War bows dominated battlefields across the world for centuries. In their various forms, they allowed trained archers to take down even well-armoured targets from great distances, and played a key role in some of the most famous battles in human history. The composite bow was a versatile and devastatingly effective weapon, on foot, from chariots and on horseback for over a thousand years, used by cultures as diverse as the Hittites, the Romans, the Mongols and the Ottoman Turks. The Middle Ages saw a clash between the iconic longbow and the more technologically sophisticated crossbow, most famously during the Hundred Years War, while in Japan, the samurai used the yumi to deadly effect, unleashing bursts of arrows from their galloping steeds.
Historical weapons expert Mike Loades reveals the full history of these four iconic weapons that changed the nature of warfare. Complete with modern ballistics testing, action recreations of what it is like to fire each bow and a critical analysis of the technology and tactics associated with each bow, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in ancient arms.
Country of Publication:
01 March 2019
Introduction CHAPTER I: THE LONGBOW Development: The longbow's genesis and production Use: At full draw Impact: Assessing the longbow CHAPTER II: THE CROSSBOW Development: Lock, stock and lath Use: Steady, steady, steady: shoot Impact: Bolts from the blue CHAPTER III: THE COMPOSITE BOW Development: Engineering the optimal bow Use: Archery - a very martial art Impact: Different bows for different blows CHAPTER IV: THE JAPANESE YUMI Development: The asymmetric bow Use: The Way of the Bow and the Horse Impact: The sting of the samurai Conclusion Acknowledgements Bibliography
Mike Loades is a respected author, broadcaster, director and action arranger who has made well over 100 television appearances as a historical weapons expert and military historian and been a presenter for such shows as Time Commanders (BBC), Weapons That Made Britain (Channel 4), Weapon Masters (Discovery Networks) and Going Medieval (History Channel). A lifelong archery enthusiast, he is also experienced in horse-archery and chariot archery and is co-founder of the California Centaurs horse-archery club. He lives in California. He is the author of Swords and Swordsmen (2010), The Longbow (2013), The Composite Bow (2016), and The Crossbow (2018).
Reviews for War Bows: Longbow, Crossbow, Composite Bow and Japanese Yumi
The book can be strongly recommended to anyone interested in the use of the bow and crossbow, particularly as a military weapon. [Mike Loades] presents in a vivid and readable fashion a survey of their use over many centuries. -- Arthur Credland * Military History Matters * Anyone with an interest in war bows or the history of warfare would greatly benefit from a copy of this comprehensive work... Loades's experience with bows, both in terms of their history and real life handling, shines through in this well-researched and beautifully written and illustrated book. * History of War, February 2019 * I don't recall ever reading such a thorough analysis of a weapons system... Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, this book could only have been written by someone who is a supreme practitioner of the subject. * Miniature Wargames * An up-to-date and super-cool book... it's been vetted and fed into by some of the leading experts, both academics and archers, in the world today. * Schola Gladiatora * Unquestionably an essential reference work if you have any interest whatsoever in archery in all its forms. * Battlefield Magazine *