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General Chat - anything Goes > So, this is what real archery looks like.

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message 1: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments Stumbled across this and found it interesting

Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2998 comments That is amazing!

I did archery in the scouts and I was poo.

message 3: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Hilarious, but largely historical BS I'm afraid. This is Hollywood make-believe and wish fulfilment rather than any recreation of archery in the past.

The Hobbit's ninja elves might have fired bows like this, but that's about it. And far from 2D targets being a modern invention, all Englishmen in Tudor times were required to practice archery against 2D targets.

Apart from horse archers, most war archers wouldn't rely on accuracy or firing at such short distances. Instead they would work together as a large group to fire concerted volleys.

And historical archers most certainly were not jumping around like idiots or extras from the Matrix. That's probably because they didn't have the luxury of editing out all their mistakes for the yoochoob video.

Interesting to see the circus tricks that this guy has invented, but that's as far as it goes. Please please please don't anyone write this sort of archery into anything other than a comedy.

message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita | 3758 comments That's very interesting and amazing !

message 5: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments I quite like the idea of a Medieval Matrix, Will :~)

message 6: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Will wrote: "And historical archers most certainly were not jumping around like idiots or extras from the Matrix."

I'm sure they were somewhere. Archers were not exclusive to massive scripted set-piece battles...

message 7: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Can't think where. Samurai and Ninja were trained to fire arrows on horseback, as were the Mongol horse archers. Hunters would use bows to take down a deer or a bird, but never while jumping about.

Most armies used archers because it was relatively cheap and easy to turn a farmer into a soldier. But they were nearly always used en masse. The idea of the lone archer running up walls - sorry, but that's a Hollywood fiction.

message 8: by Joo (new)

Joo (jooo) | 1636 comments We'd bought our nephew a bow for his birthday.
We were holidaying at his house with our friends.
We were slightly inebriated.
We started playing with the bow and arrows.
None of us could work out how to use it.
We broke it.

The next day, we found a local bow and arrow shop. (There's probably a technical term for it) so went there to see if we could fix it.
Whilst there, we were asking such stupid "how do you use this" questions and "can we buy one pointy arrow" that we really thought they would report us to the police for being dangerous.

message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21882 comments It's interesting. I posted the video to an ancient military history forum, and whilst what the chap does isn't relevant to the Longbowmen of England or infantry archery, he's probably using the sort of technique that was used by horse archers, and before them by the chariot bowmen of Egypt and Assyria

Geoff (G. Robbins) (merda constat variat altitudo) (snibborg) | 9052 comments When the Mary Rose was raised there were a number of bow shafts recovered. Modern bows have a maximum pull pressure of 60-70 pounds. The ones recovered required 160 pounds of pressure to use.

If you ever see a housing estate with a street name call The Butts, you will probably find that this was the location of an olden archery training ground.

message 11: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Jim - it's flashy, but there is no evidence that any archer in history has ever fired a bow like this. What he is trying to do is to transplant 21st century thinking onto a medieval weapon.

The weapons we have today, say an assault rifle, can be used in rapid fire or single shot. They can be used at range or at close quarters. You can fire them while running, although maybe not whilst running up walls Matrix-style. You can take down multiple targets at once.

Bows, whether shortbows, longbows or crossbows, generally weren't used like assault rifles. I know it's tempting to think that the past was like the present only without mobile phones. But what this character is doing isn't a historical re-enactment. It's Hollywood. Legolas the ninja elf shooting three orcs at once.

So I'm glad you posted it. I enjoyed watching it. It's funny. But it's no more accurate than 21st century quick draw competitions are accurate recreations of the wild west.

Let's enjoy it for what it is.

message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21882 comments What you have to remember is we have accounts of Various individuals piercing so many metal plates with their arrows as they were driven past them at speed in a chariot. They were talking about the sort of rates of fire he is achieving, and like him they're shown with the arrows held in the hand.
Similarly with horse archery we've got accounts from the time which talk about rates of fire which again, he is achieving.
Ignoring the prancing about, the actual techniques he is using, arrow to the right of the bow stave, arrows held in the hand, are shown carved on the monuments or illustrated in old documents. (or even painted onto old stained glass)
What he has shown is that it is possible to achieve these rates of fire.

With regard to chariot archery, we know that, at the time, the only counter to the chariot was chariots of your own. Massed levied infantry archers with their comparatively small number of arrows couldn't cope with fast moving chariots (work has been done on rebuilding chariots and given the nature of the machines, their stability as a missile platform is impressive)which were manned by far better archers, with far more arrows and who could both fire faster and wore armour

message 13: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Obviously the running about and jumping tricks are just showmanship. Bernard Cornwell is a writer whose research is meticulous, and he talks about longbow accuracy in the early middle ages being extra ordinary, and he too ignores quivers in practical use except during a march. Arrows are carried around in sheaves, and distributed loose to the archers for conflict.

I've come to the conclusion too that the relief sculptures were more likely to be accurate than not. After all, a sculpture/carving is there to be see, a visual medium. Those viewing would likely have been present at some of the actions, and such inaccuracies laughed to scorn: and hence not repeated. No despotic ruler likes to be told his propaganda edifice is being laughed at for such inaccuracies. hence, on a balance of probability, he may be correct.

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Geoff (G. Robbins) (The noisy passionfruit) wrote: "When the Mary Rose was raised there were a number of bow shafts recovered. Modern bows have a maximum pull pressure of 60-70 pounds. The ones recovered required 160 pounds of pressure to use.


Oh! I recall hearing about that somewhere.

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I love that I have friends who can discuss such arcane topics, seemingly with intelligence. Or not so seemingly. Or not with intelli...

Any who...

You lot make me smile.

message 16: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments And I've just looked up a passage in Cornwell's stuff about the Hundred Years War in which he relates English & Welsh archers running forward to reposition themselves carrying loose arrows which they then stick lightly into the ground before them.

This could be because of the draw strength of a longbow?

message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21882 comments Comments I've seen on other forums (and they make sense) are that because of the draw weight of a longbow, you're not going to be able to have other arrows in your hands. So sticking them in the ground ready is sensible.

Longbow archery is probably very different to horse archery and similar, where engagement ranges could be less than thirty yards.
With the longbow you were looking to kill at well over 100 yards. Indeed you might even expect to kill the target you were aiming at as opposed to just firing into a mass

message 18: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Jim - yes, that accords with research I've done for the archery elements of a novel. Longbowmen would generally carry their arrows in a pouch around their waist (not behind their back). When they were setting up for a battle they would stick their arrows into the ground in front of them. They would generally aim upwards at 45 degrees en masse so that the arrows would rise and then fall. Historic accounts of battles with archers often talk about the sky turning black.

As the enemy came nearer they would start aiming directly at individual targets. When the enemy is tightly packed, accuracy is less important than strength to draw the bow and rate of fire - but nothing like the video. A typical English archer would aim for not much more than six arrows a minute.

I've never heard of an English archer holding more than one arrow at a time whilst firing.

And when the enemy came closer still archers would put the bows down and fight with a short sword or knife carried in their belt.

Horse archers (mongol, samurai, native American) would usually use hit and run tactics - ride up to the enemy, fire a shot, ride away. With them the main skill was in controlling the horse whilst firing a bow. And again I don't think we have more than one arrow at a time or anything like this rate of fire.

message 19: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Of course you would then argue that when the earlier bows lacked the delivery power of the longbow, a higher rate of fire would be needed. Then the ability to fire whilst holding arrows in the hand provides a significant advantage, doesn't it?

message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21882 comments From what we know of Byzantine (and therefore Turkish) horse archers, they would ride across the face of an enemy unit firing rapidly as they passed, then they'd regroup, reform or whatever behind their own army's front line.Effectively they'd pass in single file and you can see how the 'hold the arrows in your hand' technique would pay dividends. Combat range would be less than thirty yards.
This is one reason why Turkish horsearchers hated Frankish crossbowmen. Whilst a foot archer would have to fire overhead to get the benefit of a shielded spearman in front of him protecting him from the horse archer (and overhead fire is damn all use against someone only 30 yards away) the crossbowman could stand behind his mate's shield and fire at a flat trajectory. Not only that but even with the early crossbows, the bolt could kill horse and man at the same time.

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Darn those Frankish bowmen. Darn them to heck.

Do we really have a thread devoted to discussing how best to use a projectile to kill another person?

message 22: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21882 comments Hey you've got people in this group who write thrillers, Sci Fi and Fantasy!
Of course we need threads about using projectiles to kill people! :-)

message 24: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments The right word in the right place is very cutting, too, of course

message 25: by Simon (Highwayman) (last edited Jan 25, 2015 03:30PM) (new)

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments I have enjoyed the historical debate here. The depiction in ancient paintings is quite compelling as there doesn't seem much point in depicting it wrong. Either way the archer on the video was very talented - or was it a fraud. Some of the camera shots suggest a cameraman was standing very close to a loaded bow. Rather him than me.

message 26: by ✿Claire✿ (new)

✿Claire✿ (clairelm) | 3055 comments I love archery, wish I got to do it more often than scout and guide camps. The video was interesting and very clever but probably a lot of it isn't particularly practical. Very showmanny but I'm not sure how many archers would have been shooting from under one knee!

message 27: by ✿Claire✿ (new)

✿Claire✿ (clairelm) | 3055 comments Actually it's just reminded me, my sister and I went to see the archery at the paralympics in London. I was really, really impressed by Matt Stutzman (the one in red). here

message 28: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Jim wrote: "Hey you've got people in this group who write thrillers, Sci Fi and Fantasy!
Of course we need threads about using projectiles to kill people! :-)"

And of course, outside the limited context of a historical novel we can shoot our arrows any which way that works. :)

message 29: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments My late friend Lindsey (she sadly died last year) won an archery competition: one round involved firing at a distance to send an arrow down a narrow tube before then hitting the target.

The tube, I'm not sure how many paces away that was placed, was a piece of standard round drainpipe.

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments That sounds challenging.

message 31: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Actually it sounds almost impossible, doesn't it? But that's what she had to do, and apparently was not the only member of her archery club who could do it

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Amazing.

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