From the history of crossbow

About crossbow created a lot of discussion, articles, books and research - historical and otherwise. With this weapon is connected a great number of legends, truthful and fictional. We will try to bring a little clarity into this mess, from the mass of data to isolate the truth. If someone has more reliable information sharing.


From the history of crossbow

One of the earliest mentions of this crossbow mechanism, ballista, can be found in the Bible. However, using crossbows even earlier - in East Asia. The oldest copy of the concerns about the fifth century BC. It is made in China is quite large quantities - for our own troops, as well as foreign mercenaries.

So popular crossbow was due to its cost and speed training soldiers use these weapons. For example, much later, in England, to prepare archers proceeded from early childhood in order to train the accuracy and back muscles. Here, even love to talk: "Do you want to learn the archer - begins with his grandfather." Of course, it's a completely different era. However, a comparison with a crossbow bow sufficiently indicative.

After arbalester can learn in a real short time. He did not need to train very much strong muscles: it levers with stirrup. It is also curious that crossbows are almost invariably gave in a kind of rental service life of the nobility. Rents in this case was relatively low. Recruit and mobilize these forces could be simply and quickly.

The pros and cons of a crossbow

From the history of crossbow

Naturally, this weapon, as in every other, there are significant drawbacks. Firstly, it is about time for the tension of a bowstring or cow, buff when tysyachefuntovoy model. Great prices for both the crossbow and a tool nock. The power is lost quickly enough bad weather as a bowstring as skin is stretched. Crossbowmen were forced to carry multiple bowstrings under Chapelle to provide tension. But he and the crossbow is heavy enough.

Crossbow bolt quickly lose impact strength at a distance because of its low weight. Shooter vulnerable to return fire, because in order to pull the arrow, you need a lot of time - without any natural shelter.

However, there is the weapon and the pros. At short distances its penetration is high. To kill the enemy, you do not need to pierce armor. And it is impossible, if the quality of the armor average or above average. Even if the tensile force exceeds a thousand pounds.

You can shoot from any position, not just sitting. To study, as already mentioned, it does not require much time. To use these weapons as a man can any body type. After all, there are levers, as well as other mechanisms that bend the bow. For short distances, the bolt flies at a decent speed.

Popular Myths

From the history of crossbow

Know hated crossbows - and along with their owners

From the history of crossbow

It is possible - but as long as she did not test them against each other, and quite effectively. Over time, even payment for their service exceeded archers rates. There are cases when only participating in the tournament paid very well: 157 pounds with a daily payment of eight pence per person.

In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church forbade use of crossbows in Christian wars

From the history of crossbow

This is - though only partially. Now the idea is prohibited and bows, in which the tension force of a hundred pounds. The decision is adopted by Pope Innocent II back in 1139. I pressed him to know, since this device was dangerous for the Knights, which mail could not save them from the bolts. As they say, crossbows were banned as an ordinary peyzanin, practiced shooting in one day, and could cripple mortally wound the knight. But the latter was trained to maim and injure his whole life.

This is the first half of the twelfth century, when a new development on the name "brigandina" yet created. So crossbow still suggests knights real horror. Do not forget about the people, subordinate vassals and knights. During the Middle Ages wars were won mainly peyzane that supports the horse troops. Naturally, money for expensive in those days chainmail armor with these poor fellows did not have. As a result - significant mortality from this terrible weapon, which could not but irritate the knights.

As a result, the servants of God on their own spit the former disturbance using the same as a weapon against the infidels and the enemies of other subordinate or that the landowner. Especially the spit on the opinion of the church know. She hired a crossbow in order to create with their own enemies on the battlefield incredible things.

In the Middle Ages the crossbow is an advanced weapon

From the history of crossbow

This statement is more applicable to China the fifth century before our era. But, despite the fact that the crossbow has ceased to be advanced to the beginning of the Middle Ages, at this time he was still quite effective. Subsequently, on the battle fields it has outlived its usefulness and has been used mostly during the siege. In the battle Crecy it is not well demonstrated, especially regarding English longbows labor. Last steadily destroying both mercenaries and know: at a speed of up to ten beats per minute. Close rate of fire of seven - eight beats per minute crossbowmen could reach, only a couple of hired servants. One of them pulled the string, second, meanwhile, moved Pavese.

Crossbow was the impetus for the decline of chivalry

From the history of crossbow

There are numerous arguments against this theory, are too long to list. We speak out on a matter of fact. Chivalry is lost because:

• too expensive content;

• appearance of firearms;

• change of tactics with the strategy of warfare in connection with the same firearms: because the armor they are not saved.

Knights armor made its way Heavy Crossbow

From the history of crossbow

This is not the case. There is really one video in support of this release about The San Marino crossbowmen. However, even if you change the shape of the tip and get a heavy bolt shape, an armor penetration will be a half - two centimeters. This is absolutely not afraid of the man in armor, because the gap between the visor and breastplate and body is large enough. In addition, it is this type of crossbow in an armor has not been tested.

There are tests to the more popular models of crossbows and armor, hardened surface. On one of them the tension of the string (statement) made a thousand pounds, but real equal to 900 pounds. Weather conditions are the same and does reduce it to 750 pounds. No less important in this case, what exactly was the tip. Used in the test version of the thick-headed and could kill due to the impact strength.

For example, experts put the experiments showed that the 140-pound longbow on the force of impact is comparable with a shot magnum. Just think what the impact force from the bolt nine pound crossbow on his legs, armor or helmet. Such a monster could easily penetrate the shields, and behind them - the body or the faces of people in the middle and near distances. It should be in the final talk a little about the daily work already mentioned crossbow. There was no formal units of shooters. The troops were recruited from the common soldiers, if there were proper mechanisms and suitable bolts. Tellingly, when necessary, arbaletchiki retrained in archery, and vice versa. In the first half of the fifteenth century, they got eight pence a day. Stake horse archers reached six pence, cavalry - fifteen pence.