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Archery in Medieval Combat

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  • bluecat@neo.rr.com
    This is a new historical article on the effectiveness and efficiency of Medieval archers.
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 26, 2011
      This is a new historical article on the effectiveness and efficiency of Medieval archers.

      http://militaryrevolution.s3.amazonaws.com/Primary%20sources/Longbow.pdf

      I'm going to mention something here- this is very well referenced. I think we ought to add it to the archives
      here.

      Dirk Edward of Frisia
    • richard johnson
      good paper, worthy of thought. One question that I would ask.... When we read the contemporary accounts of these battle, they are usually from the victor. We
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 26, 2011
        good paper, worthy of thought.
         
        One question that I would ask....
        When we read the contemporary accounts of these battle, they are usually from the victor.
        "We killed 4,000 men at Crecy!"
        "We vanquished 2,000 Scots at Edinbourgh!"
        "One legion vanquished 40,000 Goths in Gaul"
        etc.
         
        I recall that during the Vietnam war, the numbers of VC and NVA killed by American troops, when totalled, far exceeded the population of the nation of Vietnam!
        Why?  Numbers inflation.  It sounds better for a Captain to announce, "We were attacked and my 25 American Soldiers bravely fought off and killed 500 VC soldiers!" when the truth is that the firefight was a very short term, lasting minutes, and the true enemy casualties were maybe 5 before the VC ran from superior firepower and incoming aircraft.
         
        Omaha Beach is the same.  What you see in the movies and American History books would lead you to believe that the US Forces, attacked, alone, the entire French seashore, fighting the Germans to a victory... when the truth is far differnt.
         
        Or visit any NCO bar ore even a cop bar and listen to them talk... brag mostly.
         
        So, with this in mind,
        When the English report how many French (or Scots or whomever) they killed at each battle, what does the other side say?  And can we assume that the English are Inflating the numbers of the enemy killed to make themselves sound ... better?
        I agree that the longbow was decisive in battle.
        Listening to a bullet go ZINNNGGGGGGGGG past my ear is terrifying enough.  Watching rthe guy next to me spray his brains from a round is more so.
        Charging across a field and having a few arrows land at my feet or bounce off my shield would be equally scary.. seeing my buddies fall down with an arrow in their eye or groin far more so.
        And a flight of arrows to the number of a thiousand or so (depending on the number of English Archers that were in the field at that time, would be as terrifying as facing a couple Maxims while marching across no-mans-land in WW-I.
        SOMEWHERE, there is an arrow with your name on it!
         
        I am just curious as to the actual numbers killed by initial clouds and how many died later from their wounds. 
        We all exagerrate, soldiers that survive exagerate more and their commanders lie!  (never met an officer who told the truth about a battle he won or lost)
         

         
        On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 8:28 AM, bluecat@... <bluecat@...> wrote:
         

        This is a new historical article on the effectiveness and efficiency of Medieval archers.

        http://militaryrevolution.s3.amazonaws.com/Primary%20sources/Longbow.pdf

        I'm going to mention something here- this is very well referenced. I think we ought to add it to the archives
        here.

        Dirk Edward of Frisia




        --
        Rick Johnson
        http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
        "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined security will soon find that they have neither."
      • John Edgerton
        It is now in the files section. Jon
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 26, 2011
          It is now in the files section. 

          Jon

          On Sep 26, 2011, at 8:28 AM, bluecat@... wrote:

           

          This is a new historical article on the effectiveness and efficiency of Medieval archers.

          http://militaryrevolution.s3.amazonaws.com/Primary%20sources/Longbow.pdf

          I'm going to mention something here- this is very well referenced. I think we ought to add it to the archives
          here.

          Dirk Edward of Frisia


        • bluecat@neo.rr.com
          Richard Johnson asked: One question that I would ask.... When we read the contemporary accounts of these battle, they are usually from the victor. We killed
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 27, 2011
            Richard Johnson asked:

            One question that I would ask....
            When we read the contemporary accounts of these battle, they are usually
            from the victor.
            "We killed 4,000 men at Crecy!"
            "We vanquished 2,000 Scots at Edinbourgh!"
            "One legion vanquished 40,000 Goths in Gaul"
            etc. <snip>
            So, with this in mind,
            When the English report how many French (or Scots or whomever) they killed
            at each battle, what does the other side say? And can we assume that the
            English are Inflating the numbers of the enemy killed to make themselves
            sound ... better?
            <snip>
            I am just curious as to the actual numbers killed by initial clouds and how
            many died later from their wounds.
            ==================================

            You make a good point, but in the example of Agincourt we can read primary witness material from BOTH sides
            that concur in accuracy with each other for the most part.

            While it can be said the victors write the history, it can also be said that good research will reveal as much
            of the truth as can be found. Actual numbers of wounded who subsequently died would be difficult to track,
            while dead on the battle field could be counted.

            All wars being wasteful of human lives, historians have to rely on the evidence available and accept it until
            newer evidence trumps old. That is why it is a social science.

            Dirk Edward of Frisia
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