Saturday, February 26, 2011
Modern man has long considered the longbow as a recreational idem at best, and that it is totally obsolete and unsuited for use in modern warfare, or even effective as a good hunting tool, (at least compared to modern equivalents ) this erroneous idea is I believe at least in part due to the quaint notion that we are somehow innately superior to those who have lived in the past (I wonder where they got THAT idea). Because of this historians have tended to underplay some of the more remarkable accomplishments of the past. This is one such accomplishment . Modern Olympic archers shoot ends of three arrows -- for a total of 18 arrows -- shot at a target 70 meters away with a 40-second time limit per arrow. Now let’s compare that to the longbow.
For many years historians dismissed most stores about British longbows as unrealistic and even impossible. However in 1982 bows taken from a British war ship The Mary Rose should have proved ones and for all one way or the other. Now days a 75 lb. draw is about as high as people go. The bows that came from the Mary Rose had between 100-180 lb. poles. It was supposed that these could probably send an arrow 180- 229 yards. ( On a side note before the Mary Rose was salvaged there were only 5 known longbows left from the time of its use as a weapon. Over 3,500 arrows and 137 whole longbows were recovered from the ship. Completely rebooting the study of longbows by historians.)
But when a replica was made it shot 360 yards and some believe that a professional archer from Edward III's time would have reached 400yds it has also been made known that practice ranges did not permit ranges of lower than 220yds by a law made by Henry VIII.
I have read that the standard rate of fire for a longbow man was about 6 arrows per minute. That might not seem like much and for short periods I’ve heard of archers having thee arrows in the air at the same time even if you have a very VERY long flight let’s say 10 seconds( By the way I don’t know if that is even possible. ) that would be ones every 3.33seconds. But keep in mind your archer is going to be shooting 60-75 arrows and his bow is 100+ lbs of pole so it is just possible he MIGHT want to conserve his strength. Also even at 6 a minute he vastly out classes the competition. For a long time the other bow used in war was the crossbow, this bow was in a completely different category. The principal was to make a bow that any Joe bag of doughnuts could be taught to use with minimal training, but was still effective on the battlefield. To do this they took a bow turned it on its side and attached a cranking mechanism to pole for you so you didn’t need to be very strong to operate one, then you just point it at the enemy line up the sites and pole the trigger, not unlike a gun actually. But this left you with a lot of extra weight and not much accurately (at any rang that is ) plus because of the crank and gears it took a long time to load.
The result of all this is that crossbow vs. longbow the crossbow gets killed like 10 times before it even can get in to rang then it kills the longbow ones then gets killed another 10to15 times well it reloads. “STEP4:pleases repeat last step until crossbowmen run screaming in terror (this shouldn’t take too long)” J
Early gun powder weapons had even worse specs they took even longer to lode, couldn’t be use in the rain and had this nasty habit of randomly exploding. Which would usually leave the user spread over the near vicinity. Eventually they got rid of some these problems and in the 1700s the Brown Bess rose to dominate the battle field. This gun was MUCH safer and more reliable. It could be fired 4 times every minute of cores you still couldn’t use it in bad weather but at least it wouldn’t blowup on you “most of the time”. It also had much longer rang then the guns before it. In fact it was accurate up to 50yards. During the next hundred years great improvements were made in rifling and by the American civil war the main battle weapon was the rifle musket. This was a true marvel of engineering and it stretched the accuracy of handheld weapons up to a 400yards. Plus made firing in some bad conditions practical. But it still could only be fire 4 to5 times a minute, even by an expert.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s when breach loading rifles became prevalent that gunpowder weapons finely met the capabilities of the long bow. So for over 400years war was conducted with inferior weapons.
Now why was this? Why didn’t they keep using bows, at least for a few hundred more years? Well I think it was a number of reasons combined. First, near the end of the hundred years war enormous developments in armor were taking place and finely after years of trying blacksmiths managed to make a steal that could withstand a crossbow bolt or cloth yard shaft ( longbow arrows were referred to as cloth yard shafts ) at all but point blank range. Now this didn’t put an end to ether right away so what if you can’t kill the top 10 richest and most powerful lords in the land with an arrow . “its better to take them alive anyway”. But as armor was perfected and streamlined it became cheaper and cheaper. So more and more Knights and there men could afford it. Strange enough right at the time when armor was at its height it began to be used less until it almost disappeared completely . So armor might have been a factor. But the bow was disappearing before that. One of the biggest problems was how lengthy a process it is to train a longbow man. You start at about seven and go up hill nonstop from there. In fact the reason it is called the “British” Longbow even though other nations had and used it is probably because the English are were the only ones in their time to create a society that could economically produce longbow men and they barely accomplished it. A series of laws helped but the main resin was they managed to fashion their culture to center around bowman (archery was there football, Nascar, and National guard all rolled to in to one. This made lots of young men interested in it, for one reason or another. But it still took a LOT of time so to be good it had to be your profession. The upshot of this is that England had a certain amount of longbow men and ones they are used up it is going to be a long time before a another force of them will be available.
But even more then its own limitations, or men to use them was making the bows them selves .
It’s not that this was such a difficult process, it wasn’t, but archers use them a lot so they go throe them pretty fast. And if you have thousands of archers all chewing throe bows you need tons of them. In itself this isn’t a problem, But they are all made from Yew wood. Result all the Yew trees in the vicinity are going to get used fast and as you need more and more wood you haft to go farther and farther to get it. Soon all the available yew trees in England are gone. So they had to import them, and they did from France from Spain and even Germany in fact there is a letter that was preserved from this time in response to one from the emperor that said the province was not able to obey the royal command to stop all cutting of yew trees accept by imperil workers because they had all ready gone all been cut. In desperation the English started trying to get trees from Denmark and Scandinavia. Laws forcing any and all ships that came up the Thames to have a certain amount bows on bored.
Between the ever increasing cost of the bows the Herculean effort required to get the men to man them the diminishing returns on the battle field and few time large numbers longbow men were killed the British gave up and allowed the bow to fall in to disuse . Now it was still there and used in some places but the drive that made you what to, haft to, be an archer the romanticized Rock star if you will appeal was gone.
In spite of this Longbows lingered on and a few people clung to their existences. They were used some in English civil wars and in skirmishes around in varies places. In the Napoleonic Wellington tried to reintroduce it to war in fact he asked parliament to assemble a force of them for him to use on the continent. Parliament responded that it was a good Idea, but that no group of longbow men large enough for that existed any more. It still wasn’t gone entirely from the battle the last time I known of it being used in war was by Fighting Churchill or mad Churchill he was a highly decorated commando in WW2 with a very strange set of priorities he is known for saying “If it weren’t for them @ Americans we could have kept this wars going another 10 Years!” …….?.......Um well yeah…..that’s was the point. I guess he didn’t think if we hadn’t fought with them he might have lost?
But after him the weapon that for hundreds of years dominated the battle field that changed the cores of history that knocked Knighthood off its high horse helped establish the middle class is reduced to a sporting implement. A stately pile of ashes, a last citadel of the shattered remains of past glory.
A reminder of times that were and were splendid that or gone and will not return….
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I have run into trouble and have reverted back to the old way for now and will try to remedy this shortly. all Comments are safe and will be added soon. please go about your normal blogging.
Thank you for your patience in this situation.
Thank you for your patience in this situation.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
This bog’s primary goal is to let people benefit from others experience, so what are the problems that face our community? The most common is being teased about someone. SO here is what one of our resident experts has to say.
Half the fun of teasing is that it has no basis in reality so everyone Knows it’s a joke. The way to prevent it is to take advantage of this. If you like someone, people are much less likely to teas you about just any one, for fear of the one you like. However this method has a problem. Now everyone teases you about that one. So what you need to do is Pretend to like someone, then no one will teas you about the one you Really like (assuming there is such a person) unfortunately some people will relies what you are doing ,so you may be better off pretending to like the person you do like, but if you do that some people will think you like the one you like so they will teas you about him or her. of course some people will realize your pretending and teas you about other people and some will realize who you really do like and teas you about HIM. So the best thing to do is not pretend to like any one and if you do like someone than try not to let it become common knowledge… of cores that leaves you with a low level of teasing all the way around, either that or a high level … which … is where we started?…. Well haw do you like that ?