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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.

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