By Mike Loades
Boasting a cost of capturing now not visible back in English fingers until eventually the overdue nineteenth century, the longbow was once the weapon on the center of the English army ascendancy within the century after 1340. in a position to subjecting the enemy to a hail of lethal projectiles, the longbow within the fingers of massed archers made attainable the extreme victories loved through English forces over greater numbers at Crécy and Poitiers, and remained a big battlefield weapon in the course of the Wars of the Roses and past; it additionally performed a number one position in raiding, siege and naval conflict. Its effect and use unfold to the armies of Burgundy, Scotland and different powers, and its popularity as an economical and simply produced weapon ended in demands its frequent adoption within the nascent armies of the yankee Republic as past due because the 1770s.
Wielded by means of Englishmen, Welshmen and others, the longbow fulfilled the necessities of all infantry missile guns all through heritage - it used to be a well-made weapon compatible for creation in volume that projected a man-stopping missile over an appropriate distance at a sustainable, really swift cost of taking pictures. The longbow was once a ''self-bow'' - that's to assert, it was once made of one piece of wooden, in general yew, with the ''belly'' of the bow being ''heartwood'' and a thinner layer of ''sapwood'' being the ''back'' of the bow. Its arrows have been often made up of aspen, a gentle and robust wooden - even supposing ash and different woods have been extensively utilized - with numerous steel heads on hand, looking on the meant use. a cosmopolitan piece of ammunition requiring many assets and talent to fabricate, the longbow arrow might penetrate plate armour if the stipulations have been correct; this learn argues, even though, that the ''blunt trauma'' inflicted at the objective, besides the fact that good armoured, ended in debilitating accidents and used to be way more major at the box of battle.
Featuring particularly commissioned full-colour art and educated by means of the most recent study into this interesting weapon, this energetic learn debunks lingering myths and casts new gentle at the battle-winning longbow, the deadly missile weapon that enabled English victories opposed to the chances in a chain of recognized battles of the 14th and fifteenth centuries.
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Extra resources for The Longbow
The truth is that battles are won and lost by a combination of factors and forces, and it is the marshalling and combining of all these elements that is the art of war. In every encounter, the precise way in which archers were used and their contribution to the final outcome varied considerably. Nevertheless, Crécy stands as a textbook example of how best to use a large archer army in pitched battle. Crécy was the culmination of an immaculately planned campaign that saw Edward III launch his military bid for the crown of France.
An element of personal protection was also vital, however. Archers could be, and were, overrun by cavalry or men-at-arms on foot and had to engage in hand-to-hand fighting. In many instances they might also expect to be shot at by archers on the other side. During the early part of the Hundred Years’ War the gambeson, a stout padded coat, augmented with a mail collar or coif and plate leg-harness, was typical equipment for an archer. By the later 15th century the jack and the brigandine supplanted the gambeson, giving both greater protection and ease of movement.
The nearest shot called the next mark. It was a congenia congenial pastime that involved roaming the countryside with frie friends. Clou Clout (cloth) shooting entailed shooting at a fixed distance of 240yd. The target, 18in in diameter, consisted of a can canvas facing backed with coiled straw. In the centre was a wooden w peg, known as the ‘prick’. It was an especially esteeme esteemed feat to cleave the prick. References in contemporary sources to ‘prickshafts’ indicate that lighter-weight arrows were use used when shooting at the clout.