Jump to content
tanknet.org

Recommended Posts

Interesting, but its an effect in isolation. Imagine being in an arrow storm and being hit by 3 or more of those in close succession.

 

I'm not familiar with the archeological results. How many penetrated armor has been unearthed there?

 

On the other hand, Hungarian arrow showers were stopped by armored knights at the battle of Lechfeld (in English)...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Here is the central problem of the Agincourt battle. They have not found where it was fought. They THINK they know where it was fought. The problem is, there is no archeological evidence that proves it. That isnt so surprising of medieval battles. The location of Bosworth field was unknown until very recently, and was only found after metal detection found cannon balls on the site, where upon they were able to triangulate and figure out where the guns where.

 

Agincourt didnt have any guns. It DID have a lot of armour strewn around the battlefield, but unfortunately, even probably, much of that was probably scavenged. We dont even know after the battle tehy didnt salvage most of their arrows. Its unlikely, but possible. Arrows were not easy to make at the time, to the point they had to put a directive out to have each household in England with a goose deliver 2 tailfeathers per goose. Thats a lot of tailfeathers. Im not aware we are even sure of how the bodies were disposed of, whether it was a burial pit or even cremation. Ive got a vague memory of bodies being put in a barn and it set light to, but I cant remember if thats Crecy, Agincourt or some other battle.

 

There is also the problem the French are not keen on Agincourt. They have not exactly gone out their way to discover where the bodies are buried. Attempts about 10 years ago only delivered the location of a drilling site. So, short of finding bodies, short of finding penetrated armour, its going to remain something of supposition.

 

There was some evidence of the effectiveness of the Longbow at Towton I believe (Britains bloodiest battle), the problem there is that few would have been as well armoured as the French knights, so it doesnt prove much.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Towton

Link to post
Share on other sites

Arrows must have been effective, otherwise they would not carry them. Probably they delivered the 0,5% hitting joints/unprotected areas/horses the hard way. I have read that it was a strain on the logistics of the Hungarian logistic to supply the army with arrows. For example, they calculated that the train of a 500 soldier unit carried 2,500 kg arrows on 30 horses for five days of battles raiding Western Europe - therefore the raiding force must have been small.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that is my way of thinking. Even if they killed the horse, or unsettled it, or disturbed the ground it ran on (has anyone ever since tried to gallop across a field of arrows? I bet they wont like it), then you are disturbing the french charge. Then they are stopped by the spikes placed in the ground. Then they are being engaged at point blank, or being knifed through the visor as they wallow on the ground. The French command of their forces was not great from the start, I bet after the first arrow volley it went right down the crapper.

 

Yeah, it was a real struggle to make lots of arrows. Which to me points to why they went through such effort, they were perceived to be a useful weapon, and secondly, why they eventually fell out of use compared to a musket. A lot easier to store musket balls than arrows im thinking, even if the powder is somewhat problematic. At least you can store that in bulk.

 

I think 2 things have not been adequately explored. That horses cannot be armoured all round, and will have vulnerable flanks somewhere, throw enough arrows at a target, its going to hit something vital. And secondly, I dont think the armour of this time was as good as supposed. Most of what we have is ceremonial stuff. If someone can demonstrate armour that was actually used in combat, we might have a better idea of what kind of damage it could take. Ive not read of any thus far from this period that really show damage taken on a battlefield. That either means it was impervious, or it wasnt, or they scrapped it when it showed the slightest sign of damage. Its not really leaving a big pool of data showing what armour performance was like I would have thought.

 

If anyone can prove me wrong on the latter point, please let me know. Id be fascinated to see armour with battle damage on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In an exchange of arrows, foot archers are better than horse archers. Foot archers can be packed in together more tightly and don't have to worry about dealing with the horse giving a higher rate of fire and better accuracy. The Romans, for example, managed to take on horse archer based armies like the Parthians by taking large amounts of foot archers or slingers and protecting them with heavy infantry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, you kind of wonder what Napoleon would have achieved if he had longbows instead of muskets. The problem of course is the capacity to build and maintain that level of longbows in service, which is probably why Longbows firmly belong to the preindustrial world, and musket the post industrial world.

 

We have probably seen this before. I gather the last tea clippers were far faster than steamships. But who wanted them when there was nobody left who knew how to sail a clipper? A steamship might be slower, but its less variable to the weather, and almost anyone can crew one with appropriate training.

 

It was once said you didnt so much train a Longbowman, as bred one. Judging by how their shoulders seem to have been modified by developing the strength to pull the string back on the truly powerful ones, there is probably some truth in this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If Agincourt was on a cleared field or pasture, then any armor pieces left over that would have been lifted by a farmers plow would have been set aside and re-used. Just given the value of iron itself. likely scavengers after the battle would have snagged any arrows left if they had iron on them as well for the same reason. If I were a hard up blacksmith and knew a battle had just taken place near by, I'd be poking around at night looking for any bits of metal I could recover. Iron was a critical resource at the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Suits of armour would have departed, but its likely fragments would remain, not unlike fragments of tanks remain long after the vehicles they were part of departed. I remember watching one documentary on Bosworth, and after pinpointing the battlefield from cannonballs, they did a further study. They were rather astonished to find fragments of a very expensive set of stirrups iirc, containing elements that indicated it either belonged to Richard III, or at least one of his immediate entourage. Remarkably it was even near a part of the battlefield were he was reportedly unhorsed, a piece of boggy ground IIRC.

 

So there should be fragments of the battle turning up, and there just isnt. Which suggests either someone went with a fine tooth comb over the battlefield afterwards, which doesnt seem likely. Or they are perhaps miles away from where the battle was actually fought. This has happened before, traditionally at Hastings, it was believe the Battle occurred at Battle, where the monastery to commemorate the battle was founded. As it turned out, they have never found fragments there, other from the reenactment groups who fight there for the past 50 years. The best indications of a battle are actually found in the town of Battle, some distance away. Medieval chroniclers were not that fussed about setting down where exactly these things happened. Its not like the American Civil war, where due I guess to the rather more favourable condition of maps by the time of the battle, its somewhat easier for modern historians to pinpoint where things might have happened.

 

Id love to walk the real Agincourt, but nobody it seems is that fussed about finding it. Go figure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Its worth remembering, armour back then was very expensive. You are looking at the vast majority of the rich, the commanders, owning a set. But the vast majority of the men at arms, archers, crossbowmen would probably have been lucky to own a helmet. There is a big fixation on the charge of the French cavalry at Agincourt, but it seems unlikely to me they had 20000 armoured knights. Far more likely they had maybe a a thousand max armoured, and maybe (how many it really was) men at arms that didnt have any.

 

I think perhaps we are getting fixated on armour performance, overlooking the majority of people it was fired at didnt have anything like the suit there. It is after all, a lot cheaper to make an arrow than a suit of armour.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Suits of armour would have departed, but its likely fragments would remain, not unlike fragments of tanks remain long after the vehicles they were part of departed. I remember watching one documentary on Bosworth, and after pinpointing the battlefield from cannonballs, they did a further study. They were rather astonished to find fragments of a very expensive set of stirrups iirc, containing elements that indicated it either belonged to Richard III, or at least one of his immediate entourage. Remarkably it was even near a part of the battlefield were he was reportedly unhorsed, a piece of boggy ground IIRC.

 

So there should be fragments of the battle turning up, and there just isnt. Which suggests either someone went with a fine tooth comb over the battlefield afterwards, which doesnt seem likely. Or they are perhaps miles away from where the battle was actually fought. This has happened before, traditionally at Hastings, it was believe the Battle occurred at Battle, where the monastery to commemorate the battle was founded. As it turned out, they have never found fragments there, other from the reenactment groups who fight there for the past 50 years. The best indications of a battle are actually found in the town of Battle, some distance away. Medieval chroniclers were not that fussed about setting down where exactly these things happened. Its not like the American Civil war, where due I guess to the rather more favourable condition of maps by the time of the battle, its somewhat easier for modern historians to pinpoint where things might have happened.

 

Id love to walk the real Agincourt, but nobody it seems is that fussed about finding it. Go figure.

 

Or the Revolutionary War where the location of the captured British airfields has been firmly established.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Its worth remembering, armour back then was very expensive. You are looking at the vast majority of the rich, the commanders, owning a set. But the vast majority of the men at arms, archers, crossbowmen would probably have been lucky to own a helmet. There is a big fixation on the charge of the French cavalry at Agincourt, but it seems unlikely to me they had 20000 armoured knights. Far more likely they had maybe a a thousand max armoured, and maybe (how many it really was) men at arms that didnt have any.

 

I think perhaps we are getting fixated on armour performance, overlooking the majority of people it was fired at didnt have anything like the suit there. It is after all, a lot cheaper to make an arrow than a suit of armour.

 

 

Perhaps we should remember the Battle of Crecy, where the French had 12,000 mounted knights / men-at-arms and 8,000 mercenary crossbowmen.

 

After the crossbowmen were worsted by the English longbow (probably by a higher rate of fire rather than armour penetration as neither the crossbowmen nor the English archers were armoured) the French knights etc charged the English line, through the crossbowmen who were 'retiring'. In effect the mercenary crossbowmen were simply nasty speedhumps to the charging French armour, probably leading to many fallen horses and unhorsed (violently) armour.

 

At Argincourt once a percentage of French horses had been killed by arrows they too would have simply been obstacles to following battles of mounted troops, much like the Genoese at Crecy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, that leads to another potential force substitution:

 

In 1775 the French were the allies of the Americans.

 

What about Washington and his Continentals in substitute for the Mongols / French at Argincourt? The idea of muskets v longbows comes back into play, but the Continentals may have been successful in capturing Henry V's airfields.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Its worth remembering, armour back then was very expensive. You are looking at the vast majority of the rich, the commanders, owning a set. But the vast majority of the men at arms, archers, crossbowmen would probably have been lucky to own a helmet. There is a big fixation on the charge of the French cavalry at Agincourt, but it seems unlikely to me they had 20000 armoured knights. Far more likely they had maybe a a thousand max armoured, and maybe (how many it really was) men at arms that didnt have any.

 

I think perhaps we are getting fixated on armour performance, overlooking the majority of people it was fired at didnt have anything like the suit there. It is after all, a lot cheaper to make an arrow than a suit of armour.

 

 

Perhaps we should remember the Battle of Crecy, where the French had 12,000 mounted knights / men-at-arms and 8,000 mercenary crossbowmen.

 

After the crossbowmen were worsted by the English longbow (probably by a higher rate of fire rather than armour penetration as neither the crossbowmen nor the English archers were armoured) the French knights etc charged the English line, through the crossbowmen who were 'retiring'. In effect the mercenary crossbowmen were simply nasty speedhumps to the charging French armour, probably leading to many fallen horses and unhorsed (violently) armour.

 

At Argincourt once a percentage of French horses had been killed by arrows they too would have simply been obstacles to following battles of mounted troops, much like the Genoese at Crecy.

 

 

I seem to recall at Crecy the Crossbowmen (Genovese mercenaries maybe) were compelled to advance (for whatever reason) without their shields, which were what they prefered to shelter behind whilst rewinding their crossbows. And when they took the entirely predictable amount of casualties and ran, the French ran them down as traitors. But nobody ever liked Crossbowmen anyway.

 

Yes, I think after the first horses fell, all you are looking at are speedbumps. The English line was already behind stakes, after that the bodies must have just kept piling up making them more and more secure.

 

Ive not read that all those bodies caused a problem at crecy, I think the battlefield was rather more open than at Agincourt. But that isnt to say it didnt happen of course.

 

 

 

By eck, we were advanced back then werent we. :)

 

Cyberpunk on steroids

 

1076156520.jpg

 

 

Ah, I see we have rolled out the prototype for the new 'Tempest' Stealth Fighter. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, there is a difference between English English and Australian English after all.

 

English: Speed bumps

Australian: Speed humps

 

And about those Genoese Cross Bow speed humps: Yes, they were missing their pavises that were back in the French baggage train, but also the French mounted armour hacked at them on the way to the English, which would have produced a number of obstacles for galloping horses. All very impulsive, it would have been better to let the mercenaries to retire, or order them to the flanks where they could at least have fired into the areas immediately behind the English front.

 

But it should be remembered that the French included some others of Europe's nobility, such as the blind John of Bohemia, who was killed 'fighting' at Crecy. A time when the brotherhood of knights across Europe were determined to break the impudent English who included so many peasants in the ranks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I really admire Blind King John. He was determined to have a go at all costs. Good for him.

 

I guess this was the beginning of the firepower vs class movement. Although you could argue that had already begun with the death of Richard I at the hands of a Crossbow toting French cook. That will taught him to send his food back I guess. But from that point on, war was about less owning the most expensive swords and armour, than about how many men you could put in the field with the most firepower.

 

Interesting thing, I was looking up the wiki entry to Agincourt, and found that he took 20 horse archers. Which is interesting, you usually find English Archers at Agincourt all refered to as moving by foot. Maybe they ate the horses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Hungerford,_1st_Baron_Hungerford

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well wiki says this:

 

The term mounted archer occurs in medieval English sources to describe a soldier who rode to battle but who dismounted to shoot. 'Horse archer' is the term used more specifically to describe a warrior who shoots from the saddle at the gallop. Another term, 'horseback archery', has crept into modern use.

 

(A bit like the original 'dragoon' concept?)

 

Then again, maybe the Force Substitution concept was wrong about substitution, and somehow the English managed to get 20 Mongols to fight on their side, via Russ of course.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah that sounds fair, but look at any account of agincourt, and ive yet to read of any archers riding. I have to question how many had horses in rideable condition after the seige of Hafleur.

 

Yeah, it does sounds a bit like dragoons doesnt it. I dont suppose a longbow would be viable from the saddle anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the way that the arrows disintegrated when they hit the plate unless through a jupon, I'd expect to see these all over a battlefield and to be unrecoverable at the time. I suppose they would mostly have rusted away, do wouldn't necessarily be a good location reference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...