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Re: (TFT) Re: TFT Digest V3 #583 (should have been, stainless sword...)
> Well, granted, but my point was the sequel: their own
> employers rode them down and killed them. I was trying to address the
> original question, "why would they carry an ineffective weapon into
> battle?" by showing the consequences if they didn't.
Yes, but this is a non-sequitor - the Genoese were run down because of their
refusal to fight, which is a very different circumstance. The French
literally thought they were being cowards, not realising the slaughter they
had just indured, and thought it "just" to run them down. If they had
discarded their crossbows and charged into hand to hand melee with swords I
am sure the French would have been impressed and pleased. (That and the
budget minded French might have concluded that it was cheaper to run 'em
down rather than pay them)
> Or who knows, perhaps the French showed up in Genoa saying
> they wanted 400 crossbowmen, "never mind those obsolete longbows, we
> want *crossbows*!" Merc. captain tells his men "learn to use 'em, we
> have a job." Genoese complain but what the heck, French outnumber
> English 5-1 anyway, so they pick up crossbows and march off.
> It amounts to the same thing - equipment by edict, not by soldiers'
> choice or by demonstrated superiority.
No, the Genoese were crossbow specialists, even to the point of having
dedicated "pavis" (tower shield) bearers. They were renowned across Europe
at that time, and were specifically sought for their expertise with
crossbows. Note that the crossbow is only inferior in rate of fire; it
exceeds the long bow in range and hitting power. In the end the long bow's
rate of fire proved decisive at Crecy, but that is not necessarily an
indictment of the crossbow, it is rather a reflection of the odd tactical
situation that developed, not to mention the fact that the shields they
usually sheltered behind during reloading had likely been abandoned during
the long march to Crecy. Again, but for different circumstances and less
idiotic French "leadership" (and I use the term in an extrodinarily loose
manner...) it may have been the English on the short end of the stick.
> I also grant your point that the troops would discard them
> quickly under the right circumstances - perhaps leading to a later
> question, "why would they show up for battle *unarmed*?".
Well, if unarmed they would not show up for battle at all. In other words,
if issued crappy weapons they may refuse to fight, or will only fight after
discarding the crap and rearming with unofficial (but better) arms.
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