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Ian S LaSpina




PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It still feels like everyone is overly concerned with whether or not the warbow can reliably defeat armor, or at least in large enough numbers could hit the gaps in armor. It doesn't have to do either to be effective though. The arrow doesn't need to make you bleed to defeat you. The repeated impact force of an arrow storm on your helmet or armored body parts is, I believe, enough to take the man out of the fight regardless of whether the arrow penetrated anything at all, or at the very least make him much less combat effective.

The scenario of the close-range flat trajectory heavy warbow, impacts with tremendous force as demonstrated by countless tests. All these tests, as have been so graciously pointed out, are for the most part fatally flawed when it comes to proving whether or not an arrow can defeat the armor of the day, that is punching through or deforming it in a meaningful way etc. One aspect that cannot be ignored is the force of impact exerted on the man inside the armor as demonstrated by these tests. F=ma regardless of material used, or how accurate the maille is to period, or if the breastplate is hardened...

Just as a bullet proof kevlar vest or SAPI plate can prevent the penetration of a bullet into your chest cavity, the force imparted is still enough to break ribs, disable you, or if you're unlucky, potentially kill you. An arrow imparts a tremendous amount of force on such a small surface area that it's impacts are comparable to that of bullets. This force alone, repeatedly over and over again, would at least sap the energy from any man caught in an arrow-storm, despite how armored he is, and make him easy pickings for a man-at-arms of the opposing side. At Agincourt this must have been incredibly brutal when combined with the terrible conditions the French were trying to trudge through.

Arrows don't have to make you bleed to defeat you soundly. They just need to beat the crap out of you so someone else can kill you with much less effort. Seems like a short bodkin head would be great for imparting this force to the fully armored knight or man-at-arms, and if the archer's lucky, you don't have any armor on, or it's of poor quality, and as a bonus they get to kill you outright.

/erects pavise of condescending and dismissive remarks protection +1 (sorry guys, just trying to keep it light Cool )

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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
On p.18 of The Great Warbow Hardy reckons that warbows of 143-165 lbs shooting arrows weighing 3.5-4.0 oz. can fly up to 240 yards and lose 15-30% of their initial velocity at the point of impact.


Was this with or without calculating with draw full to the ear? Draw to the lips in victorian lady recreational longbow style, aka modern style draw, will result in noticeably lower draw weights from the same bow.
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Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Mon 12 Mar, 2012 8:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
I
F=ma regardless of material used, or how accurate the maille is to period, or if the breastplate is hardened...



Well, force is hugely dependent on material used though - because deceleration of arrow will be pretty much dependent on what it hits...

If you punch steel wall, deceleration will be very violent with catastrophic results to the hand, obviously. Eek!

If you punch - in the very same way, and with the same energy - block of cotton, or whatever, hand will get slowed down much more gently, and not much will happen to it at all.

I'm not sure impacts could be compared to bullets too - bullets have way, way higher energy and velocity than arrows - while their momentum can often be even lower, due to relatively small mass. Thus deceleration, "a" in equation would be high.

So due to stopping qualities of mail/cloth or plate, impact against body would have to further damped, as arrow would get slowed down by those.

I'm no physic, obviously, and I'm not sure at all how would that arrow impact really act over the body, so I'm not denying any of your hypothesis, just noting some things. Big Grin
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
On p.18 of The Great Warbow Hardy reckons that warbows of 143-165 lbs shooting arrows weighing 3.5-4.0 oz. can fly up to 240 yards and lose 15-30% of their initial velocity at the point of impact.


IMO that is a slight underestimation on the range. I shoot a 90lbs yew bow, but I know people shooting 130lb+ bows are putting accurate war arrow replicas up to and over 300 yards fairly regularly (I can put a target arrow out to that distance). Add to this the historical data - Henry VIII made archery butts a *minimum* of 220 yards from the marks. So archers even in the Tudor period were expected to be practicing at 220+ yards as a norm.

Out of interest Dan, what is your theory on why Edward III, Henry IV and Henry V all issued Acts to try and force arrowhead makers to use steel rather than iron for arrowheads and to harden them? These kings seem to have considered it very important to have hardened steel arrowheads.

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Ian S LaSpina




PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Ian S LaSpina wrote:
I
F=ma regardless of material used, or how accurate the maille is to period, or if the breastplate is hardened...



Well, force is hugely dependent on material used though - because deceleration of arrow will be pretty much dependent on what it hits...

If you punch steel wall, deceleration will be very violent with catastrophic results to the hand, obviously. Eek!

If you punch - in the very same way, and with the same energy - block of cotton, or whatever, hand will get slowed down much more gently, and not much will happen to it at all.

I'm not sure impacts could be compared to bullets too - bullets have way, way higher energy and velocity than arrows - while their momentum can often be even lower, due to relatively small mass. Thus deceleration, "a" in equation would be high.

So due to stopping qualities of mail/cloth or plate, impact against body would have to further damped, as arrow would get slowed down by those.

I'm no physic, obviously, and I'm not sure at all how would that arrow impact really act over the body, so I'm not denying any of your hypothesis, just noting some things. Big Grin


Material matters in so much that in comes in different masses and how it deforms on impact. Copper jacketed lead is heavy (bullets) but is very SOFT when compared to the steel used in arrow heads. In the force tests conducted by MIke Loades in going medieval, the energy imparted by an arrow to the force meter at point blank range was roughly equivalent to a .44 magnum bullet impact.

Also, knives impact with more force than bullets, a lot of people are surprised by this, but it all comes down to surface area on impact. That's why arrows can pack such a punch at much slower velocities than bullets. All the acceleration and mass is imparted on the tip of the arrow and steel is hard comparatively to copper-jacketed lead, so yes, arrows can impact with comparable force.

I understand that the force is spread by the garments as well, but so the principle stands with kevlar, and kevlar is much more efficient and distributing force than raw cotton and layers of linen, result is broken bones and huge impact traumas despite the cushioning effect of the protective garment.

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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 9:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:


IMO that is a slight underestimation on the range. I shoot a 90lbs yew bow, but I know people shooting 130lb+ bows are putting accurate war arrow replicas up to and over 300 yards fairly regularly (I can put a target arrow out to that distance). Add to this the historical data - Henry VIII made archery butts a *minimum* of 220 yards from the marks. So archers even in the Tudor period were expected to be practicing at 220+ yards as a norm.
.


Dan mentioned 3.5 + ounces arrows though, and that's no real way to put those at 300 yards, while lighter arrows obviously could fly even further.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as bludgeoning trauma via arrow impacts that don't penetrate go, I'm skeptical. I've never encountered a period source that mentions battering opponents unconscious with arrows. There's that one source from the Crusades that mentions arrows causes bruises beneath arrow, but I've never seen anything equivalent in the age of plate. I think good armor allowed warriors to wade through arrow storms without meaningful harm. The same applies to bullets, by the way, or at least handgun rounds. Consider the North Hollywood shootout. Police handguns and even a 12-gauge shotgun couldn't penetrate the bank robbers armor. Blunt force trauma didn't incapacitate the robbers; only bigger guns and wounds to unprotected parts ended the fight.
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Ian S LaSpina




PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
As far as bludgeoning trauma via arrow impacts that don't penetrate go, I'm skeptical. I've never encountered a period source that mentions battering opponents unconscious with arrows. There's that one source from the Crusades that mentions arrows causes bruises beneath arrow, but I've never seen anything equivalent in the age of plate. I think good armor allowed warriors to wade through arrow storms without meaningful harm. The same applies to bullets, by the way, or at least handgun rounds. Consider the North Hollywood shootout. Police handguns and even a 12-gauge shotgun couldn't penetrate the bank robbers armor. Blunt force trauma didn't incapacitate the robbers; only bigger guns and wounds to unprotected parts ended the fight.


At the risk of being slightly off-topc, that's absolutely not true of bullets. The north hollywood shootout is an outlier. 12 gauge shotguns have minimal penetrative power by the way, that's why they're useful in doors (they don't go through anything). The other gazillion examples of people being shot with modern ballistic armor would beg to differ. Getting shot with a bullet proof vest on is like being hit with a baseball bat. And SAPI plates only work once. You'll notice the gunmen in north hollywood had no problem penetrating the police body armor, the police were just using ineffectual ammunition, and is a poor example of military grade ammunition and even modern LE ammunition and weapons. This incident is WHY police now carry M-16/AR-15 style carbines and rifles. But that's beside the point.

I also never stated people we're being knocked unconcsious with arrows, but I cannot believe that arrows just bounced off of heavily armored men like the movies would have us believe without imparting any of their incredible force to the man inside.

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
At the risk of being slightly off-topc, that's absolutely not true of bullets. The north hollywood shootout is an outlier.


I doubt the laws of physics were different on that day. The robbers had metal stop plates that - like historical plate armor - reduce blunt trauma. While some bullet-resistant vests allow deformation sufficient to cause injury, better armor doesn't. See this demonstration, for example. As the person getting shot notes, it feels less forceful than a punch. Here are a few more examples.

Quote:
I also never stated people we're being knocked unconcsious with arrows, but I cannot believe that arrows just bounced off of heavily armored men like the movies would have us believe without imparting any of their incredible force to the man inside.


Arrows tend to instantly drop armored warriors in the movies I've seen, but I guess this varies. Regardless, period sources suggest those in quality harness did indeed ignore arrow impacts that didn't penetrate. The danger came in getting an arrow in your face, through a gusset of mail, or perhaps through the thinner limb armor.

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:

Out of interest Dan, what is your theory on why Edward III, Henry IV and Henry V all issued Acts to try and force arrowhead makers to use steel rather than iron for arrowheads and to harden them? These kings seem to have considered it very important to have hardened steel arrowheads.


I already commented on that

Quote:
I agree that lighter armour is more easily compromised by a heavy war arrow, but usually only at shorter ranges. Steeled arrowheads would help a lot in those situations


By "lighter armour" I would include thin pieces of plate.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:

IMO that is a slight underestimation on the range. I shoot a 90lbs yew bow, but I know people shooting 130lb+ bows are putting accurate war arrow replicas up to and over 300 yards fairly regularly (I can put a target arrow out to that distance). Add to this the historical data - Henry VIII made archery butts a *minimum* of 220 yards from the marks. So archers even in the Tudor period were expected to be practicing at 220+ yards as a norm.

Try doing the same thing with a proper war arrow. I specifically noted the weight of the arrows tested (3.5 - 4 oz) and there is at least one text bemoaning the fact that nobody can shoot half-pound arrows any more. The whole point of these heavy bows was to put war arrows far enough down range to give commanders some tactical options.
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
As far as bludgeoning trauma via arrow impacts that don't penetrate go, I'm skeptical.

Its just a whiny excuse from people who can't punch their arrows through plate like they expected. It is one of the rationalisations given in the warbow trials for example. In plate harness you'd maybe get bruised. In more flexible armour the damage could be worse.
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
I also never stated people we're being knocked unconcsious with arrows, but I cannot believe that arrows just bounced off of heavily armored men like the movies would have us believe without imparting any of their incredible force to the man inside.

I'd love to see a single movie where armour worked as it is supposed to rather than just being a kewl costume. In every movie I've seen swords and arrows go through armour like it wasn't there.
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Ian S LaSpina




PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Ian S LaSpina wrote:
I also never stated people we're being knocked unconcsious with arrows, but I cannot believe that arrows just bounced off of heavily armored men like the movies would have us believe without imparting any of their incredible force to the man inside.

I'd love to see a single movie where armour worked as it is supposed to rather than just being a kewl costume. In every movie I've seen swords and arrows go through armour like it wasn't there.


Yes, my point exactly.

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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Ian S LaSpina wrote:
I also never stated people we're being knocked unconcsious with arrows, but I cannot believe that arrows just bounced off of heavily armored men like the movies would have us believe without imparting any of their incredible force to the man inside.

I'd love to see a single movie where armour worked as it is supposed to rather than just being a kewl costume. In every movie I've seen swords and arrows go through armour like it wasn't there.


Yes, my point exactly.

So what is the one where "arrows just bounced off of heavily armored men like the movies would have us believe" ?
I'd love to see any movie that had arrows bouncing off instead of going through like butter.
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Ian S LaSpina




PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

So what is the one where "arrows just bounced off of heavily armored men like the movies would have us believe" ?
I'd love to see any movie that had arrows bouncing off instead of going through like butter.


I don't feel like getting in to a semantics game, my point was that armor functions improperly in movies. It's either a cloak of invincibility, or acts like tissue paper. Both of which are poor representations of reality.

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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I didn't mean it that way. I'm genuinely interested in seeing this movie. It would be a refreshing change.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:


I don't feel like getting in to a semantics game, my point was that armor functions improperly in movies. It's either a cloak of invincibility, or acts like tissue paper. Both of which are poor representations of reality.


To be honest, I can't really recall "cloak of invicibility" being used ever. Save silly fantasy movies where age rating is too low or/and special effect are to poor, so no one generally ever get's hit with weapon/arrow. Laughing Out Loud

But that's quite huge offtop.
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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Warbow effectiveness         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
but some poorer troops lacked even good jacks


By the 14th century, though, I strongly doubt that such troops would have even been fielded on the battlefield at all--at least in the context of the Hundred Years' War, since I don't see the Swiss or the Ditmarschers kibitzing in it.
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Matt Easton wrote:

Out of interest Dan, what is your theory on why Edward III, Henry IV and Henry V all issued Acts to try and force arrowhead makers to use steel rather than iron for arrowheads and to harden them? These kings seem to have considered it very important to have hardened steel arrowheads.


I already commented on that

Quote:
I agree that lighter armour is more easily compromised by a heavy war arrow, but usually only at shorter ranges. Steeled arrowheads would help a lot in those situations


By "lighter armour" I would include thin pieces of plate.


Wow, cool. I didn't think I would see you say that. Happy

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