lacquering leather armour (has become Archer vs Armour)

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Marcus Woodhouse
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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:50 pm

Not really English, those Ities are bloody brave thye must have known we had archers,we were lucky to beat them, good soldiers but we were better.French, those ities are bloody cowards whinging that they need their big shilelds to hide behind in case the english shoot twigs at them, we would have won if they hadn't dragged their feet and got stuck in like we wanted to.


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Postby gregory23b » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:36 pm

"we had archers,"

'We', who is this 'we' you bog bandit? Unless you have now turned English, in which case you will need to do penance.


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:58 pm

I trying to get into character. :roll:
Everyone knows you theiving English bastards stole all our archers during the great bow famine of 1175.
Thats the reason why we asked that Strongbow fella for help, and what did he bring, fecking Magners cider.
Irish cider, an ancient pagan craft akin to the semtex distilling so much in fashion during the 1980's and look at how that blew up in our face.
Anyway we never needed archers as we had plaid wearing hairy faced giants like Cu Cuthlain whop could throw a spear further than your pasty faced mis-begottten twig flinging habberjams.
So there and pogue mahone!


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Postby gregory23b » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:09 pm

Well, you certainly have that, character that is ;-)


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Postby Fox » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:23 pm

NURSE! NURSE!

He's out of bed again!

Come on, Marcus, let's just go for a quiet little walk back to your room. There's a good fellow, no need for the restraints, heh?

NURSE!



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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:06 pm

Thats it, persecute the poor bloody Irish again.
I'll take you all on, one at a time or all together it makes no odds to me.
(I know I'll lose, we always lose-it's what makes us Irish.)


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Postby gregory23b » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:09 pm

Oh no! the victim card, or is it the martyr? quick, sedation.

Nurse Fox bends Marcus over and administers the 'jab of joy'.


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Postby Fox » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:01 pm

gregory23b wrote:Nurse Fox bends Marcus over and administers the 'jab of joy'.


:shock:

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Postby Black Pear » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:59 pm

oooer missus! Must be all this talk of shafts....



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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:40 am

Apparently archers prefer thickness over length.


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:49 pm

Depends on whether you want to go far or hit hard, mate. :lol:


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Postby paul bennett » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:21 pm

welcome to another episode of Carry On Archer


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Postby StaffordCleggy » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:35 pm

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:I trying to get into character. :roll:
Everyone knows you theiving English bastards stole all our archers during the great bow famine of 1175.
Thats the reason why we asked that Strongbow fella for help, and what did he bring, fecking Magners cider.
Irish cider, an ancient pagan craft akin to the semtex distilling so much in fashion during the 1980's and look at how that blew up in our face.
Anyway we never needed archers as we had plaid wearing hairy faced giants like Cu Cuthlain whop could throw a spear further than your pasty faced mis-begottten twig flinging habberjams.
So there and pogue mahone!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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Postby Man from Coventry » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:23 pm

Very interesting thread. I'm tempted to offer my tuppence worth in loads of areas, but will do a bit of reading before I poke my head of the parapet.

However, in respect of the 12 arrows a minute argument. I attended a talk on the English Warbow given by Mark Stretton at our local Museum earlier this year and asked this very question.

He stated that he had shot at a rate of 12 arrows a minute for approx 1.5 mins, from his usual bow (140lbs), but the cramps induced from the lactic acid build up meant that he could not then shoot for about 15 minutes. He believed that under battlefield conditions and sustained shooting 6-8 arrows a minute was more likely, and was conducive to more accurate shooting. He believed that the figure of 12 arrows a minute was arrived at from trials on lighter bows <80lb in the 1960's[/quote]


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lacquering leather armour ( has become archer vs armour).

Postby glyndwr 50 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:59 pm

This thread has become very interesting,I am most interested in the penetrating power of war arrows against armour .There has been many programmes on the sky channels that have tried to test this power of arrows on armour .Mike loads has shown that it is possible to penatrate armour plate on a breast plate to some effect .On his programme Weapon Masters the arrows shot at the breast plate did penetrate using a war bow ,but the results were not that spetacular.the arrow point did not fully pass through .But when a cross bow bolt was shot at the same breast plate the bolt went through with no problem .This prooved very interesting ,as both the longbow and the crossbow were shot on the level or straight plain .Now if as been mentioned an archer was shooting at a charging army of fully armoured knight ,would it be reasonable to think that the arrow would have lost a fair ammount of power by the time it reached its intended target .And if this is the case ,would a arrow head like a bodkin have enough power left in it to penetrate armour .Or was the longbow used to bring down the knights horse .A knight of the 15th century was equivilent to a army tank ,heavely armoured and with a good manoeuvrabillity. But like a tank ,blow of the tracks and its a sitting duck .Still dangerious but with no means of movement lessens it fighting capability. With this in mind the same applies to the mounted knight .Take away his means of movement and he like the tank has lots his ability to move .The knight on foot is still a formidable fighting machine and highly dangerious ,but his effect of speed and horse power has been taken away .Would or could this have been the main reason why the archers of azincourt shot volley after volley at the charging french ,not to try and penatrate armour but to bring down the horses .And then as a knight on foot came within level aim range of the archers ,then and only then would the penatrating power of the longbow be effective againt the french armour .Without speed the knight on foot is an easy target and will not be that fast on foot so archers could take there time and make good there aim.Maille and thick padding was no match for needle pointed bodkins ,but how would armour stand up against a volley of aimed arrows ,being shot on the level with short nosed bodkins .I honestly belive that it was the horses that were the main target of the english archers and not the french knights .Break the charge of mounted knights and you break the effectiveness of a mounted knight at full gallop against the poorly armed man at arms .One must also remember the a fully trained war horse not only uses his speed and weight to punch his way through ranks of men ,they also have been trained to kick and bite .truly a terrifiying fighting weapon.


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Postby Glorfindle » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:59 pm

I love this thread! Having been reading this from the start, I am only now adding my thoughts, which glyndwr 50 has provoked!

I think he is bang on the money with the shooting of the horses. The tin men though? I'm not so sure about, I know that a war bow can penetrate a good breastplate, but its twice as easy to do when you add the momentum of a charging horse into the equation, if my memory serves, the arrow would hit a charging knight at twices the force it would if he was walking? The same as a car traveling at 40MPH hitting another car traveling at 40MPH head on causes a lot more damage then if one of the cars are stationary? I do think though that a most of the damage done by our archers must of been to horses otherwise so many Knights at Azincourt would not A) have been taken captive, so many infact that they were ordered to be slaughtered incase they decided to rejoin the fight and B) so many would not have drowned in the mud and been trampled to death because they would have been skewered by the thousands of falling arrows that we could put into the area a min!

Like G23B said, if our archers were that good against plate, then almost all battles would of been a slaughter (Not that they weren't anyway) with almost no melee combat because everyone would already be dead, and in WOTR the archers on both side would either have forced a stale mate, or neutralized each other.

Just my thoughts on this....


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:03 am

This thread is pure quality...!

To generalize a bit: is it plausible to think that a massed arrow barrage was the English answer to the french cavalry charge because the English traditionally fought on foot and therefore had to somehow negate the french advantage...?

If memory serves, english archers were wholly ineffective against french cavalry at the Battle of Verneuil, yet the English still won when engaging the main body of the french army in hand-to-hand fighting because the french cavalry had buggered off plundering the baggage train after charging through the archers..?


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Postby Fox » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:19 am

Trading-Dragon wrote:the English traditionally fought on foot and therefore had to somehow negate the french advantage...?


My understanding is:
Prior to the 100 years war the English used heavy cavalry as much as anyone else; descriptions of the early 14thC Scottish campagns seem to support that.

However, when Edward III goes to France in the mid-14thC he takes with him a good proportion of archers. This may be a tactical decision, based on the effectiveness of the longbow, or it may be ecconomical.
Whatever the combination of factors, this is what happens. He then makes the decision at Crecy to unmount most of his troops in order to provide a defence for the archers. This may also be a key point in the use of pole arms, with cut down lances providing some of that defence. You might even speculate whether stories of Bannockburn, with the use of schiltrons (and it's missing archers) influences the formualtion of this strategy.

The English continue to have success with this strategy, and when they get round to fighting themselves, it continues, because it's is difficult to ride horses into arrow fire, for all the reasons we've given.



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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:56 am

It's been suggested that Edward III realised the potenial of archery fighting the Scots.
During most of the HYW archers and men at arms were mounted for speed but dismounted to fight, a French chronicler makes a comment that the English king first ordered this to prevent his men running away in terror at the mighty French army.
This may have a teeny weeny ring of truth about it but I suspect that it had more to do with the need for archers to dismount if they are to use their bows effectilvly and that it made sense for most MAA to do the same to protect them. This may in turn led to the develoment of arms suitable for MAA and archers to fight with on foot.
Infantry armies had defeated cavalry forces before (an obvious statement but some people seem to believe that before the English bowman or the Swiss pike horsemen had it all their own way.) The Flemish, the Scots, the Swiss, Genoese, Pisian armies had all dealt severe blows to various cavalry strong armies in the 12th, 13th and early 14th centuries.
And in some of the battles of the HYW the French did dismount and advance on foot in the belief that this would counter the English archers. Equally in the later years of the HYW and in the WOTR there were occasions when the English charged into prepared Franco-Scottish (or in the case of the WOTR Yorkist/Lancs.) postions using heavy horse and suffered the same setbacks as did the French.
It is interesting to read the comments about rates of fire as this backs up something that I read in the not too dim and distant past in which it suggested that while in the opening stages of a battle archers might be able to put huge quantities of arrows in the air (using the guestimated 12 a minute) that exhustion of both ammunition and personnel would soon take effect and that therefore over the course of say and hour long battle (which was given as the "average" length of a medieval battle) the more constant and mechanically driven rate of a crossbow would eventually equal if not surpass that of a longbow.
A bit like the mad minute when you initally make contact in a modern skirmish when you fire for suppression and use up loads of ammo and then withdrew and try for more selective aimed shots perhaps.


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Postby Fox » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:20 am

Even as late as Naseby, Rupert's cavalry get drawn too far from the field to protect the infantry and only return too late to save them.



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Postby Black Pear » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:22 pm

Man From Coventry said:
He stated that he had shot at a rate of 12 arrows a minute for approx 1.5 mins, from his usual bow (140lbs), but the cramps induced from the lactic acid build up meant that he could not then shoot for about 15 minutes. He believed that under battlefield conditions and sustained shooting 6-8 arrows a minute was more likely, and was conducive to more accurate shooting. He believed that the figure of 12 arrows a minute was arrived at from trials on lighter bows <80lb in the 1960's

...as they say, from the horse's mouth!
Even so, I think that even "only" 6-8 arrows per minute is going to be a lot of arrows in the air at one time, particularly if this rate is kept up. I have always thought of the 10-12 per minute rate as a maximum POSSIBLE rate, not the usual rate. Accuracy would be important too, which is often lost at speed, as Mark suggested.

Some other thoughts...
Are crossbow bolts generally heavier than arrows? If so, wouldn't this increase their momentum and armour penetration power?

I would think that arrows en masse are going to be a huge problem whether they are penetrating armour in numbers or not. Holes in horses with their resulting equine runaway train or flailing battlefield obstacle, holes in proles with the resulting discontent and er, dying soldiers, and arrows stuck in the ground hindering progress because they stick in your underparts as you try to go past etc. (even the "blunt" end can come sharp!) are all pretty valid reasons to keep shooting. I can't remember if it was here or elsewhere I saw something about just the sheer impact of an arrow on an armoured man was not something to be taken likely, as in the arrow doesn't just bounce off, it's like a hammer blow. Panel beating medieval style.



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Postby WorkMonkey » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:09 pm

Also the sheer psychological effect of having several thousand arrows coming down on top of you is reason enough to keep shooting surely, especially in a period where infantry aren't really using large shields. Volley after volley is going to force the commander to either leg it, or attempt a charge, which means you are dictating your enemies strategy, I spose when you get archer vs archer battles in English history this negates the impact so much, but the european battles where there's large bodies of archers vs cavalry or infantry would have a huge impact, you're hitting them at range, even if you're not killing their knights straight out because the arrows can't penetrate the armour, you're still unnerving them, and killing their horses and men at arms around them which means it's never going to go well for them.


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Postby Black Pear » Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:53 pm

That's just what I meant, WorkMonkey, I think it was more than just the physical effect of the arrow hitting the man and penetrating, there were a lot more aspects to the weapon.



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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:35 pm

I know that this is a bit of a diversion from the current train of discussion, but I feel that it bears adding to the resource of knowledge that we're building here.

IIRC, the longbow first comes to prominence in the early 14th C (or was it earlier?) in the English/Welsh wars before plate harness had really developed. Some-one has in the past pointed out to me that if an arrow striked a mail ring, then it will naturally be deflected into the hole (either the one inside the ring or the one between the rings), making it more likley that the arrow will penetrate. This would make the longbow a terrible weapon when it first appeared. It would also explain why mail is usually worn under quilted garments in the later pictures.


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Postby Black Pear » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:53 pm

I think you're right there. The rings would naturally "catch" the point and stop it skidding off, directing the arrow through either of the holes you mention, popping the ring. I am sure it hurts when your ring gets popped.

Wearing mail under a padded jack would be very effective protection I would think. The padded or layered jacks would be effective against penetration of the arrow (modern bulletproof vests are layered fabric, albeit superdooper modern fabric), and the mail good against blade cuts. I can see this way round being more favoured - padding over the top would prevent damage to your expensive mail - as the longbow becomes more common. Not perfect, though, as the arrival of plate testifies.

The other way round - mail over padded - would be better against blades I would think? The cut would be prevented by the mail (or its effectiveness reduced at least) and the padding reduces soft tissue damage underneath.

Here's a question...Would the longbow have been as prevalent had plate been around in serious amounts in the early 1300s? It is still there in numbers during WOTR so maybe the amount of "soft" targets or its real effectiveness made it a worthwhile weapon in its own right?



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Postby Hobbitstomper » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:01 pm

I think mail on the outside gives better protection but becomes impractical after a certain thickness (about 8mm when compressed). Mail over thick padding (30 layers of cloth will be very thick) needs a lot more mail and will be heavier. More importantly, it is a lot less flexible so arms and shoulders won’t work properly. Mail underneath should be lighter, more flexible and foxbummers probably like it like that :lol: . It wasn’t used like that in earlier periods as it wasn’t necessary to have super thick multi-layered gambesons.



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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:53 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:At Cressy and Agincourt, it's possible that the arrows killed very few, ...


I just looked up Cressy and now I feel a complete fool. :oops: I'd assumed that it was around 1400, as it's normally discussed allong with Agincourt. WRONG It's over 50 years earler than Agincourt! Right in the middle of the period that I know nothing about.

I appologise for my arogant stupidity! :oops:


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lacquering leather armour (has become Archer vs Armour.

Postby glyndwr 50 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:59 pm

On the subject of arrows penatrating armour ,as far as I am aware the tests on arrows on armour has been at short distances and on a level and straight shooting basis .( I may possibly be wrong ,but I'm going by tests by many historical programmes on the box ) .But as far as I know there have never been test with a longbow using war arrows on armour from a distance ,like in a full charging siduatiion on a battle field .One reason for this is probably you would need a lot of armour suits to make sure that an arrow would hit a target .Once an archer loosed his arrow at an attacking force he could never know where it would actually land .He would know roughly how far his arrow would travel,at maximin elevation and distance .but he could never be sure where or what it hit .It would be a good idea to try and test this in actual practice, just to see what would actually happen when a war arrow hit armour from a maximum distance arrow .Such a test may have been carried out ,but as I have stated I have never seen it or been made aware of such tests ever being taken place .
Last edited by glyndwr 50 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:48 pm

Black Pear wrote:Here's a question...Would the longbow have been as prevalent had plate been around in serious amounts in the early 1300s? It is still there in numbers during WOTR so maybe the amount of "soft" targets or its real effectiveness made it a worthwhile weapon in its own right?


You're into serious what-if-machine territory here. I'm guessing that the longbow wouldn't havethe 'mythic' reputation that it does now, which I suspect that it gained puncturing through mail armours. However, you still shouldn't underestimate the basic fact that an arrow storm is frightening! Even a glancing blow on full harness will deliver quite a bit of energy and a nasty shock to the wearer and these things will be comming in 'thick and fast'. I do think that they will have a very strong 'artillery shock' effect to get people moving, even if they aren't able to do considerable damage.


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Postby Black Pear » Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:53 pm

Oh yes, the effect of an arrow storm would be terrifying (tis bad enough with blunts after all!). I think that is one of the reasons for its legend, the fear that amount of arrows can generate.

The question was very much "what if"? It exercises the brain though!

Hobbitstomper said:
It wasn’t used like that in earlier periods as it wasn’t necessary to have super thick multi-layered gambesons.

This necessity comes with the longbow, doesn't it?

Colin said that the later pictures show the padded stuff over the mail (I bow to his greater knowledge of this) so it would seem to make sense that padding/layers are emphasised to protect against the greater use of the arrow. I agree that mail on the outside at earlier times would offer better protection, but I would say that this is against the weapons of choice of the day, the edged weapons and speary things.




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