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Slinging in Lorica segmentata (Read 5044 times)
jlasud
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Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Aug 11th, 2013 at 1:58am
 
Last weekend we had a small meeting of various groups of reenactment. We had 2 lorica segmentata's (roman heavy armor) with us,and the centurio wasn't around :p
So in one of the spare moments,i took a medieval gambeson and installed the armor. I wanted to try slinging with it. Vegetius if i remember correctly,mentioned that slinging was part of the legionaries basic training. I was curious what it is like,and if the shoulder guard would whack me in the face while chucking. 

As i expected,it did slow me down,the shoulder guard didn't whack me,BUT i was blasting stones against a stone wall. It was slightly cumbersome,but totally doable and it didn't even seem to affect my accuracy much,besides that it was a bit strange,but somebody who did wear that thing for years,and knew to sling,could totally sling in heavy roman armor. I put the belt,gladius,helmet on,and i could still sling. The only drawback was like -20% power.   Long time i wanted to try,and as far as i know,not many if any somewhat skilled slingers tried it. I know a few reenactors tried,that are probably totally noob at slinging. Though i'd share,it was fun. It made a funny,quite loud zinging armor noise,as i was slinging. Cheesy
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jlasud
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #1 - Aug 11th, 2013 at 2:02am
 
aiming the leather strap through the cheek protections ring.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #2 - Aug 11th, 2013 at 9:21am
 
Now THAT is totally cool.  Mauro needs to see those pictures, he could do a paper on it.  A lot of what the ancient writers wrote is either misunderstood or discounted as exaggeration or bragging, it's good that someone modern can actually prove that they wrote about actual events.

Now, the next question, how do you suppose the Romans used the slings?  As tight as their formations were, I think they would have some thing like designated slingers who would act as some type of skirmish line or screen out in front of the main body, they would pull back to the main line on command and just take their place in formation.  That actually makes more sense than opening ranks to let the unarmored slinger through. 

That's a guess, I don't actually have a clue.
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jlasud
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #3 - Aug 11th, 2013 at 10:37am
 
I think most likely they would have slung during sieges. During battles they had their mercenery slingers,archers,war machines,and everything was very disciplined,and standardized. The sling wasn't. So I think some might have used the sling when they weren't given an order of tight battle formation. Can't think of many occasions besides maybe sieges..
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SchlrFtrRkMystc
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #4 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 2:41am
 
1. Defending a from defensive position in a siege
2. bombarding a defensive position in a siege (both mentioned by Vegetius)
3. Guerrilla War, in general hit and run tactics, ie noncommital bombardment
4. Ambushes from high ground, or needing a ranged attack option from or against high ground in general
5. Ship to ship bombardment in naval engagements
6. Repelling or scattering riots or other poorly equipped enemies
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #5 - Aug 13th, 2013 at 2:51am
 
It is known that slings were used in the conquest of Constantinopolis in 1453. Ottoman sultan Mehmed II was reported to have positioned the slingers and archers personally. This siege was famous with the extensive use of cannons, gigantic cannons appeared in the battle scene for the first time. Interesting that such a primitive weapon also played a role together with the modern technology of the time.
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Donnerschlag
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #6 - Aug 14th, 2013 at 3:40am
 
So cool that you could try that!
I can now sleep soundly at night Cool
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jlasud
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #7 - Aug 15th, 2013 at 2:21am
 
Guerilla warfare was anything but Roman.  Ship to ship bombardment..not sure how many legionaries would have attended something like that.
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jlasud
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #8 - Aug 15th, 2013 at 4:26am
 
Finally i could upload the vid to YT. here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOAoD6xKyyU&feature=youtu.be
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #9 - Aug 19th, 2013 at 1:50pm
 
very neat - but seeig you in the armour really opens up the weakness of legionnaires to slings.

large round stones, slung along the floor - break ankles, knees, toes.

zero leg protection Smiley
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jlasud
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #10 - Aug 19th, 2013 at 2:08pm
 
Yep, the shield most of the time just covers knees. Besides the Centurions and the Anti-falxmen didn't wear greaves. So good ol' slingin' harrasin' fire ,just outside of pila and javelin range could bust a lot of roman legs.

The only problem,they had cavalry,archers,ballistas,slingers..so close to mid range stone skipping at legs,could be sabotaged Smiley
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jlasud
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #11 - Aug 29th, 2013 at 4:58am
 
C_A ,last weekend in Hungary,Savaria,i reecreated what i've been long thought,would be an excellent long range tactic in pre firearms ages.
To throw,stones,loose arrows on two different planes: lobbing high arc and relatively flat,by two groups of ranged arms.

So besides a roman testudo,this could be devastating,as most barbarians would fight mostly individually,raise their shields as their own reaction and not as a trained army to a command.

I was fighting along with some 3-4 century late roman army,against normann warriors. The battle started with the romans besides me throwing a hail of plumbata's in a high arc into the lines of the normann/viking reenactors bout 40m away. They raised their shields high to protect themselves from the falling plumbata's ,which were falling in a very steep angle.
Meanwhile,i was zipping tomatoes on a flat plane to their feet,which was totally exposed,and unprotected,up until their waist. I had only 4 tomatoes for that battle and scored 3 hits on legs, while on of them after he got hit, was like dancing,raising his legs like lizards on hot sand.
So in case i would have used solid rocks,that would have been 3 normanns with full armor,shield,helmet,chainmail,armscoat,arm protection with broken legs, in 15-20 seconds. By only one slinger.
And no matter how good a soldier you are,how well equipped you are, with a broken leg,you ain't gonna fight .
Maybe even occupy 1-2 other soldiers,that would drag you behind the shieldwall,before the charge, that if you really deserve it,and i doubt,that much of that would have happened just before a charge.

It felt great that a tactic that once popped into my mind has worked so well in reality ,well reenactement,but besides using tomatos instead of stones and no broken legs,it worked like a charm.
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David Morningstar
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Re: Slinging in Lorica segmentata
Reply #12 - Aug 29th, 2013 at 7:02pm
 
I love it! More power to your tomatoes Smiley
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