[Northkeep] jumping the gun...

Hugh & Belinda Niewoehner burgborrendohl at valornet.com
Mon Aug 31 10:11:59 PDT 2009

aoife at cableone.net wrote:
> Umm...The Battle Of Hastings...didn't they use the
> bowmen for that?

Not a great example of fine archery use, unless you believe the 
tradition that Harold was shot through the eye.  I was thinking more 
along the lines of Henry's Welsh bowmen.


    *The Battle*

Hastings battleplan.

The battle commenced with an archery barrage from the Norman archers and 
crossbowmen. However, the Norman archers drew their bowstrings only to 
the chest and their crossbow 
<http://en.allexperts.com/e/c/cr/crossbow.htm>s were loaded by hand 
without assistance from a windlass 
<http://en.allexperts.com/e/w/wi/windlass.htm>, so most shots either 
failed to penetrate the housecarls' shields or sailed over their heads 
to fall harmlessly beyond. The Normans therefore had no other choice 
than to charge the English time and time again, only to be repulsed. 
Another tactic used was to pretend to retreat and then when the English 
chased after them off the hill they were fighting on, without warning 
the Normans would turn round and attack with the English away from 
cover. In any event, the archery failed to make any impression on the 
English lines. Norman archery tactics in general relied on picking up 
enemy arrows shot back at them, and as the Saxons had left their bowmen 
in York <http://en.allexperts.com/e/y/yo/york.htm> during the rush to 
meet William, the Norman arrowfire soon decreased.

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