Hot answers tagged

86

I'm a horse archer; we use instinctive archery – there are no range finders, just a bow, a string an arrow and an archer. After a few thousand shots at various ranges, your body just knows how to aim – I'm not even conscious of doing it. Eventually you're able to hit a target from the back of galloping horse reliably (I'm not saying I'm there yet, but I'm ...


45

It's important to note that concrete information on how shields were used is scant, so a large part of any discussion on this subject is speculation and logic. That said, kite shields had an obvious advantage in extending protection to the lower half of the body. This was especially relevant to the cavalry, and particularly so in a period when leg armour ...


44

To narrow down this answer, I'm going to pick June - August 1944 to highlight the differences. The Western Front is mired in the Normandy bocage and the Eastern Front is fighting on the open steppes of Ukraine and Poland. These two pictures sum it all up. Normandy bocage. Source Ukrainian Steppe. As you can see, one is very hemmed in and one is very open. ...


43

They mostly didn't care. In combat, the purpose of an archer was not to land aimed shots on specific targets. It was to put large amounts of pointy wood-and-steel in the air, in the general direction of a block of enemy troops. When the block of enemy troops is tens of metres deep and hundreds of metres wide, aiming is largely irrelevant. For long range ...


25

why is the soldier at the bottom left of the drawing shooting during the march without waiting for the command from the officer? He's waiting for a severe punishment from his sergeant. In that period marksmanship was something rare. Muskets are notoriously inaccurate. Most muskets don't have sights (there was really no need for them), and especially the ...


23

Helmet spikes and flanges were originally intended to deflect saber blows. Those on the Pickelhaube are somewhat stylized, but they still served the original purpose. Source: German Wikipedia. I thought I remembered something similar from the English Civil War, but a bit of googling got me nothing.


21

This picture is from a boxed set of figures (Zvezda's Prussian Grenadiers of Frederick the Great) and is illustrating the figures within. It shouldn't be taken as an accurate representation of the subjects in action!


13

Expanding on Jos’ answer: This is a modern military illustration of a weapons system in action. This is not a great example: line infantry is only shown in battle line march and fire. The ancillary musicians are at the front to allow reenactors and modellers better view of their different dress and kit. The man firing and the man loading also illustrate the ...


9

To add on Schwern's answer, the Allies had to modify some tanks to go through the hedges of the Norman bocage, they called these Rhino tanks. See how the front of the tank has been modified: Image source. Bulldozers or tanks modified to carry a bulldozer blade were used to open gaps in hedgerows. Some hedgerows were so thick that engineers first had to ...


8

Our only source both reliable and substantial on Spartan life is Xenophon on the Constitution of the Lacedaimonians. Xenophon reports that the Spartan boys were required to supply themselves with a substantial portion of their own food ration, by foraging and stealing, and [Lycurgus] made it a point of honour to steal as many cheeses as possible [from ...


7

By combining the three tables, of known Me262 losses; claims by USAAF; and claims by RAF, in Foreman, Me 262 Combat Diary (1990), assuming that the German numbers are correct, and also that all the dates are as stated, I have obtained the following statistics. In some cases both USAAF & RAF claim the same Me262, and in one case it is not clear which type ...


7

The main utility of spiked helmets is against cavalry, specifically to deflect sabers being swung from "overhead." Its value basically declined over the course of the 19th century, as the growing ease and efficacy of using rifles made cavalry obsolete (as opposed to mounted infantry). In the early 20th century, it had no utility in the trenches, where ...


5

Research on history and prehistory shows that there was no such period, contrary to some common myths about "golden age", and "peaceful primitive people". Moreover, they argue that the chances of violent death in 20s century were lower than they were in the primitive societies. That is the fraction of total population killed in all wars in 20s century is ...


5

If you just mean wars, according to this graph from a University of Warwick study (by way of History Today), there was in fact a brief time in 1890 when there was only one war going on. If you are talking person-to-person conflict, ie: murder, then no. Violence is a standard part of human behavior, shared with our chimpanzee relatives. Just like with chimps,...


5

From personal experience using both kite and round shields, the corners on kite shield allow small forearm movements to create an effective block, and allow the wielder to take control of the opponent's weapon briefly. Although the same weight, the kite is less tiring to wield and gives more options for active versus passive defence.


5

Ranging wouldn't have been as important as it is today. The importance of ranging comes from the "first shot" advantage - being able to drop your projectiles onto your chosen target first time accurately (whether that is from a sniper rifle or an artillery piece) is important in modern warfare because most conflicts are decided by who gets the first hit in ...


5

Nobody knows. Historians debate this, as what surviving Latin documents we have are either ambiguous; or presuppose knowledge which has been lost over time; or both. Beyond the broad layout as (depending on period) cohorts, maniples, and centuries, in lines of hastati, principes and triarii in the earlier period, we know little beyond Caesar choosing to &...


4

With just a little practice, most people can learn to judge distance fairly accurately. Even in modern times, use of a rangefinder is situational. In hunting with a modern sight, it is important to know the range of a shot. Yet it can also be inconvenient to break out and use an electronic rangefinder. 3D shoots are a type of archery contest intended to ...


4

The Great War has a short segment on "the spikey helmets". The original Pickelhaube was made out of hardened leather. As WWI progressed and Germany experienced shortages, thin steel, tin, felt, even paper was used. As you can imagine, this wasn't much use as a helmet in a modern war. They were expensive, fragile, uncomfortable, and didn't offer much ...


4

Nothing would prevent that; it is common. One term for this is to Lie Doggo and there are some examples referenced in the wiktionary article on the term. I'm not sure how one distinguishes "faking death" from "hiding". Here is another example The eminent neologistician has citation files from Prof. Allen Walker Read including this World War I Aemrican ...


3

Overall, the tactics were similar, the biggest difference being that the enemy had different tanks. You may read some historians talking about the "steppes" of Russia and so forth as though Russia is some endless desert, but that is not true. The limits to movement, forests, marshes and water features primarily, are just as common in Russia as in Western ...


3

Kite shields were used to protect the legs for cavalry. Also vikings used round shields for not only single combat but group combat as well, the famous shield wall being a great example of this in play.


2

Fortunately you can use recent history to answer your question. Until very recently, Bradley fighting vehicles (and others) did not have a range finders. Range were based upon the estimation of the commander and gunner. Modern day snipers are trained to judge range without the use of electronics. I'd dispute that range estimation was not important in ...


2

Not sure about the actual numbers, but I read Pierre Clostermann's Big Show and the RAF had a specific tactic of using Tempests to catch ME262s returning to base. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Clostermann The Tempest was very fast and could almost keep up with the jets on landing. So they would loiter high up near the German airfields, dive ...


2

Round shields were actually more effective in tight formation style fighting. Think about the Greek Phalanx. The left side of the Hoplite's Aspis was vital in protecting the right side of the man next to him. Whereas the use of the rectangular Scutum of the Roman Legionairy was utilized with the soldier needing atleast a 3 ft area around him to give room for ...


2

A kite is more similar to the shape of the user. To put it another way, once a circular shield is above a certain size, a fair bit of it is protecting nothing but fresh air. Also circles don't tessellate well - if you're trying to do a shield wall or testudo you'll have more gaps or overlaps than with, say, rectangles. Kites aren't perfect in this regard ...


2

To an extend, yes. an Archaeologist friend of mine has tested padded linen ( not glued,sewed ) greek armour ( linothorax) , and, due to the addition of many sew rows all along it and around 9-10 cloth layers, it can stop a competition bow with armour piercing arrows shot at 50-70 metres. Ofcourse, the contussion would have broke any rib behind the padded ...


2

I would say no. The accounts I've heard of are about crusaders who looked like pin cushions, yes because they had a bunch of arrows that had failed to penetrate their quilted tunics/other padded armor, but this was after said arrows had already penetrated the mail they were wearing on top and thus lost a lot of their energy. It seems to me that the accounts ...


2

This image seems to source from the Beaumont Hamel region, sometime during (or after) the Battle of Somme. Beaumont-Hamel was situated near the northern end of the 45-kilometre front being assaulted by the joint French and British force. Heavy losses from one Newfoundland regiment caused the founding of a memorial: Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial ...


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