hand thrown weapons
> JAMES MCARTHUR wrote:Quoting fro the Thrown Weapons list:
> >...I've certainly never seen much in the way of period weaponry that
> > was designed for deliberate throwing at an enemy capable of picking it
> > up and throwing it back. (Or just stabbing you with it.)
> With maybe the possible exception of say... arrows?
> or the cast lead sling shots of the romans.
> Ok. they weren't _thrown_ exactly...
> Hand-thrown weapons? I'm not aware of any either.
Throwing Axes - By Harry of Eccles and Alaric Longshaft
Throwing axes were used by both Dark Age and Medieval
Armies. The most famous
were Frankish infantry using the heavy shield-breaking
Francisca. These were hurled in
a volley or two before closing for hand to hand combat.
Later, throwing axes were used as a close range missile
weapon by the Vikings,
complementing the more popular light throwing spear.
They are recorded as being a very effective weapon,
inflicting substantial wounds due to
their weight. During the battle of Hastings in 1066, an
eyewitness, William of Poitiers,
described the exchange of missiles during the battle: " the
valiant resistance of the
English and the death-dealing weight of their projectiles,
which included spears, javelins,
axes, and stones fastened to pieces of wood the Saxon
weapons found easy passage
through the Norman shields and armour, beating down those at
close quarters and
wounding those who were shooting from a distance."
There were some questions raised here about researching T.W.
history in period. As it
happens, I've been doing a bit of that over the winter.
Below is a list of books I have
obtained, all of which contain *some* historical information
on ax throwing. (Warning.....
I say *some* because the primary topic of the books is more
general, and the parts about
axes tend to be short, sideline material, but worth checking
out.) "The Viking Art of War" -
Paddy Griffith - Greenhill Books -
"Saxon, Viking and Norman" - Terence Wise - Osprey Military,
Men at Arms
series - 0-85045-301-1
"English Martial Arts" - Terry Brown - Anglo Saxon Books -
"Scottish Castles and Fortifications" - Christopher Tabraham
- HMSO - 0
11 492475 9
"Scottish Weapons and Fortifications 1100-1800" - David H.
John Donald Publishers - 085976047 2
"Crusades" - Terry Jones, Alan Ereira - BBC Publications -
I found some good notes in there. While I've yet to find
any mention of thrown weapons
"tourneys", there are a number of mentions of the use of
throwing axes in combat.
Apparently the british and the scotts both made use of them
in the 800 to 1200 time frame
in field battles. After the archers had shot, the footmen
would often lob a volley of axes into
the opposing lines prior to closing in for hand-to-hand.
There is also mention of the
Vikings, when boarding a ship, throwing axes either at the
opposing sailors, or more
importanly, at the sails..... shredding them so that the
enemy could not easily escape.
Hope this is of help to those of you doing research along
with me. If you have other
sources, please share them here. If I can get enough
specific documentation together, I'll
publish it on the web. y.i.s.- Jakys
Ian Gourdon of Glen Awe, OP
Known as a forester of the Greenwood, Midrealm