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Distances, again (Read 3527 times)
Thearos
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Distances, again
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.pd...

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...

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.
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Tint
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #1 - Apr 17th, 2010 at 8:14pm
 
I think you must be right. 

Slingers at war and slingers fighting/hunting solo would have different trajectory.
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #2 - 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.

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Re: Distances, again
Reply #3 - Apr 18th, 2010 at 9:40am
 
  Makes sense.  Good post Thearos!
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Thearos
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #4 - 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.
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #5 - 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.
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Jaegoor
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #6 - 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=dire...
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Thearos
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #7 - Apr 19th, 2010 at 6:01am
 
How old is the girl ?
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Jaegoor
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #8 - Apr 19th, 2010 at 6:23am
 
Girl???

The Girl is a boy and is 11 years.

It was be the first shoot last jahr. Shocked Cheesy Grin
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Thearos
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #9 - Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:20am
 
Whoops sorry. He seems to sling pretty well.
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #10 - Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:22am
 
Interesting, makes sense after I thought about it a bit.
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Jaegoor
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #11 - Apr 19th, 2010 at 7:29am
 
He trains for his yellow T of shirt.
Time see whether he it this year still creates.
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #12 - 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.
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #13 - 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.
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Thearos
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Re: Distances, again
Reply #14 - 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.
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