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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
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Message started by Kenntak on Jan 23rd, 2019 at 2:41pm

Title: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Kenntak on Jan 23rd, 2019 at 2:41pm
Hello all, new member. I have a debate going on with other wargamers about whether ancient slingers were able to launch their sling stones or bullets over friendly troops in front (indirect fire). I am aware of a description of Cannae from a secondary source which it is alleged that Hannibal's Balearic slingers launched their stones over javelinmen in front, and outranged the Cretan archers of the Romans.

I am trying to find any primary sources on this topic. Any help would be much appreciated! :)

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jan 24th, 2019 at 6:56am
well obviously.
Yes that's what they would have done.


It might be one of those things that's taken so much for granted that it's not often mentioned by historians.

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Kick on Jan 24th, 2019 at 9:49am
With pretty much every slinging technique I've seen, it's possible, often not even slightly difficult, to throw high enough to go over someone stood even quite close in front of you. Like C_A said, it's near guarenteed slings were used in this way but might suffer the same fate as the land of Punt. It's something so obvious to the people at the time they didn't bother to write it down:

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

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by funditor on Jan 25th, 2019 at 8:56am
I would say ses, but only derived from visual interpretation. Looking at the assyrian slingers in the BM and the way they are mixed into the overall troops, this seems to me more than highly likely. I am not aware of a primary source on this topic either.

What was your secondary source? (Name, year, title?)

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Kenntak on Jan 27th, 2019 at 9:26pm
Thank you for the responses. I don't have the secondary source with me, it was something I found on the internet.

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Blue Raja on Jan 31st, 2019 at 1:41am
Interesting question. I sling for distance as opposed to accuracy.  In fact, I find that it is easier for me to sling for distance an not accuracy.

I am 65, in reasonable shape. I started slinging in my 60's and will never develop the strength and endurance of a slinger that trained from youth.  Also, I do not have access to lead glandes, which, if I understand correctly are aerodynamically efficient.  I can consistently sling a golf ball 80 plus yards, in a high arc, similar to a well hit golf ball.  It would definitely go over the heads of friendly troops in front of me and then rain down upon the enemies. 

Given what I am capable of, I would imagine that a well trained slinger in his teens or twenties could sling 160 yards or more, in a high arc.

You can see my technique here, which relies much more on the efficiency of the sling, than strength.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqXATejbNlw

I hope that this helps.

Welcome to the forum

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Kenntak on Feb 8th, 2019 at 8:58pm
Blue Raja, it's nice to see you doing that in your 60's. Your technique looks almost effortless, and that is a good thing.

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Blue Raja on Feb 21st, 2019 at 10:31pm
Thank you, Kenntak - I hope to continue slinging as long as I can stand on my feet - I think that it is a matter of adjusting technique - sling smarter not harder.

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by RS on Mar 5th, 2019 at 12:42am
in full armies when the battle lines were being formed the slingers usually were in front to keep the opposing side back until all was ready to go then they fall behind all the forces and sling from there unless they were needed to do a charge. a charge was done if the opposing side had good slingers as well and were hurting the infantry.

in such a case the slingers would then group up according to ability..i.e. accuracy, flank all troops, theirs and the enemies and would charge the slingers of the other side.

it was broken down so the least accurate had to get closer, say fifteen meters. they would receive some cover fire, while coming and going, from the good distance slingers on their side while running up tot he distance that would be called by their groups leader. they had a predetermined amount of rounds to fire each...example three. they would run up as a a group, fire off their rounds and run back, then the next group who was a little better would do the same...at more distance because they were better, at like 30 meters for example.

once the three rounds were fired the slingers did not have to wait for orders to retreat, or wait on the others in their group to finish...once a slinger threw his three rounds he could then immediate break and run back to his side.
the least accurate group was not afforded cover fire when in firing position due to the chance of friendly fire, so it was in every case better to practice a lot in be as good as possible.

that is how slingers would thin the ranks of the slingers on the opposing side, though there was no guarantee the charging side would win the encounter of course.

but that was how they helped the rest of their army against slingers who were damaging the troops.






Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by TOMBELAINE on Mar 5th, 2019 at 8:27am
Hello,
This is an article of one newspapers : LE FIGARO.FR on 25/08/2010. Translated by BING.
"According to several studies, 10-15% of combat casualties would be due to friendly fire in some conflicts such as the first and Second World War or, more recently, the Gulf War. The contemporary wars waged by the Western armies have become less deadly. And the soldiers are now equipped with individual identification systems and GPS that allow them to recognize each other."
:-? :-?

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Kick on Mar 6th, 2019 at 10:08am

TOMBELAINE wrote on Mar 5th, 2019 at 8:27am:
Hello,
This is an article of one newspapers : LE FIGARO.FR on 25/08/2010. Translated by BING.
"According to several studies, 10-15% of combat casualties would be due to friendly fire in some conflicts such as the first and Second World War or, more recently, the Gulf War. The contemporary wars waged by the Western armies have become less deadly. And the soldiers are now equipped with individual identification systems and GPS that allow them to recognize each other."
:-? :-?


Reminds me of this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kar%C3%A1nsebes

Austrian army accidentally attacked themselves and were defeated by the Ottomans who must have been very confused as they rode up and found a load of dead and wounded soldiers. In a lot of ways it's not surprising but I think it would be in situations like this with flanking manuevers, night attacks, attacks from a distance where communication and identifying your target was difficult rather than hitting the person in front or beside you (though I don't doubt for a second that that was also common).

I've found that the more I've read about war (all the various wars throughout history) the more I've understood it to be absolutely horrific, chaotic, noisy and the worst possible situation for clear thinking and planning. People accidentally hurt each other all the time and they aren't usually carrying around tools specifically designed to hurt people so it should be expected really.

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Mar 6th, 2019 at 10:25am
@RS... welcome back!  We missed our favorite noodler... well second favorite after Jesus of course!  Your posts are always entertaining, but as per usual, Id love to know what source you get your information from.

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by Kick on Mar 6th, 2019 at 10:33am

NooneOfConsequence wrote on Mar 6th, 2019 at 10:25am:
@RS... welcome back! We missed our favorite noodler... well second favorite after Jesus of course! Your posts are always entertaining, but as per usual, Id love to know what source you get your information from.


I didn't bother asking. Landing on the Moon is easier than getting information from RS.

Title: Re: Slings Shooting Over Friendly Troops
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Mar 6th, 2019 at 10:46am
@Kick... I know. I dont expect to get anything. Asking for sources is my subtle way of signaling to the newbies that they should question the validity of anything RS claims. Im always curious to see what he comes up with though.

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