The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

China is the odd man out in the transition from archery to musketry. Almost every other nation had given up archery for firearms, the Chinese still used large numbers of archers as late as the 19th century. While firearms were certainly not unknown in China, and muskets made up a significant portion of the Qing … Continue reading The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

Musketeers Were Not Easier to Train than Archers

Myth 2: Muskets replaced bows because musketeers are easy to train Or, as internet commentators like to say, it took years, even decades, of training to make a decent archer, but any peasant could be trained to use a musket in a few hours. Like the myth that bows outranged muskets, the idea that musketeers … Continue reading Musketeers Were Not Easier to Train than Archers

Plymouth Plantation Bow vs Musket Battle

A Relation or Journal of the Proceedings of the English Plantation Settled at Plymouth, by Edward Winslow and others (London, 1622) About midnight we heard a great and hideous cry, and our sentinels called, Arm, Arm. So we bestirred ourselves and shot off a couple of muskets, and noise ceased; we concluded, that it was … Continue reading Plymouth Plantation Bow vs Musket Battle

Bows Didn’t Outrange Muskets

Myth 1: Bows outranged muskets Bows and muskets co-existed on the battlefield for hundreds of years and during that time, there were plenty of battles between the two weapons. This blog was started mainly for the purpose of cataloging eye-witness accounts of those battles. There are some common threads running through all these accounts, facts … Continue reading Bows Didn’t Outrange Muskets

Another Fire Arrow Recipe

A follow-up the earlier fire arrow post. Nathanael Nye's 1670 book "A Treatise of Artificiall Fire-Works for War and Recreation" contains another recipe. The illustration demonstrates naval use, but the description makes clear that it is also intended to be used against individuals. Get a long shaft of wood ; and joyne unto it an … Continue reading Another Fire Arrow Recipe