Range, Power, Penetration, Velocity of a Brown Bess – Roberts, Brown, Hammett and Kingston

A DETAILED STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS AND CAPABILITIES OF 18TH CENTURY MUSKETRY ON THE BATTLEFIELD N A ROBERTS, J W BROWN, B HAMMETT & P D F KINGSTON Abstract During the mid 18th century, the standard British Army issue weapon was the Brown Bess Musket. There are various accounts of the performance of this early … Continue reading Range, Power, Penetration, Velocity of a Brown Bess – Roberts, Brown, Hammett and Kingston

Chinese general Qi Jiguang adopts musketry

A history book I read about a year ago said that Qi Jigaung, a 16th century general famous for defeating the pirate invasion of southern China, had mostly ignored musketry and focused on contact weapons. Since it didn't seem like there would be any bow/musket comparison I forgot about him until coming across the name … Continue reading Chinese general Qi Jiguang adopts musketry

Bows Didn’t Outrange Muskets

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

Saukamappee: Plains Indians Use Guns in Battle for the First Time

This is an account by the Peigan Indian Saukamappee, whose life and times were recorded by the explorer David Thompson. Saukamappee describes the radical effect of firearms on Plains Indian warfare. Before, battles were fought with stone clubs and bows, and ended in stalemate unless one side was much larger. With only a handful of … Continue reading Saukamappee: Plains Indians Use Guns in Battle for the First Time

Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 2

More incidents from the Imjin War. These are taken from Firearms: A Global History to 1700 by Kenneth Chase. Bizarrely, Chase takes the typical position that bows were a superior battlefield weapon to firearms despite his book being full of evidence to the contrary. This quote by the Korean official Yu Song-nyong, for example, is … Continue reading Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 2

Christine de Pizan, The Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry, 1410

Christine de Pizan, a French noblewoman, is notable not only for her poetry, but for having written this book on the virtues of martial training. The work is largely based on Vegetius's De Re Militari, but Christine adds in plenty of commentary unique to the military situation of 15th century France. Most interesting is her … Continue reading Christine de Pizan, The Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry, 1410

Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 1

The Imjin War was an invasion of Korea by the Japanese between 1592-1598. Although the Koreans were initially no match for the Japanese armies, the Japanese were eventually driven out thanks to Chinese military assistance and several decisive naval battles. At the beginning of the war, the Koreans had virtually no firearms. The Japanese, on … Continue reading Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 1

Barnabe Rich- A right exelent and pleasaunt dialogue, 1574

I was surprised to find that this one was published in 1574. The arguments are extremely similar to those of Roger Williams, whose Discourses were not published until 1590. The argument takes place in the form of a dialogue between Mercury and an English soldier. Since speaker tags have been forgotten in some places I've … Continue reading Barnabe Rich- A right exelent and pleasaunt dialogue, 1574

Robert Barret – The Theorike and Practike of Moderne VVarres, 1598

Barret is another military writer critical of "inueterate conceirers of bowes and blacke billes". Barret asserts the superiority of the firearm over the bow, the corselet over the jack, and the pike over the bill (halberd). I have skipped over the sections dealing with the bill and jack. Pages 2-3 Gent. You haue touched many … Continue reading Robert Barret – The Theorike and Practike of Moderne VVarres, 1598

Raimond Fourquevaux – Instructions for the Warres

The translator of this discourse, Paule Ive, attributes the original French work to William de Bellay. Everyone else seems to attribute it to Raimond Fourquevaux. According to Wikipedia the original was published 1548. This translation dates 1589. Page 25-26 The Harquebusse hath bin inuented within these fewe yeares, and is verie good, so that it … Continue reading Raimond Fourquevaux – Instructions for the Warres