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« Last Modified by: Curious Aardvark on: Oct 3rd, 2009 at 10:15am »

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Johnny Shumate's paintings (Read 15140 times)
Thearos
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Johnny Shumate's paintings
Sep 28th, 2009 at 3:28pm
 
Don't know who Shumate is-- saw some of his artwork and his question in various fora. Buthere are his slingers

http://community.imaginefx.com/fxpose/johnny_shumates_portfolio/picture70164.asp...

http://community.imaginefx.com/fxpose/johnny_shumates_portfolio/picture76672.asp...

Knows what a sling looks like (and Xen.'s Anabasis does prove that Rhodians braided their slings). Knows how a sling is gripped ! Two quibbles: the pouches are too big (would you go into battle lugging a large amt of lead ?)-- a cup in the Nishikawa collection (I'll post photo) shows a slinger with a small basket. And the sling bullets are really too big-- they should be the size of your thumb
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #1 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 1:24am
 
John happens to be one of the members of this forum. He has posted a number of his pictures here and yes, he does know his slingers.
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #2 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 1:53am
 

He might also be carrying some lead casting tools and a multi-bullet mold on campaign. It would make sense to carry this in the same bag to avoid getting everything else (bedroll, eating utensils) covered in lead. You would leave these behind with the rest of the baggage just before battle. Add some stones or clay bullets for hunting birds or rabbits along the way and you will bulk up the bag easily enough.
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #3 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 4:52am
 
I see what you mean. Pretty big thing, though bullet moulds: imagine a slab of limestone or a clay, the size of a book. Also, inscriptions on lead bullets seem to hint that they were cast by armies rather than individuals.-- i.e. I'd imagine (but it's just a guess) that the mould, lead pouring ladle, etc, travel with the baggage. 

Myself, I'd imagine a slinger going into battle with a neat small bag with sixty bullets-- not too voluminous; I suspect that for ease of movement, he somtimes holds in in his left hand (rather th an leave it around his body)-- this is shown in the cup now kept in the Kurashiki Ninagawa Museum (got the name wrong earlier).
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #4 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 7:46am
 
I would kill to see that cup!

Okay, maybe not actually kill,  but you get the idea...
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #5 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 11:06am
 
Will post a photo next time I get the occasion. In the meantime, remember that it's not one, but two slabs per mould, since each multi-bullet mould is made of two adjusted halves.

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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #6 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 5:24pm
 
the bags are on the wrong side of the slingers bodies in those pics.
It's actually extremely awkward to reload at speed from the side opposite your sling hand. Whereas holding 2-3 sling stones in your hand while slinging for fast reloading is very easy and feels totally natural. †

As for slingers going into battle - well that would depend entirely on their role. If they were in for a long bambardment then you'd have a wheel barrow or three full of ammo pretty near.

Given that a skilled slinger can easily get off an aimed shot every 5-6 seconds (well i managed it on chesil beach, so those guys must have been able to)
Also given that slingers would have been slinging right up to the point where one side or the other was overrun - even after engagement you'd have continued to target officers and the rear ranks of the enemy.
60 shots = approx 10 minutes of ammo. †Short battle.

A hunter might carry such a small amount of ammo on a days hunt - but a slinger on a battlefield ? It'd have to be a helluva lot more than that. †
Its possible/probable that they had runners to replenish ammo bags.

Any way you cut it - for a battle you'd need a lot more ammo than most people would hang round their necks.
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #7 - Sep 29th, 2009 at 6:09pm
 
Yes, but I don't think you go into battle and just fire away at great speed. Likewise, archers didn't go into battle with huge bulging quivers, but a "tactical load". The problem of reloading from "battlefield ammo dumps" is actually unclear to me (at Carrhae, the Parthians bring in camel loads of arrows to keep the archers going).

You're right, in a siege, you want to be close to a basket full of lead. In the field ? If it's two skirmishing lines, it's going to be a pretty leisurely affair, with aimed shots, strung out during an hour or so, perhaps; if against a formed battle line, even more so (I'd imagine). I'd argue (to repeat myself) that tactical situations where you're slinging for dear life are pretty rare (the Balearic guys in hannibal's army do it to some Roman cav. at a river crossing, i think).
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #8 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 12:54am
 
CA,

Would you position the bag over your left shoulder,and have it swing under your throwing hand?
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #9 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 2:25am
 

I have the bag on my right, with the strap across my left shoulder. The bag is below my waist and behind the hip. Its not in the way of a figure-8 because I stand sideways on for that.

The reload is fast and natural. Grab the pouch with the left hand and the ammo with the right. Bring ammo to pouch, wrap pouch around ammo with left hand and hold it there, take release cord near pouch with right hand and slide through to release knot. I can do a shot every six seconds until the bag is empty.

Big piles of ammo on the ground will kill the one defensive option a slinger has - a speedy getaway.

Although a slingers kit can be heavy you should compare it to the weight of a big hoplon shield and a seven foot spear, plus helmet, breastplate, greaves etc. The hoplites would throw a fit if the slingers had their stuff carried for them while they minced along in sandals and tunic, picking flowers for each other. When you consider the huge volumes of food and water that need to be consumed by an army on the march, you can bet all available draught animals were hauling bread, not lead.





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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #10 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 6:31am
 
Quote:
If it's two skirmishing lines, it's going to be a pretty leisurely affair, with aimed shots, strung out during an hour or so, perhaps; if against a formed battle line,


You're thinking fantasy war, the clean academic stuff that never actually happened and not practical life and death, crap your pants blood and guts.
As a slinger you would not - primarily - be a sniper - which is the role you are describing thearos. Your main job would be to get as much lead/stone into the air in as fast a time as possible.
Which was also an archers job (but with arrows - obviously lol).

Even if you don't injure anyone directly the noise of a slingstone passing near is sufficient to distract most and the chance that one will hit you will also effect you.
If you've got slingers the only thing that makes practical sense is to sling as hard and as fast and for as long as it's possible to do.

You saying that at agincourt each archer only had one quiver a piece ?

And yep jax the bag would be on my right. Why would it swing - you think these people were too stupid to tie the bottom round their waists, or to their thighs ? Please, for every trick I can think of to help me - they'd have had a dozen.
Plus an efficient battlefield slnging rythm tends to be smooth and minimises things like bags swinging around.
Most of my slinging is done with dog leads loped loosely round my shoulders - never yet caused me any problems.

I have stood 250 yards downwind of just one accomplished slinger. The noise of just one sling missile hitting near you is very scary and surprisingly loud - any commander worth his salt would want as much noise, distraction and injury to his enemies as possible.

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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #11 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 7:53am
 
The passage I've quoted in another thread (re Manlius Vulso's campaign against the Galatians) shows lead and stones being organized centrally. I suppose they're carted by the army, but perhaps they were carried by slingers, once distributed into individual loads. Generally, ancient armies on the march have stuff carted along for them.

(While we're at it: the ancient Greek shield during the Classical period is called "aspis", hoplon means weapon or instrument; it only later means "shield". "Hoplite" means "kitted out man". Ta hopla means heavy infantry).

C-A: the model I'm thinking about is ammo consumption in WWII, or even black powder warfare: people just don't go "full automatic" all the time (they would have no ammo left). Mad minutes sometimes, yes; usually, lots of lulls and pauses, and lots of people just not shooting. Most people in battle are pretty stressed out, as S. L. A. Marshall argues; or, if that's too passť, the tactical advice of Lionel Wigram is worth mulling over:

http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/Wignam.txt


I also speculated on how slingers fought in an earlier thread, "how to employ slingers"-- if you're keeping up a steady stream of harassing fire, or if you're duelling skirmishing lines, you're taking your time, not slinging away for dear life (which might happen in certain situations, for instance "mad minutes' for driving back a sally during a siege, or keeping defenders' heads down during an assault--both situations where ammo supply is not a problem).

Ancient images of slingers (rare are they are) don't show people going into the fight with huge backpacks and sacks of stones and bullets, but the neat "tactical" packs I'm imagining for the "sling fight" (and which I think Shumate should have given his slingers). Will post a pic. later, but  there are, of course, the slingers on Trajan's column. 


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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #12 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 8:01am
 
The point must be ammo discipline. In Aitolia in 427, the Athenian archers run out of ammo, and the Athenian force gets routed by javelin-throwing Aitolians. I note that the Athenian commander was killed-- perhaps his men lose control and shoot all their ammo.

If being shot at with one stone is very scary, then a slow steady stream of angry buzzing bullets and projectiles is enough to unnerve and provoke reaction (whether a withdrawal or a charge)-- without incurring huge ammo expenditure. The British army (but in fact most WWI long rifle armed troops too) had a tradition of long ranged aimed rifle fire-- fairly rapid, but not spraying ammo at high speed. That, too, is how I imagine slingers fighting: aimed fire, deliberate shots, pauses.
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #13 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 8:08am
 
Quote:
Ancient images of slingers (rare are they are) don't show people going into the fight with huge backpacks and sacks of stones and bullets, but the neat "tactical" packs I'm imagining for the "sling fight" (and which I think Shumate should have given his slingers). Will post a pic. later, but †there are, of course, the slingers on Trajan's column. †


Right - pictures of 'wheelbarrow men' (for want of a better term for ammo haulers Wink are not romantic.
Bear in mind that ancient illustrations are not the equivalent of contemporary war photographers. They were - for the most part - purely decorative. Realism didn;t get much of a look in.

And a wwII analogy for ancient warfare is just wrong lol
Mostly wars weren't fought between entrenched armies.
Plus the armies involved were considerably smaller so logistics would have been very different.

And as far as warfare goes logistics determines 90% of what you can and can't do.

But the side who could put themost sling ammo in the air for the longest period of time - would ahve stood a better chance of coming out on top.

I like the agincourt analogy. 3000 bowmen versus 20,000 men at arms.
Logistics determined the outcome. We didn't run out of arrows before they ran out of bodies. Had it been the other way round - we'd have lost.

In a battle where muscle power rules (ie: nothing remotel;y resembling contemporary warfare) the side who has missile superiority will always hold the upper hand. And for that you need slingers slinging hard and fast for long periods of time.

Each individual slinger will only carry the ammo he is comfortable with. But there would undoubtably have been provision made to 'reload' the ammo bags.
I'm not a professional slinger - but  I could easily sling non-stop for several hours. 
If that's what your slingers can do - why would you as a commander - then limit yourself to only using them sporadically.
Simple you wouldn't.
Every enemy you put down with a long range attack is one less to close and risk harming your own troops. 

have a butchers at sun tzus The Art Of War. It's pretty basic tactics.
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Re: Johnny Shumate's paintings
Reply #14 - Sep 30th, 2009 at 10:06am
 
Yes, ancient images of warfare are idealized and ideologized. But they do bear some resemblance to reality; N. Sekunda's books make this point-- for instance, in the 510s BC or the 460s BC, different equipment suddenly appears. Wheelbarrow men on the battlefield perfectly possible; I argue that the guys in the shooting line have tactical packs, not backpacks with lead. Yes ? That's more or less what you're saying, and that's what I'm arguing: not  big lumps of ammo into combat. Anyway, Xen. Anab. 5.2.12-14 for the "leather bags" of the slingers, fill of stones.

Modern warfare analogy: not WWII (where the range of firefights seems to drop to 300 m), but the "golden age of the rifle", say Boer War to WWI, the age of aimed rifle fire. That's the analogy I'm thinking about-- and you could return to your arguments "Why don't they blast away all the time" ? Because the tactical culture demands aimed fire as more effective.

To repeat myself: I'm sure that e.g. during a siege, there are crisis points when people sling away in mad minutes. In the field ? Say Thuc. 6.69.2, in 415, two lines of lights meet: archers, slingers, javelin-men. They fight an inconclusive engagement, then the main show starts (heavy infantry clobber fest)-- this, says Thuc., is how battles usually take place. Do they just line up and fire oodles of ammo at each other, then done ? Or is it a more deliberate, directed sort of fight, with small bodies of men sniping, aimed shots, sometimes massed volleys, moving back and forth, a loose firing line trying to provoke the other side into loosing off all their ammo, sallies and threats, trying to bully the line out of the way, until stalemate is reached and each line has drawn off the other's sting ?


We don't know, of course-- no very detailed after action reports of what happened during ancient battle.

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