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Slings vs longbows (Read 12243 times)
Thearos
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Slings vs longbows
Aug 28th, 2011 at 6:02pm
 
Extracted from another thread-- at the battle of Najera in 1367, in Spain, Spanish slingers faced English longbowmen. The Spanish slingers slung big stones, and did a lot of damage, including to armoured fighters. The English longbowmen shot their usual yard long arrows, and routed the slingers.

The two main rival man-powered ways of delivering ordinance thus did face off in a pre-gunpowder battle. Sling 0, bow 1.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Nájera

http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/books/froissart/index.cfm?page=0175

http://books.google.com/books?id=tSBEAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA372&lpg=PA372&dq=froissart+sl...
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #1 - Aug 28th, 2011 at 6:24pm
 
I'm also fairly convinced that, other factors being equal, the longbow is a more effective weapon than the sling. However, I did notice the Wiki entry says 4000 slingers and 12000 archers; 3:1 is a fair numerical advantage.
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Jaegoor
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #2 - Aug 30th, 2011 at 4:18pm
 
Aussi of the reach is not of the Longbow consider. Also not from the effect.
In Najera there was a big unbalance.
However, the specialisation went more and more richtung Longbow
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Thearos
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #3 - Aug 30th, 2011 at 6:32pm
 
Well, since at Najera both longbowmen and slingers hurt each other, this means that they were within each other's reach. I notice that the range of the longbow is still disputed (180 to 200 to 400 m ?). The engagement at Najera suggests say 150-180 m for tactical range-- that's what I think a reasonable range for big-stone slingers.

The English longbowmen were famed not just for range and penetration, but also speed-- surely they had the drop on the slingers there.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #4 - Aug 30th, 2011 at 7:01pm
 
Hallo, Thearos!
Should it help you, we once made the replica of an English longbow, but it was not an exact one, for its power was of about 65 lbs, while it seems that original ones had powers of 100 and more.
By the way, the maximum distance that bow allowed us to reach, was 183 meters, using a 92-centimeters long arrow, weighted with a self-made iron pyramidal arrowhead, 7 centimeters long.

(funny thing is, that Mongolian and Hungarian replicas, the most powerful of which was 55 lbs, reached a minimum of 172 meters, and a maximum of 180, pretty much the same of our - underpowered - English longbow).

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Thearos
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #5 - Aug 30th, 2011 at 7:17pm
 
Amazing for what that implies for the full range of the longbow-- surely way beyond the power of the stone throwing sling (which I would place at 200m max; perhaps 300-400 m with lead, which was not the case at Najera).
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #6 - Aug 30th, 2011 at 9:57pm
 
The English warbow shooters on Primitive Archer keep stating that they shoot just over or under 200 meters, depending on what type of arrow they are shooting.  They are shooting 100 to about 160 pounds at 32 inches.  Some of the lighter bows shoot the same arrow further than some of the heavier bows.  With self bows, a bow made from one piece of wood, the tiller of the bow can increase or decrease the range of the bow by around 15%.  Bill
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #7 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 1:58am
 

From http://www.englishwarbowsociety.com/warbow.html

"Detailed analysis of the War bows recovered from the Tudor warship Mary Rose, which sank in battle in 1545 with an almost complete inventory including hundreds of bows and thousands of arrows, show the draw weights ranging from 80lbs to 180lbs with the most prolific being in the 140lb range.

...

The English War bow was used in conjunction with the English war arrow.  Weighing something in the region of a quarter of a pound and tipped with hardened steel, armour piercing heads, these arrows could be shot over long distances.  In recent years archers with bows like those on the Mary Rose have shot such arrows at distances in excess of 270 yards.  It is a sobering thought that the longest marks set out in the Finsbury fields in the 1500’s were approaching 400 yards!  "
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Jaegoor
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #8 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 3:33am
 
I myself shoot different types.

My Hungarian (65lbs) shoots clearly wide as my English Longbow. (102lbs)

The explanation is quite easy.
The Longbow shoots substantially heavier arrows. And exactly therefore it goes. By heavy arrows also rises the carbon copy strength. Not the reach.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #9 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 6:59am
 
Yes, and even remember that half of the bow's power is given by the speed with which it returns to the original shape.
I mean, a more flexible wood will allow the archer to open the bow more than a less flexible one, and the more flexible will also return to its shape faster, after the shot.
This give the arrow a higher speed, and it's part of the bow's power, even if it's not measurable.
That's one of the reasons why some bows are composite, and others are fully made of wood. Another reason is the final destination of the bow (mass shooting, sniping or both).
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Thearos
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #10 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 9:31am
 
It does sound like the English warbow, used by elite archers, i.e. those taken by Edward on his overseas expeditions, could outshoot the sling-- I don't think the Spanish slingers could shoot 270 m.

Of course, these are still "drop ranges", i.e. the distance when the arrow finally hits the ground. What is the relation between those ranges and co,bat ranges, i.e. those at which the archers or slingers create a beaten zone where people standing up get hit between head and shin ?
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #11 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 9:53am
 
its also worth remembering that  all bow types arnt created equal, some designsare more efficient. this efficiancy is called cast.
in fact the d cross section english longbow is one of the less efficient designs. the modern compound bows have the most cast, meaning that the stored nergy in the drawn bow more efficiently passes to the arrow to propel it along. meaning a 120 lb warbow could have the same level of castability as a compound bow with a poundage of 85 for arguements sake.
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Jaegoor
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #12 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 10:58am
 
To him is not in such a way. A higher tractive power requires heavier and more stiff arrow.

Thearos: Why should a Balearic Slinger be able to throw none to 270 far?? I have seen this not only same, but have done it also myself.

The advantage of the Slingers. He has caused one more Shild with he to himself protection is able.
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Thearos
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #13 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 12:02pm
 
To Jaegoor: I do not believe that a range over 200-225 m can be reached with a large, battle-sized stone. But I remain ready to be convinced by documented examples to the contrary. I am convinced that ranges in the 350-400 m bracket can be reached by slinging specialized lead bullets.
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Thearos
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Re: Slings vs longbows
Reply #14 - Aug 31st, 2011 at 4:31pm
 
This is how I understand the engagement at Najera

The Spanish slingers moved to engage with warslings, slinging at say 200m distance. I assume this represents nearly extreme distance for slingers with large stones. Their first shot landed among the English, and harmed bowmen and men at arms.

The English bowmen replied: their very first volley broke the Spanish slinging line, because of volume of shot (the longbowmen not only outnumbered the slingers, but could be packed more densely) and because of speed.

As the slingers withdrew, the English bowmen could pursue with with arrow shot, since the longbow is effective over a longer distance (300m ?) than the warsling (200m)-- they bracketed the retreating Spanish slingers with volleys or continuous shots over 100m. This prevented the slingers from rallying, and probably killed or incapacitated a good deal of them.
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