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Gary Teuscher




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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Thanks Gary, I think I understand now. In what ballpark of missile energy might the Genoese have been shooting compared to the longbows in 1346? How heavy-duty might their crossbows and ammunition have been in comparison, and which devices for drawing the crossbow were then in common use?


First question is about how powerful the Longbows were. The Mary Rose shows us a snapshot of Longbows from the Flagship of the English Navy in the mid 16th century, and that they were about 6.5 feet in length and about a 150 pound draw on average. And even the 150 pound draw is to a point debatable.

How does this translate to military bows in 14th century English Armies? I'm not sure. The other found longbows not from the Mary Rose have lower draws, but these could possibly have been hunitng weapons, and none date from the 14th century.

As a real guesstimate maybe in the 120-150 pound range for the longbows? With 30.5 inches as an average arrow length with no arrowhead, we can say a 29 inch draw perhaps.

With simplistic numbers, 290 to 360 or so foot pounds of stored energy.

I think based on Gallwey's book that most of the bows at Crecy would have been the composite or even wooden type. This may have changed a bit by the time of Agincourt. He does not give much of an estimate for draw weight though.

As I said above, I do not think it would be unreasonable for a 300 pound draw crossbow if using a belt hook. Heavier if Cord and Pulley. With the 10 inch draw that the bolts Gallwey mentions (12 inch bolts), we would have 250 foot pounds for the belt hook types, and if we look at a 450-650 pound draw for Cord and Pulley, a 375 to 540 foot pound range.

This is much speculation however. In my opinion only, I don't think you would have bows that are both slower to load and shorter ranged and less hitting power superseding selfbows, so just due to this I'd think the cord and pulley types would be the more numerous type in the 14th century, particularily among trained professional crossbowmen like the Genoese.

I'd also add that Gallwey suggests a bolt weight of 2.5 ounces on average - right around that 1000+ grain weight of what an arrow from an English Longbow would likely weigh. So the upper end of the scale draw weight crossbows would be less efficient than their counterparts Longbow - but would still have superior hitting power and range if using arched fire.

A 650 pound draw crossbow with a 2.5 ounce bolt may only travel 5-10 meters per second faster than a longbow arrow - but as energy is squared for determining Kinetic Energy, it would have a fair amount more hitting power.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
[

With simplistic numbers, 290 to 360 or so foot pounds of stored energy.



This doesn't seem realistic to me....

Assuming 50% efficiency of transferring this stored energy to arrow energy, this would give arrows at least 200 J of initial KE, which is way high. From all actual velocity tests of heavy bows, 150J is very rarely approached with selfbows.

And with good longbow, 50% efficiency is obviously not even close to 'good', with heavy arrow and perfect loose 70% is very possible.
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Gary Teuscher




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Jul, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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This doesn't seem realistic to me....


They were more comparison numbers, as I said a rough idea.

I should have halved the foot pounds to take into account a linear force curve (which is not 100% accurate, but it works to a point), i.e. the draw starts at 0 and goes to 100% of the draw weight at the end. Although in reality the draw starts at the brace, and assuming straight line force curves it might start at 20% of draw.

So pretty well halve those numbers if you are looking for force imparted, before efficiency factors.

If you are interested, this is a great site for showing how some of the factors influence efficiency, primarily arrow weight. It's turkish bows however, and due to the recurve they are more efficient than self bows, 80%+ is possible.

http://www.atarn.org/islamic/Performance/Perf...h_bows.htm
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William P




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jul, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Michael Parker wrote
Quote:
but a test on Weapons that Made Britain using a guy with a belt and claw suggested that with considerable effort a crossbowman could shoot as many as 8 bolts per minute to the longbow's 12-18


I was there that day, working on the production and unfortunately Glenn pretty much hit the nail on the head. Numbers were rounded up, others were rounded down and it was spliced in the edit. The bow was a 150lb bow not a war bow and after the minute the longbowman was happily ready for more, the crossbowman had his hands on his knees panting with exhaustion and very much not ready for more.


Tod

leo
just so im clear that wasnt a typo when you said 150lb that the longbowman had, if so how then is it not a war bow?
or did you mean 50lb's which makes more sense.

Quote:
Either a windlass or cranequin bow takes around 40 seconds a shot, = 1.5 shots a minute, with a loader this becomes 3, in the nature of this lets round up on the basis maybe they take 35 seconds = 4 shots a minute. In no way even with a single loader is 8 possible.


saying that and using the example of a windlass crossbows rate of fire seems kind of irrelevent to discussing the test on the show since that test used a belt and claw which unless im sorely mistaken looks like it is ALOT faster than a windlass.

secondly do you know what the poundage of the crossbow that was used in the test was, that seems like a question thats just as important IMHO.
i mean if its not the poundage of bow that the genoese archers at crecy would have used its kind of irrelevent at proving any kind of point except maybe that not all crossbows are super slow weapons.

im gonna assume though that a belt and claw loaded composite crossbow seems like it couldnt (in theory) generate the pondages that would match the english warbows used during the hundred years war.

Has anyone tested the difference in loading times between the various methods of loading (hand spanned, belt and claw, rack and pinion, windlass etc)

Lastly has anyone tested crossbows to try and figure out at what pondage does a particular loading system become unable to span the bow. like say hypothetically that a crossbow over 300 pounds cant be hand spanned quickly enough to make it worthwhile (thats just an example though the actual figures might be wildly different.
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Jan Boucký




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan Boucký wrote:
William P wrote:
Leo Todeschini wrote:
Michael Parker wrote
Quote:
but a test on Weapons that Made Britain using a guy with a belt and claw suggested that with considerable effort a crossbowman could shoot as many as 8 bolts per minute to the longbow's 12-18


I was there that day, working on the production and unfortunately Glenn pretty much hit the nail on the head. Numbers were rounded up, others were rounded down and it was spliced in the edit. The bow was a 150lb bow not a war bow and after the minute the longbowman was happily ready for more, the crossbowman had his hands on his knees panting with exhaustion and very much not ready for more.


Tod

leo
just so im clear that wasnt a typo when you said 150lb that the longbowman had, if so how then is it not a war bow?
or did you mean 50lb's which makes more sense.

Quote:
Either a windlass or cranequin bow takes around 40 seconds a shot, = 1.5 shots a minute, with a loader this becomes 3, in the nature of this lets round up on the basis maybe they take 35 seconds = 4 shots a minute. In no way even with a single loader is 8 possible.


saying that and using the example of a windlass crossbows rate of fire seems kind of irrelevent to discussing the test on the show since that test used a belt and claw which unless im sorely mistaken looks like it is ALOT faster than a windlass.

secondly do you know what the poundage of the crossbow that was used in the test was, that seems like a question thats just as important IMHO.
i mean if its not the poundage of bow that the genoese archers at crecy would have used its kind of irrelevent at proving any kind of point except maybe that not all crossbows are super slow weapons.

im gonna assume though that a belt and claw loaded composite crossbow seems like it couldnt (in theory) generate the pondages that would match the english warbows used during the hundred years war.

Has anyone tested the difference in loading times between the various methods of loading (hand spanned, belt and claw, rack and pinion, windlass etc)

Lastly has anyone tested crossbows to try and figure out at what pondage does a particular loading system become unable to span the bow. like say hypothetically that a crossbow over 300 pounds cant be hand spanned quickly enough to make it worthwhile (thats just an example though the actual figures might be wildly different.
Wink
Wink Sorry guys, but you try to solve too much technical details like draw weight and etc. and not a way how these poor Genoese guys were tactically deployed - under my opininon the biggest problem was that they were not accompanied by any light or heavy infantry and pavissmen to launch an attack on English, to open doors for the following attack of French heavies...... French tactics in Crecy battle was stupid and practically non-existing. I am new to this forum, but going through the threads in forum I can clearly see that there is something like a "longbow vs. crossbow" mania, my opinion is following - both weapons had pros and coins....crossbow is for example much better weapon for siege warfare....longbow is perhaps better in the fiekd...but in fact battles were won by complex actions of missile units, cavalry, infantry and artillerry...
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Parker wrote:
Also, I just realized that we're getting away from the original point of my question, which is how to understand the conflicting claims of the sources regarding the defeat of the crossbowmen at Crecy. It is quite right to say that this battle was not a fair contest to see whether longbow or crossbow was superior, but rather a debacle for the Genoese caused my events largely beyond their control. I am trying to figure out what those extenuating circumstances were, and while continuing the interesting discussion of the finer points of longbow and crossbow archery I would like to hear more thoughts about what actually happened in the Valee aux Clercs at Crecy. Was it the pavises that weren't there, or the strings that got wet? There are so many excuses in the sources that I tend to doubt that they all were true. Can we figure out which of these overlapping claims are more or less likely?


A different point of view might help:
The Italian crossbowmen usually operated with their missile weapon, a crossbow, a pavise/shield they could use in combat and a short sword. Depending on the pavise, they are close to the Roman legionary in concept by having a missile weapon, a large shield and a short stabbing sword combined with comparably good infantry armour. The choice between crossbow and javelin was rather one of education and economy, but both were operated in similar manner.
The crossbow closes the gap from the javelin to the very different concept of the bow, it's no bow replacement in Western Eurasia - in Eastern Eurasia it was with corresponding long draw length. Employing crossbowmen was very similar to javelineers in concept and less like archers.

The constant discussions about longbows and crossbows have their root in the Anglosphere that has created the urge to perpetuate the myth of longbow dominance for centuries as part of the larger national narrative. From this perspective highlighting crossbow capabilities looks like a heretic attack on national pride - let's discuss Wembley. The English longbowman did shoot more arrows within a short time frame, enabling him to win missile engagements due to the application of Lanchester's square law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanchester%27s_l...Square_Law

The crossbowmen in the open were individually at a serious disadvantage vis ŕ vis a longbowman and always opted for use of their more defensive concept of employing large shields to compensate for the rapid missile barrage archers could field. With their shields the crossbowmen were a highly feared force, including archery heavy enemies during the crusades. We can discuss the rate of shot of crossbows in comparison to longbows, but for ranged combat the characteristics of the square law mean that a small advantage gives a devastating supremacy in an encounter. With equal(!) protection the English archers could defeat several times their number of crossbowmen without incurring significant losses themselves. Unequal protection changes the balance of the whole equation. Common French infantry relying on their shields were very capable at approaching English lines. Crossbowmen without shields and mounted men-at-arms were butchered and dismounted men-at-arms weren't much better off - more armour less shields? - the whole affair has to do with a social system celebrated in combat on the French side.
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Jan Boucký




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:
Michael Parker wrote:
Also, I just realized that we're getting away from the original point of my question, which is how to understand the conflicting claims of the sources regarding the defeat of the crossbowmen at Crecy. It is quite right to say that this battle was not a fair contest to see whether longbow or crossbow was superior, but rather a debacle for the Genoese caused my events largely beyond their control. I am trying to figure out what those extenuating circumstances were, and while continuing the interesting discussion of the finer points of longbow and crossbow archery I would like to hear more thoughts about what actually happened in the Valee aux Clercs at Crecy. Was it the pavises that weren't there, or the strings that got wet? There are so many excuses in the sources that I tend to doubt that they all were true. Can we figure out which of these overlapping claims are more or less likely?


A different point of view might help:
The Italian crossbowmen usually operated with their missile weapon, a crossbow, a pavise/shield they could use in combat and a short sword. Depending on the pavise, they are close to the Roman legionary in concept by having a missile weapon, a large shield and a short stabbing sword combined with comparably good infantry armour. The choice between crossbow and javelin was rather one of education and economy, but both were operated in similar manner.
The crossbow closes the gap from the javelin to the very different concept of the bow, it's no bow replacement in Western Eurasia - in Eastern Eurasia it was with corresponding long draw length. Employing crossbowmen was very similar to javelineers in concept and less like archers.

.
Kurt thanks for your post, which is very explanatory, just a quote - as I know it was very unusual for RHE to hire in 14.-15. c. purely missile units, these guys were usually part of infantry units., their ratio to melee soldiers differed significantly...of course...... intelligent merc commanders employed by big German cities used already mixed formations..... Wink
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jul, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A simple experience from the fitness studio: my legs can create more storeable energy for a much longer times - they are about 4 times stronger than my arms.
The crossbow uses the legs in Western Eurasia. The crossbow in the hands of an equally trained professional is certainly slower than the longbow, more powerful, more enduring and quite precise. The great plus is that the crossbow stores energy that allows a very good combined arms application in a scenario where openings for missile support happen at random short intervals. The shortened range of combined arms missile combat makes it devastating. The longbow is not suited for this application and as soon as someone finds out how to safely close the distance - with lots of shields roofed over or Italian armour at Verneuil - the combined arms combat missile capability would count most.

The other treshold is armour and range, the higher power stored by some crossbows enables bolts to penetrate against protection degrees and at ranges (massed indirect shots with crossbows are documented) beyond the energy limits of longbow arrows. The bolts are more stubby with resulting reduced energy loss due to friction during flight - transporting more of their release energy over a distance. Increasingly penetration resitant armour reduces the possible applications of longbows (except if someone tries footbows?), while crossbows still have some inherent development potential to compete at a a much reduced rate of shot.
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Gary Teuscher




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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im gonna assume though that a belt and claw loaded composite crossbow seems like it couldnt (in theory) generate the pondages that would match the english warbows used during the hundred years war.


This is incorrect IMO. The Belt Claw only crossbow could be drawn to a weight where it's performance is similar to that of a longbow. But the cord and pully, which is in essence an expansion of the claw idea only with pulley's to increase one's available "drawing strength" would be similar to the belt claw in draw time. And a pulley based draw could easily store more energy than a longbow.

Quote:
Sorry guys, but you try to solve too much technical details like draw weight and etc. and not a way how these poor Genoese guys were tactically deployed - under my opininon the biggest problem was that they were not accompanied by any light or heavy infantry and pavissmen to launch an attack on English, to open doors for the following attack of French heavies...... French tactics in Crecy battle was stupid and practically non-existing


Very true. Many look at the early hundred years war as "proof" of the superiority of the longbow over the crossbow. I look at it showing more the superiority of tactics and generalship of the English over the French, the Crossbow became the scapegoat.

In a similar manner,manylook at the Roman victories over Hellenic Kingdoms as "proof" of the superiority of the javelin/shortsword roman footsoldier over pike armed hellenics. I think it merely showed the superiority of the Roman system, including logisitics (including manpower logistics) over the Hellenic Kingdoms.

After all, if the pike was so bad compared to the shortword/javelin combo, why do we see at the end of the middle ages pike armed infantry as the superior infantry force? Why not javelins and shortswords?

ETA: Thought I'd throw in an excerpt from Payne-Gallwey's book:

Quote:
The single claw of the pulley was hooked over the bow-string close to its centre, and guided in its course along the stock, and also held from slipping sideways, by the fingers of the crossbowman, fig. 31.

As the crossbowman straightened his legs and body from their stooping posture, he naturally applied considerable force to his cord and pulley. He was thus able, quickly and easily, to draw the string of his crossbow towards him along the groove of its stock, till it finally caught on the nut that held it fast till the trigger was pressed. The cord and pulley being then removed from the crossbow, the weapon was ready for use.

The crossbowman placed his foot through the stirrup of his crossbow, in order to hold its stock firmly to the ground, so that it might resist the strain he applied to the bow-string.

This was a rapid and effective manner of bending the bow of a crossbow which, though too strong to be bent by hand alone, was not powerful enough to require a windlass for the purpose.

The system of a cord and pulley was probably the most ancient of all devices for bending crossbows, and is one that is rarely shown in illustrated manuscripts of a later date than the end of the first quarter of the fourteenth century.


Seems like tjis method fell out of fashion by the 1400's.

I'd think though at Crecy you's see a mixture of simple Belt Claws, the Cord and pulley (attched to a belt), but likely not any or many windlasses.

I'm a bit suprised at the Cord and Pulley falling out of use. It can handle more draw that the belt claw alone, and was rather quick to load. It's seems a lot quicker to load than with a windlass or cranequin.
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jul, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's an assumption on the belt-claw system being used to pull standing. Taking Anna Comnena's account on crossbows, it's possible that there was also an option of pulling with the claw or with both hands on the string while lying down, giving a much longer power stroke - perhaps in a shooter-puller team.
I highlighted the crossbow as an important combined arms weapon capable of storing high energy levels for release required to penetrate increasingly strong armour. In such a context speed of shot is of much reduced importance because there's only a limited amount of possible shots within a timeframe from available positions. But these shots suffice due to their high lethality. In my opinion, teamwork with designated shooters of capability and mindset to kill (often neglected in theoretical works) to handle the weapons provided by a number of aides was sufficient. The penetration capability approaches early gunpowder weapons, but with far higher rate of hits per shots and not much less time to rearm.
Within a general trend, the bow had a higher rate of shot and was more demanding for energy transfer from weaker muscles with more dexterity. The crossbow was slower, with more energy transferred from stronger muscles with more endurance and then systems for a more constant lower powered input and even higher energy output per shot. The gunpowder weapons have very little energy requirements, but are slower to load than these crossbows with a projectile that has some more energy.
The trend is visible as more energy per shot, slower shooting speed, shooting from shorter distances and ever cheaper projectiles. Shooting becomes part of close combat, best highlighted by the reiter's pistol. The longbow is an attempt to swim against the trend with some niche applications.

The English longbow is part of a system of bills(you find similar "bills" among Italian halberds, a design that did catch on) and bows and staves. To fully understand the longbow you have to look at the combined arms. The reports about English fighting with bills highlight incredible abilities to win the psychological close combat problem. This poses a first problem, you need men willing and able to fight these outstanding billmen without running the risk of a hard to revert mass panic. The Scots solved this by a cutting edge with long spears for the initial clash (they were too long at Flodden Fields and showcase how good the English bills were). The French tried to get their best and most reliable fighters there, the men-at-arms. That's the first filter, who can achieve anything if facing the English in close combat. The choices implemented by this filter opened up the opportunities for another weapon it was combined with, the longbow. The longbow was a very effective filter mechanism to ensure favorable conditions under most circumstances for the final clash with the bills. The filter effects of the longbow were even improved by putting staves in the ground. The problem of this approach was that under the current military developments it was a matter of time until an armour degree would be achieved that diminished the filter roles played by longbows and staves, creating increasing reliance on the bills with less and less prior influence on approach. The French tried all to solve this approach problem, with covering fire, speed and armour.

Gary Teuscher wrote:

I'm a bit suprised at the Cord and Pulley falling out of use. It can handle more draw that the belt claw alone, and was rather quick to load. It's seems a lot quicker to load than with a windlass or cranequin.

Cord and pulley is the rarest surviving specimen of such systems. Don't ask me why, but they must have seen some serious disadvantage. See this exhaustive German study for more information (it includes more than the projectile heads of Medieval European crossbows)

Mittelalterliche Geschossspitzen
kulturhistorische, archäologische und archäometallurgische Untersuchungen
Zimmermann, Bernd
Basel, Schweizerischer Burgenverein, 2000
ISBN/ISSN/ISMN: 3-908182-10-7
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William P




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

considering different crossbows have different speeds of loading/ maximum power

it wouldnt surprise me thata grop of say, 10 mercenary crossbowmen might have all except for one or two having faster shooting belt and claw/ goats foot/ rack and pinion loaded crossbows of lowepower but faster rates of fire and 1 or2 having those big, 800-1000 lb windlass operated crossbows in the same way your modern infantry squad has men with marksmans rifles and LMG/ HMG's
the 2 big crossbows could be on hand to pick off those nobles who are particularly well armoured and wont go down as easily.

the fact a crossbow can be loaded in advance also has mirrors with the wheellock firearm, made them both superbly good for being used in a mounted fashion

as one guy puts it, 'you can load a crossbow, sit back and point it at the spot you expect the enemy to come through, then just sit back and wait for the enemy to show himself.

to take this example to extremes, this might be of popular hype and myth but ive heard that in the tomb of shihuangdi/ the terracotta warriors (cant spellhis name) has a series of rigged crossbows set up like booby traps i remember hearing SOMEWHERE cant find it now, that some of these traps actally delayed the excavation work at one time because some were still operational..
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This tomb was robbed long before the excavation and we don't have any all-metal crossbows from that date. There are claimed to have been traps, that's true, but other than the problem of doing a good dig of artifacts, like former hidden traps for documentation, there are no problems to life or limb of the excavators.
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Jan Boucký




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
considering different crossbows have different speeds of loading/ maximum power

it wouldnt surprise me thata grop of say, 10 mercenary crossbowmen might have all except for one or two having faster shooting belt and claw/ goats foot/ rack and pinion loaded crossbows of lowepower but faster rates of fire and 1 or2 having those big, 800-1000 lb windlass operated crossbows in the same way your modern infantry squad has men with marksmans rifles and LMG/ HMG's
the 2 big crossbows could be on hand to pick off those nobles who are particularly well armoured and wont go down as easily.

the fact a crossbow can be loaded in advance also has mirrors with the wheellock firearm, made them both superbly good for being used in a mounted fashion

as one guy puts it, 'you can load a crossbow, sit back and point it at the spot you expect the enemy to come through, then just sit back and wait for the enemy to show himself.

to take this example to extremes, this might be of popular hype and myth but ive heard that in the tomb of shihuangdi/ the terracotta warriors (cant spellhis name) has a series of rigged crossbows set up like booby traps i remember hearing SOMEWHERE cant find it now, that some of these traps actally delayed the excavation work at one time because some were still operational..
William I am sorry, but your idea with big crossbows does not seem to me very good and practical, first of all even in all historical military literature/manuals starting from for example book of Czech condortierre Václav Vlček z Čenova (cca 1425-1502) - "Learning of how to line up horse, foot and wagons"(sorry for my free translation from old Czech) and the same for napoleonic armies in 19. c. the order was clear - "shoot at the horses not men"...this is the way how to stop any cavalry charge!!! Wink ........
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Gary Teuscher




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
"shoot at the horses not men"...this is the way how to stop any cavalry charge!!! ........


No armour and being a big target makes them the best option!

Quote:
it wouldnt surprise me thata grop of say, 10 mercenary crossbowmen might have all except for one or two having faster shooting belt and claw/ goats foot/ rack and pinion loaded crossbows of lowepower but faster rates of fire and 1 or2 having those big, 800-1000 lb windlass operated crossbows in the same way your modern infantry squad has men with marksmans rifles and LMG/ HMG's


I would not apply 21st century thinking to a middle ages army.

Quote:
Cord and pulley is the rarest surviving specimen of such systems. Don't ask me why, but they must have seen some serious disadvantage. See this exhaustive German study for more information (it includes more than the projectile heads of Medieval European crossbows)


Yeah, I've noticed that. Seems a bit strange, a cord and pulley would load quickly, about like a belt claw, and the ability to draw a heavier weight. I don't know why it was not more common. Most of the illustrations I've seen are belt claw. Maybe the pulley fouled often or for other reason was just not as reliable as other methods.

You mention a good point about draw length though. The 10" draw I've been using is based upon the 12" bolts Payne-Gallwey uses, but I think he is using steel bow bolt lengths, the most common type. I just don't think there is a whole lot of information out there on the composite crossbow's regarding things like draw length and bolt size. They may well have averaged a few inches more, which would make a big difference.
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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote
Quote:

leo, just so im clear that wasnt a typo when you said 150lb that the longbowman had, if so how then is it not a war bow?
or did you mean 50lb's which makes more sense.


Sorry I wrote badly. The crossbow was 150lb and I don't know about the longbow, but if we view the show again we should be able to get an idea if is likely to be 90lb plus by the way he is shooting.

There is a great discussion on bow powers and efficiencies here http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=arbalest

The bow weights are a little more complicated that a direct comparison and I would say that a 450lb crossbow would be equivalent to a longbow of about 100lb.


A physical man can hand span a crossbow by hand to about 220lb if he were trained to it, then maybe 280lb. You can get off about 8 shots a minute with this.

A goats foot will go to about 400lb and these were around in the 14thC
You can get off about 6 shots a minute off with this.

A belt and claw will go to about 350lb and you can get off about 6 shots a minute.

I have never tried a belt and pulley but logic says it will double the belt and claw minus a few friction losses, but this would take it to 650lb and this sounds unreasonable to me.

Cranequin and windlass will take about 40 seconds to span, shoot and reset and can be used upto any poundage.

Liebels work in the 60's and my general observations basically show that given a projectile of a reasonable weight, you will get distances of around 240m. This rule of thumb seems to follow for bows from about 250lb upward.

I have never shot a composite bow, but they appear to have similar poundages and draw lengths to steel bows and I suspect that as they were used for hunting bows long after steel bow technology was easily available, there would have been a good reason for this and I suspect that it was higher velocities off the bow.

Regards

Tod

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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 12:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan Boucký wrote:
William P wrote:
considering different crossbows have different speeds of loading/ maximum power

it wouldnt surprise me thata grop of say, 10 mercenary crossbowmen might have all except for one or two having faster shooting belt and claw/ goats foot/ rack and pinion loaded crossbows of lowepower but faster rates of fire and 1 or2 having those big, 800-1000 lb windlass operated crossbows in the same way your modern infantry squad has men with marksmans rifles and LMG/ HMG's
the 2 big crossbows could be on hand to pick off those nobles who are particularly well armoured and wont go down as easily.

the fact a crossbow can be loaded in advance also has mirrors with the wheellock firearm, made them both superbly good for being used in a mounted fashion

as one guy puts it, 'you can load a crossbow, sit back and point it at the spot you expect the enemy to come through, then just sit back and wait for the enemy to show himself.

to take this example to extremes, this might be of popular hype and myth but ive heard that in the tomb of shihuangdi/ the terracotta warriors (cant spellhis name) has a series of rigged crossbows set up like booby traps i remember hearing SOMEWHERE cant find it now, that some of these traps actally delayed the excavation work at one time because some were still operational..
William I am sorry, but your idea with big crossbows does not seem to me very good and practical, first of all even in all historical military literature/manuals starting from for example book of Czech condortierre Václav Vlček z Čenova (cca 1425-1502) - "Learning of how to line up horse, foot and wagons"(sorry for my free translation from old Czech) and the same for napoleonic armies in 19. c. the order was clear - "shoot at the horses not men"...this is the way how to stop any cavalry charge!!! Wink ........

oh definately aim at the horses first but one the knights have dismounted, you start shooting at them directly since heing unhorsed wont lokely kill that many people,
but if theres no evidence of it actually happening well thats fine too
by 'happening' i mean a troup of crossbowmen packing a few much heavier bows for specialist work that their normal crossbows couldnt acomplish
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 3:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
Jan Boucký wrote:
William P wrote:
considering different crossbows have different speeds of loading/ maximum power

it wouldnt surprise me thata grop of say, 10 mercenary crossbowmen might have all except for one or two having faster shooting belt and claw/ goats foot/ rack and pinion loaded crossbows of lowepower but faster rates of fire and 1 or2 having those big, 800-1000 lb windlass operated crossbows in the same way your modern infantry squad has men with marksmans rifles and LMG/ HMG's
the 2 big crossbows could be on hand to pick off those nobles who are particularly well armoured and wont go down as easily.

the fact a crossbow can be loaded in advance also has mirrors with the wheellock firearm, made them both superbly good for being used in a mounted fashion

as one guy puts it, 'you can load a crossbow, sit back and point it at the spot you expect the enemy to come through, then just sit back and wait for the enemy to show himself.

to take this example to extremes, this might be of popular hype and myth but ive heard that in the tomb of shihuangdi/ the terracotta warriors (cant spellhis name) has a series of rigged crossbows set up like booby traps i remember hearing SOMEWHERE cant find it now, that some of these traps actally delayed the excavation work at one time because some were still operational..
William I am sorry, but your idea with big crossbows does not seem to me very good and practical, first of all even in all historical military literature/manuals starting from for example book of Czech condortierre Václav Vlček z Čenova (cca 1425-1502) - "Learning of how to line up horse, foot and wagons"(sorry for my free translation from old Czech) and the same for napoleonic armies in 19. c. the order was clear - "shoot at the horses not men"...this is the way how to stop any cavalry charge!!! Wink ........

oh definately aim at the horses first but one the knights have dismounted, you start shooting at them directly since heing unhorsed wont lokely kill that many people,
but if theres no evidence of it actually happening well thats fine too
by 'happening' i mean a troup of crossbowmen packing a few much heavier bows for specialist work that their normal crossbows couldnt acomplish


The famous "horses and crossbows" article does mention different crossbow spanning systems with differences in available power. The rationale was to highlight the prestige of wealth and social standing, not squad tactics as in modern throught, but would have had a similar effect as more dedicated penetrators.
http://www.medievalists.net/2011/07/31/horses...n-prussia/
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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Thu 26 Jul, 2012 2:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:
Matt Easton wrote:
Weren't there many times more English archers than Genoese/French crossbowmen at Crecy?.. Most of the English army was made of archers.


Reliable numbers is a constant problem with these sources. We don't know if all Genoese crossbowmen were archers or if the number included the servants a professional crossbowman often had to carry the pavese and span the weapon in order to keep the expensive shooter better operational.


However, we can be fairly sure that the English archers outnumbered the "Genoese" crossbowmen since this part remains constant across the sources (at least the ones that mention numbers). The English longbowmen who went to France were also arguably the best of their lot; when a Franco-Spanish fleet raided the English coast later in the century, the run-of-the mill archers left at home were outshot by the fleet's crossbowmen.
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Lafayette C Curtis




PostPosted: Thu 26 Jul, 2012 3:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kurt Scholz wrote:
A different point of view might help:
The Italian crossbowmen usually operated with their missile weapon, a crossbow, a pavise/shield they could use in combat and a short sword. Depending on the pavise, they are close to the Roman legionary in concept by having a missile weapon, a large shield and a short stabbing sword combined with comparably good infantry armour. The choice between crossbow and javelin was rather one of education and economy, but both were operated in similar manner.
The crossbow closes the gap from the javelin to the very different concept of the bow, it's no bow replacement in Western Eurasia - in Eastern Eurasia it was with corresponding long draw length. Employing crossbowmen was very similar to javelineers in concept and less like archers.


I'm not convinced by this viewpoint. Sure, from a tactical point of view there was a significant difference between crossbowmen and archers, but there was also a considerable difference between crossbows and javelins. For example, the javelin was usually "loaded" and thrown in motion (often while running)--in contrast to the bow and the crossbow, both of which required the user to be stationary while shooting (and, in the crossbow's case, loading). This means that large formations shooting/throwing from a stationary position was less useful for javelins than for bows or crossbows, and in fact we tend to see the javelin more in a fluid hit-and-run style of skirmishing. Indeed, the only exception that comes to mind--that of javelins being thrown en masse from a stationary posture on the open battlefield--is the Roman legionary of the Imperial and late Republican periods. These cannot be equated with medieval Italian crossbowmen since the sword was an emergency weapon to the crossbowman--if all went well, he wouldn't have had to use it at all--while the gladius was at least as important as the pilum to the legionary (and there are instances of legionaries charging home without throwing their pila--certainly not something one would expect from a medieval infantry crossbowman!)
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Gary Teuscher




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jul, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The Italian crossbowmen usually operated with their missile weapon, a crossbow, a pavise/shield they could use in combat and a short sword. Depending on the pavise, they are close to the Roman legionary in concept by having a missile weapon, a large shield and a short stabbing sword combined with comparably good infantry armour. The choice between crossbow and javelin was rather one of education and economy, but both were operated in similar manner.


I disagree here as well, at least from the infantry perspective.

Roman infantry with scutums , pila and gladius were far different from pikemen. I can't see the pavise being used as a standard carry hand to hand shield - it would seem far to cumbersome. Romans wanted to close for hth battle, crossbows did not. The one thing that may have been different is that you see a fair amount of armoured crossbowmen - arhcer seem to have been less well armured, though you also see crossbowmen with little or no armour as well.


Now for cavalry, the crossbow seems to have been used in a similar method to javelins. Loose a few, then sometimes charge home.
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