Musket instead of Bow and Arrow, why?

Discussion in 'History' started by jay dogg, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Uh, there was this little matter of WWII? You do recall? The Germans did a fair amount of "dissipating" Soviet wealth, which was not really the fault of communism in Russia.

    The authoritarian communist government of the Soviet Union managed to industrialize a medieval country in thirty years. They arranged the production of enough surplus to both finance and scientifically support the creation essentially from scratch of a modern military complex capable of posing a propaganda threat, if not a real one, to the richest and most heavily militarized country the world has ever seen -

    immediately after defeating in catastrophic total war within their own borders the second most heavily militarized country the world has ever seen.

    Credit where credit is due: That was a fantastic achievement. It argues for, not against, abusive totalitarian communist governance - contrast the economic fate of Soviet sized regions of South and Central America, despite relative freedom from war and threat.

    What failed, in the Soviet Union, was totalitarian centralized micromanagement of the economy coupled with bankrupting levels of military investment and expenditure, imposed on a landscape and economy nearly destroyed by war. Unlike the US, they didn't have the luxury of two generations of civilian industrial production to build up the wealth for that kind of military establishment - they had to finance it from the principal, year by year, while under direct threat. And unlike the US, the Soviets actually supported their "allies", contributed to them, rather than leaching from them - Cuba suffered enormously after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as did several other outlying "allies" - Haiti and Honduras and Nicaragua and so forth suffered in the wake of the success, not the failure, of the US.

    You may be underestimating things. You do not have to maintain your gear under those conditions, nor do you have to build up the physical strength and endurance necessary for the role of, say, the English longbow, in army level combat. It was primarily an impact weapon, like a long distance club - not a penetrative one. The bows required had straight draws of 80 pounds and up - over 120, ideally, to deliver the blow - and the arrow still had to be aimed with fair accuracy, the soldier marched many miles into battle and prepared for hand combat once there and out of arrows, etc.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
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  3. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member


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  7. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Ah yes, of course. So the USSR managed to achieve the same thing as... well, Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew.
    30 years, give or take, under threat. In Singapores' case, the threat of no water.
    Except the USSR had to resort to military supremacy at the expense of the welfare of the people to pull it off, which speak volumes for... er.... well actually it argues that a capitalist approach is better, in terms of the wellbeing of the population.

    Because Singapore is now Singapore, and the USSR is... gone.
  8. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Oh, and for the record... the English Longbow (because that's what we're talking about, not someone else's attempt to duplicate it), which is what this thread was initially discussing, required that wood be placed in a bog for some years before being able to be used.
    Accounts of the time made note of a long bowman's right arm being significantly larger than his left, due top the strength required to pull it. They banned all forms of sport other than archery, for a while, in order to ensure a constant supply of longbowmen.

    Not only that, but a couple of pouches of lead shot and powder were far easier to carry around than a sheaf of arrows. This whole thread is just silly.

    ...Having said that, when they pulled up the wreck of the Mary Rose, they found six longbows on a rack. Obviously, they still had a place in the 15th century.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not at all. Singapore is a City State, a parasite economy, an auxiliary to the economic powers of the world, a client of the major multinational corporations. It has never had to defend its borders, even. The Soviet Union became the dominant power on the largest continent of this planet - after being nearly destroyed by war.

    Not really. One of the most significant innovations of the American long rifle was the much needed reduction in the weight and portability of the powder and shot necessary - before that, firearms were inferior weapons on the American frontier. The Red nations were militarily dominant in part because they were better armed - with stone age weapons.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  10. james322 Registered Member

    musketeers were actually harder to train than archers but muskets had better range better accuracy and damage

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