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Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

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  • Kelly Burgess
    If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers. bran
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 6, 2013
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      If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers.

      bran



      From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
      To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:54 AM
      Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

       
      M’Lord Carolus,
       
      I see you point, and agree “sniper” was not the best term. You say “aimed direct fire”, though “aimed direct release” would be a more accurate term. Arrows are not “fired” unless they are flaming arrows. That’s one of my “hot” buttons. :~). I think we both agree that massed archery as used on the battlefield is not practical in siege warfare, since the defenders can easily take cover until the attackers run out of arrows/bolts.
       
      Yours Aye,
       
       
      Mungo
       
      From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carolus
      Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 9:05 PM
      To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
       


      Lord Mungo,
      A small quibble here - you have managed to hit one of my "hot" buttons.  neither the crossbow nor the longbow was used for "sniping".  A sniper, by definition, is one who covertly stalks his/her target, shoots from surprise and concealment, and covertly withdraws.  The point of a sniper is to kill without being detected.  The role of the sniper did not develop until the advent of the rifled firearm in the late 18th century.  To say the both were used for aimed direct fire would be appropriate, however.
      Carolus
      On 8/5/2013 10:01 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) wrote:
       
      Sir Jon,
       
      A very interesting piece. Not surprising either. The crossbow was a very useful weapon for siege as well as castle defense, and probably remained so long after this time. The role of crossbows doesn’t get noticed  much by military historians who are enamored by the romance of the longbow.
       
      Though the longbow was widely used in England during this time, its use as a military weapon was largely ad hoc and auxiliary. Although there were noted centers of longbow archery (Chester, for example) which produced companies of archers, it was Edward I who first recognized the tactical value of a longbow-heavy army in the field. Widespread importation of yew staves is not documented until around 1291 during his reign. It remained for his grandson, Edward III, to develop the field battle tactics in the 1330s needed to make longbow archers so effective.
       
      When it came to siege, a crossbow was probably just as effective a weapon as a longbow, since both were used mostly for sniping, and the mass volleys possible with a longbow were really not efficient for this type of warfare.
       
      Thanks much for calling this to our attention.
       
      Yours Aye,
       
      Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge
      Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:
       
       
       
       
      From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Edgerton
      Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:36 PM
      To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com; SCA-MissileCombat@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
       
       
      Here is a short article on crossbow use in England that I found on Medievalists net. 
       
       
      Jon










    • Groff, Garth (ggg9y)
      M’Lord Bran, I agree absolutely. You seem to be talking about covering fire during an assault. This must give way when the walls are scaled, or the attackers
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 7, 2013
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        M’Lord Bran,

         

        I agree absolutely. You seem to be talking about covering fire during an assault. This must give way when the walls are scaled, or the attackers are likely to get a shaft in the back from their own archers. However, the field tactics of an archery-heavy army are only marginally applicable to siege warfare. Taking a castle is a job mostly for heavy men at arms fighting hand-to-hand, and/or sappers. Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle. And as I see it, there was little advantage to the handbow over the crossbow in a castle assault.

         

        Yours Aye,

         

        Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

        Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

        http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html

         

         

         

         

        From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Burgess
        Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 4:51 PM
        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

         




        If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers.

        bran

         

         


        From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
        To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:54 AM
        Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

         

         

        M’Lord Carolus,

         

        I see you point, and agree “sniper” was not the best term. You say “aimed direct fire”, though “aimed direct release” would be a more accurate term. Arrows are not “fired” unless they are flaming arrows. That’s one of my “hot” buttons. :~). I think we both agree that massed archery as used on the battlefield is not practical in siege warfare, since the defenders can easily take cover until the attackers run out of arrows/bolts.

         

        Yours Aye,

         

         

        Mungo

         

        From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carolus
        Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 9:05 PM
        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

         



        Lord Mungo,
        A small quibble here - you have managed to hit one of my "hot" buttons.  neither the crossbow nor the longbow was used for "sniping".  A sniper, by definition, is one who covertly stalks his/her target, shoots from surprise and concealment, and covertly withdraws.  The point of a sniper is to kill without being detected.  The role of the sniper did not develop until the advent of the rifled firearm in the late 18th century.  To say the both were used for aimed direct fire would be appropriate, however.
        Carolus

        On 8/5/2013 10:01 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) wrote:

         

        Sir Jon,

         

        A very interesting piece. Not surprising either. The crossbow was a very useful weapon for siege as well as castle defense, and probably remained so long after this time. The role of crossbows doesn’t get noticed  much by military historians who are enamored by the romance of the longbow.

         

        Though the longbow was widely used in England during this time, its use as a military weapon was largely ad hoc and auxiliary. Although there were noted centers of longbow archery (Chester, for example) which produced companies of archers, it was Edward I who first recognized the tactical value of a longbow-heavy army in the field. Widespread importation of yew staves is not documented until around 1291 during his reign. It remained for his grandson, Edward III, to develop the field battle tactics in the 1330s needed to make longbow archers so effective.

         

        When it came to siege, a crossbow was probably just as effective a weapon as a longbow, since both were used mostly for sniping, and the mass volleys possible with a longbow were really not efficient for this type of warfare.

         

        Thanks much for calling this to our attention.

         

        Yours Aye,

         

        Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

        Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

         

         

         

         

        From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Edgerton
        Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:36 PM
        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com; SCA-MissileCombat@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

         

         

        Here is a short article on crossbow use in England that I found on Medievalists net. 

         

         

        Jon







         




      • Doug Copley
        I will have to disagree here with the Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle. Comment. As far
        Message 3 of 18 , Aug 7, 2013
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          I will have to disagree here with the "Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle." Comment. As far as what was "absolutely essential" very little, all you really needed to do was control all of the land around and let them starve to death. Just as the allies re-learned in both WWI and WWII, you must control the air to be effective on the ground. If you lay siege to castle and do not have archers, they will pick you off and exact a huge toll on your army every time you try to move in. If your castle defense does not include archers it allows the siege army to advance to a close range in relative safety. So, in my opinion (which may or may not count for much!), archers were essential for both sides in a siege battle.

          Vincenti
          Ansteorra


          On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) <ggg9y@...> wrote:
           

          M’Lord Bran,

           

          I agree absolutely. You seem to be talking about covering fire during an assault. This must give way when the walls are scaled, or the attackers are likely to get a shaft in the back from their own archers. However, the field tactics of an archery-heavy army are only marginally applicable to siege warfare. Taking a castle is a job mostly for heavy men at arms fighting hand-to-hand, and/or sappers. Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle. And as I see it, there was little advantage to the handbow over the crossbow in a castle assault.

           

          Yours Aye,

           

          Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

          Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

          http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html

           

           

           

           

          From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Burgess
          Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 4:51 PM
          To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

           




          If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers.

          bran

           

           


          From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
          To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:54 AM
          Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

           

           

          M’Lord Carolus,

           

          I see you point, and agree “sniper” was not the best term. You say “aimed direct fire”, though “aimed direct release” would be a more accurate term. Arrows are not “fired” unless they are flaming arrows. That’s one of my “hot” buttons. :~). I think we both agree that massed archery as used on the battlefield is not practical in siege warfare, since the defenders can easily take cover until the attackers run out of arrows/bolts.

           

          Yours Aye,

           

           

          Mungo

           

          From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carolus
          Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 9:05 PM
          To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

           



          Lord Mungo,
          A small quibble here - you have managed to hit one of my "hot" buttons.  neither the crossbow nor the longbow was used for "sniping".  A sniper, by definition, is one who covertly stalks his/her target, shoots from surprise and concealment, and covertly withdraws.  The point of a sniper is to kill without being detected.  The role of the sniper did not develop until the advent of the rifled firearm in the late 18th century.  To say the both were used for aimed direct fire would be appropriate, however.
          Carolus

          On 8/5/2013 10:01 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) wrote:

           

          Sir Jon,

           

          A very interesting piece. Not surprising either. The crossbow was a very useful weapon for siege as well as castle defense, and probably remained so long after this time. The role of crossbows doesn’t get noticed  much by military historians who are enamored by the romance of the longbow.

           

          Though the longbow was widely used in England during this time, its use as a military weapon was largely ad hoc and auxiliary. Although there were noted centers of longbow archery (Chester, for example) which produced companies of archers, it was Edward I who first recognized the tactical value of a longbow-heavy army in the field. Widespread importation of yew staves is not documented until around 1291 during his reign. It remained for his grandson, Edward III, to develop the field battle tactics in the 1330s needed to make longbow archers so effective.

           

          When it came to siege, a crossbow was probably just as effective a weapon as a longbow, since both were used mostly for sniping, and the mass volleys possible with a longbow were really not efficient for this type of warfare.

           

          Thanks much for calling this to our attention.

           

          Yours Aye,

           

          Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

          Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

           

           

           

           

          From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Edgerton
          Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:36 PM
          To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com; SCA-MissileCombat@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

           

           

          Here is a short article on crossbow use in England that I found on Medievalists net. 

           

           

          Jon







           





        • Kelly Burgess
          yup,   just as the pre assault artillery barrage has evolved from WW1 to present day,  killing the dug in defenders with said artillery is a bonus , keeping
          Message 4 of 18 , Aug 7, 2013
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            yup,   just as the pre assault artillery barrage has evolved from WW1 to present day,  killing the dug in defenders with said artillery is a bonus , keeping their heads down during the assault is the goal.

            just bran ...



            From: Doug Copley <doug.copley@...>
            To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 8:06 AM
            Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

             
            I will have to disagree here with the "Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle." Comment. As far as what was "absolutely essential" very little, all you really needed to do was control all of the land around and let them starve to death. Just as the allies re-learned in both WWI and WWII, you must control the air to be effective on the ground. If you lay siege to castle and do not have archers, they will pick you off and exact a huge toll on your army every time you try to move in. If your castle defense does not include archers it allows the siege army to advance to a close range in relative safety. So, in my opinion (which may or may not count for much!), archers were essential for both sides in a siege battle.

            Vincenti
            Ansteorra


            On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) <ggg9y@...> wrote:
             
            M’Lord Bran,
             
            I agree absolutely. You seem to be talking about covering fire during an assault. This must give way when the walls are scaled, or the attackers are likely to get a shaft in the back from their own archers. However, the field tactics of an archery-heavy army are only marginally applicable to siege warfare. Taking a castle is a job mostly for heavy men at arms fighting hand-to-hand, and/or sappers. Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle. And as I see it, there was little advantage to the handbow over the crossbow in a castle assault.
             
            Yours Aye,
             
            Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge
            Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:
            http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html
             
             
             
             
            From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Burgess
            Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 4:51 PM
            To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
             



            If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers.

            bran
             
             

            From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
            To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:54 AM
            Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
             
             
            M’Lord Carolus,
             
            I see you point, and agree “sniper” was not the best term. You say “aimed direct fire”, though “aimed direct release” would be a more accurate term. Arrows are not “fired” unless they are flaming arrows. That’s one of my “hot” buttons. :~). I think we both agree that massed archery as used on the battlefield is not practical in siege warfare, since the defenders can easily take cover until the attackers run out of arrows/bolts.
             
            Yours Aye,
             
             
            Mungo
             
            From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carolus
            Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 9:05 PM
            To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
             


            Lord Mungo,
            A small quibble here - you have managed to hit one of my "hot" buttons.  neither the crossbow nor the longbow was used for "sniping".  A sniper, by definition, is one who covertly stalks his/her target, shoots from surprise and concealment, and covertly withdraws.  The point of a sniper is to kill without being detected.  The role of the sniper did not develop until the advent of the rifled firearm in the late 18th century.  To say the both were used for aimed direct fire would be appropriate, however.
            Carolus
            On 8/5/2013 10:01 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) wrote:
             
            Sir Jon,
             
            A very interesting piece. Not surprising either. The crossbow was a very useful weapon for siege as well as castle defense, and probably remained so long after this time. The role of crossbows doesn’t get noticed  much by military historians who are enamored by the romance of the longbow.
             
            Though the longbow was widely used in England during this time, its use as a military weapon was largely ad hoc and auxiliary. Although there were noted centers of longbow archery (Chester, for example) which produced companies of archers, it was Edward I who first recognized the tactical value of a longbow-heavy army in the field. Widespread importation of yew staves is not documented until around 1291 during his reign. It remained for his grandson, Edward III, to develop the field battle tactics in the 1330s needed to make longbow archers so effective.
             
            When it came to siege, a crossbow was probably just as effective a weapon as a longbow, since both were used mostly for sniping, and the mass volleys possible with a longbow were really not efficient for this type of warfare.
             
            Thanks much for calling this to our attention.
             
            Yours Aye,
             
            Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge
            Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:
             
             
             
             
            From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Edgerton
            Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:36 PM
            To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com; SCA-MissileCombat@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
             
             
            Here is a short article on crossbow use in England that I found on Medievalists net. 
             
             
            Jon






             






          • J. Hughes
            The use of archery in a siege was essential. It is worth looking at what actually happened in history. Henry II is a good example. He was noted for his
            Message 5 of 18 , Aug 7, 2013
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              The use of archery in a siege was essential. It is worth looking at what actually happened in history. Henry II is a good example. He was noted for his campaigns of siege warfare. He for the most part did not use the feudal levy, but had a paid force (not mercenaries as such) that was heavy on crossbowmen (often mounted to provide mobility from one castle to another). He had a significant amount of siege engines, sappers, and just enough men at arms to deal with a breach if it came to that. Most sieges for him and throughout the middle ages ended with the surrender of the castle (or fortified city). While starvation or disease played roles in long sieges, often the surrender took place when the besieged commander realized he could not win, usually after a period of siege with no prospect of relief.
              The archers were mainly crossbowmen as they were far more effective than hand bows both in the attack and the defense of fortified positions. In the attack, the archers were able to not only reduce the defenders presence on the walls, but along with the siege engines shoot over the walls. Fire bolts were particularly useful in this role. The defenders without archery were doomed. They could not prevent the attackers from coming right up to the walls to attempt to damage the walls or to undermine them. The advantages of the crossbow men on the walls were enormous. Frequently they were able to take aimed shots from the protection of the walls and had greater range than the forces opposed as they had the advantage of height. Many commanders of sieges were killed by a well placed bolt. Not least was Richard the Lionheart, but many others I could name. There was also the effect that the attackers dare not expose themselves in range to do things like bring up battering rams.
              In the event of an assault, if it was as a result of a breach in the walls, the troops going into the breach were referred to as a “forlorn hope.” It was a very difficult tactic, and archers’ main roles were to clear the walls near the breach to prevent those attacking suffering withering archery from them. Far more favored when possible was an attack on the walls from a siege tower. As the siege tower was moved into position there was an intense archery battle usually. For example when Geoffrey de Boulogne had his siege tower advanced on the walls of Jerusalem, he was shooting his crossbow as were his soldiers theirs. When the drawbridge was dropped on the walls themselves, he and his men put aside their crossbows and drew their swords.
              Note: the massed archery that was used in battles such as Crecy or Agincourt had no place in sieges.
              Charles O'Connor

              From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
              To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 8:42 AM
              Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
               
              M’Lord Bran,
               
              I agree absolutely. You seem to be talking about covering fire during an assault. This must give way when the walls are scaled, or the attackers are likely to get a shaft in the back from their own archers. However, the field tactics of an archery-heavy army are only marginally applicable to siege warfare. Taking a castle is a job mostly for heavy men at arms fighting hand-to-hand, and/or sappers. Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle. And as I see it, there was little advantage to the handbow over the crossbow in a castle assault.
               
              Yours Aye,
               
              Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge
              Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:
              http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html
               
               
               
               
              From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Burgess
              Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 4:51 PM
              To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
               



              If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers.

              bran
               
               
              From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
              To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:54 AM
              Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
               
               
              M’Lord Carolus,
               
              I see you point, and agree “sniper” was not the best term. You say “aimed direct fire”, though “aimed direct release” would be a more accurate term. Arrows are not “fired” unless they are flaming arrows. That’s one of my “hot” buttons. :~). I think we both agree that massed archery as used on the battlefield is not practical in siege warfare, since the defenders can easily take cover until the attackers run out of arrows/bolts.
               
              Yours Aye,
               
               
              Mungo
               
              From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carolus
              Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 9:05 PM
              To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
               


              Lord Mungo,
              A small quibble here - you have managed to hit one of my "hot" buttons.  neither the crossbow nor the longbow was used for "sniping".  A sniper, by definition, is one who covertly stalks his/her target, shoots from surprise and concealment, and covertly withdraws.  The point of a sniper is to kill without being detected.  The role of the sniper did not develop until the advent of the rifled firearm in the late 18th century.  To say the both were used for aimed direct fire would be appropriate, however.
              Carolus
              On 8/5/2013 10:01 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) wrote:
               
              Sir Jon,
               
              A very interesting piece. Not surprising either. The crossbow was a very useful weapon for siege as well as castle defense, and probably remained so long after this time. The role of crossbows doesn’t get noticed  much by military historians who are enamored by the romance of the longbow.
               
              Though the longbow was widely used in England during this time, its use as a military weapon was largely ad hoc and auxiliary. Although there were noted centers of longbow archery (Chester, for example) which produced companies of archers, it was Edward I who first recognized the tactical value of a longbow-heavy army in the field. Widespread importation of yew staves is not documented until around 1291 during his reign. It remained for his grandson, Edward III, to develop the field battle tactics in the 1330s needed to make longbow archers so effective.
               
              When it came to siege, a crossbow was probably just as effective a weapon as a longbow, since both were used mostly for sniping, and the mass volleys possible with a longbow were really not efficient for this type of warfare.
               
              Thanks much for calling this to our attention.
               
              Yours Aye,
               
              Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge
              Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:
               
               
               
               
              From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Edgerton
              Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:36 PM
              To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com; SCA-MissileCombat@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England
               
               
              Here is a short article on crossbow use in England that I found on Medievalists net. 
               
               
              Jon






               



            • Groff, Garth (ggg9y)
              M Lord Vicenti, Archery was useful on both sides, but not essential. Beyond starving the defenders into surrender, there were lots of other ways to take a
              Message 6 of 18 , Aug 7, 2013
              • 0 Attachment

                M’Lord Vicenti,

                 

                Archery was useful on both sides, but not essential. Beyond starving the defenders into surrender, there were lots of other ways to take a castle. Consider that Robert the Bruce and his men took several English-held castles during his war against the English by scaling the walls quietly at night. And how many castles were carried by mining? In one of my books there is a story of French castle which was taken without casualties when the English called a truce and showed their completed tunnel to the garrison commander, prompting a quick surrender. Then there were siege engines. The Scottish garrison at Stirling Castle tried to surrender when they saw Edward I’s infamous “War Wolf” being assembled. Edward refused their offer, and insisted on testing his evil machine while they were still inside. And so on.

                 

                Yes, archery was useful, but not essential to taking a castle.

                 

                Yours Aye,

                 

                Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

                Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

                http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html

                 

                 

                 

                 

                From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Doug Copley
                Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 10:06 AM
                To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                 




                I will have to disagree here with the "Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle." Comment. As far as what was "absolutely essential" very little, all you really needed to do was control all of the land around and let them starve to death. Just as the allies re-learned in both WWI and WWII, you must control the air to be effective on the ground. If you lay siege to castle and do not have archers, they will pick you off and exact a huge toll on your army every time you try to move in. If your castle defense does not include archers it allows the siege army to advance to a close range in relative safety. So, in my opinion (which may or may not count for much!), archers were essential for both sides in a siege battle.

                 

                Vincenti

                Ansteorra

                 

                On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) <ggg9y@...> wrote:

                 

                M’Lord Bran,

                 

                I agree absolutely. You seem to be talking about covering fire during an assault. This must give way when the walls are scaled, or the attackers are likely to get a shaft in the back from their own archers. However, the field tactics of an archery-heavy army are only marginally applicable to siege warfare. Taking a castle is a job mostly for heavy men at arms fighting hand-to-hand, and/or sappers. Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle. And as I see it, there was little advantage to the handbow over the crossbow in a castle assault.

                 

                Yours Aye,

                 

                Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

                Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

                http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html

                 

                 

                 

                 

                From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Burgess
                Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 4:51 PM
                To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                 



                If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers.

                bran

                 

                 


                From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
                To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:54 AM
                Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                 

                 

                M’Lord Carolus,

                 

                I see you point, and agree “sniper” was not the best term. You say “aimed direct fire”, though “aimed direct release” would be a more accurate term. Arrows are not “fired” unless they are flaming arrows. That’s one of my “hot” buttons. :~). I think we both agree that massed archery as used on the battlefield is not practical in siege warfare, since the defenders can easily take cover until the attackers run out of arrows/bolts.

                 

                Yours Aye,

                 

                 

                Mungo

                 

                From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carolus
                Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 9:05 PM
                To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                 



                Lord Mungo,
                A small quibble here - you have managed to hit one of my "hot" buttons.  neither the crossbow nor the longbow was used for "sniping".  A sniper, by definition, is one who covertly stalks his/her target, shoots from surprise and concealment, and covertly withdraws.  The point of a sniper is to kill without being detected.  The role of the sniper did not develop until the advent of the rifled firearm in the late 18th century.  To say the both were used for aimed direct fire would be appropriate, however.
                Carolus

                On 8/5/2013 10:01 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) wrote:

                 

                Sir Jon,

                 

                A very interesting piece. Not surprising either. The crossbow was a very useful weapon for siege as well as castle defense, and probably remained so long after this time. The role of crossbows doesn’t get noticed  much by military historians who are enamored by the romance of the longbow.

                 

                Though the longbow was widely used in England during this time, its use as a military weapon was largely ad hoc and auxiliary. Although there were noted centers of longbow archery (Chester, for example) which produced companies of archers, it was Edward I who first recognized the tactical value of a longbow-heavy army in the field. Widespread importation of yew staves is not documented until around 1291 during his reign. It remained for his grandson, Edward III, to develop the field battle tactics in the 1330s needed to make longbow archers so effective.

                 

                When it came to siege, a crossbow was probably just as effective a weapon as a longbow, since both were used mostly for sniping, and the mass volleys possible with a longbow were really not efficient for this type of warfare.

                 

                Thanks much for calling this to our attention.

                 

                Yours Aye,

                 

                Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

                Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

                 

                 

                 

                 

                From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Edgerton
                Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:36 PM
                To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com; SCA-MissileCombat@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                 

                 

                Here is a short article on crossbow use in England that I found on Medievalists net. 

                 

                 

                Jon





                 



                 




              • Doug Copley
                I agree with you, nothing was essential as you pointed out. Castles have been taken by digging, siege, and stealth. The key each time was a plan based on
                Message 7 of 18 , Aug 7, 2013
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                  I agree with you, nothing was "essential" as you pointed out. Castles have been taken by digging, siege, and stealth. The key each time was a plan based on their strengths and the time frame in which they needed / wanted to win. Many things can be used, archery is one of those that very frequently was a factor of some sort. Even in the digging or the siege, archers could be used to keep people inside without risking any of the soldiers.

                  YIS,
                  Vincenti


                  On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 10:52 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) <ggg9y@...> wrote:
                   

                  M’Lord Vicenti,

                   

                  Archery was useful on both sides, but not essential. Beyond starving the defenders into surrender, there were lots of other ways to take a castle. Consider that Robert the Bruce and his men took several English-held castles during his war against the English by scaling the walls quietly at night. And how many castles were carried by mining? In one of my books there is a story of French castle which was taken without casualties when the English called a truce and showed their completed tunnel to the garrison commander, prompting a quick surrender. Then there were siege engines. The Scottish garrison at Stirling Castle tried to surrender when they saw Edward I’s infamous “War Wolf” being assembled. Edward refused their offer, and insisted on testing his evil machine while they were still inside. And so on.

                   

                  Yes, archery was useful, but not essential to taking a castle.

                   

                  Yours Aye,

                   

                  Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

                  Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

                  http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Doug Copley
                  Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 10:06 AM
                  To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                   




                  I will have to disagree here with the "Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle." Comment. As far as what was "absolutely essential" very little, all you really needed to do was control all of the land around and let them starve to death. Just as the allies re-learned in both WWI and WWII, you must control the air to be effective on the ground. If you lay siege to castle and do not have archers, they will pick you off and exact a huge toll on your army every time you try to move in. If your castle defense does not include archers it allows the siege army to advance to a close range in relative safety. So, in my opinion (which may or may not count for much!), archers were essential for both sides in a siege battle.

                   

                  Vincenti

                  Ansteorra

                   

                  On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) <ggg9y@...> wrote:

                   

                  M’Lord Bran,

                   

                  I agree absolutely. You seem to be talking about covering fire during an assault. This must give way when the walls are scaled, or the attackers are likely to get a shaft in the back from their own archers. However, the field tactics of an archery-heavy army are only marginally applicable to siege warfare. Taking a castle is a job mostly for heavy men at arms fighting hand-to-hand, and/or sappers. Both crossbows and handbows have important uses, but are not absolutely essential to taking a castle. And as I see it, there was little advantage to the handbow over the crossbow in a castle assault.

                   

                  Yours Aye,

                   

                  Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

                  Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

                  http://people.virginia.edu/~ggg9y/napier1.html

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Burgess
                  Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 4:51 PM
                  To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                   



                  If I may ....archery would of been used in siege warfare as it would force the defenders to take cover at the most advantageous time for the attackers.

                  bran

                   

                   


                  From: "Groff, Garth (ggg9y)" <ggg9y@...>
                  To: "SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com" <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:54 AM
                  Subject: RE: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                   

                   

                  M’Lord Carolus,

                   

                  I see you point, and agree “sniper” was not the best term. You say “aimed direct fire”, though “aimed direct release” would be a more accurate term. Arrows are not “fired” unless they are flaming arrows. That’s one of my “hot” buttons. :~). I think we both agree that massed archery as used on the battlefield is not practical in siege warfare, since the defenders can easily take cover until the attackers run out of arrows/bolts.

                   

                  Yours Aye,

                   

                   

                  Mungo

                   

                  From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carolus
                  Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 9:05 PM
                  To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                   



                  Lord Mungo,
                  A small quibble here - you have managed to hit one of my "hot" buttons.  neither the crossbow nor the longbow was used for "sniping".  A sniper, by definition, is one who covertly stalks his/her target, shoots from surprise and concealment, and covertly withdraws.  The point of a sniper is to kill without being detected.  The role of the sniper did not develop until the advent of the rifled firearm in the late 18th century.  To say the both were used for aimed direct fire would be appropriate, however.
                  Carolus

                  On 8/5/2013 10:01 AM, Groff, Garth (ggg9y) wrote:

                   

                  Sir Jon,

                   

                  A very interesting piece. Not surprising either. The crossbow was a very useful weapon for siege as well as castle defense, and probably remained so long after this time. The role of crossbows doesn’t get noticed  much by military historians who are enamored by the romance of the longbow.

                   

                  Though the longbow was widely used in England during this time, its use as a military weapon was largely ad hoc and auxiliary. Although there were noted centers of longbow archery (Chester, for example) which produced companies of archers, it was Edward I who first recognized the tactical value of a longbow-heavy army in the field. Widespread importation of yew staves is not documented until around 1291 during his reign. It remained for his grandson, Edward III, to develop the field battle tactics in the 1330s needed to make longbow archers so effective.

                   

                  When it came to siege, a crossbow was probably just as effective a weapon as a longbow, since both were used mostly for sniping, and the mass volleys possible with a longbow were really not efficient for this type of warfare.

                   

                  Thanks much for calling this to our attention.

                   

                  Yours Aye,

                   

                  Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

                  Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Edgerton
                  Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:36 PM
                  To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com; SCA-MissileCombat@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [SCA-Archery] Crossbows in England

                   

                   

                  Here is a short article on crossbow use in England that I found on Medievalists net. 

                   

                   

                  Jon





                   



                   





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