MEDIEVAL MYTH BUSTING - Arrows vs Armour

Thegn Ansgar

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
5,638
Canada

An excellent film that Tod Todeschini of Tod's Workshop fame has made, in collaboration with Dr. Tobias Capwell Arms and Armour curator of the Wallace Collection, Archer Joe Gibbs, Fletcher Will Sherman, and Armourer Kevin Legg.

This is not like any typical "Arrows vs Armour" video you've seen before.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,027
Australia
Nice one. I've been banging on about it for decades. It is good to finally have a decent video to link to.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,776
Australia
Very interesting. Tends to confirm the 'crowd crush' theory at Agincourt as opposed to the longbow legend.
 

Zip

Jan 2018
646
Comancheria
They need to shoot at something that would replicate horses. I wonder how easily horses were brought down by arrows and what were the effects on the riders. And on nearby horses and riders.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,730
Pretty good- I would love to see a test with some sensors under the armour showing how much blunt force is being transferred thru. As Dr. Capwell mentioned- even lighter arrows from lower weight bows hurt a bit when they hit. Being hit 4-5 times on approach to an enemy line could well disorient and fatigue a fighter even if they don't suffer immediate debilitation.

Also I think having 10 sets of armor and 4-5 archers loosing in arced shots would be very interesting. Directly aimed arrows from less than 100 feet are the 'best' case scenario for penetration but I think there is other factors on the battlefield that would matter than merely if the armour is defeated completely or not.
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,027
Australia
Blunt trauma is not an issue. We already have a century of data from ballistics tests. The only way to deliver enough energy through armour to cause anything more than bruising is with firearms; the projectiles of which have a minimum of ten times the energy of even the heaviest longbow.

There are at least a dozen different ways that the longbow was effective on the battlefield. None of them involve penetrating armour.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,730
Blunt trauma is not an issue. We already have a century of data from ballistics tests. The only way to deliver enough energy through armour to cause anything more than bruising is with firearms; the projectiles of which have a minimum of ten times the energy of even the heaviest longbow.

There are at least a dozen different ways that the longbow was effective on the battlefield. None of them involve penetrating armour.
If you have ever been hit in the head a few times in boxing it does not require lethal or even super harmful power to disorient and slow added to the limited visibility with the helms and trying to control a horse. With the apparent way some force was being transmitted to the ballistic gel it would be interesting to know how much force we are talking about. If you have good ballistic data for arrows on various armours including the clothe padding I would be very interested to see that but so far this is what counts as a rigorous test and while it is better than most youtube videos it is not really very rigorous.

I agree arrows on the battlefield had many effects that manifested even without killing anything but it would be interesting to quantify that in some way rather than just say it makes sense which is usually where assumptions blow up wrongly.
 
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