Steve Jackson Games Forums

Steve Jackson Games Forums (http://forums.sjgames.com/index.php)
-   Roleplaying in General (http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=19)
-   -   Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=165267)

Flyndaran 08-31-2019 11:31 AM

Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, or how I should phrase things.
(Mods please adjust to make things clearer if needed.)

But here's a link to a group of professionals that got together to as accurately as possible test period made arrows and arrowheads shot by a 160 lbs longbow against armor that was of the type worn by knights at the battle of Agincourt.

They even tested the armor against both unhardened and case hardened arrowheads.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBxdTkddHaE

ak_aramis 08-31-2019 04:20 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
I love the discussion (around 7:25) of why they only tried 160 lb draw... the thing is, up to 200 lb bows have been recovered. And the archers had what would have been visible differences in bone due to the near-constant high-draw bows. At 13 min, they explain their testing rig.

Your link, BTW, goes to the last couple shots...

Flyndaran 08-31-2019 04:49 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Whoops. Would it be in bad form to change the link to the beginning? Or does it not really matter?

Anaraxes 08-31-2019 05:01 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
I was interested to see how much the archer's stance was distorted by his 160-lb bow. Watch him in the shots far enough back that you can see him standing, and notice how oddly bent he is, forward and to his right. Then once he releases, you can see him stand up to his normal posture.

Flyndaran 08-31-2019 05:31 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
To my layman's eyes, he stands like some of the art depictions of archers that I always considered unrealistic stylized imagery.

WingedKagouti 09-01-2019 05:01 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
I expect his stance is at least partially to ensure that his legs don't come into contact with the bow.

ak_aramis 09-01-2019 12:41 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2282318)
Whoops. Would it be in bad form to change the link to the beginning? Or does it not really matter?

It's worth correcting.

I really think they need to do a few shots with the 200 LB bow.

Anthony 09-01-2019 12:46 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282450)
I really think they need to do a few shots with the 200 LB bow.

None of the 160 lb shots were anywhere close to penetrating, 200 lb might give you some deeper dents but that's about it.

ak_aramis 09-01-2019 01:07 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2282453)
None of the 160 lb shots were anywhere close to penetrating, 200 lb might give you some deeper dents but that's about it.

Keep in mind, steel penetration isn't directly linear, and sufficiently deep dents break bones and/or cause metal fatigue.

Flyndaran 09-01-2019 01:34 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282450)
It's worth correcting.

Link corrected to be at the beginning of the video. That was much harder than I expected.

Anthony 09-01-2019 03:20 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282457)
Keep in mind, steel penetration isn't directly linear, and sufficiently deep dents break bones and/or cause metal fatigue.

Sure, but there's a fairly distinctive 'partial penetration' phase before the attack goes all the way through, and none of those hits were at it (you'd see tearing starting at the bottom of the dents).

As far as behind-armor blunt trauma goes, that could easily be occurring with the dents they showed, and in any case they didn't have a testing setup that would be able to answer how much risk it is.

ak_aramis 09-01-2019 05:40 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2282470)
Sure, but there's a fairly distinctive 'partial penetration' phase before the attack goes all the way through, and none of those hits were at it (you'd see tearing starting at the bottom of the dents).

As far as behind-armor blunt trauma goes, that could easily be occurring with the dents they showed, and in any case they didn't have a testing setup that would be able to answer how much risk it is.

In many cases, the cracking begins on the far side, not the impacted side. (I've actually seen spalling in destructive testing with an axe that I was present at.)

Further, they did mention scratching

A 1/2" deep, the dent potentially breaks a rib, either on the deformation, or a following hit; 120 J is well capable of breaking a rib (it's approximately the standard .22lr energy), even through padding.

Plus, 160 to 200 is a 25% increase in energy, which should be around 1.25^0.75 times the penetration.
The largest dent looked to be about 1/4"... but add better energy transfer from deeper scratching...

just enough variable to make the 200lb worth testing.

Also would be interesting to see a competent slinger with a lead bullet.

Agemegos 09-01-2019 06:37 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2282453)
None of the 160 lb shots were anywhere close to penetrating, 200 lb might give you some deeper dents but that's about it.

Very likely, but I would have liked to see it demonstrated anyway. While they had the rig set up and an archer on hand capable of shooting accurately with such a bow there was an opportunity to do the test and show the results. I would have liked to have seen it done.

Anthony 09-01-2019 06:37 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282487)
Plus, 160 to 200 is a 25% increase in energy, which should be around 1.25^0.75 times the penetration.

Unless using heavier arrows it will be less than +25%, and I don't know where you're getting a 0.75 exponent, real world scaling for increasing velocity is going to be a complex curve (there's actually a real chance that improving velocity wouldn't increase penetration at all, penetration in this case appears limited by the durability of the arrow).

It would probably be more practical to just test with a modern compound bow, once the arrow leaves the bow the difference won't matter and you can get the same energy at less than half the draw weight.

ak_aramis 09-01-2019 08:26 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2282495)
Unless using heavier arrows it will be less than +25%, and I don't know where you're getting a 0.75 exponent, real world scaling for increasing velocity is going to be a complex curve (there's actually a real chance that improving velocity wouldn't increase penetration at all, penetration in this case appears limited by the durability of the arrow).

It would probably be more practical to just test with a modern compound bow, once the arrow leaves the bow the difference won't matter and you can get the same energy at less than half the draw weight.

The 0.75 exponent is rounded from that used in several texts on steel penetration depth, and was used independently by several different game designers doing seriously simulationist work. Greg Porter, as well as others. as a rule of thumb, it's close enough. Greg uses a more precise one in 3G3. I've seen it in other sources, as well.

Also, you don't need to increase the projectile mass any - it's already sufficient to destroy the projectile's integrity on impact (that was a surprise to me). Velocity is a better carrier of the energy, and since the projectile is doing secondary shrapnel damage (wood shrapnel is known to be a killer, and is commented upon by several naval historians; we see plenty of it from those arrows...).

Anthony 09-01-2019 09:25 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282501)
Also, you don't need to increase the projectile mass any - it's already sufficient to destroy the projectile's integrity on impact

That would be the reason to increase projectile mass -- to increase the amount of energy required to destroy the arrow. The arrow breaking is significantly reducing the penetration of the arrow, because any kinetic energy still possessed by the shaft after it breaks is not helping penetration at all.

If the 0.75 power comes from G3G, it's probably a translation of the DeMarre penetration equation. Which is intended to model the performance of TL 6 naval cannons, applying it to arrows is a stretch.

Fred Brackin 09-02-2019 09:16 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2282495)
Unless using heavier arrows

The rule of thumb I found in research is that a hunting arrow should have a mass of between 10 and 15 grains per lb of draw. There is an overlap zone for 160 and 200 but you'd have to have been on the higher end of mass for 160.

If I was increasing my pull by 25% I'd increase my arrow mass by the same. If I had been at an optimum mass for 160 I'd probably stay at the same velocity for 200 lbs and see a 25% increase in KE.

ak_aramis 09-02-2019 09:39 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin (Post 2282549)
The rule of thumb I found in research is that a hunting arrow should have a mass of between 10 and 15 grains per lb of draw. There is an overlap zone for 160 and 200 but you'd have to have been on the higher end of mass for 160.

If I was increasing my pull by 25% I'd increase my arrow mass by the same. If I had been at an optimum mass for 160 I'd probably stay at the same velocity for 200 lbs and see a 25% increase in KE.

Higher speed has advantages in penetration, in that it results in less spread per unit time of the penetrator, provided it's harder than the target. The 11% increase in speed may or may not be enough to matter, I don't know enough to judge. We are seeing plastic deformation even in the case-hardened ammunition, and in the target (denting is a plastic deformation); the acceleration of the target metal by the penetrator is also an acceleration...

Having watched the video, if one were to increase the mass, I'd do it on the head alone (increased length), not in the wood- the shrapnel effect is quite valuable against formations. It doesn't matter if Sir Tank doesn't take the shrapnel if Sir Guy next to him has his eye, jugular or carotid impaled with splinters.

Fred Brackin 09-03-2019 09:21 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282699)
Higher speed has advantages in penetration,s.

You can not necessarily increase speed freely. Bows and arrows have hard limits on speed due the mechanical limits of the elasticity of the bow/arrow system. I haven't heard of an arrow achieving over 250 feet per second. After you reach that level increasing KE comes from increasing mass or it doesn't come at all.

Anthony 09-03-2019 10:09 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282699)
Higher speed has advantages in penetration

Bow performance has very heavy falloff as you reduce arrow weight; more and more energy is consumed moving the body of the bow.

If you have a bow that's at 50% efficiency, which looks to be about where the sample longbow was, increasing draw weight by 25% increases the weight of the active elements of the bow by 25%, which will reduce efficiency from 50% to 44%, for a real energy improvement of only 11% and a 5% increase in velocity.

Polydamas 09-03-2019 10:15 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2282314)
I love the discussion (around 7:25) of why they only tried 160 lb draw... the thing is, up to 200 lb bows have been recovered. And the archers had what would have been visible differences in bone due to the near-constant high-draw bows. At 13 min, they explain their testing rig.

Yeah, there is one surviving bow out of 100 or 200 which might have been around 200 pounds draw, but the archaeologists are not sure it was really finished, and its an outlier. Its good practice to base things on the middle of the curve not the farthest point or two at either end.

Ashley 09-03-2019 10:21 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
While all of the discussion is true, I would point out that this is not how longbow archers were used i.e: they were artillery, not sniper rifles.

Archers fired thousands of arrows, around 36 times 6,000, so this wasn't about precision shooting, rather covering the enemy in a rain of arrows.

So yes, arrows don not penetrate good armour, but thousands of blows will render knights ineffective as they traverse 300 yards of open ground.

Anthony 09-03-2019 11:02 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashley (Post 2282804)
While all of the discussion is true, I would point out that this is not how longbow archers were used i.e: they were artillery, not sniper rifles.

There's discussion of that too. While the illustrations may well be artist's impressions rather than reflection of what actually happened, they do seem to show arrows being used for direct fire, and it probably happened at least occasionally.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashley (Post 2282804)
So yes, arrows don not penetrate good armour, but thousands of blows will render knights ineffective as they traverse 300 yards of open ground.

Hit probability of firing at a mass of people is not great (though we don't know how they were spaced so it's hard to tell just how bad, and it varies with angle), but the general final decision of that video is "the way you defeat armor with bows is shooting lots of arrows".

DouglasCole 09-03-2019 12:28 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2282803)
Yeah, there is one surviving bow out of 100 or 200 which might have been around 200 pounds draw, but the archaeologists are not sure it was really finished, and its an outlier. Its good practice to base things on the middle of the curve not the farthest point or two at either end.

Which is more or less what they did, though a bit higher than the middle. I recall the median or mean reconstructed bow from the Mary Rose being about 145#, the heaviest 185#. They more or less chose the middle of the upper end, so to speak, with the 160# bow the archer was shooting.

Anaraxes 09-03-2019 08:00 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DouglasCole (Post 2282828)
They more or less chose the middle of the upper end

Which makes sense. If you're trying to see what might have happened on a real battlefield, there's no point in trying the heaviest bow we've ever found. All of the thousands of archers on the field weren't using the biggest bow. Knowing what was typical is a more interesting question for this case than knowing the best case that might possibly ever have happened.

adm 09-03-2019 09:00 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
I suspect that which bow the bowman owned in the preferred range also made a difference.

zorg 09-05-2019 09:21 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2282802)
Bow performance has very heavy falloff as you reduce arrow weight;

After a certain point, you‘re also damaging the bow and the string; possibly with unpleasant results. You don‘t shoot a flimsy arrow from a strong bow.

ak_aramis 09-05-2019 04:53 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DouglasCole (Post 2282828)
Which is more or less what they did, though a bit higher than the middle. I recall the median or mean reconstructed bow from the Mary Rose being about 145#, the heaviest 185#. They more or less chose the middle of the upper end, so to speak, with the 160# bow the archer was shooting.

guys who shoot 150-160 lb bows regularly do not show the bilateral asymmetries to the degree of the English longbow men of the middle ages.

Which tends to imply that the bowmen used higher draw bows, practiced more, and/or were already practicing heavily at younger ages. The latter is almost certain, and the second tends to be often believed. The data is unavailable to determine if the higher bows are required for the levels seen.

Given the stated ranges for artillery fire, it's quite plausible that 150 lb was the average, and that 200 may have been either +1σ or +2σ, rather than the +3σ or more.

Given that the archer had a higher pound bow, it would be interesting to see the difference. Especially on the fragmentation of the shafts.

Anthony 09-05-2019 05:01 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2283324)
guys who shoot 150-160 lb bows regularly do not show the bilateral asymmetries to the degree of the English longbow men of the middle ages.

Which tends to imply that the bowmen used higher draw bows, practiced more, and/or were already practicing heavily at younger ages.

Bear in mind that a modern human is significantly larger than ancients; 160 lb today is probably comparable to something like 130 lb for a 14th century man (I wasn't able to find exact numbers on brief checking, but the trend is certainly there). Also, the people who choose to use heavy bows today may be outliers, while average medieval was presumably for people of average size (at least for their status).

Fred Brackin 09-05-2019 06:35 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2283326)
Bear in mind that a modern human is significantly larger than ancients; 160 lb today is probably comparable to something like 130 lb for a 14th century man (I wasn't able to find exact numbers on brief checking, but the trend is certainly there).

The last time I looked for this sort of thing I got the factoid that the average US soldier of the Revolutionary War was 5' 7 while the average Brit was 5'5. However, there was also a not-entirely compatible factoid that the average aristocrat who graduated from Sandringham was also 5'7 while the common soldiers were 5'2.

You will find possibly isolated individuals of very great size all through history and perhaps especially through Northern Europe with "everybody knows" stats like the average Roman Legionary being only 5'2.

It seems likely that early life consumption of a high protein diet corresponds to increased height while low preeotein intake leads to shortness. WWII Japanese soldiers were notably short while modern Japanses are perhaps only a little shorter than average Westerners.

Anthony 09-05-2019 06:54 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin (Post 2283338)
You will find possibly isolated individuals of very great size all through history and perhaps especially through Northern Europe with "everybody knows" stats like the average Roman Legionary being only 5'2.

Sure, but the issue is the average archer size. This appears to have been studied (I find references to "Raising the Dead: the Skeleton Crew of Henry VIII's Great Ship the Mary Rose"), but don't have access to that.

The other thing is that we don't actually know that modern archers don't have skeletal deformation.

Ashley 09-06-2019 02:38 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
OK. Here's the thing.

The Mary Rose represents longbows that were using less than optimal wood.

The study of the skeletons quoted is now known to be due to familial relations: they share the same deformation due to genetics.

Bows are limited by string size. Arrow knocks define useful bow weight.

I recommend reading: Pip Bickerstaffe's books.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=pip+bic...ref=nb_sb_noss

Polydamas 09-06-2019 08:07 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2283324)
guys who shoot 150-160 lb bows regularly do not show the bilateral asymmetries to the degree of the English longbow men of the middle ages.

Even ten years ago, there were only a handful of archers using high-draw weight bows. Give them another ten years for the archers who started at puberty to mature and we will see what happens. In addition, modern athletes train in modern systems which stress equal development of both sides. Its likely that the ancients didn't always bother (look at a strong farmer, who often has a much lumpier body than someone who jogs and lifts weights but can perform similarly on practical tasks).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashley (Post 2283387)
Bows are limited by string size. Arrow knocks define useful bow weight.

I recommend reading: Pip Bickerstaffe's books.


I had not heard that name before. I poked around, and I can't find anyone well-regarded who recommends his books, but I did find one Will S:

Quote:

One thing to note - keep him away from anything written or said by Pip Bickerstaffe. I've had many conversations with Pip recently, and he is adamant that the warbows found on board the MR are much lighter in draw weight than they really are. His reasoning is based wholly on the fact that the nocks in the arrows are 1/8" wide, and yet he believes that no natural string (Hemp, linen) that's 1/8" thick could support a bow over 100lbs. However, in recent years many bowyers and stringfellows have made natural linen string 1/8" thick that have supported bows up to 170lbs, and done very well in terms of cast and longevity. Pip also believes that a bow of a draw weight 100lbs+ would break very quickly, or lose it's cast and thus be useless for battle. Again, this has been proven totally untrue by bowyers and warbow archers who are using massively heavy bows for many years with no detriment to their performance. The trouble is, he wrote all of this down in a very early book and with all the new evidence being discovered by people actually shooting the bows, his information is dated and wrong but he can't go back on his printed word so will stick to it stoicly despite it's untruth.
For now, I will stick with Hardy and Strickland and Karpowicz.

Ashley 09-07-2019 01:42 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
I mostly agree with the above about training today being different to how people trained back 500 years ago. And I understand recent DNA result showed that the two skeletons aboard the Mary Rose were related and shared a genetic defect.

Now, as regards the rest, the internet allows everyone a voice.

I've shot on the line with the archers that pull 140lbs bows. So no denying that it can be done. They are not average men, and they're driven to prove that they can pull a "warbow." As such they're outliers on what can be done, and proof that diet and lifestyle are major factors in health and strength.

The average man back in the days of the Tudors and earlier was a lot shorter, and lived a harder life. That can work both ways, in that those that survive to become adults will be exceptions, but the average will be less than the best that we can train today.

Also, technology has improved. We can make things, and more importantly share that knowledge widely in ways that our ancestors couldn't have imagined. What we can make today far exceeds the quality of what could be made back then.

We can make linen strings worth a Kings ransom now.

As for the staves to make bows, England had to import good quality staves because we'd used up all our best stocks. The way a bowyer accounts for poor wood is to make the bows thicker. If you use the same quality wood as found on the Mary Rose (measured by the size of the growth rings) you don't get 140lbs bows.

So yes, you can make 140lbs. Yes, you can make strings that don't break, but what we can do now is not necessarily what was done then. Law of averages.

Anthony 09-07-2019 02:21 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Bear in mind that, while your average archer likely didn't have much over average innate talent (they'll be slightly above average simply because part of the bottom of the curve flunks out, and thus what remains is a bit above average), they were professional soldiers who spent quite a large amount of time learning their profession, and thus, at least at the thing they were trained for, they would be considerably above average strength, simply because the average person doesn't train those muscles to the same degree.

Flyndaran 09-07-2019 08:06 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashley (Post 2283654)
...

The average man back in the days of the Tudors and earlier was a lot shorter, and lived a harder life. That can work both ways, in that those that survive to become adults will be exceptions, but the average will be less than the best that we can train today.
...

People in the middle ages were a bit shorter than today, not a lot. The average height was shortest during the industrial revolution.

Polydamas 09-08-2019 05:08 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashley (Post 2283654)
Also, technology has improved. We can make things, and more importantly share that knowledge widely in ways that our ancestors couldn't have imagined. What we can make today far exceeds the quality of what could be made back then.

We can make linen strings worth a Kings ransom now.

In my experience it is the reverse. There is a rule of thumb among makers that any ferrous alloy today will be better than was typical before the 20th century, and anything of wood or textile will be far worse. So a number of people have planted groves of yew trees in what they think is the right microclimate, but they have not yet matured, and until then most bowyers have to use New World species. Once the groves mature they will have to discover all kinds of things about coppicing, selecting the right wood for the purpose, and so on which historically every bowyer just absorbed during their apprenticeship. The Internet is letting us stupid rich-country people slowly and painfully rediscover some things about crafts which villagers in Mexico or Turkey or India take for granted.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashley (Post 2283654)
As for the staves to make bows, England had to import good quality staves because we'd used up all our best stocks. The way a bowyer accounts for poor wood is to make the bows thicker. If you use the same quality wood as found on the Mary Rose (measured by the size of the growth rings) you don't get 140lbs bows.

Who says so? What are their qualifications? Do other experts agree with them?

Polydamas 09-08-2019 05:35 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Also, in my view experts show you the range of what is possible. If they say "you can't do that" they are likely to be proved wrong by someone who knows different things than they do, but if they say "I can do that in half the time with a tenth the tools and here is how" everyone should pay attention.

So I find the people who can make, string, and shoot heavy bows which look like the Mary Rose finds good evidence that Kooi's mathematical model of the bows was approximately correct. (And I think he is the first to say that his estimates are only as good as the data which went into them, and that there is at least a 10% margin of error).

ak_aramis 09-08-2019 02:25 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2283326)
Bear in mind that a modern human is significantly larger than ancients; 160 lb today is probably comparable to something like 130 lb for a 14th century man (I wasn't able to find exact numbers on brief checking, but the trend is certainly there). Also, the people who choose to use heavy bows today may be outliers, while average medieval was presumably for people of average size (at least for their status).

The difference isn't a factor of height, it's a difference in musculature between the bow and draw arms. Different muscles side by side, and archers from then can be readily ID'd by the bilateral differences in muscular attachments.

Essentially, the archer's bow arm has the major bulk on the extensors and the draw arm on the flexors. the stronger the muscles, the larger the attachments, and the attachments are visible in bone and detailed MRI and CAT-Scan. Differences in the wrist; bow arm repeated compressive stress, draw arm tension stress, both of which are also distinctive.

Anthony 09-08-2019 04:58 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2283908)
The difference isn't a factor of height

Muscles that can draw 160 lb on a 6'2" frame are less out of proportion to the rest of the body that muscles that can draw 160 lb on a 5'8" frame, not because the muscles themselves are smaller, but because they're closer to normal size for the frame as a whole.

Ashley 09-09-2019 08:03 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Polydamas (Post 2283835)
Who says so? What are their qualifications? Do other experts agree with them?

OK. To answer your imperious demand, how about, "The Crooked Stick: A history of the longbow" by Hugh D. H. Soar.

I refer you to chapter 6, The Decline of the Warbow.

And I would mention that most of what we know depends on Toxophilus by Roger Ascham, which was written long after the peak of the age of the longbow.

As for other references, they come from the records about the number of bows supplied, number of strings, and records of breakages.

ak_aramis 09-09-2019 11:33 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2283951)
Muscles that can draw 160 lb on a 6'2" frame are less out of proportion to the rest of the body that muscles that can draw 160 lb on a 5'8" frame, not because the muscles themselves are smaller, but because they're closer to normal size for the frame as a whole.

The size of the attachments is purely a function of the strength of the muscles; the size of the bearer is irrelevant, but strength is limited by available area to attach.

Anthony 09-10-2019 01:32 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2284199)
The size of the attachments is purely a function of the strength of the muscles; the size of the bearer is irrelevant, but strength is limited by available area to attach.

Um.. what does that have to do with what I said?

Curmudgeon 09-10-2019 04:06 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2282276)
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, or how I should phrase things.
(Mods please adjust to make things clearer if needed.)

But here's a link to a group of professionals that got together to as accurately as possible test period made arrows and arrowheads shot by a 160 lbs longbow against armor that was of the type worn by knights at the battle of Agincourt.

They even tested the armor against both unhardened and case hardened arrowheads.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBxdTkddHaE

I'm not sure what point they're trying to make. The English army at Agincourt was largely composed of longbowmen and the English didn't lose the battle. Eyewitness accounts by people present at the time (granted there are not very many) seem to indicate that the opening volley was a bowshot's distance (about 200 yards) which seems to give the lie to the English loosing in a flat arc. According to the Master of the Armoury, who was also the curator of the Mary Rose, when talking to a historian (I haven't been able to find that YouTube clip since, so no link) there are no arrows (and I think no bows) surviving from a period earlier than the Mary Rose. The Mary Rose was almost a century after Agincourt. I think the best that can be said is that the Mary Rose longbow and arrow isn't a good match for the longbow and arrows used at Agincourt.

The Master of the Armoury made a few interesting observations in general. First, English yew wasn't really suitable for making longbows so the yew was imported from the continent, which was one weakness of the English longbow (i.e., they couldn't make a good longbow out of local resources). Quivers weren't in use, a sheaf (24) of arrows was bound with a cord and untied for use when needed. The usual issue for a campaign was: 1 longbow, 2-5 bowstrings and 1, sometimes 2, sheaves of arrows per man. The issue for the Agincourt campaign was: 1 longbow, 2 bowstrings and 2 sheaves of arrows (in 2 bundles).

WingedKagouti 09-10-2019 05:58 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon (Post 2284230)
I'm not sure what point they're trying to make.

They're attempting to answer the question "Can a bowman reliably penetrate a breastplate at a reasonable distance?"

They don't go in expecting a specific outcome, they go in to check which outcome is more likely.

Polydamas 09-10-2019 11:10 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon (Post 2284230)
According to the Master of the Armoury, who was also the curator of the Mary Rose, when talking to a historian (I haven't been able to find that YouTube clip since, so no link) there are no arrows (and I think no bows) surviving from a period earlier than the Mary Rose. The Mary Rose was almost a century after Agincourt. I think the best that can be said is that the Mary Rose longbow and arrow isn't a good match for the longbow and arrows used at Agincourt.

Yes, that is absolutely an issue: we have the bows and arrows from one warship full of elite archers, 200 years after the sources on Poitiers tell us arrows could do nothing to good armour. And the bows were heavily waterlogged so any judgement of their properties is an estimate. But they are as close as we can get, and the multi-disciplinary team which estimated that the Mary Rose bows had draw weights around 150 pounds when new is widely respected. So far the only pushback I have met is from people who are angry that their Victorian target bows are not what medieval soldiers used, and one American academic who is mad that his theories about archers shooting down cavalry are wrong (even though you don't need to punch through breastplates to have an effective weapon! air-to-ground attacks rarely destroy many armoured vehicles, but they get the crews to bail out or crash or stop moving in daylight which is plenty effective). This other British guy Bickerstaffe might have something interesting or "Will S." might be right that he put himself up as an authority and can't admit that he was wrong because he didn't have access to all the evidence back then. The name Hugh Soar rings a bell but I don't know his work,

My understanding is that the best yew for bows grows in mountains in Spain and Italy, but that was not really an issue, the arms and armour industry stretched across the Old World. So English iron and steel mostly came from Spain and the Baltic, French knights wore Syrian silk, and a Chinese soldier's raincoat might be of English wool woven in Flemish mills and dyed with German woad or Indian kermes.

Anthony 09-10-2019 12:34 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon (Post 2284230)
I think the best that can be said is that the Mary Rose longbow and arrow isn't a good match for the longbow and arrows used at Agincourt.

The constraints of shape, material, and training aren't going to be that different; being off by 20% or so isn't going to really change the outcome. The basic conclusion of this video is that a longbow can't shoot through a reasonable quality late medieval breastplate. This does not seem terribly controversial, and we can judge from the battle plan of the French that they believed their armor sufficient to stop arrows, and most likely it was, because if it wasn't, given the tactical situation (charging through a choke point across muddy ground at prepared positions) it's not likely they'd have even reached the English lines.

ak_aramis 09-10-2019 01:55 PM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthony (Post 2284315)
The constraints of shape, material, and training aren't going to be that different; being off by 20% or so isn't going to really change the outcome. The basic conclusion of this video is that a longbow can't shoot through a reasonable quality late medieval breastplate. This does not seem terribly controversial, and we can judge from the battle plan of the French that they believed their armor sufficient to stop arrows, and most likely it was, because if it wasn't, given the tactical situation (charging through a choke point across muddy ground at prepared positions) it's not likely they'd have even reached the English lines.

Problems with your assertion:

The breastplate was newly made; most worn would have had a dent or two hammered out, making portions brittle.

That the amount of deformation is linear with energy, rather than having a rather abrupt change at penetration level. (Having shot various sizes of .22 at uniform cans... the .22LR did not dent as much as the .22 short - but the .22S didn't penetrate, either.)

The breastplate was shot at from front center only.

The actual strength of bows in use is highly arguable.

We have very limited evidence about the construction of arrows; it very well could be that the mary rose arrows are unsuitable for such strength bows.

The archers at the ranges shown should be capable of hitting a foot higher... his shot grouping was about 6" diameter.

The fragmentation and splintering of the arrow is potentially as lethal as direct penetration.

What it shows is that it's good protection, and that chain is almost worthless against arrows., but much more? needs more data. Much more data.

Varyon 09-12-2019 09:16 AM

Re: Video of arrows vs. armor using period materials
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ak_aramis (Post 2284339)
The breastplate was newly made; most worn would have had a dent or two hammered out, making portions brittle.

Such dents would have been fairly small, making the probability of hitting one rather low. Indeed, I expect once a knight has been struck by at least one arrow, the probability of an arrow hitting a fresh dent is greater than that of hitting an old one (the old one you need to hit very near the point of impact for the thinning to play much roll; the new one any hit to the dent itself will funnel the arrow to the weakest point). As they didn’t change armor between shots, I’d say every shot beyond the first was at least as problematic for the armor as a test using repaired armor.

Quote:

The breastplate was shot at from front center only.
While side-on shots would have been welcome, I’m not certain they’d be common enough on the battlefield to play much role (a knight with his side to you is likely engaging someone else, and shooting arrows into melees is a bad idea if you don’t want to hit your own men).

Quote:

The actual strength of bows in use is highly arguable.
We’ve got a guy who’s been shooting bows for most of his life while on a modern diet (while he may have started later than English longbowmen, his better diet likely made up for that) using a bow of the strength he would likely need to use on the battlefield (so he can fire a large number of arrows and still have energy enough left to fight in melee if needed). The bow also falls well within the strengths estimated for the closest bows we have for the time.

Quote:

We have very limited evidence about the construction of arrows; it very well could be that the mary rose arrows are unsuitable for such strength bows.
Are you stating the test is invalid because it’s somehow more likely the Mary Rose was transporting arrows meant for bows other than the ones it was also transporting?

Quote:

The archers at the ranges shown should be capable of hitting a foot higher... his shot grouping was about 6" diameter.
The test was about the performance of the breastplate; testing the helm/gorget wouldn’t tell you much. Also, the test archer didn’t have an angry chevalier charging at him, which probably would have reduced his performance.

Quote:

The fragmentation and splintering of the arrow is potentially as lethal as direct penetration.
... which means nothing when the question is if the arrows could penetrate the plate. Note they also discussed the fragmentation quite a bit in the video, and even found how the French may have avoided the issue - a cloth surcoat (often worn over armor by chevaliers) catches the fragments.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:43 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.