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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. I hope you find it helpful and entertaining.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Hobilar and the Longbow

Just finished reading the latest edition of Hobilar, the journal of the Lance and Longbow Society.

There is a particularly good article by Paul Reeve, Longbows and Bowmen and the End of the Medieval Army. Paul gives an overview of longbow use and sets out comparisons with the gun in terms of range, accuracy, rate of shooting and impact. He also addresses some of the fables around guns and armour such as armour made arrows useless; and it takes a lifetime to earn the bow and day to fire a musket.

His conclusion is that the decline of the longbow had more to to with other military and social factors such as the decline in the popularity of military service. It was also a matter of training given the lack of shooting drill compared with the musket's use in practice and the regularisation and integration of the later musket armies.

As always this debate will go on and I expect a response from the longbow advocates in the next edition. Thankfully only time travel will end this type of historical debate.

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