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How to employ bodies of slingers in battle (Read 27785 times)
Aussie
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #15 - Apr 13th, 2009 at 10:16pm
 
I think it's a rear view of a right handed slinger leaning back before the actual slinging motion in a similar way to the Nick LLoyd style mentioned above. Sure the head is turned a long way to the left and probably too much of the face is visible but it's not my intention to criticize the artistic merit. I think the detail that shows the thumb free and not gripping the release cord is quite likely accurate in that it is not impossible to sling that way.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #16 - Apr 14th, 2009 at 9:15am
 
On another matter, note that if slingers in action in the field turn into slinger on slinger duels, sharp shooting skirmishing matches between lights in the no man's land between the main bodies of infantry etc, --

having inscribed sling bullets, with malicious inscriptions (take this, watch out, take this and get pregnant, blood, etc) takes on a particular force: a slinger's picking out his target, and the inscribed projectiles says-- this one's for YOU.

On slinging posture: the "pouch before the eyes" aiming position does imply rotation above the head, at least once, does it not ?


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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #17 - Apr 22nd, 2009 at 11:36pm
 
I admit I am well out of my depth from the knowledge of history point of view but as an interested amatuer I suggest that duelling battles between bodies of slingers at ranges of over 100m would be largely ineffective. Even with a rifle and only iron sights it is hard to hit a man who is moving about at that range. With a sling stone the flight time to a target so distant would be at least 2-3 seconds. It would be impossible to predict where a person hopping about from side to side would actually be when the projectile arrived, even in the unlikely event you were accurate enough to group your shots so well as to hit a man sized target.

I assume you mean that the Greek style starting position necessitates a rotation above the head in the horizontal plane. DM above demonstrates a style which he and I call simple overhead (avoiding complications with the Greek style label) Starting in the notional Greek position which allows rudimentary aiming along the cords, allow the pouch to drop behind the back whilst the right hand performs the last half of a normal Fig.8 cast. Turning slightly on the ball of the left foot allows the sling to pass directly overhead greatly reducing lateral dispersion of shots.

I imagine soldiers have always inscribed their projectiles with insulting messages. I remember seeing a brief propaganda clip showing Polish soldiers now serving alongside Soviet forces with a light artillery shell having "Za Katyn" on it written in chalk. The shell was symbolically pointed westwards towards the Germans. Should have been pointing the other way; bitter, bitter irony that one.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #18 - Apr 23rd, 2009 at 5:05am
 
I don't know much about modern warfare, but think it's arty that does most of the killing

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=84878

so that bodies of men duelling with rifles over iron sights have to expend a lot of ammo, to achieve pretty middling results.

I wonder how it worked with slingers in an ancient battle-- if they got their shots at arrayed bodies of men, their fire told; once countered with people who could shoot back (archers, even javelin men with shields manoeuvering into range), the lethality of their fire drops, as they have to start dodging return fire, go to ground, etc. How do you get your slinging line back into action ? Do you drive it forward to the point when you start inflicting, but also taking, casualties ? Or does the fight turn into largely ineffective duels ? What about ammo consumption ?

Thanks for pointers re. "half round the head then whip straight front"-- looks right, and accurate !

Terrible story re. "For Katyn !"
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #19 - May 7th, 2009 at 8:55am
 
From 'The Greek State at War, Part V'

Quote:
Onasander, who wrote his Strategikos in the First century of our era, devotes chapter 17 to the disposition of psiloi whom he defines as javelin throwers, archers, and slingers. These are to be deployed in front of the phalanx for if placed in the rear they would do great damage to their own men. Nor are the to be intermingled with hoplites; the slingers would then not "be able to execute the whirling of their slings, as their fellow soldiers stand at their side and in their turn are caused to stumble in trying to avoid the whirling slings." After discharging their weapons while the enemy is still advancing, the psiloi should pass through the ranks of the phalanx to the rear whence they could attack the enemy on the flanks where they cause great loss, striking the body where unprotected.

He concludes "The sling is the most deadly weapon that is used by the light armed troops, because the lead slug is the same colour as the air and is invisible in its course, so that it falls unexpectedly on the unprotected bodies of the enemy, and not only is the impact itself violent but also the missile, heated by the friction of its rush through the air, penetrates the flesh very deeply, so that it becomes invisible and the swelling quickly closes over it."
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #20 - May 7th, 2009 at 10:43am
 
David Morningstar wrote on May 7th, 2009 at 8:55am:
From 'The Greek State at War, Part V'

Quote:
Onasander, who wrote his Strategikos in the First century of our era, devotes chapter 17 to the disposition of psiloi whom he defines as javelin throwers, archers, and slingers. These are to be deployed in front of the phalanx for if placed in the rear they would do great damage to their own men. Nor are the to be intermingled with hoplites; the slingers would then not "be able to execute the whirling of their slings, as their fellow soldiers stand at their side and in their turn are caused to stumble in trying to avoid the whirling slings." After discharging their weapons while the enemy is still advancing, the psiloi should pass through the ranks of the phalanx to the rear whence they could attack the enemy on the flanks where they cause great loss, striking the body where unprotected.

He concludes "The sling is the most deadly weapon that is used by the light armed troops, because the lead slug is the same colour as the air and is invisible in its course, so that it falls unexpectedly on the unprotected bodies of the enemy, and not only is the impact itself violent but also the missile, heated by the friction of its rush through the air, penetrates the flesh very deeply, so that it becomes invisible and the swelling quickly closes over it."



Thanks for that David, I like that.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #21 - May 7th, 2009 at 10:49am
 
One of the many sources showing that Greeks and Romans believed that the sling bullet went so fast it got hot (perhaps more likely to have been due to transfer to kinetic energy ?). Nice catch, any way, re disposition of psiloi.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #22 - May 7th, 2009 at 11:23am
 
Look up that book on Google, there is so much more in it.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #23 - May 7th, 2009 at 7:08pm
 
Thearos wrote on May 7th, 2009 at 10:49am:
One of the many sources showing that Greeks and Romans believed that the sling bullet went so fast it got hot (perhaps more likely to have been due to transfer to kinetic energy ?). Nice catch, any way, re disposition of psiloi.


Been quite intrigued by how often this notion of lead glandes melting comes up. It's almost certainly nonsense but I Googled the specific heat and melting point of lead to do some ball park calculations.

Apparently lead has a very low specific heat, ie it takes only a small amount of energy to heat it up. (Actual figures are, 0.16 J/g.degreeC for lead, whereas for water it is 4.2 J/g.degreeC) The melting point of lead is 327 C.

A 50 gram projectile moving at 60 m/s has 90 J of kinetic energy, so if all this was converted to heat it would raise the temperature of the lead by 11.2 degrees. (Note major correction if you read the original post where I forgot to divide by the mass.)

Of course the actual amount of KE converted to heat by friction with the air would be very small, perhaps 10 - 20%, and the air itself would absorb some of the energy, like blowing on something to cool it. However an impact with with a hard unyielding surface (like a shield) would cause a sudden rise in the glandes temperature as the remaining KE was dissipated and such a gland would more likely be recovered quickly.  So, perhaps the lead gland would be perceptibly hotter after being thrown hard, at least for a short time.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #24 - May 7th, 2009 at 9:17pm
 
How fast would that thing have to travel to melt? One reference in the Aeneid refers to a glande melting in mid air. I would pay serious money to see a person do that.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #25 - May 7th, 2009 at 9:50pm
 
This is also one of the main sources (along with a few references in the medical writers) to lead sling bullets penetrating flesh--one of the reasons T. Rihll believes lead bullets to have been fired by catapults, if need be small and hand held: she thinks a slinger can't throw fast enough to make a bullet go through skin. But the topic's been broached already (I wondered if anyone had slung against a pig carcass or ballistic jelly).

Rihll also notices that the description of the wound, with raised swelling, looks very similar to descriptions of gunshot trauma...

There is an article on this, which I haven't read:

F. P. Moog, ‘Zur Traumatologie der antiken Schleuderbleie’, Medizin historisches Journal 37 (2002) 123-37.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #26 - May 8th, 2009 at 6:38am
 
slingbadger wrote on May 7th, 2009 at 9:17pm:
How fast would that thing have to travel to melt? One reference in the Aeneid refers to a glande melting in mid air. I would pay serious money to see a person do that.


Even solid lead bullets fired from rifles at close to supersonic speed don't melt athough there is some degree of distortion of the bullet's base within the barrel from the heat of the powder burning. The notion of a lead sling projectile melting or burning in the way that meteorites do is pretty much an impossibility.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #27 - May 8th, 2009 at 6:52am
 
Thearos wrote on May 7th, 2009 at 9:50pm:
This is also one of the main sources (along with a few references in the medical writers) to lead sling bullets penetrating flesh--one of the reasons T. Rihll believes lead bullets to have been fired by catapults, if need be small and hand held: she thinks a slinger can't throw fast enough to make a bullet go through skin. But the topic's been broached already (I wondered if anyone had slung against a pig carcass or ballistic jelly).

Rihll also notices that the description of the wound, with raised swelling, looks very similar to descriptions of gunshot trauma...

There is an article on this, which I haven't read:

F. P. Moog, ‘Zur Traumatologie der antiken Schleuderbleie’, Medizin historisches Journal 37 (2002) 123-37.


Sorry have not read anything by T Rihll so I have no personal opinion. However as you know, others on this forum believe her to greatly underestimate the speed of slung projectiles. I think that unfabricatable reports of penetrative wounds by lead sling glandes are more than likely accurate especially as these can be quite pointy which greatly aids penetration.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #28 - May 8th, 2009 at 12:10pm
 
Aussie wrote on May 8th, 2009 at 6:52am:
Thearos wrote on May 7th, 2009 at 9:50pm:
This is also one of the main sources (along with a few references in the medical writers) to lead sling bullets penetrating flesh--one of the reasons T. Rihll believes lead bullets to have been fired by catapults, if need be small and hand held: she thinks a slinger can't throw fast enough to make a bullet go through skin. But the topic's been broached already (I wondered if anyone had slung against a pig carcass or ballistic jelly).

Rihll also notices that the description of the wound, with raised swelling, looks very similar to descriptions of gunshot trauma...

There is an article on this, which I haven't read:

F. P. Moog, ‘Zur Traumatologie der antiken Schleuderbleie’, Medizin historisches Journal 37 (2002) 123-37.


Sorry have not read anything by T Rihll so I have no personal opinion. However as you know, others on this forum believe her to greatly underestimate the speed of slung projectiles. I think that unfabricatable reports of penetrative wounds by lead sling glandes are more than likely accurate especially as these can be quite pointy which greatly aids penetration.



Pointiness does aid with penetration, but not with sling projectiles. Ive heard this subject on pointiness alot with sling projectiles, but you really dont need it to be pointy to penetrate into or through somones body when it comes to sling projectiles. Btw the weight and speed plays a key role. For example, a 4 oz projectile (stone or lead ball) going anywhere from 100-250 mph is almost always going to penetrate into or through someone.
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Re: How to employ bodies of slingers in battle
Reply #29 - May 8th, 2009 at 4:06pm
 
Two questions:

do hand slung things go at that speed ?

WHy does pointiness not matter ? Sorry-- I would have thought that a pointed projectile would go faster (and hence have better change of penetration) and that the shape would help a little ?
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