Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > War and Military History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

War and Military History War and Military History Forum - Warfare, Tactics, and Military Technology over the centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old October 12th, 2017, 01:27 PM   #11

Ichon's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: .
Posts: 3,283

Crossbows were quite more effective weapon in sieges as well. Expose less body, wait with locked bolt for sniping shot, etc.
Ichon is offline  
Remove Ads
Old October 12th, 2017, 01:43 PM   #12
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,347

The advantage of a crossbow is that any idiot can use it. A half drunk cook delivering meals to the top of the tower once picked up a crossbow, he shot it, and shot and killed King Richard the Lion-Hearted.
kazeuma is offline  
Old October 12th, 2017, 03:28 PM   #13

Spike117's Avatar
Lecturer
 
Joined: Sep 2017
From: United States
Posts: 258

I have to agree on the consensus that the crossbow was fairly easy to pick up and use while bows took a lot more skill and practice.

Additionally, crossbow bolts were better at piercing armor.

However, the English longbows (made of yew I believe) had advantages as well. They could be fired much faster, and the design of this specific bow allowed it to shoot further than crossbows.

To pull off this rapid, long-range fire, both the longbow had to be designed well and the archer himself had to be very strong and well-trained; which they were. The English and Welsh archers were very good at their job and that is most likely why they were as effective as they were. Bones of English archers, I recall reading, show deformities in the arms from the amount of strain they put on themselves firing.

To summarize, the crossbow in general was better than the bow and probably at least the equal of the longbow, but the English/Welsh archers were what made the longbows so effective and memorable.
Spike117 is offline  
Old October 12th, 2017, 03:29 PM   #14

sparky's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Sydney
Posts: 2,078
Blog Entries: 1

.
Knights hated crossbowmen , frequently they were butchered after a battle
there even was a church council which banned them as un-godly

bowmen were better if they came from a long tradition of bowmen ,had a long training and access to good quality wood ,
cross bow had a whole range of weapon from the goat foot type used by peasants armed by arms to the complex machinery winded great siege crossbows
often the arming was done by hooks on a belt ,the foot of the soldier resting on a stirrup at the head of the crossbow the leg pull being stronger
sparky is offline  
Old October 13th, 2017, 12:04 AM   #15

Dan Howard's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2014
From: Australia
Posts: 3,034

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
If what you say is true, then it sounds like the crossbow would have the ggreatest effective range, so I wonder why people say the longbow had greater range?
Because at Crecy, the English archers outranged the Genoese crossbowmen. What these misinformed commenators neglect to mention is that the Genoese crossbow strings were saturated in the rain. The English protected their strings by keeping them under their hats.

In reality, when both weapons remain dry, crossbows generally outrange longbows.
Dan Howard is online now  
Old October 13th, 2017, 12:08 AM   #16

Dan Howard's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2014
From: Australia
Posts: 3,034

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
.
Knights hated crossbowmen , frequently they were butchered after a battle
there even was a church council which banned them as un-godly
The Pope issued a Papal Bull banning crossbowmen from shooting fellow Christians. It had nothing to do with "hating crossbowmen". It was a scheme dreamt up to give the Pope's army an unfair advantage against Guiscard, whose Sicilian army was advancing up from Southern Italy at the time. Guiscard's army consisted mainly of Moslems so that the Pope's forces could shoot them with impunity while Guiscard risked excommunication if his men shot back.

Last edited by Dan Howard; October 13th, 2017 at 12:22 AM.
Dan Howard is online now  
Old October 13th, 2017, 04:15 AM   #17
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,129

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Howard View Post
while Guiscard risked excommunication if his men shot back.
Given that Guiscard was excommunicated for invading a papal fief, I am not sure how much this would have made him hesitate in a clash between the two armies.

EDIT: Also, checking at the dates... I think you are mistaken. Guiscard died 1085. The Papal Bull Of Innocent III was in 1139. Unless there was a previous one I missed? (Urban's is too late, too, 1096 or should it be 1097?)

EDIT2: Doing some quick googling... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second...of_the_Lateran states: "Canon 29: The use of bows and crossbows against Christians was prohibited." So apparently it wasn't just crossbows that they wanted banned. Here is the English translation from http://www.legionofmarytidewater.com/faith/ECUM10.HTM
"29. We prohibit under anathema that murderous art of crossbowmen and archers, which is hateful to God, to be employed against Christians and Catholics from now on."
And Latin from http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/es/index3.htm
"29 Artem autem illam mortiferam et deo odibilem ballistariorum et sagittariorum adversus christianos et catholicos exerceri de cetero sub anathemate prohibemus."

Last edited by Whyte; October 13th, 2017 at 04:25 AM.
Whyte is online now  
Old October 13th, 2017, 04:52 AM   #18

Tulius's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: May 2016
From: Portugal
Posts: 3,810

I have seen here stated that crossbowmen were just some poor guys that could shoot.

That could happen, but the way it is stated here seems a misconception.

In many places in Europe we can say that these crossbowmen were elite fighters, not poor farmers. We can give examples about some Italy cities and in the Iberian Peninsula, but most probably the examples can exceed those regions.

For instance the legend and the skill of William Tell with the crossbow, in Switzerland, even with all the modern (re)constructions, can be purely comparable of the legend and skill of Robin Wood with the (long)bow.
Tulius is offline  
Old October 13th, 2017, 04:55 AM   #19

funakison's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2012
From: Between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 5,347
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyte View Post
Given that Guiscard was excommunicated for invading a papal fief, I am not sure how much this would have made him hesitate in a clash between the two armies.

EDIT: Also, checking at the dates... I think you are mistaken. Guiscard died 1085. The Papal Bull Of Innocent III was in 1139. Unless there was a previous one I missed? (Urban's is too late, too, 1096 or should it be 1097?)

EDIT2: Doing some quick googling... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second...of_the_Lateran states: "Canon 29: The use of bows and crossbows against Christians was prohibited." So apparently it wasn't just crossbows that they wanted banned. Here is the English translation from Under Pope Innocent II - 1139
"29. We prohibit under anathema that murderous art of crossbowmen and archers, which is hateful to God, to be employed against Christians and Catholics from now on."
And Latin from Bibliaclerus
"29 Artem autem illam mortiferam et deo odibilem ballistariorum et sagittariorum adversus christianos et catholicos exerceri de cetero sub anathemate prohibemus."
The original bull was issued by Urban II in 1096
funakison is offline  
Old October 13th, 2017, 06:13 AM   #20

Dan Howard's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2014
From: Australia
Posts: 3,034

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whyte View Post
Given that Guiscard was excommunicated for invading a papal fief, I am not sure how much this would have made him hesitate in a clash between the two armies.

EDIT: Also, checking at the dates... I think you are mistaken. Guiscard died 1085. The Papal Bull Of Innocent III was in 1139. Unless there was a previous one I missed? (Urban's is too late, too, 1096 or should it be 1097?)
I'm talking about Roger Guiscard, not Robert, and the original Papal Bull was 1096. It never banned crossbows. It forbade crossbowMEN from shooting fellow Christians. The majority of the archers in Urban's army used crossbows so it would have been pretty silly for him to ban the weapon.

In 1096 Roger was in southern Italy with a Sicilian army and advancing north towards Papal territory. There were a few sieges but no major battles. The last siege was at Capua in 1098. This was when Urban came in person to Roger to negotiate a truce and to secure the release of Robert, bishop of Troina and Messina, who had been imprisoned by Roger.

Last edited by Dan Howard; October 13th, 2017 at 06:41 AM.
Dan Howard is online now  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > War and Military History

Tags
advantages, crossbows, english, longbows



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
On English longbows timtimwowo European History 46 July 10th, 2017 03:34 AM
Longbows in the Revolutionary War Menshevik Speculative History 42 February 7th, 2015 09:02 AM
'Recurved' longbows Phoenix Rising War and Military History 9 November 17th, 2013 07:19 AM
Horses and Crossbows - Teutonic Advantages HeirofAlexander Medieval and Byzantine History 4 May 8th, 2012 05:43 AM
Horses and Crossbows: Two Important Warfare Advantages of the Teutonic Order HeirofAlexander War and Military History 0 May 5th, 2012 11:23 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.