (Samurai) style.

Also, they didn't draw the bow, as we know it. They held it up to their ear, then straightened the arm.

Indeed. Despite our image of samurai as foot soldiers fighting with katanas, the katana was actually considered a sort of "weapon of last resort", a bit like a pistol is to a modern soldier. The primary weapon of the samurai was the yari, a long spear akin to a lance, and the asymmetrical longbow, both primarily used from horseback.

One of the coolest bits of ancient technology I've seen is the silk "cloak" called an "arrow catcher" the samurai horsemen wore, which was actually capable of stopping arrows from hitting them in the back when riding away from the enemy (they would ride up, shoot, wheel, and ride away as a harassment tactic).




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14-06-2016, 03:34 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 12:15 PM)yakherder Wrote:  
(14-06-2016 12:02 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Yes, in the Battle of Agincourt was the end of a long and difficult march in bad weather conditions, and as a result of the poor English grasp of camp sanitation most of them were sick with Dysentery, while the French were fresh to the field. It makes the English resistance at that battle even more remarkable.

Though a great and highly athletic warrior, known for being able to vault onto the back of his horse in full armor, it is worth noting that Henry V shit himself to death at the age of 36.

That's what I wanna leave this world.

Fixed.
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14-06-2016, 03:43 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
I found this in Wikipedia under History of Biological War.

During the Middle Ages, victims of the bubonic plague were used for biological attacks, often by flinging fomites such as infected corpses and excrement over castle walls using catapults. In 1346, during the siege of Kafa (now Feodossia, Crimea) the attacking Tartar Forces which were subjugated by the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, used the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague, as weapons. An outbreak of plague followed and the defending forces retreated, followed by the conquest of the city by the Mongols. It has been speculated that this operation may have been responsible for the advent of the Black Death in Europe. At the time, the attackers thought that the stench was enough to kill them, though it was the disease that was deadly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of...al_warfare

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14-06-2016, 04:14 PM
RE: Historical Weapons
(14-06-2016 12:15 PM)yakherder Wrote:  
(14-06-2016 12:02 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Yes, in the Battle of Agincourt was the end of a long and difficult march in bad weather conditions, and as a result of the poor English grasp of camp sanitation most of them were sick with Dysentery, while the French were fresh to the field. It makes the English resistance at that battle even more remarkable.

Though a great and highly athletic warrior, known for being able to vault onto the back of his horse in full armor, it is worth noting that Henry V shit himself to death at the age of 36.

That's how I wanna leave this world.

I want to be shot by a jealous husband at the age of 90.

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