Reply To: Bow and Crossbow

Avatar photoOh Brother

The bow was dominate before the use of heavy armor became commonplace

Bow newer was dominate in the European warfare, unless steppe nomads came invading from the east here and there. Use of longbow during 100 years war was rare exception. One which moreover did not last even till the end of the war itself. “English” (in reality French kings which happened to be at the same time also kings of England) steadily decreased use of longbowmen in their armies till it was negligible.

I was speaking in the context of bow vs. xbow as the subject of the original post stated, not bow vs. everything else.

and you had a faster rate of fire than xbows.

That very questionable claim. Theoretically you indeed can fire bow faster. But that’s meaningless parameter. You almost newer want to fire all your arrows as fast as you can in as short time as possible in real battle. Mostly because just like today, the one to expend his ammo first is the one to loose. Fire rate in the real battle is dictated by ammo (in this case arrows/bolts) supply. Also because goal of archery is not to fire as fast as possible, it’s rather to hit the target.

There’s no question about it, xbows take more time to fire – period.
Your idea that if you fire more arrows/bolts faster than your opponent means you will lose the battle is utter nonsense

Xbows inevitably became more powerful

Another misconception. In reality the most powerful crossbows and the most powerful bows were about equal in power (with bows having better performance at range due to characteristics of arrow).

Sorry to tell you this, but compound bows did not exist at that time, and if your referring to recurve bows, such as those employed by the Mongols, those also did not exist within the European theater during that period.

one of the popes tried to ban the use of xbows because they killed heavily armored knights with ease before they could get into melee.

That’s true, but not because xbows could kill heavily armored knights. Knives, clubs, swords, bows, spears could also kill heavily armored knight, yet nobody have banned them.

Your explanation makes no sense. Clearly I must be wrong, please illuminate us on the “real” reason the pope tried to ban xbows.

Even earlier, the Romans used a “testudo” or tortoise formation to protect the unit from all sides and above from missiles.

We don’t know what “testudo” used by Romans was. They newer bothered to describe it in their writings. All there is are pure speculations. And what you see in the Hollywood movies is almost certainly wrong. Just like most else you see in the Hollywood movies.

Who said anything about hollyweird? Again your wrong, try researching the “Column of Trajan”

A wise general wins before the battle, while the ignorant general must fight to win - Zhuge Liang