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Staff Slings? (Read 11534 times)
Fundibularius
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #30 - Jun 24th, 2009 at 9:00am
 
Good point. That's really a great advantage.
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Ferrugo numquam dormit.&&(Nigellus Iuvenis)&&&&

Noch weiz ich an im mere daz mir ist bekant
einen lintrachen  slouch des heledes hant
do badet er in dem blvote  des ist der helt gemeit
von also vester hvte  daz in nie wafen sit versneit.
 
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Thearos
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #31 - Jun 24th, 2009 at 1:56pm
 
I'm sure you're right that it's easy to use (though I wouldn't know, never slung with a staff), though I don't see why a sailor should be unskilled, nor a civilian defender (it's easy to forget how militarized pre-industrial / pre-modern cities are, precisely because of uncertainty-- citizen militias, police patrols, etc, are all done by enthusiastic burghers rather than the central state). But I nit-pick.

I hope someone posts a vid on YouTuber of himself slinging a flaming pitchpot.
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David Morningstar
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #32 - Jun 24th, 2009 at 2:14pm
 
Thearos wrote on Jun 24th, 2009 at 1:56pm:
I'm sure you're right that it's easy to use (though I wouldn't know, never slung with a staff), though I don't see why a sailor should be unskilled, nor a civilian defender


Unskilled and unequipped with ranged weapons. Until the siege defenses are breached or the ships grapple together, all combat is ranged combat.

Lots of people can be handy in a scrap but unless they have a powerful bow and a stash of armour-piercing arrows, they dont have a lot of options until it goes hand-to-hand. Hence the use of the easily made and learned staff-sling that lobs big dumb rocks onto the bad guys heads Smiley


Get yourself a broom handle and a strong 30" sling with a big pouch. I used nylon rope and duct tape. You'll see how easy it is!
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Thearos
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #33 - Jun 24th, 2009 at 5:48pm
 
Hmm. In a lot of Hellenistic cities, there's good evidence for citizen youths receiving intensive training in close combat (armed and unarmed, and also with the celtic-Roman style shield with central boss), javelin throwing, archery, and catapult gunnery (as well as square bashing, skirmishing order, and formation charges)-- all in order to have a militarily literate citizenry, though of course not as proficient as real professionals of war. (all this discussed e.g. by J. E. Lendon, Ghost Soldiers-- v. good book btw).

I don't know much about early or high Mediaeval history, but suspect that e.g. in an Italian city-state or Flemish ccommune or German town or a Swiss castle town, a lot of people (especially the young men) would have known how to fight with ranged weapons-- throwing spears, bows, crossbows, even slings etc-- and owned such implements. Same for Late Antique cities, I suspect. So I remain unconvinced by the "unskilled citizenry" argument, even if I'm sure the fustibal packs a lot of punch for minimal effort and skill.


I think a couple of detailled testcases showing where the staff sling used, and by whom-- with sources quoted and analysed-- would help at this stage.
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Thearos
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #34 - Jun 24th, 2009 at 5:53pm
 
While I'm at it: a nice Swiss coin with a sling wielding Eidgenoss from the C14th

http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=21624

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David Morningstar
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #35 - Jun 24th, 2009 at 6:09pm
 
People are generally going off illuminated manuscripts. When you see a staff sling it is generally being used from a fortification wall or a ship.

Remember, when plate becomes de rigeur you need a serious piece of kit to get through it, either a longbow or a heavy crossbow. The crossbow is chuffing expensive and the longbow needs specialist training before you can draw it. Such people are probably already earning their pay in whatever armies are marching about the place. Those that are left in the towns or obeying 'all hands repel boarders' need something a lot more usable.
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Thearos
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #36 - Jun 24th, 2009 at 7:22pm
 
Oh right, Fundibularius had mentioned the mss. too. I'm sure you're right re. plate. But say in 1250 or even during the Hundred Years' War, it's not plate, but (for the very heavy and very rich) mail, possibly reinforced at the elbows with boiled leather etc. Most "grunts" in any case are wearing gambesons, padded leather jacks, perhaps fighting bejind pavises and siege works.

So why a sling staff in siege contexts ? (to focus on that right now) You say it's to get a long-ranged, easily usable, low-skills threshold and heavy impact weapon into civilian hands. I'm sure that's right, but my rejoinder is that the inhabitants of a city ca. 1350 might be pretty well skilled in ranged warfare (pre-plate, remember) with things that hurt at distance, bows (not long), simple crossbows, slings, hand thrown things. So my question remains: what's really special about the staff sling ?

Some thoughts:

staff sling can throw anything (stones, pots, paving stones, flaming clods). Bow needs arrows, which need making, fletching, checking for straightness.

Staff sling can throw heavy things, that really shake up whatever besiegers are using to protect themselves (wicker siege works, pavises, towers, fortified camp entrances)

Staff sling can throw heavy things, that hurt armoured besiegers (helmeted sappers, etc).

Staff slings can throw burning things, very handy in a siege

Staff slings can throw large projectiles at groups of people

-- thinking aloud, i would say the staff sling acts like a small catapult. I wonder how accurate it is-- and (to pick up m earlier point) if a man with some military or paramilitary training (e.g. skill at throwing stones at targets, or competitive javelin throwing,   hunting experience, eye for deflection shooting, wind, etc) would be quite nifty with it.
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Fundibularius
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #37 - Jun 25th, 2009 at 4:48am
 
Thearos wrote on Jun 24th, 2009 at 7:22pm:
So why a sling staff in siege contexts ? [...] So my question remains: what's really special about the staff sling ?

Some thoughts:

staff sling can throw anything (stones, pots, paving stones, flaming clods). Bow needs arrows, which need making, fletching, checking for straightness.

Staff sling can throw heavy things, that really shake up whatever besiegers are using to protect themselves (wicker siege works, pavises, towers, fortified camp entrances)

Staff sling can throw heavy things, that hurt armoured besiegers (helmeted sappers, etc).

Staff slings can throw burning things, very handy in a siege

Staff slings can throw large projectiles at groups of people

-- thinking aloud, i would say the staff sling acts like a small catapult. I wonder how accurate it is-- and (to pick up m earlier point) if a man with some military or paramilitary training (e.g. skill at throwing stones at targets, or competitive javelin throwing,   hunting experience, eye for deflection shooting, wind, etc) would be quite nifty with it.


Three additional thoughts:

Staff slings act like quickly moving small catapults. It's more difficult for the other side to take them out.

Staff slings are easy to make from anything. A good weapon for a besieged population (or a besieging army) which has to improvise from scratch.

Staff slings are cheap (cost almost nothing). Catapults, crossbows, longbows etc are expensive.
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Ferrugo numquam dormit.&&(Nigellus Iuvenis)&&&&

Noch weiz ich an im mere daz mir ist bekant
einen lintrachen  slouch des heledes hant
do badet er in dem blvote  des ist der helt gemeit
von also vester hvte  daz in nie wafen sit versneit.
 
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winkleried
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Re: Staff Slings?
Reply #38 - Jun 28th, 2009 at 2:09pm
 
Just to give a modern example. There was a gent from the U.K. who was offering the medieval reenactment community a full blow full power Siege Arbalest. Cost of this piece of Kit was in the neighborhood of 3500 L. That link no longer works Sad

Here is one that does

http://store.arbalistarmoury.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_4&pr...

Price starts at 1000 L depending on poundage. Half up front minimum lead time 9 months..........

Marc Adkins

David Morningstar wrote on Jun 24th, 2009 at 6:09pm:
People are generally going off illuminated manuscripts. When you see a staff sling it is generally being used from a fortification wall or a ship.

Remember, when plate becomes de rigeur you need a serious piece of kit to get through it, either a longbow or a heavy crossbow. The crossbow is chuffing expensive and the longbow needs specialist training before you can draw it. Such people are probably already earning their pay in whatever armies are marching about the place. Those that are left in the towns or obeying 'all hands repel boarders' need something a lot more usable.

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