Thursday, October 31, 2013


This is coolbert:

Need some help with this one. My thought was originally that I knew this material but that appears NOT to be the case.

If a devoted reader to the blog is knowledgeable in medieval archery or armor as worn by a mounted  knight of the period let me hear from you.

First as seen in the web site article from TheFiscalTimes:

"12 Weapons That Changed Everything"

One of those weapons "That Changed Everything" being that English longbow.

"English Longbow (600AD - 1600AD)"

"Though records of the longbow are found as early as the 7th century, its status as a game-changer is primarily based on its usage in several battles during the 100 Years War, most famously (as immortalized by Shakespeare) at the battle of Agincourt . . . Ranged weaponry may have long predated the longbow, but the bows size gave it the power to punch through armor.  Slowly but surely, the age of hand-to-hand combat was drawing to a close"

My understanding being that the "game changer" in this case was not so much the long bow of itself but rather the use of the bodkin point.

That bodkin point an arrowhead specially fabricated for the purpose of penetrating PLATE ARMOR AS WAS WORN BY THE NOBLE KNIGHTS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND RANK OF THAT MEDIEVAL PERIOD.

The bodkin point ABLE to penetrate plate armor rendering the armored knight on horseback much less effective on the medieval battlefield. As described that bodkin point:

"A bodkin point is a type of arrowhead. In its simplest form it is an uncomplicated squared metal spike, and was used extensively during the Middle Ages. The typical bodkin was a square-section arrowhead, generally up to 4½" (11.5cm) long and ⅜" (1 cm) thick at its widest point, tapered down behind this initial 'punch' shape."

From the wiki article that bodkin point NOT able to pierce plate armor. Bodkin ABLE to penetrate chain mail YES but ineffective against that best plate armor of the late medieval period.

Bodkin also not effective in penetrating that combination of chain mail worn with a gambeson?

A gambeson a quilted garment the padding of which either wool or cotton soaked in vinegar. And that gambeson once more contrary to what I had believed to be true, the gambeson worn UNDERNEATH THE CHAIN MAIL RATHER THAN OVER THE MAIL ARMOR!

Again, the devoted reader to the blog or even a casual visitor to "Analysis" knows better about this. Your input greatly appreciated.



Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the article is historically incorrect.

Gunpowder weapons were not invented in AD900 nor were they invented by the Chinese.


They would not appear until 1313 or 1346 and Roger Bacon is likely the real inventor of gunpowder. The fact that the Chinese discovered saltpeter before AD 1000 and were experimenting with mixtures of saltpeter, sulphur and charcoal by about 1200 AD does not make them the inventors of gunpowder.

Bert said...

Bert says: My understanding of gunpowder is that the Chinese had explosive mixtures that were used in all sorts of what we call fireworks and pyrotechnical displays but not gunpowder as that word understood by a modern.

The English during the War of the Roses did have cannon?