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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Sat 03 Mar 2012, 23:49

normanhurst wrote:
Just watched an interesting program on the free view channels about weapons… I missed half of it but caught the majority of the part with Robert Hardy and the longbow… anyone any idea when the last action with the longbow took place in favour of the new black powder charged weapons. Has it ever had a use in more modern warfare, where silence and stealth was required?

The last time a contingent of longbowmen took part in a British battle appears to have been at Tippermuir, in Scotland, during the 17th century civil wars.

Some modern forces (including the Frog Foreign Legion and Indian Commandoes, IIRC) use crossbows for silent killing.study
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 09:14

Why did Henry VIII have longbows on the Mary Rose if the crossbow was superior?

There were plenty of battles where the longbow did not have the advantage of high ground and still reigned supreme.

A longbow is strung by just bending it over your leg, you could restring a belt hook crossbow with the bracing strings used on recurves, but it would be a two handed job

The recurve on short bows/X is to slow the string on initial release, it takes extra effort to string but does not add anything to the velocity. The crossbow is extremly inefficient at transferring the stored energy to the bolt, if the bolt leaves the sting immediately on release it would be even worse.

You would need a crossbow of way over 1,000 lb draw weight to come close to matching a 200 lb longbow. The world record dead lift today is 1,015 lb, so you can rule out a belt hook crossbow of this power.

At Agincourt no English archer was killed by a crossbow, one however was killed by a cannon.

Hardy's programme was on BBC3 last night, the archers could pick out weak spots on the armour at close range, the shoulder joint was a favourite, the man-at-arms would knocked to the ground by the force arrow and lose the use of at least one arm. The medical drawings from the time show that they went for the joints in the armour.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 09:43

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By 1346 longbow archers themselves were using linen strings. What's more, it was far harder to unstring a longbow (with which the string is pulled taught when the bow is strung, but not drawn) than a wooden or composite crossbow, from which the string hung loose when the weapon wasn't spanned. It's most likely that the Genoese at Crecy used composite crossbows.study

Where on earth are you getting this from? How on earth could you get any power from the short travel of a crossbow string if it was braced loose? There's a lot of stretch in modern strings let alone the medieval linen string.

You need to check out Young's modulus for composite materials, buffalo horn is best but very dense compared to Yew. This is the elasticity of materials and the energy they can store before either breaking in the case of yew/horn or just staying bent in the case of steel.

Btw, the glues used in early composite bows did not like damp and would delaminate.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 12:07

Stringing a longbow.

http://www.yewtreearchery.co.uk/images/stringing.jpg

Stringing a recurve that could be adapted to belt hook crossbow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQva0lgRb6E
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 08:01

Quote :
Why did Henry VIII have longbows on the Mary Rose if the crossbow was superior?
Why did Edward III have crossbows at Crecy, and Henry V have them at Agincourt, if the (long)bow was superior confused ? The answer (once again Basketball ) is that neither was inherently superior or inferior: they were different tools that were best for different jobs.


Quote :
There were plenty of battles where the longbow did not have the advantage of high ground and still reigned supreme.

But not because of any alleged superiority either in range or striking power.

Quote :
A longbow is strung by just bending it over your leg, you could restring a belt hook crossbow with the bracing strings used on recurves, but it would be a two handed job

It takes two hands and a leg to (un)string a longbow. A wooden or composite crossbow can be (un)strung simply by unhooking the loose string, without (as I've pointed out before Basketball ) any sort of mechanical aid whatsoever.

Quote :
The crossbow is extremly inefficient at transferring the stored energy to the bolt, if the bolt leaves the sting immediately on release it would be even worse... You would need a crossbow of way over 1,000 lb draw weight to come close to matching a 200 lb longbow...

When longbow romantics come out with this sort of stuff, I am reminded of the anti-SMLE lobby who demonstrated, by reference to scientific principles, that the Lee bolt design was bound to make the Short, Magazine, Lee, Enfield rifle an inaccurate weapon (in real life, it was retained as a sniper’s weapon by the British Army until the 1990s). Laughing

If you want to show that the (long)bow was more powerful than the crossbow, you’re going to have to explain away the aforementioned medieval armourers’ statutes study that indicate that a higher quality, more expensive sort of armour was needed to protect against a crossbow bolt, whereas lesser armour would protect against a (long)bow. Laughing

Haesten wrote:
Quote :
By 1346 longbow archers themselves were using linen strings. What's more, it was far harder to unstring a longbow (with which the string is pulled taught when the bow is strung, but not drawn) than a wooden or composite crossbow, from which the string hung loose when the weapon wasn't spanned. It's most likely that the Genoese at Crecy used composite crossbows.study


Where on earth are you getting this from? How on earth could you get any power from the short travel of a crossbow string if it was braced loose? There's a lot of stretch in modern strings let alone the medieval linen string.

Quote :
Where on earth are you getting this from?

IIRC, the point about (long)bow archers using linen strings by 1346 is from Hardy's amateurish (but sometimes useful for train-spotterish stuff) 'Longbow'.

Quote :
How on earth could you get any power from the short travel of a crossbow string if it was braced loose?

Duh! I stated that the string hung loose when the weapon wasn’t spanned. tongue

Quote :
You need to check out Young's modulus for composite materials...

Thanks, but since we’ve very little idea of the precise physical make-up of medieval (long)bows and crossbows, I think I’ll stick to the Historian’s study approach of using actual contemporary records study to work out what actually happened in the past, and leave it to longbow romantics jocolor and TV personalities to ignore such evidence study and keep on dreaming up arguments for why their pet weapon ought to have been inherently superior .

Quote :
Btw, the glues used in early composite bows did not like damp and would delaminate.

Well, either this didn’t apply to the crossbows the English used on boats, barges and ships from the 12th century onwards (besides on land, in the damp climate of north-western Europe), or all those medieval English soldiers, generals and warrior-kings really were as stupid as you imply...Rolling Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 08:30

Well let's take a historians approach, can you explain why Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, repeatedly hit a mark at 240 yards with a longbow to impress the French? This is almost 200 years after Crecy, the longbows hadn't changed but there had certainly been great strides in steel making technology for crossbows.

As to Hardy's amateurish book, why don't you get a copy and in the back you will find all the technical details written by an engineer not Hardy. Anything you don't understand feel free to ask and I can get a senior stress analyst to explain it to you, he explained it all to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 09:13

Well let's take a historians approach

http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/

...can you explain why Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, repeatedly hit a mark at 240 yards with a longbow to impress the French?

Can you explain why this little factoid is remotely relevant to any of the questions raised on this thread? Suspect I've never claimed that the (long)bow couldn't be shot accurately, just pointed out that it is considerably easier to shoot a crossbow with the same degree of accuracy (meaning far more people could be trained to do so).

This is almost 200 years after Crecy, the longbows hadn't changed...

Hadn't they? Suspect If we had a variety of examples of (long)bows from various points over the period from Crecy to the sinking of the Mary Rose, AND they were all much the same, then that would be a safe assumption...

But we don't, so it isn't. Basketball What's more, the archers' skeletons brought up from the Mary Rose are of very large men with seriously overdeveloped forearms. Unless we start discovering comparable skeletons at every battle where the (long)bow was used in previous centuries, the sensible assumption study must remain that (long)bows steadily got heftier and more powerful over the centuries, as armour improved.

...but there had certainly been great strides in steel making technology for crossbows.

Relevance confused ? Crossbows didn't depend upon the adoption of steel prods for their power - there are examples of massively-built, crannequin-spanned composite crossbows from very-late-medieval Scandinavia.

As to Hardy's amateurish book, why don't you get a copy

I've had a copy for many years tongue . The reason I don't turn to it very often is that it isn't that much use for serious historical study study .

and in the back you will find all the technical details written by an engineer not Hardy.

No I won't. 'All the technical details' would include coverage of the actual historical evidence study for the crossbow's greater power.

Anything you don't understand feel free to ask and I can get a senior stress analyst to explain it to you, he explained it all to me.

What, just like the anti-SMLE lobby prior to 1914...? jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 09:20

Quote :
Why did Edward III have crossbows at Crecy, and Henry V have them at Agincourt.

They didn't according to the Bills of Array, the personal bodyguards of Edward III and the Black Prince were mounted archers, it was Henry V's personal bodyguard of archers who slaughtered the prisoners at Agincourt.

You can check them out here.

http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/free-medieval-search.asp?lref=medieval

The army at Agincourt consisted of 1,000 men-at-arms and 5,000 archers, arrayed in three battle formations with the archers in their wedge formations on the flanks and between battles of the men-at-arms, so four wedges of 1,200 odd. This basically created three Thermopylae style battles where the French could not use their vastly superior numbers.

This only works if the archers are able to withstand anything the French can throw at them, we know the bows could penetrate plate armour at 50 yards and picking weak spots on the armour at that distance would be easy for an archer who had to be able to split a stave at a 100 yards.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 09:30

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But we don't, so it isn't. Basketball What's more, the archers' skeletons brought up from the Mary Rose are of very large men with seriously overdeveloped forearms. Unless we start discovering comparable skeletons at every battle where the (long)bow was used in previous centuries, the sensible assumption study must remain that (long)bows steadily got heftier and more powerful over the centuries, as armour improved.

The archers remains from the Battle of Towton a century earlier show the same ability to draw hugely powerful bows.

That was English archer v English archer, I wonder why one side did not use the crossbow? After all they had over a hundred years of previously facing these weapons that you claim were superior.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 09:52

Haesten wrote:
Quote :
Why did Edward III have crossbows at Crecy, and Henry V have them at Agincourt.

They didn't according to the Bills of Array, the personal bodyguards of Edward III and the Black Prince were mounted archers, it was Henry V's personal bodyguard of archers who slaughtered the prisoners at Agincourt.

You can check them out here.

http://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/free-medieval-search.asp?lref=medieval


Thankfully, we Historians study aren't dependent upon the web for our information - Rymer's muster roll study , for example, mentions 38 crossbowmen present at Agincourt. Why you think crossbowmen can only have appeared in royal bodyguards is beyond me.Rolling Eyes

The army at Agincourt consisted of 1,000 men-at-arms and 5,000 archers, arrayed in three battle formations with the archers in their wedge formations on the flanks and between battles of the men-at-arms, so four wedges of 1,200 odd. This basically created three Thermopylae style battles where the French could not use their vastly superior numbers... This only works if the archers are able to withstand anything the French can throw at them, we know the bows could penetrate plate armour at 50 yards and picking weak spots on the armour at that distance would be easy for an archer who had to be able to split a stave at a 100 yards.

Since there was no crossbow/(long)bow duel at Agincourt, none of this is remotely relevant. On the subject of Agincourt, though, I recommend John Keegan's 'Face of Battle' study , which addresses the widespread confusion relating to the English deployment and, amongst other things, the importance of their stakes to the archers' survival of the French cavalry attacks.

The archers remains from the Battle of Towton a century earlier show the same ability to draw hugely powerful bows.

But the most important advances in armour-manufacture took place earlier in the 15th century, during the Hundred Years War, when certain Milanese plate armours proved invulnerable to English arrows. tongue

That was English archer v English archer, I wonder why one side did not use the crossbow? After all they had over a hundred years of previously facing these weapons that you claim were superior.

I've never claimed that crossbows were inherently better. It seems I must, yet again, repeat the simple point Sleep that (long)bows and crossbows were either superior or inferior to each other under different circumstances.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 10:33

The royal bodyguards consisted of mounted longbow archers, they were paid 6d a day compared to 4d a day foot archer.

38 crossbows out of 5,000 archers at Agincourt is certainly impressive, any idea how much a day they were on and what their duties were?

My guess would be garrison troops protecting the baggage train in the rear.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 10:50

Quote :
But the most important advances in armour-manufacture took place earlier in the 15th century, during the Hundred Years War, when certain Milanese plate armours proved invulnerable to English arrows. tongue

Yep first appeared at the Battle of Verneuil 1421, the longbows still won, a second Agincourt some said.

"Altogether some 7262 French and allied troops were killed, including 4000 Scots. English losses were small, including two men-at-arms and "a very few archers"

The Milanese charged right through the archer arrays and attacked the baggage train, where Bedford had taken the precaution of having 2,000 archers behind their stakes.

The rest is history as they say.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 11:09

Haesten wrote:
The royal bodyguards consisted of mounted longbow archers, they were paid 6d a day compared to 4d a day foot archer.

Relevance confused ? One of the first things we tell undergrads is that, if they see a particular 'keyword' mentioned in a question, this is not an invitation to reel off random factoids relating to that keyword... Basketball

38 crossbows out of 5,000 archers at Agincourt is certainly impressive, any idea how much a day they were on and what their duties were? My guess would be garrison troops protecting the baggage train in the rear.

At present, I have no idea what Henry V's crossbowmen did at Agincourt, but in order to assess the crossbow's significance to the English war effort study , it would be necessary to look at all Henry's crossbowmen, wherever they were. Big, set-piece battles have long attracted the attention of longbow romantics jocolor and other amateurs, but they were never the dominant feature of medieval campaigns.

Yep first appeared at the Battle of Verneuil 1421, the longbows still won, a second Agincourt some said.

No, the English won, not 'the longbows'. Basketball

The Milanese charged right through the archer arrays and attacked the baggage train, where Bedford had taken the precaution of having 2,000 archers behind their stakes.

Congratulations on (possibly) beginning to grasp the importance of factors other than posession of (long)bows (in this case the use of stakes) to English successes.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 11:13

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Thankfully, we Historians study aren't dependent upon the web for our information

Did you mean the vast amounts of Bills of Array held at the Public Records Office, Kew, that are starting to be published online?

I would have thought that they would be an invaluable tool for a historian as most are previously unpublished.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 11:31

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No, the English won, not 'the longbows'.

"On 17 August 1424 the Franco-Scottish host of between 18,000 to 20,000 men, including 6,000-10,000 Scots under Archibald, Earl of Douglas deployed for battle on an open plain north of the castle. Bedford faced this strong force with 1,800 men-at-arms and 8,000 archers."


No advantage of high ground or woods compressing the area.

Many of Bedford's men-at-arms were Burgundians, perhaps they were the decisive factor?
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 11:42

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The Milanese charged right through the archer arrays and attacked the baggage train, where Bedford had taken the precaution of having 2,000 archers behind their stakes.

Congratulations on (possibly) beginning to grasp the importance of factors other than posession of (long)bows (in this case the use of stakes) to English successes.


The hammers the archers used to drive the stakes were certainly important, they were used to dispatch the Milanese once their horses had been brought down, as you say the stakes were very important in stopping a cavalry charge.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 11:47

Did you mean the vast amounts of Bills of Array held at the Public Records Office, Kew, that are starting to be published online? I would have thought that they would be an invaluable tool for a historian as most are previously unpublished.

It would be nice if every single document study of interest were to be published online, but that's unlikely ever to happen. In the meantime, it's very dubious to claim that something didn't exist because you can't find it on a particular online database... Basketball

Haesten wrote:
Quote :
No, the English won, not 'the longbows'.

"On 17 August 1424 the Franco-Scottish host of between 18,000 to 20,000 men, including 6,000-10,000 Scots under Archibald, Earl of Douglas deployed for battle on an open plain north of the castle. Bedford faced this strong force with 1,800 men-at-arms and 8,000 archers."


No advantage of high ground or woods compressing the area.

Many of Bedford's men-at-arms were Burgundians, perhaps they were the decisive factor?

Leaving aside the utter worthlessness of unattributed quotations, Bedford's men-at-arms were certainly very important , just as were Henry V's at Agincourt and Edward III's at Crecy.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 12:41

Quote :
It would be nice if every single document study of interest were to be published online, but that's unlikely ever to happen. In the meantime, it's very dubious to claim that something didn't exist because you can't find it on a particular online database... Basketball

The Bills of Array that have been published show longbow archers recruited in tens of thousands, longbows ordered in similar amounts and arrows ordered in their millions.


You have 38 crossbows from the Agincourt Roll.

The Agincourt Roll

"In 1827 Harris Nicolas published a book called History of the Battle of Agincourt. This went to a second edition in 1832. The third edition of 1833 is essentially a reprint of the second edition. The third edition was republished in 1971 by H. Pordes."

"Nicolas included in his book a list of names from a manuscript in the British Library (BL Harley 782). This is often referred to as the ‘Agincourt roll’. It is not a medieval text, but dates to 1604. It was produced by Ralph Broke who was York Herald from 1593 to 1625. In fact there are two further copies of the same list of names. One is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University (Ashmolean MS 825 folios 15-35). This was probably the earliest copy, compiled by Robert Glover who was Somerset herald from 1571 to 1588. The third copy is to be found in the College of Arms in London, MS 1 folios 17 to 34, in a volume which was compiled by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux herald (d. 1593) although it is not certain who penned the actual list. Although Nicolas printed his list from British Library Harleian 782 he checked it against the College of Arms list in the second edition of his History of the Battle of Agincourt."

http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/soldier/database/Agincourt.php
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Mon 05 Mar 2012, 14:20

A snapshot for John, a handful of crossbows compared to a few thousand longbows.

http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/soldier/database/search_garrison.php

First NameJohn
SurnameCossart
RankCrossbowman
CaptainMerbury, Richard, Sir
ActivityGarrison
ActivityGisors
Year28/08/1424



Also a John des Hales Crossbowman same establishment.

A John Adam Crossbowman Garrison Avranches.

A John Godfrey Crossbowman Garrison Harfleur.

Burgundian?

First NameJohn
SurnameEdouart
RankArcher or Crossbowman
CaptainGaillardbois, Percival
ActivityField
ActivitySiege of Gaillard (in ships)
Year01/04/1429
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Tue 06 Mar 2012, 02:56

In English land warfare, the crossbow was a specialist weapon, probably study most important in positional warfare and probably study occupying a niche comparable to that of the sniper's rifle in modern armies. It doesn't follow from the smaller number of crossbows that the weapon was inherently inferior, any more than the fact that modern armies have far more assault rifles than sniping rifles implies that the latter are crap.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Thu 29 Nov 2012, 15:12

Just to go back to this discussion on archers, there is an interesting article here on the testing of the remains of the archers found on the Mary Rose

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/11/2012/archers-of-the-mary-rose-tudor-warship
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Thu 29 Nov 2012, 19:55

Truly fascinating... and to say they will extract DNA from such remains... unless the results are contaminated throwing up a cross between a cockle, a ragworm and a bunch of seaweed.

I was working on the Solent dredging Camber and Nicholson yard at Gosport and passing the Mary Rose on each tide, so was able to see a good part of what was going on... on the surface anyway. A fantastic sight to see her breaking the surface in that massive cradle... and the crane could have lifted us complete with cargo of mud... brilliant engineering.
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PostSubject: Re: Arrow making…   Sun 05 Mar 2017, 16:52

Re your PM, Longbowman.

This is the thread you were looking for, I reckon. Haesten's post above was the one Google had found.
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