Osprey Warrior 11 : English Longbowman 1330-1515
The English military ascendancy which lasted from the mid-14th to the early 15th century was founded upon defensive tactics based on the use of the longbow. This weapon, distinctive in that it was used by English forces alone, was probably the most effective missile weapon of the Late Middle Ages: its arrow had the same penetrative ability as a modern day bullet and the bow's rate of fire was not equalled by any weapon used by English forces until the adoption of the Lee Enfield rifle at the beginning of the 20th century. So formidable was its performance that the French actually refused, by and large, to engage English forces in the open field between 1360 and 1400. It was crucial in the winning of such famous and influential battles as Halidon Hill (1333), Crècy (1346), Poitiers (1356) and, most famously, Agincourt (1415). Its eventual obsolescence and withdrawal from the 16th century onwards was due to the increasing use of firearms; not because they performed any better than this traditional string-drawn weapon, but because they were far easier to train a man to use. English Longbowman 1330-1515 investigates both this weapon and the men who used it. Innovations in recruitment, and conditions of pay, training and service are all considered. All aspects of the English longbow are examined, from the origin of the yew used to make the weapon to the technique of drawing it. The more personal aspects of a longbowman's life, such as his clothing (right down to his underwear), beliefs and behaviour are also looked at, making this a comprehensive account of one of the most influential troop-types of the Late Middle Ages. Text by Clive Bartlett with illustrations by Gerry Embleton.
- Unit Formation
- Defensive Wear and Weapons
- Movement and Transport
- Medical Services