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 and eyewitness opinions that keep coming up, and one of the strongest is this: in every case where one weapon is said to outdistance the other, it is the musket which has the range advantage.

I have not found a single instance of a battle where the musketeers were unable to return fire because the archers outranged them. This true of battles everywhere in the world. Some examples:

Capt. John Underhill of the Massachussets colony made a contested landing on Block Island in 1646, enduring a spray of arrows from the Pequot warriors on the  beach. Upon making it to the shore, Underhill reported that the Pequot were forced to retreat by the greater range of the New Englanders’ muskets.

…once having got up of our legges, wee gave fire upon them, they finding our bullets to out-reach their arrowes, they fled before us… [Link]

Captain John Smith had a similar experience decades earlier while navigating his shallop on the Chesapeake Bay. Eight canoes of Indians attacked, lodging over a hundred arrows in his boat and his men’s shields. None of the English were hurt, and they were able to force the Indians to abandon first their canoes and then the river shore.

Our Muskets they found shot further then their Bowes, for wee made not twentie shot ere they all retyred behind the next trees. [Link]

In Europe, the most famous archers by far were the English and their longbows. Virtually all extant longbows come from the Mary Rose, an English warship which sank in 1545. A French soldier named Blaize de Montluc left an interesting account in his memoirs regarding a battle he fought against English archers a few days after the Mary Rose sank. Montluc’s soldiers were outnumbered, but they were not worried about the English archers- the Italian harquebusiers supporting them were the real threat. Montluc ordered his own harquebusiers “not to shoot, till they came within the distance of their arrows,” and then, “so soon as they were come up within arrow shot, our Harquebuzeers gave their volley all at once, and then clapt their hands to their swords,” and ran the English archers off the field. Montluc remarks:

They all carried arms of little reach, and therefore were necessitated to come up close to us to loose their arrows, which otherwise would do no execution; whereas we who were accustomed to fire our Harquebuzes at a great distance, seeing the Enemy use another manner of sight, thought these near approaches of theirs very strange, imputing their running on at this confident rate to absolute bravery. [Link]

The English were not slow to notice that their national weapon had been outclassed by modern firearms. Barnabe Riche, a warrior poet who had the distinction of living to be the oldest captain in the English military, spilled more ink that anyone else in his time on the bow vs. musket topic, and was the first to opine in a published work in 1574, where he argued:

I dare undertake that if one hundred of those thousande [archers] doo shoote above ten score [200], that ii hundred of the rest, wyll shoote shorte of ix score [180], and is not this a piece of advantage thinkest thou ? when every Calyver that is brought into the feelde wyl carry a shot xviii score [360] and xx score [400], and every Musquet xxiiii [480] and xxx score [600]. [Link]

Other writers, namely Humfrey Barwick and Roger Williams, agreed with Riche’s range estimates. I think that they are probably overgenerous.

Some of the fiercest bow vs. musket combat occurred during the Imjin War, a Japanese attempt to invade China by first passing through Korea, which lasted from 1592-1598. When the war began, the Japanese had large numbers of muskets and were well-trained in their use. Chinese handguns were mostly still of the pipe-on-a-stick variety, and the Koreans lacked muskets at all. A Korean minister who was there at many of the battles, Ryu Seong-ryong, wrote a book about the invasion known as the Book of Corrections.

After a short while a number of enemy soldiers suddenly emerged and started attacking us with ten or more muskets. The ones hit by the bullets were killed instantly. Yi immediately ordered the archers to counterattack using their bows, but their arrows fell far short of their target. [Link]

Today, the Japanese exclusively use muskets to attack fortifications. They can reach [the target] from several hundred paces away. Our country’s bows and arrows cannot reach them. [Link]

If anybody can find an example of a battle where musketeers were helpless to fight back against archers who outranged them, please let me know! Right now, the evidence seems pretty clear that that musketeers always had the range advantage.

 

From the comments:

“Several times I have encountered Tatars among the steppes. There were over 500 of them. But under the cover of the wagons, they could not do anything against us, although there were only 50–60 cossacks with me. We could not do anything to them either, because they did not approach the distance of the musket shot. Having made several feigned attempts to attack us, they showered our positions with arrows, as they send their arrows in the arc, twice the distance of our weapons, they retired.”

Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan – ” “Description d’Ukranie”

The composite bow of the kind used by the Tatars is widely regarded as the most energy-efficient pre-20th century design. I have seen many sources claim a maximum range of something like 400 yards using light arrows. Still it seems that although the Tatars could launch a projectile this distance, it was too far for them to hit anything, and they gave up despite outnumbering the cossacks 10:1.

“And as the power of an arrow compared to muskets are lacking in two quarters compared to muskets, it is not a technology we can respond to. The Pyeonjeon (or a “baby arrow”, a type of short korean war arrow; it’s noted for it’s exceptional range of 300~500 meters range and high penetration at close ranges even against armor) of our country has an advantage when shooting long distances, where with one arrow it can kill two men at 30~40 bo, kill one man at tens to a hundred bo, and still hit and injure a man at over a hundred or two hundred bo. Thus, we can still match the muskets of the Waejuk(Japanese). But there are not many who can do this in our country, and other than those applying to become military officials(擧子) there are few capable men, and thus we cannot rely on this skill alone as the proper way to defeat the enemy.”

– Jeong Tak, Korean scholar official during the Imjin War –

In another incident in the Book of Corrections, a small group of Japanese musketeers were able to hit Korean officials from a long distance across a river. I think it was the Taedong river, which is very wide. The Japanese musketeers were shocked when a Korean officer using the small arrows described above was able to match their range, although without hitting any of them.

 

48 thoughts on “Bows Didn’t Outrange Muskets

  1. Thank you for your invaluable research. I don’t know what it is about bows (maybe it’s the romanticism of it all) that makes people forego all common sense, ignore the historical record and rule that every single king and military leader from the military revolution onwards was a complete idiot who was hell-bent on making his armies les effective, even at the cost of bankrupting the nation through the procurement of increasingly expensive military equipment (which also happened to be inferior, because reasons). Contributions like yours may be a voice in the desert, but they help correct the record when confronted with this kind of attitudes.

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  2. Thanks Mike. People have been ill-served by pop historians for decades on this topic and the primary sources have only become widely available through the internet recently. Hopefully most people will be willing to reevaluate in the face of evidence.

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  3. This is less maximum range and more an example of the musket having a superior accurate range in combat. It comes from William Bernard’s account of fighting in the First Opium War, “The Nemesis in China”.

    “On this occasion one of the Chinese officers, with cool determination and a steady aim, deliberately discharged four arrows from his bow at Captain Hall, fortunately without effect. Had they been musket-balls, however, he could scarcely have escaped. A marine instantly raised his musket at the less fortunate chinese officer: the aim was unerring and he fell.”

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  4. It’s not specifically an issue of range, but at the skirmish at Bridgnorth in 1642 during the English civil war a party of Parliamentarian archers was able to to drive off a body of Royalist musketeers.

    Without necessarily disagreeing with your central premise here, I would like to point out that the sources relating to English archers all come at a time when archery was known to already have been in decline for a couple of generations. We know too little about bows in the heyday of military archery to really be sure of anything, but if it were possible to compare the bow of 1415 with the musket that the result might be different (or might not).

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  5. I know this is old but you wanted to know about situations when bows had greater range than firearms. Well, first – English bowmen weren’t commonly known to be the best archers in Europe. Maybe in the west. In the central and east Europe the most feared and effective archers were Tatars. Now to the point – marquise Guillaume Levasseur de Beauplan during his stay in Ukraine in 1637-1638 travelled with Zaporhozian Cossacks and often in his memorials he writes about battles and skirmishers with Tatars. During these battles Cossacks were unable to shot Tatar riders with firearms but Tatars could freely shoot with their bows. Maybe you’ll have time to read something more about this.

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  6. Shockwave- thank you, I hadn’t heard of Guillaume Levasseur de Beauplan. I’m having a hard time sourcing an affordable English translation of his book. Running the French edition through a translator, he seems to have the usual compliments regarding the Tatar archer’s range and accuracy, but I don’t see a comparison with firearms or anywhere where he says that the bows outranged them. But again, that is with me trying to parse google translator and I may be missing something. Can you point me to a specific quote?

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  7. Thank you for your research and the time you take to publish on this website. Echoing Mike’s comment above, yours is a refreshingly thoughtful take on the subject.

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  8. I think the real issue here is the LETHAL range of bow versus musket. Yeah, a bow could send an arrow hundreds of yards away. But to what effect? Could it slam an arrow into a human body at that range with enough force to cause serious harm? Probably not. On the other hand, musket balls-although inaccurate beyond a hundred yards, could still kill at far greater distance. And that is what really matters as most battles soldiers are not aiming at individual targets but at enemy masses of men a long distance off. This is true even to this day.

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  9. “Several times I have encountered Tatars among the steppes. There were over 500 of them. But under the cover of the wagons, they could not do anything against us, although there were only 50–60 cossacks with me. We could not do anything to them either, because they did not approach the distance of the musket shot. Having made several feigned attempts to attack us, they showered our positions with arrows, as they send their arrows in the arc, twice the distance of our weapons, they retired.”

    Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan – ” “Description d’Ukranie”

    Of course the arrows shot at the Cossacks were of no effect because they were taking shelter inside their wagon fort, nor would it be very precise as to be able to hit a person because of its arcing trajectory. But had the Cossacks not been in a wagon fort but formed an infantry square in the open, I wonder how the encounter would have turned out?

    “And as the power of an arrow compared to muskets are lacking in two quarters compared to muskets, it is not a technology we can respond to. The Pyeonjeon (or a “baby arrow”, a type of short korean war arrow; it’s noted for it’s exceptional range of 300~500 meters range and high penetration at close ranges even against armor) of our country has an advantage when shooting long distances, where with one arrow it can kill two men at 30~40 bo, kill one man at tens to a hundred bo, and still hit and injure a man at over a hundred or two hundred bo. Thus, we can still match the muskets of the Waejuk(Japanese). But there are not many who can do this in our country, and other than those applying to become military officials(擧子) there are few capable men, and thus we cannot rely on this skill alone as the proper way to defeat the enemy.”

    – Jeong Tak, Korean scholar official during the Imjin War –

    So it seemed that very skilled archers were capable of matching the range of musketeers, but their numbers were few. Here Jeong Tak mentioned that only the noble military class, who had the leisure time to practice archery for years, could achieve that level of skill.

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  10. Thank you John. This Ukrainian episode is the first instance I have seen of bows outranging muskets on the battlefield. It makes sense that it would be a steppe bow, if any. My understanding is that the steppe composite recurve bow is the most energy-efficient pre-modern bow.

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  11. In the 17th century, the Crimean warriors rarely entered into perestrulka at a distance against infantry and cavalry armed with firearms, preferring to attack melee using their numerical superiority.
    In the 18th century, archery against infantry and cavalry in open areas was completely useless. As a rule, the Tatars were thrown back with fire from muskets, or the Tatars immediately went hand-to-hand if they had a multiple numerical superiority.
    In addition, it should be said that the upper class in the Crimean society was armed with firearms. Bows were used only by ordinary warriors from the peasant militia.
    http://админ.татаровед.рф/uploads/libraries/original/0e38c37b8262f689d3d6229267a4bb133ba62fae.pdf?1584639195

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  12. Regarding cossacks vs tatars, it is worth noting that the quality of weapons among cossacks could be all over the place. It doesn’t have to be a musket vs bow. Heavy-ish western musket were not that popular among cossacks (and were harder to get) – so it could be a case of slightly worse firearms or gunpowder.

    So it may be an example of substandard equipment. It is also possible that cossacks would be using less gunpowder per shot (to conserve it, it did happen when facing unarmoured opponents) limiting their effectiveness – there is a description of battle between Wakou pirates and Spanish were spaniards were bulletproof because their opponents customary used less gunpowder per shot (used to facing softer targets)

    Another possibility is of course that it is shortening if actual event – Tatars were out of range of both weapons, at times would rapidly close in, release arrows and move outside before cossacks had the time to fire, and it got a bit shortened in the description (admittedly a bit stretching here).

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  13. I think one issue that is often overlooked and has added to the myth that bows can outrange or at least match the range of early firearms is the issue of terrain.

    Bows have a naturally higher arc of trajectory and were used with this in mind, lobbying arrows over frontline soldiers or from concealed positions.

    Whereas muskets have a much more linear trajectory. it is almost impossible to shoot over your advancing troops and require relatively flat land or high ground to maximize range.

    Also, the sound and visuals of the musket fire were often enough to break ranks in the early years of gunpowder. If you are an archer and are told to stand toe to toe and shoot at a target that can create thunder and breath fire, I imagine that even if he was in range it would be hard to muster the courage to fight like that.

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  14. The thing is, which weapon out-ranges the other is highly dependent on the skill of the shooter.

    European Harquebusiers and the Japanese were very skilled, but the musketeers of the 18th and early 19th were dirt-cheap soldiers who sometimes got as little as TWO SHOTS of practice ammunition (most armies seemed to use six, while the British gave 30)…. Thus, in an early 19th century Prussian test, against a 1.88x31m board (about the size of an infantry block), they found their troops were hitting the target about half the time at ~75m… using RIFLES. The better rifles could hit the target 3/4s of the time, at that range. The British managed about the same with the Brown Bess, against a wall the size of a block of cavalry. And to compare, you can hit a single man-sized target with a recurve bow at about 100m, with just a couple years’ practice…. So clearly, Musketeers are NOT going to be picking off men at ranges of hundreds of meters…. Once you figure those statistics, then mathematically and logically the side which can actually hit what it aims at will be better off.

    That said, it’s not that the bow was useless the moment skilled gunners were present. It was kept around until the 19th century because of its value as a horseback weapon (consider your other account, of the Joseon horsearchers driving the Japanese from the field), with its mixture of rate of fire and range filling a niche until 19th century breech-loading rifles. The Ming actually developed breech-loaders in the 17th century, along with bayonets, but these weren’t good enough to defeat the Qing.

    So, I figure the answer to the topic is a lot more nuanced than “gun good, bow bad,” or the reverse. Really, the answer is utterly simple: Men win wars, not weapons. That’s why the Kalmyks, Joseon, Comanches, Turks, and the Manchus defeated gun-toting forces in various skirmishes, battles, and even wars.

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  15. Most of the advantages muskets have over bows are blunted by horses.

    Horsemen usually used pistols and carbines instead of full-size muskets, while horse bows could be just as strong.
    The horses’ speed negates the range advantage of firearms.
    A horseman can’t take cover against arrows like a footman can.
    The management of the horse multiplies the difficulty of handling muzzleloaders.

    It is not surprising that horse-archers outlasted foot-archers.

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  16. Even carbines suck from horseback, such that the 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion abandoned them in favour of pistols. But pistols have a range of less than 45m, when standing still. Even with revolvers, you have to carry several to make any real use of their rapid fire capability, which many cavalrymen did. Due to factors like this, by the 1800s the Comanche stopped using guns for buffalo hunting, and returned to the bow. They did pick up repeating rifles, though, as that’s the point where bows actually did become obsolete.

    As for standing archers being outlasted, what about the Koxinga Pirates and the Qing? The Portuguese commented that the Koxinga pirates nearly eclipsed their RIFLEMEN. If you can barely hit a block of men at 75m with a rifle, and the Mamluks are trained to hit a single man consistently at 75yds (~70m), or the Qing practicing to hit men at 135yds (~120m)… mathematically and logically, that’s not going well, because they have a much longer effective range against a block of men.
    But yeah, if you’re going to spend years learning to be an archer, you might as well learn to be a horse-archer for all its advantages, and many people did.

    As for cover, Bunker Hill comes to mind. Cover works very well against firearms, I high recommend it. It was so bad there, the British might’ve been better with some bows mixed in, just for the indirect fire over the cover.

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  17. A rifleman who can’t hit a man at 75m is very, very poor.

    Thomas (Leonard) Digges said this in his Stratioticos in 1590: “So do I hold him utterly unworthie to receive pay, or beare the name of a trained shot, that shall not finde his sight thus farre forth, as to be sure to bestow his bullet betweene head and foote, though it be 8 or 10 score of (160-200 yards) : which is utterly impossible, except he couch his eye to his peece, and finde the brest high marke before he deliver his bullet.” But as you know marksmanship was valued more highly in Digge’s time. Commanders of later periods found that men forget how to aim in a real battle, and thought that rate of fire was more important. Either that or close to such extreme range that it was hard to miss with one decisive volley.

    The British were victorious at bunker hill. I don’t think that standing in the open to shoot arrows at entrenched musketeers would have profited them.

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  18. Avast.
    Prussian soldiers fired at a distance of 200-300 yards or so, getting about 25-35% of hits on target. I doubt the archers were capable of such a thing.
    The carbine is an excellent weapon for cavalry. It’s better to spend years learning how to shoot a carbine than a bow. In the Battle of the Black Valley in 1736, a detachment of 6 thousand Cossacks and dragoons was attacked by an army of 20 thousand Tatars. The battle lasted about 7 hours, as a result, the Tatars were forced to retreat with heavy losses. The losses of Cossacks and dragoons amounted to about 900 people killed and 2,000 wounded. That is, even with a three-fold numerical superiority, the Tatars could not defeat a small detachment of cavalry with firearms.

    The Indians never returned to the bows after receiving regular supplies of firearms. Read: Changing military patterns of the Great Plains Indians (17th century through early 19th century).

    Bows are completely useless against infantry in hiding, this has been proven by a huge number of wars. Russians have been successfully using Wagenburg for about 200 years to defend themselves against the numerous Tatar horde.

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  19. Christine de Pisan in the early 1400s claimed that English archers could hit a “barge” (whatever that means) at 600 feet.

    Robert Bohr in Gifts from the Thunder Beings says that native americans continued to use bows for hunting because they were seen as more challenging/masculine (probably the same reason why we still bowhunt today, besides the earlier seasons) and when ammo, flints or caps for guns weren’t in sure supply. He quotes one young man who was perplexed that the elders kept using bows even though breech-loading rifles were available.

    Thanks for mentioning Black Valley. That’s a new one. But I can’t find anything about it by searching the name. Could you please give me a source?

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  20. @ Bow V Musket:
    “A rifleman who can’t hit a man at 75m is very, very poor. Thomas (Leonard) Digges said this in his Stratioticos in 1590”
    Yes, I’m aware that’s an account from over 200 years earlier, and that I said marksmanship was far better at the time. Though rather than it being an issue of them just not prizing it, I figure it’s a fact there was still a mercenary/warrior population in those days who were experts with their guns, and later on state-based armies were using poorly trained conscripts. Plus, the cost of teaching men how to aim straight was probably the cost of quite a few cannon, in terms of powder and shot.

    Your tactics seem wanting. The idea isn’t to skirmish with an enemy in cover, but to suppress them as you move up. If the bow’s indirect fire works better against the cover, and since it’s possible to fire over your allies heads if you get your aim right, this is a plausible way to reduce the casualties of Bunker Hill. Because the “winning” side took heavier casualties than the losing side, losing many officers.

    @Anon:
    That’s not what I heard from the early 19th century study…. The British got similar results with the Brown Bess, against a “cavalry block” sized target at similar range. And the Mamluks were specifically noted to be able to hit a cavalryman at 280yds 1/4 of the time, if they were good archers. So, that puts them at about the same level as whichever Prussian soldiers you heard of (or better, if it was 200 instead of 300yds).

    You’re not giving any details on the battle in question… but in particular, you failed to mention the 5,000 reinforcements that came to drive off the Turkish force. But heck, since most of the battle was fought from an infantry square, IIRC, what does that have to do with carbines on horseback? Dragoons generally fight as infantry, not cavalry, and I don’t recall them skirmishing with carbines. You don’t mention how many losses the Tartars took, either, but do mention massive casualties for the the unfortunate Russian forces. Unless they took significantly more losses, they won that battle; they managed to inflict casualties and retreat, as part of attrition warfare.

    As for the Indians… what, you’re saying Francis Parkman lied…? He even mentioned “white men” were picking up the bow for hunting, which would be a strange claim to make up. If your source contradicts a contemporary source, that’s highly questionable. What isn’t in question is that the Comanche were using bows up till the 19th century, being so fierce as to prevent Spain’s expansion, defeating the Spanish regularly….

    Ummm… hate to break it to you, but guns are pretty worthless against fortifications, too. Unless you want to bombard the enemy with artillery, that is. And no, if bows were completely useless against such, then there wouldn’t have been such hideous casualties at the Black Valley, or Carrhae.

    @ Bow v Musket: “Robert Bohr in Gifts from the Thunder Beings says that native americans continued to use bows for hunting because they were seen as more challenging/masculine”
    ? Sure, some people will hunt with bows for superficial reasons. The people I know, they did it because of wild pigs. Those damned things can take 7.62×39 like it’s nothing, so you either need to go to a seriously heavy round, or a bow. Not to say that muskets had no effect on the evil creatures. As mentioned, Francis Parkman stated it was for practical purposes… it wasn’t harder, it was EASIER to run buffalo with a bow.

    But yeah, by the time breech-loading and repeating rifles become available in the mid 19th century, the bow is obsolete.

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  21. @Avast
    Do you have mass results of shooting Mamelukes or is this just a separate observation? According to your data, only the best Mamelukes achieved the same results as ordinary European soldiers. So the best European soldiers will surpass the best Mamelukes.

    Reinforcements arrived only a few hours later, when it was already dark. Dragoons in the 18th century were typical heavy cavalry and fought as a rule in a mounted formation, firing carbines and attacking with broadswords. Although during the defense of the position, the first rank of dragoons could dismount for firing. Cossacks in the 18th century also dismounted quite rarely, which is described in many sources. The losses of the Tatars were obviously not inferior to the Russians, while they had three times the number. That is, 3 experienced horse archers could not definitely defeat 1 dragoon or Cossack.

    The Tatars wanted to destroy the separated detachment, and not just scare the soldiers with the whistle of arrows. This was their favorite tactic. For example, it is worth remembering the battle of Konotop, when 30 thousand Tatars attacked 6 thousand Moscow reitars and dragoons, completely destroying them. The few surviving Reitars received 40% of wounds from arrows, 5% from bullets (the elite Tatar guard used firearms), and 55% from cold weapons (mainly from sabers). This suggests that the Tatars, having made only a few volleys from bows at close range, immediately attacked hand-to-hand, trying to crush the mass. This did not give the reitars time to rebuild and reload their weapons. That is, the Tatars were afraid to fight at a long distance, against cavalry armed with firearms. This manner of fighting of the Tatars was described in all sources of the 17th century. But against the army of the 18th century, this tactic also stopped working..

    My source describes the tactics and weapons of many tribes of the Great Plains, providing an objective picture of the fighting. And you only give the observation of one person. It is possible that the Comanches had a poor supply of firearms, so they had to use bows.

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  22. @bowvsmusket
    Unfortunately, all sources and works on the battle in the Black Valley exist only in Russian and Ukrainian…

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  23. @Anon: No, the average Prussian musketeer couldn’t hit a 31×1.8m board at ~75m more than half the time, using an older rifle…. The latest British rifle allowed them to hit it 3/4s of the time. And I just said the British got similar results…. So either you’re lying, or the people doing the contemporary study were, as it’s impossible for both to be telling the truth. You have yet to even hint at where you got that incredibly vague 200 to 300 yds figure (seriously, a difference of 50%…?). And no, the typical Mamluk was expected to hit a roughly man sized target at 70m 5/5 times, which is significantly better accuracy.
    Seriously, where is your data that the average Prussian soldier could hit a man at 300 yards? That’s a pretty incredible claim, since Bow vs Musket was just telling me it sounded IMPOSSIBLE when I told him you could do that with smoothbore reliably. I can’t think of a contemporary account that suggests that, but often suggests the opposite, one I recall saying that a man killed at over 150yds is just plain luck.

    The Tartars were specifically scared off by the arriving artillery… reinforcements were rushing to the position all day, notably cavalry, and many of them got ambushed or blocked by Tartars. What source did you have that says there was no reinforcement until evening?
    The fact the fighting went on until the evening says a lot for Tartar confidence. And you think nearly 3,000 casualties, a nearly 50% loss, is a GOOD showing!? There are only 200 known dead for the Tartars, and it’s possible their casualties were not much higher than that; it just depends on their objectives and the risks they were taking. It sounds like their force was considerably spread out, since it was blocking and ambushing cavalry divisions, so it seems they weren’t making a concerted effort of 4 to 1 Tartars attacking the Russian square… so trying to paint it that way is grasping for straws. Rather, it sounds like their plan was to inflict terrible losses as attrition, then retreat before a serious battle took place, typical of Tartar stratagem. And if so, they appear to have done a fantastic job, tragic as that is. If they really wanted to break the square with all their force, the battle would’ve been decided within an hour, instead of taking all day.

    And no, the Dragoons were specifically noted to form square, which source do you have that says otherwise? I can’t find anything online that suggests the front rank dismounted, and the rest remained mounted, but instead they speak about how the back of the square was weak (at least in the initial phase of the battle).
    If the Cossacks were using carbines (they did still use bows, so I don’t know about this), they didn’t seem to help… their losses were massive, and there’s even a note of some Cossacks retreating at the start of the battle (could be scapegoating and untrue, no way to say).

    Again, this battle does not suggest the Tartars were rushing in after a volley of arrows… it wouldn’t have lasted all day, and there would surely be some reference to repeated Tartar charges if it did. Their losses would’ve been massive, with that many failed charges, and this would be noted, instead of only mentioning 200 dead. So the fact you have to accept is that it’s possible for one people to apply more than one stratagem, through history. Interestingly, Konotop is a perfect example from the Art of war: If you have 5 times the enemy’s number, attack directly.

    And bow range vs musket is variable… Guillaume specifically notes Cossack musketeers couldn’t hit Tartar archers, in his time in Ukraine, who skirmished at longer ranges with the Cossacks. The flight arrow record is something close to a mile, IIRC, so which weapon has better effective range is based off the skill and load of the archers, AFAICT. The Battle of the Black Valley seems to prove that was still the case, or else fighting all day with a square would’ve lead to horrific casualties for the Tartars instead of the other way around.

    As for the Indians: That is a pitiful denial of a contemporary source, you just make a vague authority argument in favour of your modern book. It also reveals you know nothing about the Comanche in general, not even knowing what I just told you. No, they had access to firearms since the Spanish conquest, which is how they got their horses… but they thrashed Spain, something you incredibly did not notice in my previous comment, and thrashed the Texans until the Battle of Bandera Pass, with the introduction of the revolver. Only then did things start to go downhill, as Texas developed firearms which really did render the bow obsolete. Even then, the Texas-Indian war is said to have lasted until the late 19th century. This is all commonly accepted… I never knew anyone to deny the Comanche’s success with the bow over a period of centuries, until now.

    Muskets are good, but your idea the bow was rendered useless by the 16th/17th/whatever century is simply Western propaganda. The Kalmyks and Bashkirs marched on Paris in the Napoleonic wars, for heaven’s sake, and thrashed Swedish units in the Northern War…. So the Russian Empire recognized horse-archers as invaluable assets.

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  24. @Avast

    I don’t like it when people speculate with facts and interpret events as they like…

    The results of the shooting of European soldiers were carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries, so this is not modern data. I’m giving the average results, if you haven’t figured it out yet… 100 yards is 50% of hits, 200 yards is 30%, 300 yards is 20%. I hope you won’t ask stupid questions now.. The sources are quite well known:
    Haythornthwaite Ph. J. Napoleonic Infantry: Napoleonic Weapons and Warfare
    Hughes B. P. Firepower. Weapons effectives on the battlefield

    At the same time, good shooters (for example, hunters, skirmishers, huntsmen, etc.) could easily hit a human-sized target at a distance of 70 meters. But where did you get the data on Mamelukes? For some reason, I am sure that this is a single observation of an enthusiastic witness, and not statistical data based on thousands of soldiers.

    As for the battle in the Black Valley. I repeat once again, reinforcements arrived only a few hours later, when it was already dark. The first contact of the advance detachment with the Tatars occurred at 10 a.m., and reinforcements arrived only at 19 p.m. During this time, the Tatars were unable to defeat a small Russian detachment. And that was their main goal of the Tatars. The guerrilla war began after this battle, when the Tatars realized their incapacity in an open battle.

    And why are you talking about the effectiveness of the bow, if the Tatars outnumbered the Russians three times? According to Russian data, the losses amounted to 50 killed and wounded, but apparently only the losses of the escort of General Spiegel and Minich (about 500 dragoons and Cossacks), which were attacked by 500 Tatars, were taken into account. It is likely that the losses of only this detachment of Tatars (200 killed) were taken into account. It turns out that in an equal battle, the Tatars had losses 4-5 times more than the Cossacks and dragoons!
    https://runivers.ru/bookreader/book16971/#page/299/mode/1up
    Konotop is an excellent example of a battle with one successful episode at the beginning of the battle and the shameful results of the entire battle. The Tatars and Polish troops were unable to defeat the Russian army, which was left without cavalry. All their attacks were successfully repelled with heavy losses, even when the Russians retreated in open terrain.

    The range of a musket bullet is more than 1000 meters…

    Did I deny your Comanche sources? I have given my sources that describe the weapons and tactics of all the Indians of the Great Plains. And the absolute majority of them sought to get firearms at any cost. The tribes that had more muskets had a significant superiority over the enemy armed with only bows.

    As for the Comanche and Texan battles. The Indians in all the battles had multiple numerical superiority over the Texans. However, this did not always guarantee victory. For example, in the battle of Arroyo Seco Fight, the Indians were defeated by a bunch of militiamen with muskets.

    Your fantastic stories about Kalmyks and Bashkirs are simply ridiculous… During the Northern War, the Kalmyks were not even counted as any serious military force. During the campaign of 1813-14, it was decided to use Bashkirs only to support units that were besieging French fortresses. That is, the Russian command considered the Bashkirs to be second-class troops who were not suitable for battles on the front line.

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  25. Anon: Then why do you deny contemporary sources? Far from asking stupid questions, I had to educate you on the battle of the Black Valley’s basic points, that they formed square… you seem to have gone quiet on that point, despite talking about only the front rank dismounting, and claiming it proved the effectiveness of carbines for cavalry, despite my several sources complaining of them, which you deny.

    You don’t seem to be very good at reading. I did not complain about your 300yds number being “modern data.” That criticism was in the paragraph addressing your weak denial of contemporary sources, vaguely alluding to a modern book. With the 300 yds claim, I SPECIFICALLY complained you didn’t even HINT what your source was, until now revealing it is the very source I alluded to… you apparently did not deduce that? Apparently, you didn’t read that book very well either, as it has the quote I alluded to before:
    It was from George Hanger, who stated that if the musket is not ill bored (as MANY are), you can strike a man at 80yds, or maybe even 100; “but a soldier must be very unfortunate indeed who shall be wounded by a common musket at 150yds, provided his antagonist aims at him. And firing at 200yds with a common musket, you may as well fire at the moon and have the same hope of hitting your object. I do maintain, and will prove, whenever called upon, that NO MAN WAS EVER KILLED [emphasis the book’s], AT TWO HUNDRED YARDS, by a common soldier’s musket, by the person who aimed at him.” The book goes on to point out many eyewitness accounts confirm the statement.
    Heck, how can ANYONE be so ignorant about muskets to say their range is “1,000 meters”? You mustn’t have read the book at all.

    I’m struggling to find what statistics from the book you’re using for your figures of 20% at 300yds… Is it the French test, where the gun was fixed in place, which only got a 20% hit rate at 300m (that’d be ~330yds)? The Prussian figures don’t even test for 300yds in the book… they only got 25% at 225yds, and the book is incredibly vague about the tests in general, not saying which book in the bibliography is the source, or the fact the Prussians were using rifles.
    But the book DOES specify it was against a block of infantry as I described (“100 feet wide”), so it was a very big lie to say men managing to shoot a block of infantry at 225yds 25% of the time is equal to being able to hit a single horseman at 280yds 25% of the time.

    ? The source for the Mamluks was from Saracen Archery. Bow v Musket references it in one of the posts, but you can find it online easily enough. And I didn’t say a proficient musketeer couldn’t hit targets reliably at 70m… what I pointed out, what your book points out and you didn’t seem to take it in at all, is that most musketeers were NOT proficient. It seems strange to me you put all contrary facts down to “excited witnesses,” when it appears excitement is your chief issue in your misreadings.

    – – –

    Black Valley:

    Oh, giving up your lie that they didn’t form square? Unfortunately, you’re not honest enough to admit that point. Instead, you continue the lie that there were no reinforcements. Perhaps you mean the fact that Major General Spiegel, trying to reinforce the dragoons in square, was held up by a force of Tartars? Minich tried to reinforce him, but decided to retreat after seeing how hopeless the situation was… and still nearly got ambushed and killed by yet ANOTHER group of Tartars on his way back to base. So the Tartar army was large, but it was split into at least three groups. Thus, it was a massive lie to say that they were all trying to crush the little Square, all day, with no reinforcements…. You even speculate about the motives and behaviour of the Tartars, after saying you did not like people to do this.

    OK, so now you’re claiming the Tartars took virtually no losses skirmishing with the Dragoons, and The 200 dead is all from one failed cavalry change/skirmish against an equal force lead by Spiegel to reinforce said dragoons? No one ever said equal armies couldn’t lose and suffer, and the losing side normally DOES take far greater losses, if you know anything about history. But that just goes to show how effective the Tartars were in general, since they inflicted close to 3,000 casualties, by your own account, and there’s no report the Tartars suffered anything as bad.

    And now you’ve realized you messed up the battle so badly, you’re trying to shift the goal posts to Konotop? I think you’ll have to pay me, if I have to keep reading your books for you….

    – – –

    Comanches:

    “Did I deny your Comanche sources?” Yes. Thank you for trying to deny you did, which shows how embarrassed you are by your own behaviour. Quote: “My source describes the tactics and weapons of many tribes of the Great Plains, providing an objective picture of the fighting. And you only give the observation of one person.” So you denied a contemporary account with a modern book. You then ignorantly tried to explain away what Francis said, stating the Comanche lacked firearms… but he specifically pointed out the difficulty of using guns during a Buffalo run.

    And you again show I was correct, that you know nothing of the Comanche. Your book must’ve been wholly inadequate to lack such basic information. They were widely feared, defeating the Spanish, Texans, and other Indian tribes, yes. They are often titled, “The Lords of the Plains,” ruling the massive territory of Comancheria. How could a book about the plains Indians not tell you about this?

    And you can only pick out one minor skirmish, to try and deny centuries of history…? And of course, you don’t mention they had good cover, with thick shrubbery seemingly preventing a charge. That skirmish shows how important good cover is, but if it were indicative of the Comanche’s effectiveness, the Spanish would’ve wiped them out over a century ago, so would the other Indians who apparently had more firearms…. So it sounds like whatever text you read was tripe propaganda. Plus, that wasn’t a “bunch of militia,” they were Texas Rangers.

    The person who reckons muskets have a range of 1,000m wants to talk about ridiculous? No, the Kalmyks and Bashkirs received medals and praise from Kutuzov himself, after they marched into Paris. With the northern war, they almost killed Charles XII at the battle of Belin, forcing back the Swedish cavalry.

    To think, you complained how you despised people speculating instead of using historical fact… only to go on tangents about how the Russian Empire recruited tens of thousands of irregular cavalry horse archers in the 19th century because they considered them useless.

    Like

  26. @Avast

    Where and when did I write that a soldier could hit a man at 200 yards? Which sources do I deny? How was this information born in your inflamed imagination? Maybe you’re arguing with your hallucinations in your head..

    I just supplemented the data that you took out of context. In fact, soldiers of the 18th and 19th centuries could hit a target at a distance of 200-300 yards.

    It’s strange that you accuse me of poor reading of sources when you can’t find the relevant information in the book yourself.. The book describes two tests conducted in Prussia at once. In the first test, the shooting distance is 75-225 yards, in the second test 100-400 steps (approximately 75-260 yards). Tests in London in 1811, at a distance of 100-300 yards.

    The range of a musket shot is more than 1000 meters, this is a scientific fact. And there is nothing surprising in this, even a 9 mm pistol bullet is capable of injuring or killing at a distance of more than 800 meters.

    I think there were enough experienced shooters in any warring army. This is a natural phenomenon.

    As for the Black Valley. Dragoons could easily make a square, and the Cossacks fought in their usual manner. This is not surprising.
    What kind of reinforcement are we talking about? The generals’ personal convoy, it’s not reinforcements. Minich did not escape, but was returning to the location of his army to hurry General Leontiev with reinforcements. But he was attacked by a small detachment of Tatars. This is also not surprising, since the Tatars “broke their teeth” about the square and began to look for “smaller prey”.
    My God, where did I say that the Tatars had no more losses??? I think you’re sick or a troll… I argued that the total losses of the Tatars are simply unknown to historians. There are no scientific papers that have conducted a deep analysis of this war from the Tatar side. Do you understand me, idiot? And the losses of the Cossacks in the war became known quite recently, thanks to work with archives. But I doubt that the Crimean Tatars have preserved any written sources.

    As for the Comanches. Why didn’t all the other Indians have any problems hunting bison using firearms? It looks like your source is very subjective and gives only his guesses in this matter.
    In the book I cited, Comanches are also mentioned. But we are talking about the 17th-18th centuries and the beginning of the 19th century, when the Comanches were an ordinary nomadic people who terrorized only their Apache neighbors. In principle, they did not have access to firearms, since the Spaniards forbade selling weapons to Indians. Only with the arrival of colonists from the east, firearms got to the Great Plains. At the same time, the Comanches and Apaches acquired strong allies who had muskets and horses.
    However, all Comanche victories became possible due to numerical superiority and surprise.

    Kalmyks and Bashkirs really received high awards and participated in the Battle of the Peoples. But these were selected 4 regiments, under the command of ataman Platov, who showed themselves very well in the war of 1812. What was their armament? Some reports on the ammunition consumption of the 1st Bashkir Regiment have been preserved:

    Click to access Raximov_02.pdf

    In skirmishes with the enemy for several days, 4,000 carbine shots and 2,000 pistol shots were fired. On September 26-27, near Leipzig, 2,000 carbine shots and 1,200 pistol shots were fired.
    That is, the elite units of horse archers still preferred to arm themselves with pistols and carbines, which you consider ineffective. Funny..

    Russia used many nomadic peoples, but in all cases they were secondary troops, for reconnaissance, small skirmishes, guarding prisoners, catching deserters, etc.

    Like

  27. I also want to remind you that any bow was an extremely weak weapon. For example, during the conquest of Siberia, Russian soldiers used light chain mail and simple lamellar armor to protect against arrows. This protective gear was sufficient to keep lethal losses to a minimum. Although there were a lot of wounded Cossacks. Most of them have suffered from 2 to 5 injuries in their careers. Sometimes in one battle a soldier received several wounds with arrows and spears, but after a few months he returned to duty. I remember most of all a certain soldier named Pashka Kokolunin. He had rich combat experience and participated in many skirmishes with the local peoples of Siberia, which led to frequent injuries:
    In 1650, Pashka was wounded with an ax and a spear in the head, after which he recovered all winter.
    In 1652, he was wounded in the head by an arrow that pierced both cheeks.
    In 1654, he shot the enemy with a musket, but he himself was wounded by an arrow in the thigh. In the same year, he killed the enemy with a shot in the head from a musket, but was again wounded by an arrow.
    In 1655, he killed the enemy with a spear, but he himself was wounded in the head and arm. In another battle he was wounded by arrows in the leg and shoulder.

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  28. @Anon: Seems you’re having to deny everything you said, at this point.

    “Where and when did I write that a soldier could hit a man at 200 yards?” What a slimy lie…. I told you a good mamluk could hit a cavalryman at 280yds 1/4 of the time… and your response was: “According to your data, only the best Mamelukes achieved the same results as ordinary European soldiers.” So either you’re trying to gaslight, or you can’t read. Those are the only possibilities.

    “Which sources do I deny?” I described that in the post above: ““Did I deny your Comanche sources?” Yes. Thank you for trying to deny you did, which shows how embarrassed you are by your own behaviour. Quote: “My source describes the tactics and weapons of many tribes of the Great Plains, providing an objective picture of the fighting. And you only give the observation of one person.” So you denied a contemporary account with a modern book. You then ignorantly tried to explain away what Francis said, stating the Comanche lacked firearms… but he specifically pointed out the difficulty of using guns during a Buffalo run.”

    “How was this information born in your inflamed imagination? Maybe you’re arguing with your hallucinations in your head..” What a disgusting insult, literally trying to gaslight me into thinking I’m insane. And I see you felt the need to add a second comment just an hour later.

    “I just supplemented the data that you took out of context. In fact, soldiers of the 18th and 19th centuries could hit a target at a distance of 200-300 yards.”
    How dishonest, to compare shooting at a 100-foot wide target, compared to a man-sized target. Why weren’t you honest about that from the start?

    “It’s strange that you accuse me of poor reading of sources when you can’t find the relevant information in the book yourself.” OK, so you really DO expect me to read the whole book for you. You’re that incapable of citation. Unfortunately, you’ve shown yourself completely untrustworthy, resorting to these pitiful insults the moment I challenged your dishonest thesis that the common musketeer could hit men at 300 yd, like the skilled mamluk.

    “The book describes two tests conducted in Prussia at once. In the first test, the shooting distance is 75-225 yards, in the second test 100-400 steps (approximately 75-260 yards). Tests in London in 1811, at a distance of 100-300 yards.”
    OK, so LONDON IS PART OF PRUSSIA, now…? You seriously do want me to memorize the whole book for you, and work out you mean Britain when you say Prussia. I already mentioned the French test for good measure where they put the musket in a stand, which found it took PERFECT accuracy to get your “20% at 300yds” figure–though of course it was against an infantry block sized target, not a cavalryman like the mamluks. Your latest figures don’t change that.
    It’s one thing to make a mistake, and quite another to attack people over your own mistake.

    “The range of a musket shot is more than 1000 meters, this is a scientific fact.” . . . HA! Then why’d you use this book as your source? It states that they fired one musket at 45 degrees to get its useless maximum range… and it only got a thousand yards even then, less than a kilometer. Wait, were you saying that muskets have a range of 1,000m in answer to my aside that flight arrows have something like a mile maximum range…? *Facepalm* a mile is not a kilometer, it is about ~1,600m, so I didn’t even realize your random stating of a Musket’s “range” at 1,000m was meant to be related to that. And you want to make comments about my academic ability….

    “And there is nothing surprising in this, even a 9 mm pistol bullet is capable of injuring or killing at a distance of more than 800 meters.” . . . . Pardon? Have you used any firearms, before? Because a 9mm has trouble wounding people through winter jackets at 10m, its penetration:power are so useless you get better statistics from a .22. So I can’t imagine where you heard someone got killed at 800m with a 9mm, or even wounded. It’s technically possible, if someone shoots at the moon, and by one in a trillion odds the bullet lands in someone’s eye. There was a case like that with a .22, where it hit a kid in the head, but they were more worried about the fact she fell off her bicycle.
    Seriously, what is your point, here…? Muskets and bullets lose huge amounts of energy over distance, so even if you do get the 1:million hit on someone at extreme range, it’s likely to cause no significant injury.
    “I think there were enough experienced shooters in any warring army. This is a natural phenomenon.” . . . . Experienced enough to hit guy with the musket raised to 45 degrees? HA! What the heck…? Your argument has broken down to complete nonsense.

    – – –

    Black Valley:
    Still too slimy to admit the dragoons formed square? Despite the fact all the sources I could find mentioned they did…. Now you’re embarrassed enough to say, “well, they COULD have formed square, if they wanted to….”

    “Minich did not escape, but was returning to the location of his army to hurry General Leontiev with reinforcements.” This is just petty quibbling.
    “The generals’ personal convoy, it’s not reinforcements.” . . . . 500 men reinforcing a few thousand isn’t reinforcements? As I said, your argument has broken down into abusive nonsense:

    “My God, where did I say that the Tatars had no more losses??? I think you’re sick or a troll… I argued that the total losses of the Tatars are simply unknown to historians.”
    You seem to be in a total meltdown. Liar, only 200 bodies are noted in the official reports; you’re just slimy enough to try and claim those were only the bodies found by Spiegel, and to use your “enflamed imagination” to invent new bodies in the main engagement against the square (the one whose existence you refuse to accept). The first time I’ve seen it suggested.
    How disgusting, to try and gaslight me about how I’m “sick,” just because I pointed out if you put the 200 known bodies down to Spiegel’s equal encounter – a premise I was charitable enough to accept – you have no known or mentioned bodies in the main encounter.

    “There are no scientific papers that have conducted a deep analysis of this war from the Tatar side. Do you understand me, idiot?”
    How old are you, to be behaving this way? Apparently, my words have cut you to the bone, and rendered you completely childish. Honestly, this outburst about “scientific papers,” just seems a completely thoughtless non-sequitur. Are you thinking about what you’re writing?

    All in all, you seem to be throwing a childish fit, because you can’t have the 200 bodies we know of be attributed to more than one skirmish in the battle.

    – – –

    Comanche:

    “As for the Comanches. Why didn’t all the other Indians have any problems hunting bison using firearms? It looks like your source is very subjective and gives only his guesses in this matter.”
    …? Maybe you should try reading it, instead of whining? The source in question went ON a buffalo run… the problems he spoke of were all ones he experienced, or saw others experience, first-hand. Certainly, I didn’t say, “it was impossible to hunt buffalo with firearms,” so you must be very upset to argue I did. You even criticise the source without bothering to read it, when it’s readily available online.

    “In the book I cited, Comanches are also mentioned. But we are talking about the 17th-18th centuries and the beginning of the 19th century, when the Comanches were an ordinary nomadic people who terrorized only their Apache neighbors. In principle, they did not have access to firearms, since the Spaniards forbade selling weapons to Indians. Only with the arrival of colonists from the east, firearms got to the Great Plains. At the same time, the Comanches and Apaches acquired strong allies who had muskets and horses.”
    . . . . The 17th to early 19th century…? That’s basically the entire Comanche period…. So apparently your book barely covered them at all, and downplayed them to, “they only terrorized the Apache.” No, they took captives from the Spanish and other settlers, and they sold a great number of Indians to the Spanish. You’re desperately making vague but dismissive claims, implying the Comanche relied entirely/heavily on “strong allies”, but that doesn’t match their readily available history. They were a pain and terror to all around them, and even with their skill they certainly wouldn’t have been if they were stupid enough to attack people while outnumbered, as you seem to demand.
    I guess a better question is, if carbines are so superior to the bow as you foolishly and ignorantly claimed, ignoring my sources about the Virginia cavalry, Comanche, Francis, the Kalmyks and others… then where were the centuries-long horse-raiders who terrorized people with carbines?

    – – –

    Thank you for abandoning the lies about the Kalmyks and Bashkirs, downplaying them as useless. You admit they received their awards for their service, after I challenged your belittling statements. And now, embarrassed, you have to fight FOR the Kalmyks and Bashkirs, saying they used your SUPERIOR carbines and pistols! It’s just too funny.

    6,000 shots in total, for several days battle…? For something like 50,000 irregular cavalry, IIRC? And only 3,200 at LEIPZIG? You truly do love to grasp at straws.

    No, we have contemporary accounts of them using bows, and surprisingly few of them using guns (which makes sense, since it appears to be so rare). They were even called, “the Northern Cupids,” because they used bows, and they wounded General Marbot and several other officers with arrows, throughout the campaigns. There are also accounts of their interesting tactics, placing arrows in their teeth, and launching several before changing in with lances.

    And I see as you talk about how they are only suitable for guarding prisoners and skirmishes… going completely silent on them repelling the Swedish cavalry. I found an article from Russia Beyond which also mentions this, and talks about them breaking a French Square and taking over a thousand prisoners.

    – – –

    Second post:

    “I also want to remind you that any bow was an extremely weak weapon. For example, during the conquest of Siberia, Russian soldiers used light chain mail and simple lamellar armor to protect against arrows. This protective gear was sufficient to keep lethal losses to a minimum.”
    Err… “light” maile and “simple” lamellar…? Those aren’t proper descriptions, you would need to give actual weights or thicknesses to really estimate the armour’s quality. Because Mark Stretton and others have done tests with plate, maile, and lamellar armours, and arrows can pierce them just fine (just depends on the little details). Not all arrows are equal, of course. The Comanche were able to thwart a major colonial power, but that doesn’t mean the Siberian tribes had enough organization or martial ability to do the same right on Russia’s doorstep.

    Of course, that’s ignoring the biggest point of all… by using bows, you force the enemy to make, carry, and wear armour. That’s a big logistical win, and the main reason so many nations used a combined arms of bow and musket. If they stop using armour, they suffer from the bow, but even if they use it they must have heavy armour to stop the musket.

    “Although there were a lot of wounded Cossacks.”
    …So, as per usual, they took the brunt of the fighting, which is why the Russian forces had lower casualties. And yet, you attributed it first to their armour, and second to their Cossacks.

    “Most of them have suffered from 2 to 5 injuries in their careers.”
    That’s an interesting statistic. A pity you don’t use more of these instead of resorting to insults and speculation.

    “Sometimes in one battle a soldier received several wounds with arrows and spears, but after a few months he returned to duty.”
    That’s true of pistols, as well. At Balaklava in the charge of the British Heavy cavalry, their officers suffered many wounds, from pistol and sword. Yet, swords are surely effective weapons, and pistols… well, they’re good for their role. But arrows are certainly terrifying weapons. A good broadhead will cause a deer or man to bleed out in a couple of minutes, with any decent hit. Even with the hits to the leg you mention, the cold was likely the only thing preventing bleeding out, since someone nearly bled out on a 5 minute trip to the hospital despite a tourniquet, after accidentally falling on his arrow.

    But either way, that’s about long-term survivability, which is about the same between musket and bow. They present similar chances of infection, which is the main killer of men.

    As for Pashka… I think it’s more telling that people with muskets are using SPEARS to kill their enemies. If a spear is an effective weapon then a bow certainly is. And superficial though scary sounding injuries, like an arrow through both cheeks of the mouth, clearly those won’t kill you if it’s from a musket, either. He’s lucky all his injuries were to the limbs, missing his vitals. And of course, the cold helps; arrows kill primarily via bleeding, and just like it helped the soldiers of WW2 to avoid bleeding out, the cold weather helped the Russian pioneers.

    – – –

    Anyway, that second post was a lot more thoughtful and interesting than the first one. It seems like you thought better of your aggression, but you have no way to edit posts on this site.

    So, I’d just like to point out, there’s no need for us to kill each other… very pointless over the internet, in fact. I was highly critical of you, because I got frustrated you ignored my points and seemed to repeat yourself. But I don’t mind forgetting about what you said, if you’d like to let bygones be bygones.

    Like

  29. @Avast
    Your attempts to cling to every word, give out in you a sick idiot or a very stupid troll. 1000 meters is not 1000 yards? Prussia is not England? The dragoons were built in squares, so what? 500 dragoons are reinforcements, seriously?? Go to hell, sick idiot.

    “I told you a good mamluk could hit a cavalryman at 280yds 1/4 of the time…”
    I am tired of these oriental tales and mythical legends, I want to see statistical facts.

    “You then ignorantly tried to explain away what Francis said, stating the Comanche lacked firearms… but he specifically pointed out the difficulty of using guns during a Buffalo run.”
    Other peoples of the great plains have not experienced similar problems. The author of this statement was probably biased ..
    In fact, the trade in firearms in the great plains did not begin until the 1820+. Perhaps the Comanches simply did not have time to get used to the new weapon. However, all their neighbors, including the Apaches, quickly became addicted to cavalry carbines and quite successfully used them for war and hunting.

    “a mile is not a kilometer, it is about ~1,600m”
    Again oriental myths and legends … Even modern sports and hunting bows with high-speed aerodynamic arrows have a maximum range of 300 yards, maybe 500 yards downwind. Not to mention that hitting a rider at this distance is a rare piece of luck. Maybe 1 in 100 arrows will hit, lol. The average hunting distance for a modern compound bow with a reflex sight is 30-60 meters. American colonists hunted at about the same distance during the war on the frontier, using trade muskets of the Fowler type.

    “Black Valley”
    A detachment of General Spiegel and Minich lost 50 people killed and wounded in a skirmish with the Tatars, while the Tatars lost 200 killed. The total losses of the Cossacks are known (800 killed and probably twice as many wounded), the total losses of the Tatars are not known. Until the general losses of the Tatars are published, all your attempts to speculate with facts have no sense. You must accept this truth and live with it.
    Also. If I was like you are trying to present me, then I simply would not give reports on the losses of the Cossacks.

    “Thank you for abandoning the lies about the Kalmyks and Bashkirs, downplaying them as useless.”
    I spoke only about 4 elite regiments of Bashkirs and Kalmyks, who served under the command of Ataman Platov. All other Bashkirs and Kalmyks were second-class troops, this was recognized by everyone. Therefore, during the campaign of 1813-14, they were used only for military operations in the rear of the army.
    In addition, the Russian propaganda of that time misinformed the French that the Tsar had collected a huge horde of 300,000 sabers !! But in reality, all Kalmyks and Bashkirs made up a corps of 15-20 thousand sabers, no more. Surprisingly, even Russian officers believed in this propaganda, for example, the famous officer Denis Davydov really thought that the Tatar horde was several hundred thousand people.

    “6,000 shots in total, for several days battle…? For something like 50,000 irregular cavalry, IIRC? And only 3,200 at LEIPZIG?”
    OMG .. I said that the report on the consumption of ammunition concerns only the 1st Bashkir regiment? Apparently you are inattentively reading my comments. The Bashkir regiment consisted of 530 people, of which 500 were privates. Naturally, in the course of a long war, constant battles and diseases, the number of the regiment was reduced to 150-300 people. In general, the tiny Bashkir regiment had about 10,000 shots from pistols and carbines in several days of fighting.

    Like

  30. “Err… “light” maile and “simple” lamellar…? Those aren’t proper descriptions, you would need to give actual weights or thicknesses to really estimate the armour’s quality.”
    http://ostrog.ucoz.ru/publ/b/k_voprosu_o_rekonstrukcii_kostjuma_i_kompleksa_vooruzhenija_amurskikh_kazakov_e_khabarova_i_o_stepanova_v_1650_e_gody/41-1-0-501
    http://ostrog.ucoz.ru/publ/b/k_voprosu_ob_ehkipirovke_sluzhilykh_ljudei_v_zabajkale_v_80_90_e_gody_xvii_veka/41-1-0-453
    http://ostrog.ucoz.ru/publ/b/vooruzhenie_i_odezhda_russkikh_sluzhilykh_ljudej_v_zabajkale_v_80_90_e_gg_xvii_v/41-1-0-428
    This is how a heavy Cossack looked at the time of the conquest of Siberia. The average weight of the chain mail is 5-8 kg, and with additional iron plates about 10 kg. The thickness of the rings and plates is 2 mm on average. The steel is probably unhardened, very soft.
    This armor provided almost complete protection against mortal arrow wounds. Therefore, in all battles, the Russians had very small lethal losses, even if the enemy was outnumbered.

    “The Comanche were able to thwart a major colonial power, but that doesn’t mean the Siberian tribes had enough organization or martial ability to do the same right on Russia’s doorstep.”
    This is ridiculous. The Comanches were semi-savage Indians who defended themselves only with leather armor, firing stone-tipped arrows from primitive bows. Of course, they did not pose any serious threat to the United States and Spain. But the Siberian peoples were at the level of development of the 15th century. Used bows of the Mongolian type, sabers, spears. Their main force was armored cavalry, dressed in steel chain mail and plate armor (in some reports of the Cossacks, it was said that bad muskets did not penetrate Siberian cuirasses, so they demanded to send them more powerful muskets and carbines). The population of Siberia was much larger than in North America, and the living conditions were much more severe. Therefore, the tiny Russian troops were forced to resist a very formidable force. If the Comanches had only one leader in the Spanish “iron jacket”, then among the Siberian peoples each warrior had the same armor. But despite this, all of Siberia was conquered in 100 years, and in many respects this became possible thanks to the use of firearms.

    “So, as per usual, they took the brunt of the fighting, which is why the Russian forces had lower casualties. And yet, you attributed it first to their armour, and second to their Cossacks.”
    No, these are the total losses of the Russians. Russian = Cossack. Cossack = Russian.
    The Cossack is a military class, not a nation. Cossacks, servicemen (mercenaries), tsarist soldiers, etc. fought in Siberia.

    “At Balaklava in the charge of the British Heavy cavalry, their officers suffered many wounds, from pistol and sword. Yet, swords are surely effective weapons, and pistols… well, they’re good for their role.”
    Is this another joke? Pistols were formidable weapons in close combat. They pierced many armor and inflicted terrible wounds. Gustav Adolf was killed by pistol shots in the battle of Lutzin (the royal leather prick did not save him ..). In the same battle, the Imperial Cuirassiers wiped out two elite Swedish brigades. Most of the infantry were killed by pistols and carbine shots. In the knightly battle (massacre) of the Delicious Kus in 1600, 44 knights from the Spanish and French sides met. Of these, 20 people died. They were all clad in heavy plate armor from head to toe. The role of pistols declined only in the 18-19 centuries, but even then many cavalry and infantrymen died from pistol shots. For example, Westphalian officer Rüppel described how the “red hussars” completely exterminated an entire company of French voltigeurs, shooting them with pistols and putting them on pikes (before that, stupid voltigeurs thoughtlessly spent all the cartridges firing at huge distances at hussar flankers). A little later, Rüppel’s squadron attacked these hussars, but the blows of the sabers did not cause serious harm, since the backs of the hussars were covered with thick mentics (a short jacket worn by the hussars on the back). It’s funny that both of Rüppel’s pistols misfired, which suggests that he was a very bad warrior.

    “But either way, that’s about long-term survivability, which is about the same between musket and bow. They present similar chances of infection, which is the main killer of men.”
    This is not true. Muskets inflicted much more dangerous wounds. According to the statistics of the war of 1812-14, most officers received 2 bullet wounds, became disabled and left military service. There are practically no records in the archives of officers and soldiers who had more than two bullet wounds, but there are many records of 2-10 wounds with sabers / bayonets / pikes. Overall, however, only 2% of the 2,000 officers and soldiers found by historians had wounds with bladed weapons.

    Like

  31. @Avast
    “Err… “light” maile and “simple” lamellar…? Those aren’t proper descriptions, you would need to give actual weights or thicknesses to really estimate the armour’s quality.”
    A heavy Cossack looked something like this:
    http://ostrog.ucoz.ru/publ/b/k_voprosu_o_rekonstrukcii_kostjuma_i_kompleksa_vooruzhenija_amurskikh_kazakov_e_khabarova_i_o_stepanova_v_1650_e_gody/41-1-0-501
    http://ostrog.ucoz.ru/publ/b/k_voprosu_ob_ehkipirovke_sluzhilykh_ljudei_v_zabajkale_v_80_90_e_gody_xvii_veka/41-1-0-453
    http://ostrog.ucoz.ru/publ/b/vooruzhenie_i_odezhda_russkikh_sluzhilykh_ljudej_v_zabajkale_v_80_90_e_gg_xvii_v/41-1-0-428
    The weight of Russian armor is 5-8 kg, the thickness of the rings and plates is 2 mm on average. It is worth saying that most of the Siberian peoples were protected by the same armor.

    “Not all arrows are equal, of course. The Comanche were able to thwart a major colonial power, but that doesn’t mean the Siberian tribes had enough organization or martial ability to do the same right on Russia’s doorstep.”
    It’s a joke? Comanches are semi-wild Indians, in leather armor, shooting primitive bows, arrows with a stone tip. They did not pose any serious threat to the colonies. But the peoples of Siberia were at the level of development of the 15th century. Almost all the warriors wore steel chain mail and plate cuirass, fired from Mongolian bows with steel arrows. Among the Comanches, only one leader wore the Spanish “iron jacket”, and he became famous throughout the country. And in Siberia, every warrior had a similar protection. So the Russians, conquering vast Siberia, faced a much stronger enemy than the American and Spanish colonists.

    “So, as per usual, they took the brunt of the fighting, which is why the Russian forces had lower casualties. And yet, you attributed it first to their armour, and second to their Cossacks.”
    Cossacks = Russians. Russians = Cossacks. This is just a military class, like the samurai, only poorer.

    “That’s true of pistols, as well. At Balaklava in the charge of the British Heavy cavalry, their officers suffered many wounds, from pistol and sword. Yet, swords are surely effective weapons, and pistols… well, they’re good for their role.”
    Is this another joke? Pistols were formidable melee weapons. For example, in the battle of Lutzin, Gustav Adolf was killed by pistol shots (the royal leather prick did not save him ..). In the same battle, the Imperial Cuirassiers massacred two elite Swedish brigades. Most of the infantry were killed by pistols and carbine shots. In the knightly battle of 1600, 44 Spanish and French knights met in equal combat. Of these, 20 people died! They were all clad in heavy plate armor from head to toe and armed with a pair of pistols and broadswords.
    The role of pistols began to decline only in the 18-19 centuries, but even then the losses from pistols were great. Westphalian officer Rüppel described how the “Red Hussars” exterminated an entire company of French Vaulters, shooting them with pistols and putting them on pikes (before that, the stupid Vaulters spent all their ammunition, firing from a long distance at the hussar flankers). Later, Rüppel’s squadron attacked these hussars, but the blows with sabers inflicted very little time, since the hussars wore thick mentics on their backs (a short hussar jacket that was worn on the back). It’s funny that both of Rüppel’s pistols misfired in this fight. Which characterizes him as a bad warrior.

    “But either way, that’s about long-term survivability, which is about the same between musket and bow. They present similar chances of infection, which is the main killer of men.”
    This is not true. Muskets are much more lethal than arrows. Bullets are more likely to inflict severe injuries due to kinetic energy. In addition, the bullets crush bones, which ultimately leads to amputation. The arrows are dangerous only when they hit the abdomen and chest, all other wounds do very little harm and heal quickly. For example, in the archival records of the war of 1812-14, data on officers and soldiers who had 2 or more bullet wounds are very rare. This is due to the fact that after the second bullet wound, the soldier became disabled or died. But wounds with sabers / bayonets are often numerous, from 2 to 10! Although, in general, wounds with bladed weapons and bayonets were found in only 2% of 2,000 documents of soldiers and officers.

    Like

  32. @Anon: . . . . So you’re whining that I responded to what you wrote? What am I meant to do, read your mind…? In fact, you’re so embarrassed by your writing and my response, you’ve gone into a raging fit. At this point, it’s clear you’re the troll, upset that I didn’t accept your gaslighting.

    I knew I was wasting my time, offering to make peace with you.

    “1,000m is not 1,000 yards”
    …? HAHAHA! A mile isn’t 1,000 yards. It seems you were talking about your own lacking intellect. A mile is about 1,760 yards, IIRC. I thought everyone knew a kilometer was less than a mile… but it seems I’m disappointed.

    1,000m is about 1,090 yards, I think? Looking it up, it’s 1,093.61 yards. To help you remember, you can simplify it to a meter being 10% more than a yard. Happy to have helped you learn about this.

    “Prussia is not England?”
    . . . . Wait, WHAT? Let’s quote the whole thing: “Your attempts to cling to every word, give out in you a sick idiot or a very stupid troll. 1000 meters is not 1000 yards? Prussia is not England? The dragoons were built in squares, so what? 500 dragoons are reinforcements, seriously?? Go to hell, sick idiot.”
    Cringeworthy… but it’s clear you’re calling me a “sick idiot”, because I’ve stated thing you consider to be nonsense. Like your incredulity about me considering 500 reinforcements to still be reinforcements (how are they not…?).

    . . . . So this person, apparently is SERIOUS about Prussia being part of England!? HAAAhahah! You really are too funny! This is just like the guy who told me Saxony was part of Russia!

    – – –

    I see you appear to have avoided most of my points. Thank you for accepting my calling you out on lying about the accuracy of musketeers, and my points on so many other subjects such as the war in Siberia. That is good, as righting your wrongs was getting boring.

    “The dragoons were in squares, so what?”
    So you lied. Thank you for finally admitting it.

    “I am tired of these oriental tales and mythical legends, I want to see statistical facts.”
    Why are you crying about contemporary sources? I already told you that was from Saracen Archery… it’s a book about archery manuals and writings from the time. It was expected to shoot a 30 inch diameter target at ~70m consistently, so it makes sense they can hit cavalry at considerable distance, if they have a higher skill.

    You even cry about Francis Parkman more… why don’t you just read his statements, instead of crying about them? No, the problems he listed were all practical, and faced by the white settlers as well–so some of them took to bows along with the Comanche. It’s possible other Indians ignored these problems… but I thought you said you HATED speculating? It seems you do what you hate.

    Once again, you ignore sources, and instead speculate on history, stating the Comanche did not have firearms… why do you do hateful things, speculating and ignoring sources? You even ignored the statistics about muskets, saying they could shoot a man at 300yds 20% of the time, when that was a lie in two ways, that the target was a block of infantry, and that it was put into a stand (thus having perfect aim).

    “However, all their neighbors, including the Apaches, quickly became addicted to cavalry carbines and quite successfully used them for war and hunting.”
    Then why have you not brought up cases that show the Apache were superior to the Comanche, in cavalry combat? Is it because the Comanche beat them utterly, even with help from the Spanish? It’s strange the sources complain about the difficulties of using carbines against the bow, and speak of the Comanche’s skill in getting the musketeers to fire at range before charging in to wipe them out. Since these people had horses, why didn’t they simply mount up and use carbines? Indeed, the one battle you could find with a Texan victory involved ignoring their horses, and crouching in cover.

    – – –

    “Again oriental myths and legends”
    You seem to really dislike Oriental history. I’ve always considered it close to Russian history. But if you doubt tell of them shooting a mile… why didn’t you say so earlier, and instead point out Muskets can shoot 1,000m, which they could not as far as your source said? Oh right… you have no knowledge of measures. You need to work on your reading and your math.

    Since you desired statistics, and are clearly interested in paying attention to sources, here’s some on Oriental statistics:

    6- Distances of over 800 m have been reached in flight archery.

    The flight records are very well-documented. According to Islamic rules the record was only valid when the shot had been witnessed by a minimum of four persons. Each shooting range or “menzil” was indicated by two stones, one “foot stone” erected at the spot where the archer stands and a “main stone” for indicating the direction of the shot. In any attempt these witnesses who were employees of the Okmeidan had to be present. The distances achieved were not only recorded to Tekke’s Registration Book but monumental stones were also erected for the remembrance and declaration of them.

    Tozkoparan Iskender 1281.5 gez (845,79 m)
    Mîr-i Alem Ahmed A?a 1271,5 gez (839,18 m)
    Bursal? ?ûca 1243,5 gez (820,71 m)
    Tozkoparan Iskender 1279 gez (844,14 m)
    Parpol Hüseyin Efendi 1207 gez (796,62 m)
    Çullu Ferruh 1223 gez (807,18 m)
    Lenduha Cafer 1209,5 gez (798,27 m)
    Sultan II. Mahmud 1228 gez (810,48 m), 1225 gez (808,5 m), 1219 gez (804,54 m)

    That’s pretty similar to the ranges quotes for the musket, which was about 900m at a 45 degree angle. Of course, expecting to hit anything using a musket as a direct fire weapon, or expecting to hurt it when musket shot loses energy rapidly over distance… that was too funny.

    “Not to mention that hitting a rider at this distance is a rare piece of luck. Maybe 1 in 100 arrows will hit, lol.”
    And again, you deny sources, replacing them with your enflamed imagination.

    “The average hunting distance for a modern compound bow with a reflex sight is 30-60 meters.”
    I take it you don’t hunt? Hunting is about trying to get a clean kill. A combat effective hit is a lot less picky. Even hitting near a target causes suppression.

    – – –

    Black Valley:

    According to Manstein, Spiegel himself, trying to reinforce Witten, was saved because reinforcements arrived and scared off the Tartars, some 3,000 dragoons and 2,000 Cossacks. So the whole battle was filled with reinforcements, that’s how much of a liar you are; it’s too funny!
    More than that, far from it suggesting Spiegel routed and destroyed the Tartars easily with an equal force, it’s specifically noted he also formed square, and had to wait for the larger force to rescue him.

    Looking at your source… can you read? Page 247, it mentions the entire force of Tartars fleeing at the sound of the artillery in the evening, as I mentioned before, and leaving 200 dead behind… So, Embarrassed Liar, it seems the official report in your source is that roughly 200 dead were left on the whole battlefield. With your enflamed imagination, you cried about how there must secretly be many hundreds of dead besides. Maybe there were more dead, you could even speculate there there were thousands of bodies no one bothered to mention… but that would be speculation, and you HATE speculation.

    “Also. If I was like you are trying to present me, then I simply would not give reports on the losses of the Cossacks.”
    Huh? Based off what? You seem to like to lie about me, but you actually have very little to say, beyond the crying insults. I however, can ask you to answer points you’ve lied about, and can point out very specific lines where you denied sources, or didn’t know a mile was more than a kilometer.
    So those with glass houses should not throw stones at those in castles.

    – – –

    “I spoke only about 4 elite regiments of Bashkirs and Kalmyks, who served under the command of Ataman Platov. All other Bashkirs and Kalmyks were second-class troops, this was recognized by everyone.”
    OK, my mistake: you have no respect whatever. With your suggestion no one considered the Bashkirs worth anything, aside from those four regiments… do you have a source for that, or is it more hypocritical speculation?

    Marbot specifically mentions 50,000 irregular cavalry, IIRC, though admittedly it likely included the Cossacks, who were also reported to use bows in several encounters. There are a number of accounts of generals and major officers receiving arrow wounds, and Marbot had large clashes with them on two ocassions, so your idea they only hung back and never fought is another blatant lie.

    “OMG .. I said that the report on the consumption of ammunition concerns only the 1st Bashkir regiment? Apparently you are inattentively reading my comments.”
    I seem to have done such psychological damage, you’re reduced to “OMG” and “lol,” along with the hilarious insults. But OK, that was only for the first regiment… so over the course of the battle of Leipzig each man shot a total of ~6 times… over the battle of LEIPZIG over two days? And this was meant to be an elite, decorated unit in the thick of it, who over days of skirmishing only shoot ~12 times…? You’re once again embarrassed by your math, and try to pad these numbers, saying that maybe the regiment was reduced to a mere 150 men. But that means 10,000 / 150 = 66.7 per man… which speaks to very little gunfire over an unknown number of days. Worse, two days of Leipzig would only be 3,000 / 150 = 20 shots per man over two days of the biggest battle in the Napoleonic wars…. So if they were able to settle their engagements in a few shots each, then they must’ve been very good shots, and armed with SVDs.
    Glad to have helped you with basic math, Anon.

    How many muskets and pistols did you say these elite units had? It sounds like they had very few? In fact, your source only states the ratio of carbines and pistols was something like 2:1, it doesn’t suggest bows weren’t present in the first regiment and goes on to say most Bashkirs didn’t see the need to replace their bows, despite being happy to pick up captured enemy weapons and clothes in general (even the “most miserable” Frenchman was stripped of his clothes).

    Looking over your source, I do wonder if you can read, since it speaks about the Bashkir use of the bow and how they honed it to perfection during the period they weren’t allowed firearms. It speaks endlessly about their effectiveness with the bow, emphasizing it over their use of the gun (despite that also being fine).

    Good Lord, you really can’t read your own sources, and need me to read them for you! That one praised the bow at length! Indeed, I have to point out the last page mentions major battles being something the Bashkirs were capable of… which wouldn’t be a surprise to someone who studied any history, where the ancestral light cavalry of the Bashkirs conquered much of the world (Mongols).

    Anyway, this post was a lot of fun to reply to, since I enjoy reading historical sources. Not sure why you hate actually reading them.

    Like

  33. @ Anon: Oh, I see you wrote two comments again, unnecessarily.

    Good job on getting some armour numbers, you should really stick to that instead of the childish insults. Though the archeological examples… that’s fairly dense maile, not really “light”. It’s up to 2mm thick, with ~1cm diameter rings… that’s very good maile. Nearly 9kg for the heaviest, with just a byrnie. Then another 10kg of plates on top of that? It’s no wonder some of the maile was light, since it’s actually under-armour. Clearly, the bows were fierce enough to necessitate some pretty serious armour. Else, they wouldn’t be running around with 15 to 20 kg of it. For irregular fighting against tribesmen, armour tends to be a lot more awkward.

    “This is ridiculous. The Comanches were semi-savage Indians who defended themselves only with leather armor, firing stone-tipped arrows from primitive bows. Of course, they did not pose any serious threat to the United States and Spain.”
    ..HAA! You’re just adding salt to their wounds, for being stopped and beaten by the Comanche, and to yourself for the fact they didn’t see the need to adopt guns. Stone tip arrows actually have pretty impressive penetration on flesh, so they’re not actually much worse.

    “But the Siberian peoples were at the level of development of the 15th century. Used bows of the Mongolian type, sabers, spears. Their main force was armored cavalry, dressed in steel chain mail and plate armor (in some reports of the Cossacks, it was said that bad muskets did not penetrate Siberian cuirasses, so they demanded to send them more powerful muskets and carbines). The population of Siberia was much larger than in North America, and the living conditions were much more severe. Therefore, the tiny Russian troops were forced to resist a very formidable force. If the Comanches had only one leader in the Spanish “iron jacket”, then among the Siberian peoples each warrior had the same armor. But despite this, all of Siberia was conquered in 100 years, and in many respects this became possible thanks to the use of firearms.”
    That’s interesting with the conquest of Siberia, since most of the history sounded like subjugating a bunch of disconnected tribes; but interesting they had lamellar and could bard their horses. And yeah, muskets fail too, musket-proof armour was common by the English civil war, but warfare started to focus more on expendable conscripts rather than knights. In general, most people decided it was easier to avoid getting shot than it was to armour against it… otherwise, aren’t you just insulting the Europeans who didn’t armour their troops any better than the Comanches (save the increasingly rare cuirassiers)?

    As for population… what are you basing that off of? North America is said to have a population of millions, prior to contact, but Siberia is reckoned to have had less than half a million across 5 million square miles…. The population of NA was decreased by disease, but I don’t think to less than a million; can’t find a good result on short notice. Though, the fact you’re comparing all of Siberia to one Indian tribe speaks well of the Comanche’s success.

    The Colonialists had firearms, too, and a less hostile environment to conquer… but with such a low population density, you can conquer a lot of land pretty quickly.

    “No, these are the total losses of the Russians. Russian = Cossack. Cossack = Russian. The Cossack is a military class, not a nation. Cossacks, servicemen (mercenaries), tsarist soldiers, etc. fought in Siberia.”
    So you can’t read, and you can’t write…? Cossack (plural Cossacks): 1. A member or descendant of an originally (semi-)nomadic population of Eastern Europe and the adjacent parts of Asia, formed in part of runaways from the neighbouring countries, that eventually settled in parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian tsarist Empire (where they constituted a legendary military caste), particularly in areas now comprising southern Russia and Ukraine. 2. A member of a military unit (typically cavalry, originally recruited exclusively from the above) 3. (obsolete) A Ukrainian.

    Heck, Yermak Timofeyevich was a Cossack Ataman… and this is way too early for the term Cossack to be adapted to all irregular troops anyway. Today, a few million people identify themselves as part of a Cossack ethnicity/cultural entity. So I really do need to be a mind-reader.

    “Is this another joke? Pistols were formidable weapons in close combat. They pierced many armor and inflicted terrible wounds. Gustav Adolf was killed by pistol shots in the battle of Lutzin (the royal leather prick did not save him ..).”
    …The only joke here is you. Seriously, “pistols are formidable weapons”?? Even in close combat, people were using pistol and sword, because the pistol was not reliable to stop foes. You also use the fact Gustav Adolphus was shot in the HEAD execution-style, as a show of their might??? That was after uttering his famous words, “I was the King of Sweden”. Regardless, what kind of idiot uses an execution as an example of a weapon’s potency!? He and his horse tanked three shots, and he was finally stabbed and thrown to the ground. Didn’t you also suggest the absurdly embarrassing idea, earlier, that a 9mm was dangerous at 800m…? You never did tell me where you got that outrageous idea, so I just take it you know nothing about firearms ancient or modern.

    You flap on about how in a battle where carbines and pistols were the only ranged weapons, they did well… well relative to WHAT? That’s like judging the effectiveness of swords in a sword on sword duel–the sword always wins. So you really need too much help with math to be helped. Are you claiming all 20 people died in the “Delicious Kus” of pistol and musket shot, while fully armoured…? I would expect melee weapons did most of the killing, since modern test and period sources show plate armour could be made musket proof at near-muzzle range, much easier pistol-proof.

    And what do you mean pistol use declined in the 18th century…? They were using plenty of pistols at the bleeding Battle of Balaklava I just mentioned.

    And what do you mean pistols misfiring showed he was a poor warrior…? Even with fine maintenance, you have something like a 5% chance of a misfire. Even with caps that happens, particularly in humid conditions. Sometimes, you have to remove the cap nipple, scrape out wet powder, and add dry powder, and try again. Of course, you don’t get that luxury in the middle of a skirmish, and flintlocks are less reliable.

    “This is not true. Muskets inflicted much more dangerous wounds.”
    People who don’t know a mile is more than a kilometer should not try to argue with statistics…. The armour in the Siberian conquest was focused on the torso, and as your accounts stated, most wounds were to the limbs. More than this, they were wounded through their armour in many cases, which is a lot less serious than being shot with no armour….

    Heck, I just told this guy someone accidentally fell on an arrow which stuck in his leg, and nearly bled out in a five minute trip to the hospital with a tourniquet… and he decides that arrows to anything but the torso are negligible wounds? With armour, sure, or maybe if the arrow has no blade to it whatever. Have you even SEEN an arrowhead before…? You think you’re knife-proof because knives and arrows have low kinetic energy? Getting stabbed with a broadhead is akin to being stabbed by a sword, and black powder hunting versus bow hunting reveals little difference. Though I don’t think you’ve seen a bullet wound before, either, and have some cartoonish idea floating around that enflamed imagination….

    And what’s this… you think arrows don’t shatter bone? A good arrow will turn bone into shrapnel, pulverizing it about as badly as any bullet. So maybe you get lucky and it’s a clean cut, but that’s really mincing the details from two very different wars. Plus, amputation was due to fear of infection, which isn’t just cases of shattered bone… they got really trigger-happy with it by the American Civil War, such that there are accounts of officers who didn’t get their arm sawn off due to time-constraints, and recovered just fine.

    It’d be one thing if you can’t read, two if you can’t do basic math, three if you went into belligerent tantrums, and four if you lied all the time… but having no idea of wounding, modern or ancient, is five things too many. Just stick to your own enflamed imagination, and stop bothering me with sources you can’t be bothered to read.

    Actually… do feel free to send me more sources, those tend to be pretty interesting (no idea why you don’t read them).

    Like

  34. @Avast
    “I already told you that was from Saracen Archery… it’s a book about archery manuals and writings from the time. It was expected to shoot a 30 inch diameter target at ~70m consistently, so it makes sense they can hit cavalry at considerable distance, if they have a higher skill.”
    I knew that these were only expected results, not actual results. Sick bastard, all this time you’ve been exposing your wet fantasies as reality ..) I think that’s where I should finish with you. I no longer have the desire to read your schizophrenic nonsense and arguments with voices in my own head.
    But even so, I will note a couple of points.

    “Sultan II. Mahmud 1228 gez (810,48 m), 1225 gez (808,5 m), 1219 gez (804,54 m)”
    These were special bows that were pulled by the legs. They have nothing to do with fighting and hunting bows. However, there is no modern research on this topic. All modern bow range tests indicate that even the most powerful bows (150 pounds) are capable of throwing an arrow only 250-300 yards, nothing more .. I’m sorry to disappoint you, my stupid boy, but most likely this an oriental tale created for the sake of propaganda.

    “Then another 10kg of plates on top of that?”
    No, the plates weighed no more than 2-3 kg. But most often only chain mail was used. For example, ataman Ermak, was in one chain mail.

    “That’s interesting with the conquest of Siberia, since most of the history sounded like subjugating a bunch of disconnected tribes”
    Nonsense invented during the Soviet era to oppose the “peaceful” conquest of Siberia, the bloody Western colonization. But in reality, the conquest of Siberia was no less bloody than in America.
    And where do I compare all of Siberia with only Comanches, you idiot? Again, the voices in your head say something that I did not write and did not mean?)

    “…The only joke here is you. Seriously, “pistols are formidable weapons”?? Even in close combat, people were using pistol and sword, because the pistol was not reliable to stop foes. You also use the fact Gustav Adolphus was shot in the HEAD execution-style, as a show of their might???”
    The joke is your existence.. Pistols appeared in the 16th century and made a splash in military affairs. Gustav Adolf was wounded in the arm and stomach by pistol shots. Then he fell off his horse and was finished off with a shot in the head. Why did you think it was an execution, you idiot? He was shot in battle.
    The armor is much better protected from bladed weapons than from a bullet .. So most of the knights died from pistol shots. It is especially interesting that the very first shots killed the captain of the Spaniards and his brother.
    Among the Russian local cavalry of the 17th century, every third landowner had 1-4 pistols with him.
    Obviously, pistols were the ultimate weapon in combat.

    Like

  35. @Bow vs Musket: So you support him calling people, “sick”, “sick bastard”, “sick idiot,” constantly, Bow vs Musket? He even called me schizophrenic, speaking of the, “voices in my head”, making clear it’s bigotry towards mental illness… and you say nothing.
    You call out none of his behaviour, including his lying about sources or double-standards, but decide to support it; attacking me instead for having “attitude” by “assuming bad faith” of such toxicity…?

    He comes back ten minutes after you to continue it, and you haven’t said a word about him… you are utterly complicit. It’s one thing to be hands off with moderation, but when you encourage such behaviour with bias you really do make discussion impossible.

    As disgusting as his insults are, your support of them is far more disturbing, as I expected far better from you. There is nothing wrong in me calling out such toxicity from him, or you.

    Like

  36. @Anon: I see you give up yet more points, so embarrassed you resort to more embarrassing insults. Sadly, you cannot cover for lack of intelligence or honesty by attacking others, but only harm yourself.

    “I knew that these were only expected results, not actual results. Sick bastard, all this time you’ve been exposing your wet fantasies as reality ..) I think that’s where I should finish with you. I no longer have the desire to read your schizophrenic nonsense and arguments with voices in my own head. But even so, I will note a couple of points.”

    ? OK, so you admit your point was drivel, by the fact you do have to cover mine after making such a fuss about it. You haven’t actually said why the historical book is bad, translating many writings from the 14th century… you’re just throwing a fit about it. Is the scholarship that poor? Then why don’t you say it, instead of resorting to childish insults…? As far as I know, it’s the best scholarship on the subject of “Saracen” archery.
    With modern recurves, hitting a man sized target at 70m consistently is possible, and Turkish bows weren’t that far behind. If you had objected to this figure from the start, why get upset now, instead of focusing on that point before…?

    – –

    “These were special bows that were pulled by the legs. They have nothing to do with fighting and hunting bows. However, there is no modern research on this topic. All modern bow range tests indicate that even the most powerful bows (150 pounds) are capable of throwing an arrow only 250-300 yards, nothing more .. I’m sorry to disappoint you, my stupid boy, but most likely this an oriental tale created for the sake of propaganda.”

    You mean foot bows? Those were used in China in warfare. But nothing indicates these were foot-bows… what source leads you to think they were?
    And only 300 yards…? What nonsense is this? The flight arrow records are from 1,800m to 1,070m, the latter with a 40kg recurve (so about ~88#, for your information)…. So you prove you’re speaking of yourself, once again. Heck, you haven’t said a thing of whether you have hunted, shot a bow or a gun as you give these ridiculous lectures… so “boy,” is fitting.

    – –

    “No, the plates weighed no more than 2-3 kg. But most often only chain mail was used. For example, ataman Ermak, was in one chain mail.”

    Then it’s my mistake for trusting your word:
    “This is how a heavy Cossack looked at the time of the conquest of Siberia. The average weight of the chain mail is 5-8 kg, and with additional iron plates about 10 kg. The thickness of the rings and plates is 2 mm on average. The steel is probably unhardened, very soft.”
    Strangely, that was missing from your repost of the comment.

    The thinner maile will be underarmour, and the thicker stuff will be intended to be used on its own. Figured that was obvious enough that I wouldn’t need to outline it.

    – –

    “And where do I compare all of Siberia with only Comanches, you idiot? Again, the voices in your head say something that I did not write and did not mean?)”

    Well, that’s cringy. You specifically talked about how the population of Siberia, and the conquest of all Siberia… when I was speaking of one North American Indian tribe. Honestly, it was just a minor aside, so I didn’t expect it to get you worked up about voices… I guess because you feel too defeated to attack my other points.

    And why do you assume the history I learned wasn’t bloody…? It just suggested that the Russians relied on the disunity and sparse population of Siberia, which as far as I can see was the case. I can’t take your word for it.

    – –

    “”
    The joke is your existence.. Pistols appeared in the 16th century and made a splash in military affairs. Gustav Adolf was wounded in the arm and stomach by pistol shots. Then he fell off his horse and was finished off with a shot in the head. Why did you think it was an execution, you idiot? He was shot in battle.
    The armor is much better protected from bladed weapons than from a bullet .. So most of the knights died from pistol shots. It is especially interesting that the very first shots killed the captain of the Spaniards and his brother.
    Among the Russian local cavalry of the 17th century, every third landowner had 1-4 pistols with him.
    Obviously, pistols were the ultimate weapon in combat.
    “”

    “Obviously, pistols were the ultimate weapon in combat.” . . . . . HAAAAH! You really are a funny fellow, between your toxicity and your absurd opinions! All you did was repeat your embarrassing mistake, exactly as I outlined (except having to lie that he wasn’t stabbed)…. “Then he fell off his horse and was finished off with a shot in the head. Why did you think it was an execution, you idiot?” …Yes, why would I think someone lying on the ground, captured, being shot in the head at point blank range after uttering, “I was the King of Sweden,” was an execution…? HA, are you serious!? That would constitute a war-crime today, and honestly should’ve at the time.

    I couldn’t ask for a better admission of defeat than this, that you bow to the vast majority of my points, only making this desperate, vile defence of the most absurd points possible! That someone lying on the ground, shot in the head, is not executed; to point out he was shot twice and kept going; to fearfully hide the fact he was also stabbed, when he was knocked from his horse; which got shot in the NECK with a pistol and kept on despite it! And you conclude from these events that the pistol is the “ULTIMATE” weapon…? That is just too funny… and a little bit sad.

    “The armor is much better protected from bladed weapons than from a bullet .. So most of the knights died from pistol shots. It is especially interesting that the very first shots killed the captain of the Spaniards and his brother.”
    Prove it. You’ve shown yourself to be a liar who doesn’t read your own sources before, which is why you couldn’t defend against most of my points. Heck, just above you’re trying to argue someone being shot in the head while lying on the ground isn’t an execution…. So give me a source for it, or I don’t trust it, since there are accounts from the English civil war of people being shot at muzzle range with pistols, and being unfazed, and the same being replicated with MUSKETS in modern tests…. So if their armour was so shoddy it wasn’t pistol-proofed (a common practice), that’s a surprise.

    “Among the Russian local cavalry of the 17th century, every third landowner had 1-4 pistols with him.”
    ? Yeah, pirates used braces of pistols, too. But without a sword, you’re basically lunchmeat, since it’s 1 to 4 shots, and Gustavus Adolphus tanked two…. They’re short range, not very accurate or powerful, and you need to make sure to aim well; basically the same as modern pistols (still never got an explanation for that 9mm at 800m thing). They’re definitely a good auxiliary weapon, of course, but “ULTIMATE” weapon…? How does one come to such an absurd notion? Well, at least you’ve stopped worshipping the cavalry carbine, which is even worse.

    Overall, I’d recommend you try out black powder and bow hunting, and see for yourself the difficulties and inadequacies of a pistol. Maybe just get a modern pistol and try it out… though you won’t find anywhere that really allows “pistol-hunting” though. That tends to involve huge magnum rounds from monstrous pistols you use from a stand.

    – – –

    Its been fun. Since you’re getting support in your toxicity from Bow vs Musket, I don’t see much point in continuing. Still, I did enjoy this little scrap, as it gave me a reason to read into the Battle of the Black Valley more, as well as other subjects.

    Like

  37. Hi.
    I have discover your blog and I love your work. So I share a few information:

    Looking for use of bow by Russian irregular during Napoleonic War i have found this on a forum: https://historum.com/threads/how-powerful-were-bows-in-the-napoleonic-wars-used-by-cossacks-and-bashkirs.189402/
    It’s an account from french général Bon de Marmont, about Baskri horse-archer engaging his troops, with low efficiency.

    I have chek the text, which is available on Gallica, website of the BNF (French National Library) here: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6507190b/f314.item.r=sebastiani
    Pages 660-661 from the forum topic correspond to page 299 of Gallica’s book, and 673-674 to pages 321-323.
    The quotes are the same and the translation is pretty good.

    About Christine de Pisan exemple: “barge” was strange to me either, because in modern french,a barge it’s a boat which is flat above. Something pretty big.
    But with few search I have found it’s also the name of a small bird: https://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/barge.rousse.html (which make way more sens)
    It scientific name is Limosa lapponica, or Bar-tailed Godwit in English. Only 41 centimeter tall, so pretty hard to shoot.

    I hope it will help you (and I have find no other way to contact you)

    Like

  38. Thanks. Unfortunately this confuses the issue even more. If she was referring to a bird then I believe she was using hyperbole. Or else taking the accomplishment of some individual, exceptional archer and generalizing it to the entire English race.

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  39. @Avast
    That guy was being pretty charitable with his insults. You came out of the gate calling him a liar despite the fact that you can’t go a single sentence without declaring war on objective reality. The consistent, flagrant dishonesty you resort to does more to prove the inferiority of bows than any of these articles. Because if you can’t make your case with the truth then there must not be any case to be made.

    Like

  40. Two quick notes:
    As a kid I shot a cheap field arrow through a coffee can with a 15# recurve at about 30 feet. I have no idea how that compares to armor, but Ill be some armor was not the best modern steel.
    Also; Today’s compound bows are certainly superior fire power to the muskets that were familiar to the writers of the second amendment…

    Like

  41. A 400 grain ball traveling at 1000 feet per second is nothing to sneeze at. Remember, these can travel on a flat trajectory as well. Bows cannot due to the fac t that arrows are far slower than bullets.

    Like

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