Weapons

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Information about Weapons
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Published on June 29, 2009

Author: dawnvea09

Source: authorstream.com

Slide1:  The Crossbow The crossbow was seen as early as 1066 but didn’t become popular for about another century. The first crossbows were made only of wood but later models used animal cartilage in the yew wood frame for elasticity. The original crossbows were actually very poor weapons: very slow to load, often misfired and too complicated for most people to use. As technology improved during the middle ages and mechanical devices were developed for loading and aiming crossbows, their use increased. The main advantage crossbows had over bows was that they could be loaded ahead of time and held effortlessly loaded while aiming. But they were slow to reload, inaccurate, and very heavy. A crossbowman was only expected to fire one bolt per six shots of an archer. Slide2:  They were very short ranged weapons and their bow strings (sinew or gut) were often useless in wet or damp weather. Most early crossbows had a stirrup on the front of the stock. To reload the crossbow, the archer placed the stirrup on the ground, his foot through the stirrup, and pulled the bowstring back as hard as he could until he notched it in the nut (the mechanism which held the string in place, pressing down on the crude trigger bar allowed the bolt to fly). In 1139 the Pope decreed crossbows to be too murderous for “Christian warfare” and banned them. Naturally, he still encouraged their use against infidels. Richard the Lionhearted disobeyed the ban and continued to employ crossbowmen in his armies. However, he was later killed by a crossbow bolt. THE CROSSBOW Slide3:  The Bow Simple bows were generally made from a single piece of wood. The shape of the bow back itself gave different springiness to the weapon. The materials used to make the bow string varied, but were usually flax, hemp, silk, cotton, and sinew (a combination of two or more of these was common). By bending the bow and attaching the bowstring to either end of the bow, the archer placed tension on the back. Nocking an arrow and drawing the string back placed greater tension on the bow. Releasing the arrow also released the tension energy built up in the bow and propelled the arrow farther and with greater force than it could be thrown. Fighting could take place at greater ranges with more devastating results to the opponent unable to fire arrows back. Slide4:  The Longbow The longbow was usually longer in length than the common bow. The bow length was usually the height of the archer with the arrow length half that. Because of its greater length and bowstring span, the long bow let fly a more powerful arrow over greater distances. Longbows were made of a single material (wood, preferably yew or elm). Usually used by the Welsh and English during medieval Europe, the long bow was particularly responsible for revolutionizing the way in which large scale combat was conducted. Forced to dismount and cover the distance to the English lines on foot, exhausted French knights in full plate armor proved little match for the waiting English soldiers. For the first time since the days of the Roman legions, the foot soldier once again ruled the battlefield. . Slide5:  At the battle of Agincourt, the English longbowmen wreaked havoc upon the French knights.  As a result, from that point forward, the French would cut off the index and middle finger of any English archer they captured; this would prevent the archer from ever drawing a bowstring again.   The longbow was not a weapon for the weak-hearted or weak-armed.  The bowstring itself needed more than 100 foot-pounds of pressure to draw it, let alone aim it properly.  English archers were required to hit a man-sized target with their arrows at more than 100 metres. Slide6:  The Lance The lance was a horseman’s spear which occasionally had a handguard built in. Some could be thrown as well as thrust. A lance usually consisted of a wooden shaft with a socketed metal head attached. Broader, spear-like heads were used for war while narrower heads were used for tournaments and training.   The lance is most commonly thought of as a weapon used during jousting contests in medieval Europe. The jousting lance was used exclusively for thrusting rather than throwing. These lances were broader at the base than the tip in order to help the knight counter balance the long length of the lance as he held it with one hand. Jousting lances were constructed of wood with metal reinforcements at the breaking points; a metal jousting lance would be far too heavy for anyone to pick up, let alone manage while riding. The lance in this picture is an example of a jousting lance. Slide7:  The Spear Spears are basically any weapon with a wooden shaft and pointed tip used exclusively for thrusting and throwing. Throwing spears were generally very long while thrusting spears tended to be shorter. The basic spear, when used for thrusting, was used in close combat (the idea being to fight your enemy at arm’s length or greater). As a combat weapon, throwing spears had one very significant disadvantage: they could be used only once unless your enemy decided to throw them back at you. For this reason, most spearmen always carried a secondary weapon such as a sword, axe, or mace for use in close quarters fighting. Slide8:  The Waraxe The term waraxe is an axe designed specifically for use in combat. Waraxes were generally all metal construction and occasionally double-headed. Their axe heads were often longer and broader than a common woodsman’s axe was. Slide9:  The Longsword The longsword (also referred to as a warsword) was a common name used for a long bladed, double edged, and straight hilted swords throughout the Middle Ages in Europe. The longsword was the weapon most commonly used by European knights during the crusades. It was designed to be wielded by those with strength and could be thrust, used to slash, and even crush armour. Slide10:  The Two-Handed Sword The two-handed sword of medieval Europe had a number of names. Great in size and weight (some weighed as much as 10kgs), they needed two hands to use. Most simple two-handed swords had long straight blades, and a long hilt for grasping with two hands. Two-handed swords were designed for swinging, rather than just thrusting. It was one of the few swords designed to and capable of crushing through heavy armour. A great deal of strength and space were needed to use a two-handed sword well. Slide11:  The Ball and Chain Mace The ball and chain mace was a heavy metal ball, often spiked, attached to a wooden handle by a chain. The ball and chain was extremely effective at getting around an opponent’s shield, yanking the shield away, pulling a rider off a mount, or simply smashing armor. This weapon was very effective at creating crushing and stunning blows, even against an armored opponent. Further, if the ball was spiked, the force of the blow concentrated at the tip of the spike was devastatingly effective at piercing through armour. Slide12:  The War Hammer The medieval war hammer was one of the few weapons with an edge that could both tear open armour plate as well as inflict devastating knockout blows. The war hammer usually had a beak-like blade opposite a hammerhead, making it a combination of a mace and pick. The weight of the metal head after a full swing easily pierced both chain and plate mail. A spear-like tip on some versions allowed for thrusting as well as swinging. While some war hammers were of all metal construction, most were socketed metal heads attached to wooden shafts

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