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Weapons and Tactics / Re: More thoughts on longbow tactics
« Last post by Dangun on Today at 01:24:58 AM »
I appreciate the responses, but I remain confused by the differences.

On direct v. indirect, this is a moot point...  More recently Mike Loades has suggested that longbowmen rarely shot indirectly - it was all intensive flat trajectory shooting, under 100yds.
Anthony seemed to suggest that indirect vs direct is moot because all shooting was at short distance, and so the trajectories were very flattish.

Halidon Hill saw the Scots advancing against a 'hail of arrows' in a manner which reflects indirect shooting.  At Towton both sides' archers loosed off their inventory of arrows at extreme range, which is not consistent with direct shooting.  Putting all this together, one concludes that the question of direct/indirect shooting was not a matter of 'either or' but rather 'both and'.

Patrick seemed to suggest that indirect fire was common and at longer (unspecified) distances implying higher trajectories.

I have no strong opinion. But it would seem to practically bear on what exactly the archers at the back of a formation might be doing.
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Quote
Why did the Gallic reaper invented at that time only live till the fourth century of our era and then disappear from historical records?

Because it chopped people's legs off, we can now say with confidence.


I can't see the Romans viewing that as a particular disadvantage.
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Malfunctioning Gallo-Roman reaping machine?

Quote
Why did the Gallic reaper invented at that time only live till the fourth century of our era and then disappear from historical records?

Because it chopped people's legs off, we can now say with confidence.
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Too lazy to dig long enough holes? Unfortunate accident with a Boadicea style chariot?
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: More thoughts on longbow tactics
« Last post by Patrick Waterson on June 18, 2018, 07:37:56 PM »
Anthony answers the questions very well.  I would add only that we can infer that longbowmen were effective at both direct and indirect shooting, given a) existing accounts of battles, especially Halidon Hill and Towton for indirect, and Poitiers for direct, shooting, and b) various snippets from the doings of the English in Italy under Sir John Hawkwood (these entered Italy as part of the Company of the Star but soon became more famous under Sir John in the White Company).  The Italians were very impressed by the direct shooting abilities of English longbowmen.  Halidon Hill saw the Scots advancing against a 'hail of arrows' in a manner which reflects indirect shooting.  At Towton both sides' archers loosed off their inventory of arrows at extreme range, which is not consistent with direct shooting.  Putting all this together, one concludes that the question of direct/indirect shooting was not a matter of 'either or' but rather 'both and'.
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: More thoughts on longbow tactics
« Last post by Erpingham on June 18, 2018, 09:27:56 AM »
Do we have good information on how deep an advancing infantry unit might be? Or any source on how much archery fire was direct versus indirect?

Without sources I admit, but an advancing line of infantry might be so thin as to render indirect archery fire completely pointless?

We don't have as much information on formation depths as we would like.  From bits I've found over the years, I'd say any close-combat infantry formation under 5 ranks would be considered a bit thin.  The English were in 4 ranks at Agincourt.  Linear infantry formations were perhaps up to double this.  Tactically, there were forces that fought in deep blocks or wedges.  These could be much deeper.  And circumstances like a constricted front could cause troops who would normally be in narrower formations.  So the French are recorded as 31 deep at Agincourt, because they're in a space too small to deploy properly and two divisions have become intermixed.

Cavalry were usually in shallower formations only two or three deep - maybe 1 deep in places.  This was not the case with Germans, who developed deep cavalry wedges 20 or more ranks deep.

On direct v. indirect, this is a moot point.  We've already mentioned that archer formations were probably sometimes/often deeper than would allow the men in the back half of the formation to use aimed shots.  If, however, we are talking about dropping shots rather than flat shots, it becomes a different tale.  Traditionally, English archers have been considered to drop shots on the enemy once they were in effective range or even, if you are an enthusiast like Robert Hardy, from extreme range.  More recently Mike Loades has suggested that longbowmen rarely shot indirectly - it was all intensive flat trajectory shooting, under 100yds.
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: More thoughts on longbow tactics
« Last post by Dangun on June 18, 2018, 08:27:54 AM »
Another thought... not trying to be negative, but some simpler questions...

Do we have good information on how deep an advancing infantry unit might be? Or any source on how much archery fire was direct versus indirect?

Without sources I admit, but an advancing line of infantry might be so thin as to render indirect archery fire completely pointless?
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: More thoughts on longbow tactics
« Last post by Dangun on June 18, 2018, 08:24:23 AM »
I don't mean to be boring. But what sources are we leveraging off here?

If a source makes the claim that archers targeted this or that, then compared to what exactly was deployed, might give us a sense as to what control over targeting the unit or leader had.
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Weapons and Tactics / Re: More thoughts on longbow tactics
« Last post by Erpingham on June 18, 2018, 08:21:38 AM »
Wouldn't each banner be under a noble of some sort?

Banner bearing implied leadership.  So commanders of contingents carried banners, whether noble or knight banneret.  Militia also carried banners. 
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