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Message started by Thearos on Apr 17th, 2010 at 6:30pm

Title: Distances, again
Post by Thearos on Apr 17th, 2010 at 6:30pm
A while back, a long discussion about ranges.

http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1261017701/0

I quoted an article based on reliably recorded distances in the Andes-- on average 50 m for women, 80m for men

http://pennstate.academia.edu/documents/0010/4106/brown_vega_craig2009_slings.pdf

I therefore argued, since these are reliable figures and very good, experienced slingers, for an "Andean" paradigm, where real slingers in sling cultures fought with slings at <100m ranges, rather than the 150+ m range which is usually assumed and which corresponds to anecdotical evidence by modern recreational slingers.

However, I note that this site has photos which must come from that experiment:

http://slinging.org/index.php?mact=Album,m5,default,1&m5albumid=26&m5returnid=53&page=53

Photos by Vega and Craig. I think curious_aardvark drew attention to them when he posted, and Jaegoor recently pointed out to me the excellent, controlled technique of these guys. Now what struck me is that these slingers are shootings at very flat angles: this is just how they sling, straight ahead-- probably because they want to hit things. In other words, they sling on flat, "point blank" trajectories, and not for distance-- the archaeologists told them to sling as they always sling, and the Peruvian slingers let rip powerful shots straight ahead. If this is right, then this accounts for the short distances recorded: not distance shooting, but 50 / 80 9and even 100) m of straight shooting is in fact very impressive, and implies that if these slingers were shooting at 45 degree angles  (let's call this "war slinging", as you would sling in a siege or a pitched battle), they could reach the 150+ mark easily.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Tint on Apr 17th, 2010 at 8:14pm
I think you must be right.  

Slingers at war and slingers fighting/hunting solo would have different trajectory.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Aussie on Apr 18th, 2010 at 1:13am
Very interesting, Thearos. I also have wondered whether there was some simple misunderstanding between the researcers and the subjects that led them to sling such short distances.


Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by BrianGrubbs on Apr 18th, 2010 at 9:40am
 Makes sense.  Good post Thearos!

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Thearos on Apr 18th, 2010 at 7:48pm
I suppose in the ancient world (say 1000 BC-AD 300), people fought with slings in two ways:

-- slinging at formed-up bodies of men. The target is unmissable, and shootings takes place at extreme ranges (150-200m). Slings outrange bows.

-- slinging in the skirmishing line: aimed fire with limited tactical loads. I suspect this in fact takes place at "Andean" style ranges, namely hard slinging straight ahead, at distances ca. 70-80m, aimed straight at enemy skirmishers. But this means that the slingers are fighting within bowshot, and also even long range javelin fire; rushes by shielded javelin men are a definite danger.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by xxkid123 on Apr 18th, 2010 at 8:27pm
in Decisive battles RTW on history channel, for the battle of Thermopylae (spelling?) the slingers where in the second row, right in front of a low defensive wall for a retreat, and behind the first row of fighters. history channel made no effort to edit this, even though they hacked most of the game for the show.  

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Jaegoor on Apr 19th, 2010 at 5:58am
Hi Thearos,

I also believe this you are right.

I myself Shooting straight to 60 m.

I have shot this year in Spain with Jaime and because very short Balearic Sling clearly more than 300 m away.
With a Sling with retention Toggle she raises the effect again. There are some pictures which conclude by the use of a Toggels.
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1254615254
The position of the thumb and the hand let suppose the use of a Toggles.

http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1257503658/75
The picture with the Slinger in underpants.
Also here the picture expels Toggle to a retention.

http://www.ottonenzeit.de/slinger/slinger2.html
For comparison,

the third picture from above. Thumb points with the Toggle down.

At the end a few more amusing pictures of the last year
http://picasaweb.google.de/Cruzcampoo.turms/SchleudererWettbewerb30Mai?feat=directlink#5355303309258736482

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Thearos on Apr 19th, 2010 at 6:01am
How old is the girl ?

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Jaegoor on Apr 19th, 2010 at 6:23am
Girl???

The Girl is a boy and is 11 years.

It was be the first shoot last jahr. :o :D ;D

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Thearos on Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:20am
Whoops sorry. He seems to sling pretty well.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Et Cetera on Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:22am
Interesting, makes sense after I thought about it a bit.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Jaegoor on Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:29am
He trains for his yellow T of shirt.
Time see whether he it this year still creates.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by David Morningstar on Apr 19th, 2010 at 5:31pm

Thearos wrote on Apr 18th, 2010 at 7:48pm:
-- slinging at formed-up bodies of men. The target is unmissable, and shootings takes place at extreme ranges (150-200m). Slings outrange bows.


200m is well within range of a military-weight arrow from the horn/sinew recurve bows of that period. 300m is more like it. This means slinging beyond the visible range of a lead glande, so how were such shots aimed? Range estimation is likely to be highly inaccurate, with errors much larger than the depth of a maniple or phalanx. Although we know slinging was done to great distances it must have been mostly psychological.      


Quote:
-- slinging in the skirmishing line: aimed fire with limited tactical loads. I suspect this in fact takes place at "Andean" style ranges, namely hard slinging straight ahead, at distances ca. 70-80m, aimed straight at enemy skirmishers. But this means that the slingers are fighting within bowshot, and also even long range javelin fire; rushes by shielded javelin men are a definite danger.


I'm betting this is what it was mostly about, trying to drive the opposing light infantry off the battlefield so that your side gets a decisive advantage in the javelin volleys before the heavy infantry lines meet.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Rockman on Apr 19th, 2010 at 6:33pm

Thearos wrote on Apr 18th, 2010 at 7:48pm:
I suppose in the ancient world (say 1000 BC-AD 300), people fought with slings in two ways:

-- slinging at formed-up bodies of men. The target is unmissable, and shootings takes place at extreme ranges (150-200m). Slings outrange bows.

-- slinging in the skirmishing line: aimed fire with limited tactical loads. I suspect this in fact takes place at "Andean" style ranges, namely hard slinging straight ahead, at distances ca. 70-80m, aimed straight at enemy skirmishers. But this means that the slingers are fighting within bowshot, and also even long range javelin fire; rushes by shielded javelin men are a definite danger.


Unlike ancient armies in Eurasia, andean warriors like the Incas places their slingers in the very first line. The opposite of what you'd see in armies like the Greeks. Without horses, the rules of combat changes in unexpected ways.

What the Incas did, I think, was more like a low tech musketmen attack. The men would march in close formation (As close as you can for slingers) Then, unleash their somewhat inaccurate (but very powerful) slingshots at relative close range to soften enemy ranks.
Once the men ran out of ammo, the second line comes in: Infantry with war maces and axes. For musketmen, this would be a bayonette charge. And unlike musketmen, Incan slingers could protect themselves from enemy fire with shields they carried.  

All this is, of course, complete speculation.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Thearos on Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:06pm
The passage regularly discussed for ranges is the bit in Xenophon, Anabasis, 3.3.16 and 3.4.15ff. It seems that Persians on foot, with, I assume, recurve bows, and Iranian slingers with big stones outrange Cretan archers (and, unsurprisingly, hand thrown stones); Rhodian lead-armed slingers outshoot Persian bows and slings.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Thearos on Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:10pm
If, as DM writes, most slinging action is between opposing lines, the shape of the skirmish is that when the lines approach each other, long range slinging is inaccurate and relatively ineffective, and light infantry, by leaps and bounds, marching in dispersed, can get closer.

Once the lines are closer, the slingers can shoot straight and true (say at 60 m distance)-- but so can bows and javelins, and even hand throwers have a chance to rush within range: so that it's a real fight, and, as Thucydides writes, opposing lines of lights tend to drive each other off the field, in see sawing motions that do not determine the outcome of the heavy infantry slugfest that follows.  

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by Knaight on Apr 19th, 2010 at 11:55pm
I recently finished making a projectile velocity calculator, and as mentioned way early on people get better range at a higher angle. So, assumptions.
80 meter range, 10 degree angle: 178 km/hr projectile
250 range, 45 degree angle: 178 hm/hr projectile.

The projectile calculator is a simple excel program. It takes into account 4 variables.
Initial height(C2) Horizontal Distance(B2) Projectile Angle(A2, radians), and Gravity (D2, mostly put there because it is more fun than a constant). Using these, you have the following equation:
B2/(COS(A2)*(((B2*TAN(A2))-(C2))/(0.5*D2))^0.5)

That gets meters per second, from there multiply by 3.6 to get km/hr. I'm making the equation public to make life easier, as calculating velocity from other factors is needlessly time consuming, and difficult to get into excel with parentheses where you want them.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by David Morningstar on Apr 20th, 2010 at 6:56am


Thearos wrote on Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:06pm:
Iranian slingers with big stones outrange Cretan archers



Quote:
At present the enemy shoot and sling beyond our range, so that our Cretan archers are no match for them.


Well spotted, I hadnt seen that the Persian slingers also outranged Cretan archers. This makes perfect sense, a short wooden selfbow will shoot 150-170 yards, there are several of us here who can outrange that with stones (but not me unfortunately)


Quote:
I am told there are in the army some Rhodians, most of whom, they say, know how to sling, and their missile will reach even twice as far as the Persian slings (which, on account of their being loaded with stones as big as one's fist, have a comparatively short range; but the Rhodians are skilled in the use of leaden bullets)


This means the Persian slingers are serious dudes, sending fist sized stones maybe 200 yards, and this also gives us a handle on Rhodian lead bullets, up to 400 yards!

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by David Morningstar on Apr 20th, 2010 at 7:13am

Thearos wrote on Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:10pm:
as Thucydides writes, opposing lines of lights tend to drive each other off the field, in see sawing motions that do not determine the outcome of the heavy infantry slugfest that follows.  


I suggest that the javelins are held back until they can be used again the heavy infantry. Long range javelins are easy to dodge because they are very visible and slow moving. Look at the judges in Olympic javelin competition for example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5wdaSwVeTo

Obviously its harder when there are more of them, but I'd want to use the power of the javelin to get kills against the fixed phalanxes of heavy infantry rather than the cheaper nimble peltasts.

Slingers and archers fight each other for possession of the centre ground which is then exploited by the javelin thowers to hit the heavy infantry.

Title: Re: Distances, again
Post by jlasud on May 20th, 2010 at 8:09am
I've read about turkish sheperds shots were measured and they easily slung stones 200m.Their longest one reached 240m.Give theese sheperds a bit longer sling and a bag of lead shot and the adrenalin that is pumping through your veins during a battle and you get at glandes storming the enemy at 400-500m I say.A historical script say slingers in Idontknowwhich army were able to get a headshot at 70m...They were slinging all their lifes and where they wanted to do damage they done it...know wonder they were payed with women not gold.

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