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"Comparing a modern crossbow to a medieval one" Topic

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Warspite124 Jan 2021 3:43 p.m. PST

A very interesting shoot off…

A 960 pound pull 14th century crossbow versus a 150 pound pull ultra-modern crossbow…

YouTube link

The medieval is a flat trajectory beast!


Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2021 4:39 p.m. PST

Well that was extremely interesting. Thanks.

Warspite124 Jan 2021 6:21 p.m. PST

You are more than welcome.


mghFond24 Jan 2021 10:28 p.m. PST

Yes, enjoyed that.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2021 8:38 a.m. PST

Illuminating. I can't wait to try my CB soon.

dapeters25 Jan 2021 9:25 a.m. PST

Thanks, as he mention the arms race of armor vs weapon. The 14c CB is not a weapon to be used mounted.

Warspite125 Jan 2021 5:06 p.m. PST

What we tend to forget is that there were several different grades of crossbow. The 'light latch' could be used from horseback but the heavier field and siege arbalests would not work. Imagine slinging that thing over your back to ride with it.


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2021 7:00 p.m. PST

He's got an excellent monologue regarding historical accuracy in movies (and tv) and how many times it's not only impossible but the wrong thing to do— even dangerous. Not much on the visuals— mostly him talking— but he makes a lot of important points that are worth noting.

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 2:26 a.m. PST

>The 14c CB is not a weapon to be used mounted.

Replace "THE" with "THIS" and you are correct. But the 15th century was the era of the mounted crossbow, which only petered out around 1520, when the crossbows normal usage by infantry was already extinct for two decades. Cavalry crossbows where quite widespread either for skirmish or in support of Knights and Gensdarmes in battle.

dapeters26 Jan 2021 1:39 p.m. PST

Yes from ancient times the were CBs that could be drawn by hand 14-15 century armor made this relegated to hunting weapons. A stirrup or goat's foot lever are not friendly to horse back riding. This is kind of like mounted Longbow men. Just foot combatants that are wealthy enough to own a horse and there by not having to walk.

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jan 2021 2:54 a.m. PST

Interestingly I do not know of any "heavy" crossbows that were mounted "dragoon"-style as the longbows were. Mounted crossbows usually had lighter arms and were able to fire from the horse, while mounted archers were pretty common – even when the French version transmorphed into medium cavalry over the decades. This may be just my ignorance, so if anybody knows of mounted crossbows which were exclusively used at foot I would love to learn of them.

On a similar note of difference I often connect crossbowmen to the usage of pavises, while bows are not. If at all, they use stakes as cavalry defense. Is there any source for crossbows using stakes or bows using pavises?

dapeters27 Jan 2021 9:21 a.m. PST

Dragoons no, more like mounted infantry, like Elites in Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian armies, centuries before. Ride to battle get off horse form up and then fight.

However, IIRC there was a battle during WOR were crossbows were used just that way, however the name and date of it allude me. I am sure Barry can name it (assume that I am recalling correctly and am not confusing something else.)

Pavises were primarily anti missile where as stakes are to slow down melee assaults.

Warspite127 Jan 2021 5:29 p.m. PST

@ dapeters:

I do not recall a WOTR battle with mounted crossbow.
However the 600 Lombard mercenary cavalry at Verneuil in 1424 are referred-to as mounted crossbow in some versions.
Wiki does not mention them as such but I believe they were the: "small force of French heavy cavalry on the right [which] attempted to outflank the English line but were repelled by an arrowstorm from the redeployed English left wing of 2,000 longbowmen, who used the lines of tethered horses for cover".


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2021 8:36 p.m. PST

The Invention of the Crossbow



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