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

Musketeers Were Not Easier to Train than Archers

Myth 2: Muskets replaced bows because musketeers are easy to train For the sake of clarifying my position and including new supporting research, this post was updated June 20th, 2020. Or, as internet commentators like to say, it took years, even decades, of training to make a decent archer, but any peasant could be trained … Continue reading Musketeers Were Not Easier to Train than Archers

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

Lindsay Boynton, The Elizabethan Militia, 1967

Boynton doesn't mince his words. Page 113: "One of the reasons that firearms superseded bows, it is suggested, is that they could be mastered in a shorter time. Such an argument runs wholly counter to the growing professionalisation of military affairs. Training, in particular, was becoming ever more comprehensive and the specious argument that firearms … Continue reading Lindsay Boynton, The Elizabethan Militia, 1967

John Bingham- The Tactiks of Aelian, 1616

P24-27 http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A05855.0001.001 Archers haue alwayes beene of speciall esteeme for the field, and preferred before the other kindes of light-armed. Many nations haue beene commended for theire skill in shooting. Emongest the Graecians the Cretans were (of ancient time) sole archers, as Pausanias witnesseth. Yet was not theire service aequall with the service of the … Continue reading John Bingham- The Tactiks of Aelian, 1616

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

Sir Roger William’s Briefe Discourse of VVarre: To prooue Bow-men the worst shot vsed in these days.

Sir Roger Williams was a celebrated veteran of the 16th century wars in the Low Countries. In his book Briefe Discourse of Warre, published 1590, one discourse is titled "To prooue Bow-men the worst shot vsed in these days." In an earlier discourse, Williams details why he considers the musket to be the best shot, … Continue reading Sir Roger William’s Briefe Discourse of VVarre: To prooue Bow-men the worst shot vsed in these days.