General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Medieval slinging

Message started by David Morningstar on Aug 4th, 2009 at 8:13am

Title: Medieval slinging
Post by David Morningstar on Aug 4th, 2009 at 8:13am

Slings appear never to have been much used by the English although Froissart * mentions an instance of them having been used for them b the people of Brittany, in a battle fought in that province during the reign of Philip de Valois between the troops of Walter de Mauni, an English knight, and Loius d'Espagne who cammanded six thousand men in behalf of Charles de Blois, then competitor with the the Earl of Montfort for the Duchy of Brittany. Froissart sys that what made Louis lose the battle was, that during the engagement the country people came unexpectedly and assaulted his army with bullets and slings.

According to the same author they were also used in naval combats.

Slings were used in 1572 at the siege of Sancerre by the Huguenots in order to save their powder. D'Aubigne, who reports this fact, says they were thence called Sancerre harquebuses.

* Vol. 1 Chap. lxxxv p. 304

Title: Re: Medieval slinging
Post by funda_iucunda on Sep 13th, 2009 at 2:09pm
1572: that is no more medieval! Very interesting that slings where used at a time when guns already have been regular infantry weapons. But "Sancerre harquebuses" sounds rather like a nickname recalling an extraordinary tactical situation that allowed the sling becoming an option.

funda iucunda

Title: Re: Medieval slinging
Post by TN.Frank on Sep 18th, 2009 at 1:11pm
Remember though, In 1572 the guns would have most likely been match locks, which are very unreliable and pickey about weather conditions. You had to keep the match burning and play with black powder and ball to load the dang thing. It's a wonder that more people didn't blow themselves up with these "firearms". It really wasn't until the early to mid 1600's when the flintlock started seeing wide use. That's the "Golden Age" of firearms.  You no longer needed to keep a match alive and with a water proof pan(a later development) you could shoot in a light rain.

Title: Re: Medieval slinging
Post by funda_iucunda on Sep 18th, 2009 at 3:27pm
Of course where the fire early arms not as comfortable as more modern types. Never the less they fired a projectile with much more energy than any sling would be capable.
The match lock was much more reliable than the early fire stone locks, because as long as you managed to keep the match burning it fired as it was triggered. A flint lock would not every time give fire when triggered what could lead to very uncomfortable situations in close combat situations.
The first European army using the fire arms was the Spanish infantry at the beginning sixtenth century. The early regiments had up to 25 lines in order to keep the frequency of fire. Spanish infantry was very successfull for about a century.
Therefor I suppose that the "Sancerre harquebuses" where rather a case of shortage of amunition. Nevertheless it might have been not as useless as it would be today. I would like to read what d'Aubigne wrote about a success of this tactics.

In French history the sling seems to be linked somehow to the political and/or religious opposition: the Huguenots at Sancerre and later on the "fronde" of the nobility opposing Louis XIV.

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