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Old October 13th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #31
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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.
Crossbowman, at least at first, got paid more than ordinary bowman in the English army, Archers were ar first paid thw same as regular soldiers, 1d penny a day. while crossbowman were paid 3d a day, I think. (Later on the wages for the archer increased. ) This indicates that crossbow were more rhan just some peasant with a crossbow.

Now, sometimes crossbowmen were a tean, one guy shooting, while anothet was loading the crossbow. The crossbow was more expensive than the long bow, and more complex, so maybe the extra pay was for the skill in maintaining and repairing it, rathet just use.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 10:32 AM   #32
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Current performance of reproduction heavy steel crossbow (such as by Tod) certainly does not lend support to the "Crossbow stronger than bow" saying/speculation/theory though, as the 1250 lbs steel crossbow shot by Tod appears to be weaker than the 160 J achieved by high draw weight English warbow.

OTOH, Andreas Bichler's heavy composite crossbow performs much better, and surpassed the warbow.

Which got me thinking, what if the real reason Europe switched to steel prod was not because of greater power, but for the fact that steel prod stays functional for much longer than wooden or composite prod, so you'd get more bang for the buck (even if the initial investment is higher), and that's well worth the loss of performance?
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Old October 13th, 2017, 11:35 AM   #33

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Originally Posted by wolflance View Post
Current performance of reproduction heavy steel crossbow (such as by Tod) certainly does not lend support to the "Crossbow stronger than bow" saying/speculation/theory though, as the 1250 lbs steel crossbow shot by Tod appears to be weaker than the 160 J achieved by high draw weight English warbow.

OTOH, Andreas Bichler's heavy composite crossbow performs much better, and surpassed the warbow.

Which got me thinking, what if the real reason Europe switched to steel prod was not because of greater power, but for the fact that steel prod stays functional for much longer than wooden or composite prod, so you'd get more bang for the buck (even if the initial investment is higher), and that's well worth the loss of performance?
What is prod?
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Old October 13th, 2017, 04:51 PM   #34

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What is prod?
The bow of a crossbow. Prod is the technical name.

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Old October 13th, 2017, 05:15 PM   #35
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Henry VI's Longbowmen could fire 12 arrows per minute... So having two sheafs of arrows would only allow them to fire for 4 minutes. At the battle of Agincourt they where outnumbered 4 to 1 and facing Cavalry. So I would assume they would be hoping for max rate of fire throughout the entire battle and 4 minutes worth of arrows seems kinda slim to me. They must of had all their arrows nearby it seems inconceivable otherwise, well atleast to me.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 07:44 PM   #36

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The bow of a crossbow. Prod is the technical name.

Matthew
Thanks!
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Old October 14th, 2017, 02:43 AM   #37

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Crossbowman, at least at first, got paid more than ordinary bowman in the English army, Archers were ar first paid thw same as regular soldiers, 1d penny a day. while crossbowman were paid 3d a day, I think. (Later on the wages for the archer increased. ) This indicates that crossbow were more rhan just some peasant with a crossbow.

Now, sometimes crossbowmen were a tean, one guy shooting, while anothet was loading the crossbow. The crossbow was more expensive than the long bow, and more complex, so maybe the extra pay was for the skill in maintaining and repairing it, rathet just use.
Didn’t knew those wages for England. We seem to agree that they were not second rate warriors. For the wages you are talking for what century?

About the team, I don’t recall reading any source stating that, but we can admit that it was possible.

For the Iberian Peninsula, there is a hunters site about crossbows with an article for the Reconquista period, albeit not academic, it is well written and documented: IMPORTANCIA DE LA BALLESTA EN LA ESPAŃA MEDIEVAL Y LA RECONQUISTA (sorry, in Spanish);

That small article quotes one interesting study made for the Iberian Peninsula, for armament, crossbows included, for the Reconquista, but it isn’t available online, "La evolución del armamento medieval en el reino castellano-leonés y Al-Andalus: (siglos XII-XIV)", by Alvaro Soler del Campo:

https://books.google.pt/books/about/...AJ&redir_esc=y
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Old October 14th, 2017, 05:27 AM   #38

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Genoese crossbowmen were considered to have a rank that is the equivalent of cavalry and paid a similar amount.
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Old October 14th, 2017, 05:57 AM   #39

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Genoese crossbowmen were considered to have a rank that is the equivalent of cavalry and paid a similar amount.
I am not acknowledge of the Genovese society for the Middle Ages, but are you comparing them in payment to the Genoese city militia cavalry, or other cavalry?

That would be curious because in the case of Portugal, eventually in some way we could imagine the “Besteiros do Conto” (Crossbowman) has the “heirs” of the “Cavaleiros Vilăos” (Village Cavalry)… that would be a social evolution still to be explored!
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Old October 14th, 2017, 11:52 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by wolflance View Post
Current performance of reproduction heavy steel crossbow (such as by Tod) certainly does not lend support to the "Crossbow stronger than bow" saying/speculation/theory though, as the 1250 lbs steel crossbow shot by Tod appears to be weaker than the 160 J achieved by high draw weight English warbow.

OTOH, Andreas Bichler's heavy composite crossbow performs much better, and surpassed the warbow.

Which got me thinking, what if the real reason Europe switched to steel prod was not because of greater power, but for the fact that steel prod stays functional for much longer than wooden or composite prod, so you'd get more bang for the buck (even if the initial investment is higher), and that's well worth the loss of perform:ance?
Steel was also less effected by changed in humidity and water. Ralph Payne-Gallwey soaked some strings for 24 hours, with little effect on performance. The much higher tension of the steel bows, and the typically shorter draw had less effect than on the wooden crossbows used at Crecy.

Also, in Chapter V on his "The Book of the Crossbow", Ralph Payne-Gallwey used actual 15 th crossbows, and got a range of yard of 390 yards, while he said the best range for llongbow would be around 340 yards, and more typically 290 yards.

Of course, a 160 lbs long bow is not typical, and while some may have achieved that draw,ma number would have been and were less. Even then, I suspect not many could draw a 160 lbs. bow, While an ordinary man could draw and fire crossbow capable of going 380 yards.

The shorter range that crossbows were used at may be due to the lower of fire. The longer the distance, the less likely you will hit your target, and crossbowmen couldn't afford to waste bolts. Longbow could afford to, putting up a hail of fire that was bound to hit something.
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