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The best medieval unit

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Poll Question: The Best unit
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6 [5.26%]
20 [17.54%]
14 [12.28%]
0 [0.00%]
8 [7.02%]
4 [3.51%]
2 [1.75%]
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Abyssmal Fiend View Drop Down
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  Quote Abyssmal Fiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The best medieval unit
    Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 12:39
Originally posted by dsjdsj

Originally posted by Cywr

Do you think you could make your points and express your opinions with out trolling?

this is not trolling. I think that the longbows are better. What's wrong with that?

You were making fun of the asian way of making bows. That's trolling.


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  Quote demon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 12:53

This is exactly right. The english longbow is the most useful archery weapon in history and not like the fancy asian bows that costs hell of a lot to make.

Well, dsjdsj, longbows were initially made out of yew and that wood was a water-sensitive wood that had to be constantly kept out from wetting itself--it took some maintainance.  I don't think asian bows are better in cost, but I don't think they are worse.  They were about the same in costs and maintainance.

Note: Longbow had less range than mongolic composite bow...it took about 5~8 years to train a longbow while mongols were just recruits(they used bow as a tool 4 survival!).....mongol gets upper hand

Longbows could be shot faster(because all those trainings had the purpose of fast reloading)....but mongolic archers fired from further distance more accurately...evens out

Longbows were coordinated with infantry/cav, while mongolic Cavarly archers were organized into a team...evens out

Mongols also had good eye sight.  Still, visit mongolia and you'll find that everyone in primary school has got 2.0 eye vision....pro for mongols

Mongolic cavarly rode in horses, while Longbowmen walked....pro for mongols

Mongolic cavarly shot accurately on horsebacks while Longbowmen were mroe into "volley"...pro for mongol

--------

There, mongols have it...now prove me wrong

Grrr..
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 13:39

Demon,

 

Originally posted by demon

Well, dsjdsj, longbows were initially made out of yew and that wood was a water-sensitive wood that had to be constantly kept out from wetting itself--it took some maintainance.  I don't think asian bows are better in cost, but I don't think they are worse.  They were about the same in costs and maintainance.

I would imagine that the longbow was cheaper to manufacture--it's a single piece of wood, with horn knocks and a string.

Note: Longbow had less range than mongolic composite bow...

The composite bow has a longer range when using special flight arrows, which has little bearing in war.  In reality, both weapons were used at similar ranges.

it took about 5~8 years to train a longbow while mongols were just recruits(they used bow as a tool 4 survival!).....mongol gets upper hand

What are your sources for this?

Longbows could be shot faster(because all those trainings had the purpose of fast reloading)....but mongolic archers fired from further distance more accurately...evens out

The rate of fire for all handbows is going to be similar--ie., they're obviously quicker than crossbows and early firearms.  I'm not aware of any decisive advantage with the longbow in that department.

Mongols also had good eye sight.  Still, visit mongolia and you'll find that everyone in primary school has got 2.0 eye vision....pro for mongols

Unless you can prove what the average vision level was for 13th-14th century Mongols and Englishmen, you have no case here.

Mongolic cavarly rode in horses, while Longbowmen walked....pro for mongols

Mongolic cavarly shot accurately on horsebacks while Longbowmen were mroe into "volley"...pro for mongol

You're comparing apples and oranges--two totally different styles of warfare (ie., one static and one mobile).  And, FWIW, many English archers had horses for transportation, though they of course dismounted to shoot.

Peace,

David Black Mastro

 

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I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote demon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 14:53

Quote:
it took about 5~8 years to train a longbow while mongols were just recruits(they used bow as a tool 4 survival!).....mongol gets upper hand

What are your sources for this?

I think the game "Age of Kings", on the section "history".  I'll check.

Grrr..
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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 15:08

Mongols could have easily sieged Paris and crushed all the knights of Western Europe - as they had done in East Europe. Note how Bagdad, which is a giant compared to Western cities fell easily to Mongols using mangonels. They had siege equipment nessecery built by their allies and vassels.

Genghis Khan once failed to take a Tibetan fortress because his men had no experience of siegewarfare... so he trained them.

Mongols are no recruits. They hunted all their lives and protected their cattle against tribal raids.

By the way Warhead, Genghis Khan developed new tactics and that was why he was able to unite the Mongols. Instead of simple nomadic horse-archer hit-and run warfare, Genghis' horsearchers shot thick vollys at the enemy, then cleared off to let the heavy cavalry charge and crush them. It was effective against both the nomads and armoured Arabs and Europeans.

Mongol warriors were ruthless, attrocious and barbaric bunch... but their skills in warfare were unmatchable - except in some battles like the one against Mamelukes.



Edited by Evildoer
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  Quote I/eye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 15:54

Longbows were probably used by everyone at one time or another..

We do know longbows were used in Egypt, Scandinavia, Japan, etc, etc..

It's just the next step up from the simple bow.. just enlarge your simple bow and you get a longbow.. to get a composite bow, you have to do complicated things to the simple bow.. which made for better range, accuracy, etc..

some people(Mongols, Turks, Koreans, etc) advanced to the higher-tech bow, while others (English, Japanese, etc) just settled for the longbow..

Unless you can prove what the average vision level was for 13th-14th century Mongols and Englishmen, you have no case here.

the good eyesight comes from the fact that living in the steppes, you are used to seeing far far distances everyday. so I would think that this case is true back then as well..

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 16:21
Originally posted by demon

Quote:
it took about 5~8 years to train a longbow while mongols were just recruits(they used bow as a tool 4 survival!).....mongol gets upper hand

What are your sources for this?

I think the game "Age of Kings", on the section "history".  I'll check.

 

I wouldn't rely on a game for reliable info!

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 16:28
Originally posted by I/eye

Longbows were probably used by everyone at one time or another..

We do know longbows were used in Egypt, Scandinavia, Japan, etc, etc..

It's just the next step up from the simple bow.. just enlarge your simple bow and you get a longbow.. to get a composite bow, you have to do complicated things to the simple bow.. which made for better range, accuracy, etc..

some people(Mongols, Turks, Koreans, etc) advanced to the higher-tech bow, while others (English, Japanese, etc) just settled for the longbow..

The Japanese yumi is NOT a self-bow--it is a composite type made of wood and bamboo, though it is not as powerful as Continental Asian types of wood, sinew, and horn, as the Japanese themselves confessed during the Imjin War of 1592-98.

the good eyesight comes from the fact that living in the steppes, you are used to seeing far far distances everyday. so I would think that this case is true back then as well..

With all due respect, that doesn't sound particularly convincing.

Good eyesight is dependent primarily upon eye health, would you not agree?  How do you even begin to ascertain the respective eye health of Medieval Englishmen and Mongols?

Show me sources that back your claim--ones that preferrably come from a scientific or historical journal, as opposed to a game (no offense intended, Demon ).

Thanks,

David Black Mastro



Edited by Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner
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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 18:40

I read about that eyesight thing too - I will find sources when I have time - but others can try as well.

English longbow was adapted from the welsh- but the welsh used it very differently. They got really close to their foe and slammed the arrow at close range.

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 19:03

Evildoer,

Originally posted by Evildoer

English longbow was adapted from the welsh-

The longbow was not unique to the Welsh--it was actually used in various English territories as well, as was noted by Mike Loades in the video, Archery--Its History and Forms.  It is certainly true that the South Welsh were among the best longbow archers in the British Isles, but they were not the only ones.  Also, while the English preferred yew, the Welsh typically made their bows out of elm.

 

but the welsh used it very differently. They got really close to their foe and slammed the arrow at close range.

That probably had something to do with the guerrilla-style nature of the Welsh Wars.

Peace,

David

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote demon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 19:11

here's a site i found url]http://home.arcor.de/mustangace/sca_class_mongols.htm[/url]

The Mongol bow: 166lbs pull, 200-300 yards reach
The English longbow: 120lbs pull
SCA combat bows: 30lbs pull

[/quote]No peasants, all warriors: 10,000 Mongols = 10,000 fighters
(European army: 500 knights and 9500 peasants)

All on horseback = modern mechanized tank/infantry corps;
Average speed for the whole army: 60 miles per day (4 to 5 times faster than any European army);
Each warrior had four or more horses and rode them in turns.

The only defeat in the European/Middle Eastern region came in 1260 at Ain Jalut in Palestine, at the exact same site David had defeated Goliath thousands of years before.
They were beaten by a Mamluk army from Egypt. The Mamluks were slaves from the Cuman, Alan and Circassian tribes, sold to Egypt by the Mongols after they had been defeated in 1238.
Mamluks: 120,000 men
Mongols: 25,000 men  

>The favorite tactic was the fainted retreat (mangudai): After this tactic became known to their enemies, they just retreated longer, sometimes for days. At the Battle of Kalka River they retreated for 9 days until the Russians were spread out like pearls on a string and could be cut down one by one very easily.

> [/quote]

You can read more from the website.  I was personally surprised to see that the word mangudai came from "retreat" instead of a warrior class Age of Kings depicted

------

About eyesight

Great eyesight it was said that they could distinguish a man from an animal from 18 miles away.

http://www.johnvanderploeg.nl/~mongolie/cgi/Link.cgi?lang=NL &item=Facts

 

From their young age such qualities as perfect eyesight, measurement, patience and strength are nourished to develop a good archer.

Well, it's not convincing enough though....

 

Grrr..
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  Quote I/eye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 19:17
The Japanese yumi is NOT a self-bow--it is a composite type made of wood and bamboo, though it is not as powerful as Continental Asian types of wood, sinew, and horn, as the Japanese themselves confessed during the Imjin War of 1592-98.

that's still not a composite bow, it's a laminated bow.. inferior to composite bows.

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  Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 19:19
 a position based on who has better eyesight is nothing more than pure speculation.
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  Quote demon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 19:22
okay...I am sorry to start all these eyesight nonsense in the first place...
Grrr..
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 19:34

Originally posted by demon

The Mongol bow: 166lbs pull, 200-300 yards reach
The English longbow: 120lbs pull

There is no evidence that I am aware of that the average Mongol war bow had a 166lb pull--in fact, Erik Hildinger, author of Warriors of the Steppe:  A Military History of Central Asia, 500 B.C. To 1700 A.D., suggests 60-70lbs as a more realistic draw weight for most war bows. 

This does not mean that heavier bows didn't exist--John F. Guilmartin, author of Gunpowder and Galleys, accepts a figure of 150lbs for the composite bows used by Ottoman naval archers in the 16th century, and the English longbows recovered from Henry VIII's carrack, the Mary Rose, range in draw weight from 70 to 140lbs.

As for actual combat ranges, Hildinger noted that in the 1630s, the Frenchman Beauplan observed Crimean Tatars shooting accurately at 60-100 yards. 

Hildinger also pointed out that a 16th century Arabic archery treatise stated that "the extreme range for a bow, while shooting accurately, is forty-five bow lengths, or somewhat over 80 yards."

E. Paterson, in his famous article, "The Archers of Islam", stated that "a trained archer, on foot, should hit a man every time at about 60 yards", but that accurate shooting from horseback was limited to only 10 yards!

No peasants, all warriors: 10,000 Mongols = 10,000 fighters
(European army: 500 knights and 9500 peasants)

It should not be assumed that all European infantry were "peasants"--this certainly wasn't the case for the English yeomenary, who were landowners, and it wasn't the case for mercenary crossbowmen from the Italian city-states and the German territories.  There's too much generalization here.

About eyesight

Great eyesight it was said that they could distinguish a man from an animal from 18 miles away.

http://www.johnvanderploeg.nl/~mongolie/cgi/Link.cgi?lang=NL &item=Facts

 

From their young age such qualities as perfect eyesight, measurement, patience and strength are nourished to develop a good archer.

Well, it's not convincing enough though....

Again, I want to see scientific evidence about this--not unfounded claims.  Certainly, the Mongols got a decent amount of protein, retinol (Vitamin A) and essential fatty acids from their diet that was rich in fresh mare's meat, lamb meat, and mare's milk (especially the koumiss that was fermented with beneficial bacteria like acidophilus).  The Vitamin A would have certainly benefitted eyesight, but many other cultures consumed plenty of dairy too--dairy from grass-fed cows and goats.  Until I see an actual academic study on this, I will remain somewhat skeptical.

Peace,

David



Edited by Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner
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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 19:48

I,

Originally posted by I/eye

The Japanese yumi is NOT a self-bow--it is a composite type made of wood and bamboo, though it is not as powerful as Continental Asian types of wood, sinew, and horn, as the Japanese themselves confessed during the Imjin War of 1592-98.

that's still not a composite bow, it's a laminated bow..

Fair enough--you get the parry-riposte in regards to semantics, but you originally claimed that the Japanese,

 just settled for the longbow..

Which infers that they used only self bows. 

inferior to composite bows.

Yes, I already noted that in the post you quoted me from.

Peace,

David

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 20:06

Long bow is just simply a very big bow as its name implies, neither self laminated nor composite...

When he said No Peasents he was talking about mongols... he said Hungarians had 9500 peasents...

Of course eye-sight matters. If you cannot see a long distance and if you cannot see clearly how can you shoot? Common sense. If your eyes are bad as mine you wouldn't be able to hit a thing!  

I have a indirect evidence for the draw thing - you mention composite bows from Central Asia which would have been same as those used by Turks against First Crusaders, since Turks had just migrated to Middle East at the time from Central Asia. But their arrows could not penetrate the chainmail armour of European knights!

To my knowledge Mongols could indeed penetrate the much better plate armour + chainmail backup of 1200's Eastern European knights - so their bows must have been better than those of Central Asians.

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 20:34

E,

Originally posted by Evildoer

Long bow is just simply a very big bow as its name implies, neither self laminated nor composite...

Nobody stated otherwise.

When he said No Peasents he was talking about mongols...

Yes, I know.

 

he said Hungarians had 9500 peasents...

No, he said "Europeans had 9500 peasants", without specifying anything else. 

Besides, that info is from an SCA site, and thus IMO must be taken with a hefty grain of sodium chloride.

Of course eye-sight matters. If you cannot see a long distance and if you cannot see clearly how can you shoot? Common sense. If your eyes are bad as mine you wouldn't be able to hit a thing!

I never said eyesight didn't matter--I'm simply questioning the assertion that Mongols had better eyesight on average than other folks. 

I have a indirect evidence for the draw thing - you mention composite bows from Central Asia which would have been same as those used by Turks against First Crusaders, since Turks had just migrated to Middle East at the time from Central Asia. But their arrows could not penetrate the chainmail armour of European knights!

I'm not aware of First Crusade references, but accounts of the Battle of Arsuf during the Third Crusade mention that the crossbowmen in Richard's army wore thick buckram jackets over their maille hauberks, and this combo was proof against Saljuq arrows.

To my knowledge Mongols could indeed penetrate the much better plate armour + chainmail backup of 1200's Eastern European knights - so their bows must have been better than those of Central Asians.

Uh, the Mongols WERE Central Asians!

Anyway, Friar Carpini mentions the Mongols quenching their arrowheads in salt water so that they could pierce armor, but he doesn't specify what kind of armor.  The "plate armor" you refer to was actually the European coat-of-plates worn over maille--something like a later brigandine--and it was in all likelihood proof against arrows from hand bows.  Most casualties were derived from injuries to unprotected areas (the rider's face, the horse, etc).

 

Peace,

David

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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  Quote warhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 21:16

"By the way Warhead, Genghis Khan developed new tactics and that was why he was able to unite the Mongols."

 

Those "new tactics" were long developed by earlier nomads such as Xiong nu and Tu Jue.

" Instead of simple nomadic horse-archer hit-and run warfare, Genghis' horsearchers shot thick vollys at the enemy, then cleared off to let the heavy cavalry charge and crush them. It was effective against both the nomads and armoured Arabs and Europeans"

 

There is nothing new about his tactic, all steppe army shot thick volleys of arrows and those that has heavy cavalry charge. Tu Jue used this tactic too, read Jiu Tang Shu's Tang army 's tactics against the Tu Jue. Where the tang heavy cavalry is used against the Tu jue shooters who were deadly and the infantry dismount from horses against their heavy cavalry. There is nothing new about the mongols, in fact no training method is recorded for the mongols, all theories about mongol discipline as well as intense training is based purely on speculation on what the mongols performed in their battles. And since the Xiong nu and Tujue never fought the Europeans and rarely the middle east, the record of earlier mongolian nomads weren't included in detail, while the Chinese records rarely mention battle in detail, those that does shows identical tactics and organization used by mongols and earlier nomads, there is nothing in Chinese record nor mongolian history that indicate the remotest difference in mongol warfare than any before that, or any mentioning of increased discipline or training, thus the so called "revolution" of warfare under mongols is nothing more than a myth.

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  Quote Landsknecht_Doppelsoldner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Sep-2004 at 21:23
Originally posted by warhead

"By the way Warhead, Genghis Khan developed new tactics and that was why he was able to unite the Mongols."

 

Those "new tactics" were long developed by earlier nomads such as Xiong nu and Tu Jue.

" Instead of simple nomadic horse-archer hit-and run warfare, Genghis' horsearchers shot thick vollys at the enemy, then cleared off to let the heavy cavalry charge and crush them. It was effective against both the nomads and armoured Arabs and Europeans"

 

There is nothing new about his tactic, all steppe army shot thick volleys of arrows and those that has heavy cavalry charge. Tu Jue used this tactic too, read Jiu Tang Shu's Tang army 's tactics against the Tu Jue. Where the tang heavy cavalry is used against the Tu jue shooters who were deadly and the infantry dismount from horses against their heavy cavalry. There is nothing new about the mongols, in fact no training method is recorded for the mongols, all theories about mongol discipline as well as intense training is based purely on speculation on what the mongols performed in their battles. And since the Xiong nu and Tujue never fought the Europeans and rarely the middle east, the record of earlier mongolian nomads weren't included in detail, while the Chinese records rarely mention battle in detail, those that does shows identical tactics and organization used by mongols and earlier nomads, there is nothing in Chinese record nor mongolian history that indicate the remotest difference in mongol warfare than any before that, or any mentioning of increased discipline or training, thus the so called "revolution" of warfare under mongols is nothing more than a myth.

My older brother (who specialized in this stuff in college) once told me that the Mongols used denser formations--with more men per a same-sized front--and thus their firepower was greater.  However, I admittedly don't know his source for this, so it must be considered suspect. 

Nevertheless, the Mongols were notably more successful than previous steppe peoples.

"Who despises me and my praiseworthy craft,

I'll hit on the head that it resounds in his heart."


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