ARROWS vs ARMOUR – Medieval Myth Busting

Well this might work too though yeah
that’s why we’re here. Tods Workshop here and today we have
got an extraordinary film for you it is arrows vs. armor Agincourt
myth-busting. This is something that we’ve all wanted to see for a long long
time and we because I’ve got Joe the archer Will the Fletcher and Kevin the
armorer to help out This is a day that I have wanted to do
for so long, so longbows and arrows versus armor. There is so much myth and
legend around the longbow it obscures what happened, so we’re running a series
of tests with the best people in the best equipment that I can find and that
we’ve we put together; they have pulled out all the stops to make the
gear for today. First up we’ve got Joe Gibbs, he shoots a 200 pound longbow
he can do that and it doesn’t put him to hospital and and I quote, “shooting a 160 pound longbow is easy I can do it all day”. I mean the man’s like half machine
you can’t get a different Archer than Joe it has to be Joe. And then we have
Will Sherman from medieval arrows he’s a full time Fletcher and an Arrowsmith and
there are not that many people who are good enough to be able to do that full
time and making a living at it you know the passion and the knowledge that he
has is extraordinary. So again there is for me, no other choice than Will Sherman
to do this. And then of course there’s Kevin Legg from Plessis Armories. He’s the only armorer I know, who doesn’t even own a MIG welder he raises all of his helmets,
all of his work is done in the 14th 15th century way, has a really good
understanding of the subject and that’s not surprising because he does
conservation metalwork as well as armory. He’s an extraordinary armorer, he’s
brilliant. We have no predetermined outcome today
we’re not following a script, as much as you want to know what happens, we want to know what happens as well that’s why we’re here so we are going to do the
tests and what happens is what you’re seeing we’re not going to go back and do
it again until we get the result we want we are learning here hopefully you will
be learning here and we’re all going to take this knowledge area of what happens
with arrows versus armor on to a better level than we have now. Now, when putting the team together to do this I needed people that I could really
believe in; the last member of the team is of course Dr. Toby Capwell is an
author, a museum curator and importantly a practicing jouster and that gives him
an understanding of the armor and the weapons and how they’re worn and how
they were used. So when Tod called me for this when he’s putting this team
together to do this experiment I was really excited by that but I also made
the point that I think we need to be very specific about a particular moment
in history that we’re trying to explore. So we’ve chosen a specific
date because armor changes of course over time so this way we can get a meaningful
set of results, targeting one date and what better date is there than Agincourt 1415. So this is an evidence-based experiment, but what is the evidence
exactly? I mean Agincourt is a good battle to focus on here not only because
it’s really famous and and and very much mythologized but also because there’s a
lot of evidence, I mean we know more about the Battle of Agincourt than most
medieval battles actually we know the battle site, we know more or less what
the numbers were, we know the makeup of the armies we have visual sources of the
time which gives us a sense of what these people looked like and how they
shot. They’re shooting straight, not up in the
air we have then the written accounts there are both eyewitness accounts on
the English side and on the French side and lots of them. And then we have the
material surviving, there’s armor from this period surviving and enough of it
that we can get a good sense of the metallurgy, the construction and the way
its design. One of the reasons i want to do this test today is it’s like we can
take all that evidence we can take our ideas and then we can see what the real
physical world has to say about it. Now we won’t answer all the questions that are
in our minds but we’ll answer some and that’s what today is about. The first
step was to get some chronograph readings to measure the speed and then the
energy of the arrows at different distances. Because at Agincourt we knew
there were flat shooting, but we don’t know what the distance was. So we’re
shooting at 10 meters here which is is clearly too short, but it gives us an
idea of the maximum power of the bow. So those shots we managed to get a
reading for and that’s giving us 123 joules or 91 foot-pounds. The next stage
will be to do it 25 meters because that’s the distance we’re doing the
breast plate tests over and again we managed to get a chronograph reading off
it and that gives us 109 joules or 80 foot pounds. Now unfortunately we did go
for a 50 meter one but we just failed to get it through the window I don’t know
why the the chronology wasn’t working but we will come back to this in a later film.
So we got readings at 10 meters we’ve got readings at 25 unfortunately
it’s too hard a shot for this at 50 to get it in the chrono window. But I mean
look at that. Thats very impressive it’s gone all the way through, it’s still carrying
a punch. Well it is it’s gone through a pretty new straw boss and still 25 mil, an inch, sticking out the back. But it’s not wearing armor yet. So Joe what have you
done to make sure that this weapon is the same thing as what they were
shooting at Agincourt. Visually this is a pretty impressive looking bow I have to
say and it sure looks like the things you see in paintings and manuscripts. The
only bows we have left are the Mary Rose bows, so I’ve been and measured the
Mary Rose bows and made a copy of some of the bows that are on that ship. So
basically in in your physique in the weapon you’ve gone through the process
from childhood that they went through in the 15th century. Yeah, I grew up with a bow shot since I was 14 ,15 ,sort of like a hundred pounds
plus, yeah, and I shoot three, two to three times a week so what’s the draw weight
on this bow? 160 pounds at 30 inches that’s pretty heavy, that’s a lot heavier
than most people will shoot. Yeah it is these days. And is that your maximum
or can you shoot higher? No, I can shoot up to 200 pounds. Okay so if you can shoot a
200-pound bow why aren’t we using that for the test? I feel this is probably an
average weight for medieval period. With a 200-pound bow after six arrows
I’m knackered, can’t shoot a bow but with a 160-pound bow I can shoot all day and I
can shoot accurately. Right yeah and let’s not forget after you shot all
your arrows you still have to be in good enough shape to get your sword out or
your axe or your whatever, and fight hand-to-hand. Yeah exactly you don’t want
to be knackered, you want to still have a bit of energy left so you can yes so you
can do the business. Excellent OK these are the arrows were using for the test I
gotta say just having come in and looked at these for the first time. They’re
really impressive just as objects, but you know we’ve got to replicate the
right conditions as far as we can, so can you just tell us a little bit about what
you’ve done to make us feel confident that these are the same kinds of arrows
that they were shooting at Agincourt. Well the problem we’ve got is that we
haven’t got anything from Agincourt to look at, so all we’ve really got is one
arrow from Westminster Abbey which is about 1403 and the arrows from the Mary
Rose which number about three and a half thousand. The Westminster Abbey arrow is a really tiny arrow there’s no way they were using that for armor penetration, so
all we’ve got to look at are the Mary Rose arrows. They have all, well pretty
much most of them I’ve got a half inch shoulder and they taper to a certain
degree and the half inch shoulder allows you to have a fairly large head. So we do
have archaeological evidence for the heads separately and we can kind of
match that up. Yeah these are from the Museum of London the exact head is a
number 7568 from about 1403, so we’re in that rough area. And some of those heads
that date from the right period would basically fit on the Mary Rose arrows?
Absolutely yeah. That’s a crucial question; the Mary Rose is still
a hundred years later, so you know we have to ask the question how do we
know that the Mary Rose is the same as what Henry the fifths archers are
shooting. But that’s the sort of thing that starts to give us a bit more
confidence. Yeah once you take an actual head and you put on an actual arrow
shaft and it fits and the weight remains usable and shootable, you know you’re in
the right area. And they’re fletched with goose feathers? These are swan. Swan?
Swan primary feathers. Very nice. And they’re they’re bound into a fletching
compound of beeswax, kidney fat and copper verdigris. That goes on first
the feathers go on, bind them on, and then you heat up the whole lot and
that forms this nice encasing of binding and feather. And the heads are made out
of iron? Yes iron. Real wrought iron we’ve got a non-hardened one here and
we’ve got a case-hardened one here. Just to look at the difference. And we’ve got
evidence that sometimes they were hardened and sometimes they weren’t or……
Not really. Is it hard to tell? Yeah, because it’s such a tiny amount of
carbon that goes on the outside, once it’s been in the ground for a few
hundred years that’s gone. But at least we’ve got the comparison and
you know if there’s a drastic difference in performance we can be aware of it. I mean this is not a garden-variety
target shooting arrow, this is heavy. How much do these weigh The whole arrow is
80 grams, the head is about 25 and then the shaft makes up the rest of them. I
mean I’ve been shot with arrows in armor for other experiments, and although they
didn’t penetrate, they hurt and they were a whole lot lighter than this. I mean you
know this is this kinda scary. Yeah they are scary.
So we’ve replicated the weapon and now we’re here on the other end at the the
French Knight being shot at. It’s very, very important that we’re shooting at
something that really closely replicates the reality, so what have we
done to get there? The choice of the armor pieces to copy is fairly limited
and from this period so so what I found is the Churburg 14 breastplate dated at 13
90. We know the carbon content of the
original, we know the thicknesses of the original, the weight and the dimensions.
So I’ve taken all that information and I produced this piece. So the original
breastplate is thicker in this central area here just as mine is here it’s two
and a half millimeters thick in the center, a robust piece of steel right and
then the thickness eases off to the side so at the very sight here we’re
down to one and a half millimeters thick. There’s a number of different things
that are important here we’ve got the shape we got the thickness what about
the steel itself I mean what it what is this supposed to be made out of. Now the
original steel was a lot more varied than our modern homogeneous steel
it had a varied carbon content but the maximum carbon content we had was a
point six percent. Which seems like a really small amount but that’s enough to
make it hard but not brittle. That was the peak so what we’ve done is we’ve
backed off from that slightly and we’ve gone for a point five percent carbon
steel. And you have heat treated it? The original, was air cooled so the whole
piece has been heated and then just allowed to cool naturally which I
suppose in a modern term would be normalizing the steel. So this has gone
through that same process so the hardness of the steel is exactly the
same as the original. What’s underneath? Now underneath this you’re still going
to be wearing a full shirt of maille; now the maille that we’ve reproduced to go
under here is riveted mail. Every single link is riveted together and that will
increase the strength. Beneath that we’ve got our representation here of the
arming doublet which again is layers of fabric. Now arming doublet is the
foundation garment that you wear over just a shirt or even next to the skin.
That’s what supports the whole armor, but it also adds a crucial layer of
padding and protection underneath as well. Well that’s it it’s a sturdy
garment. And then even after all those layers, everything you’re wearing, it’s
still got to go into the human body underneath to make a
difference that the ballistic gel itself yeah if I press you can see it
compresses just as the human body does it’s mounted so it it’ll give. It gives
like a human just like getting shot. It wouldn’t get us anywhere to just bolt
the breastplate solidly to to a target would it? That would have an adverse
effect because it would constrain the force. You need that force to be able to
dissipate just as it would when hitting a person. It’s just moving the person back,
rather than going through them. It’s giving that that inertia. OK, First time shooting at the armor. So
which heads are we shooting now? So these ones are the wrought ones that haven’t
been case-hardened, so you could refer to them as the soft ones. Basically the
easier ones to make. And there’s likelihood is that there were lots of
those around. I think so, I mean we simply don’t know
is the bottom line. Okay well this might work too, though we
don’t know. It might yeah, that’s why we’re here. That’s the sort of one we want to see
what’s happened we should carry on Yeah I think so. Nice. That was full on. That was cool.
That went did he see as well I couldn’t see where but the arrowhead flew. Yeah I
mean the shaft went right but the arrowhead went up somewhere. The noise, its really loud. So first shot through the maille, through the jack, through the body. So it hit the
turned edge and just made a bit of a mark and then skipped down underneath it.
That’s the next hit; there’s a real deep dent there, but it’s then skated off
without without punching through. That’s kind of a weird one though because it
hit really hard but it’s not made a mark. Really it’s just kind of hit at a
steeper angle and skidded off. It does show completely what that V is for
though to try to stop those ricochets coming up because that’s exactly where
that would have gone. I mean it’s doing did its job both of those times.
And so that’s with the soft head, lets go again with the hard.
yes I think what I’ll do though is I’m gonna mark off the soft so that we know.
Just make a mark of what’s what.
So that’s soft number one, here really, soft number two. So that was the
the softer, the wrought-iron heads and we’re gonna have a go now with the
case-hardened wrought-iron. Ok. And just see if they’re extra hardness the hard
jacket just needs to bite a bit more they’re just skating off I wonder if
that will make a difference. We’ll see I mean it should mark the steel better if nothing else, whether it penetrates is a different thing. Whoa! Square you don’t have to worry about
them shooting them back at you. No you’re right because there’s always that myth
about you go and collect them and then you reshoot them back and all that. No. Not if they hit anything. No. Wow So low and left, so I mean that’s absolutely what the curve is there for. It took a
left, absolutely straight left turn didn’t it? Wow. Can see the dent from here. Holy cow. That
was a big one. Well there’s a message in that isn’t there? Blimey, look at that.
So, that was the first. You just feel a little bit, but
there’s a definite mark. It has scored the metal a lot more
than that one did yeah and there’s this one yeah they are biting more.
There’s not enough data yet to really say but it seems like they’re behaving
differently. Yes, well the obvious thing obviously that we haven’t
mentioned is they haven’t gone through. Right there’s that, there is that yes.
Mustn’t forget that. H1, h2, so H for ‘Hard’ and that’s
the central section Kevin was saying that’s 2.5 is that, so that’s somewhere
between 2.5 and let’s say 2 and its done that to it. Wow. I’m think we’re just
going to review the footage see what we can learn from that, see if we can find
the arrow heads. Where’s the rest of them? So, that one’s half disappeared,
heads have completely gone. There’s a crack in…right in there. God, I wasn’t expecting that. it’s like it’s
crumpled and part of its broken this broken again. Yeah well when we look at
the footage it might be that that’s struck something on the way past. Got one. That is interesting, I mean look at the point on that. You know how
steel changes color depending on how hot it gets?
And what color are you seeing on the center of that? Where it is blue. it’s
blue yeah so that’s like 350 centigrade, Idon’t know what that is in Fahrenheit
500 or something. That’s interesting because when musket shooting
tests against armor you can see there’s a there’s an instant of superheating
when there’s contact. Well that’s what that’s what’s happened here, so there’s
enough energy in that strike, that it has heated the the iron so hot it’s turned
blue. how cool is that? Yeah, I don’t know what
to make of that but it’s neat. I don’t know if it matters, but I didn’t think it ever happened. So here we got the first of the arrows which is wrought, unhardened. Just clipped underneath you see that
wobble shockwave got the gel straight through the maille and the jack, just, just
clipped the bottom edge of the breastplate. Ruining somebody’s
day. You see that. It moved back a bit and the wave on the gel went right
up through the chest. So got the second one coming and that,
it’s just a strike right in the edge where the armor is so curved that it’s
deflecting it, which of course, exactly what the armor should be doing. As you can see the arrow hit and then
glance up and it’s hitting that V rib. Guiding it away from what
would be the the throat. There’s still a fair amount of movement in the gel and
that shot too. I mean it definitely knocks our guy back a bit as well. Wow Here we go, case-hardened. Shattered the arrow completely
obviously. Can’t shoot that back at anyone. Did it hit the V though Tod? Lets look at that again……and it just follows it up doesn’t it right over the shoulder. I
mean it does show though the mechanism of lucky shots though doesn’t it? If they’re
not going through the plate, which I think we’ve shown that they’re not.
uh-huh People are getting hurt in another way. Glancing. You saw the arrow
head go actually, I wonder how far? Again you saw the head separate from the shaft
and go spinning off, but the shaft actually stayed in contact and slid
across the surface. Wow, that was good, lets look at that again. It rebounds basically straight off.
Yeah it did, but maybe it’s the case hardening, but it didn’t skate. But also if you look at the amount of movement on that when this strikes I
think that’s moved more than any of the others. So I mean you can see that I guess
from the dent, it really has transferred the energy on that one. Hasn’t gone
through, but wow there’s some force in that. And again you can see the armor
flex, the ripples through the gel, the carriage moving back, it’s all doing what
you’d expect it to do. So Joe, you’re looking at that from the archers
point of view, what you seeing? Looks to me like with that that type of arrowhead hardened or not there’s no way that’s going through that that
breastplate. If you’re out there where you targeting? I would just try and get as many
arrows into him as I can and hopefully one of them will find the soft part of
the whole amor. So volume of arrows frankly. Yes that what I would do.
So Kevin what are you seeing? I’m seeing a really really well-designed
piece of armor. I mean that’s experience that’s put the thickness right in the
center that you need. it’s experience that’s put that V in the
front of it to deflect exactly what we saw in the footage. Perfect design engineering
really. That breastplate is obviously thick at the front and it’s a good quality steel even if it’s not hardened so what about
legs arms. You move out onto the limbs and the armor is half this thickness
that makes it more vulnerable, but the curves are a lot tighter so to get a
square shot is harder there’s another video in there. So again
the volume arrows and I suppose. We’ve killed a few of your arrows today
Will, so what do you make of what you saw? I could just echo what people are saying
we’re looking at something designed to stop arrows and it does exactly what
it’s meant to do. Whether the head could be more case-hardened we
don’t know we can look into that perhaps. It’s going through maille, it’s going
through the flesh, obviously it’s going through textile armor, but that is doing
what it was designed to do. And it’s destroying arrows at the end of
it, you can’t shoot them back at people and they are ruined that’s it. Toby
what are you what are you thinking? Well I’m not surprised because I knew that
the armor was gonna do its job. I think this is this is useful though because
it’s a reminder that we’re dealing with a really complex physical situation.
There’s all kinds of secondary effects going on and I’m amazingly
impressed at how basically all of the arrows just explode. But then you’ve got
all this wood flying around and you’ve got heads flying around and and the
noise. I think this this experiment helps the imagination, as well just trying to
flesh out the real human experience of this, because ultimately that’s what
matters. Looking at that breastplate and the damage that it’s received, I can’t
see the arrows going through that now. It’s not to say they won’t go through
weaker bits of armor, like leg armor or a back plate or something, but I think
we can put to bed ‘do they go through the breastplate?’ Perhaps
occasionally, but generally no. So that brings us to the mechanism of what
happens. How do people get killed? How do people get injured? So, it’s got to
be the lucky shots hasn’t it so it’s got to be; a strap is broken and your arm is
open, or you get one under the armpit. We saw that with the maille and in the
doublet I wonder about the role of the jupon. The English knew about them and
there are depictions of English knights wearing them but it’s it’s it’s not
typical where it is typical in France so there’s this this usefulness in having
more thickly padded textile armour over the plate armor. I mean that’s
that’s a big thing in this period. Well lets go an have a look at that. So here we have a upon that’s been
made by Chrissi Carnie from The Sempster. Again, like everything else, made as authentically as we can. so with the layers of the linen and the cotton
wadding and the silk over. This is a really important part of the test,
because we know that thickly padded textile armors or jupons were a
special French fashion in this period and it was typical for French
Knights to wear these these textile armors in addition to their plates they
didn’t always do it but they tended to. It’s certainly more common in the French
army than it is in the English. So we need to add that to the equation
and nobody’s ever done that before well it it does really strike me as a key
element that they wore them over the plate armor; I know you were saying that
sometimes they wore them under, but you wear it over and it’s gonna
radically change what happens when you impact it with things. As well as swords
and maces and such things it’ll take some of the sting out but I think it
will make a massive difference with the way the arrow strikes as well. Let’s
see. Interesting, looks like you’re right. That it has
absolutely captured it. Absolutely captured it and for once we’ve recovered
an arrowhead as well. Did the head stay in?
I don’t know I think we’ll find out. So I mean that was square on center of the
breast all the other arrows have just exploded. So far no blowing up. Yeah.
Fascinating Wow Now look at that, so this is with the jupon over the breastplate there’s very clearly something quite different
happening, they’re behaving in a completely different way. Should we open it up? The heads again just mangled. What we got here? So those are those two strikes
there. And the other one didn’t make much it didn’t make impression, this is a new scratch there, I think that’s what’s
going on here. Not much but I mean that really did completely
change the characteristics of what happened. but it’s not I mean they’re not deep
dents, they’re not worrying. No not remotely. I mean they’re
shallow compared to this one. The fact that it’s come out its come in
here. Is that this one here? Now that is interesting
because that’s exactly the lucky shot thing that we are talking about. If it
does that through the fabric….so it’s it’s gone, it’s hit the plate, it’s
turned and it’s gone up under, but again that’s heading straight up under
the aventail. I think it has hit that actually because
it’s traveling up at that same angle again, you know if you if you marry it
back up it lines right up with the stop rib it’s right on the stop rib.
The exploding flying debris is very impressive but the the greater risks of
the individual that it’s hitting is the deflection into some other gap of some
part of the arrow. In sword combat in Lance combat, the skating weapon is one
of the paramount risks in armored fighting. I mean certainty it’s gonna
help take some of the spank out of a sword blow or a mace blow but I would
say quite clearly that’s also massively reducing the fragmentation the arrows.
Imagine if you had 40 of those sticking out. I know it’s quite look isn’t it?
Quite the fashion accessory. Souvenirs for Will. So there did appear
to be a bit of a difference between the case-hardened and the uncase-hardened,
but it’s difficult to tell on that so I how did what was the process how
did you K suddenly the heads that we made for this test were forged in
wrought iron and in the half that we case-hardened were heated to 850 Celsius
or 1500 Fahrenheit and then they were quenched in a compound of organic
material like hoof, horn and sugar and that forms a layer of carbon. There’s a
lot of variation in there and a lot of cooking times changed, the level of
carbon that you get on these arrowheads and there’s an awful lot of information
that we need to learn about that. So to try and put that one to bed I’ve got
a modern arrow of Joe’s here so it’s a modern steel case hardened so this is as
good as we can get it. We’ve shortened the range now to 10 meters to give us
everything, the best possible chance of being able to achieve this and we’ll see
what it does. Give it a go Lets have a look Well the arrow didn’t fare any better. Its
clearly made a deeper impact, not by much, but a deeper impact. My take on this is
that the breastplate is maybe about two millimeters thick at that point and
given it our best shot pun intended, with a modern steel case
hardened it’s still not doing it. It doesn’t do anything here, great it
doesn’t go through, but on the thinner areas of the armor like the size of the
legs or something suddenly it might start to make a difference and I think
that’s where we’ve got to go looking. I think what we’re looking at here
is an unanswered question, is does the case hardening really work is it really
worth all those extra man hours and the time and the materials it takes the case
hardened your heads and we need to go away really and have a look at that and
really look into what you can do how far you can take it. The problem
unfortunately that you’ve got, is you can’t go to a book and look at it, it was
never written down. It’s that master and apprentice thing, you do it the way it’s
always been done and you go “oh great” and because of that we have to go away and
we have to do practical testing and see how far we can take it. Wow, what a day
guys I mean this has just been absolutely fantastic to see this and
thank you so much for your input I mean really it’s been great and it’s answered
a lot of questions for me. It’s quite clearly brought up a lot of other
questions that we need to come back an answer; helmets Kevin! So we need we
need to look at that about piercing the breaths and sights of a helmet. Again
with the case hardening but it’s it’s been fantastic this. But really it’s it’s
you guys I hope you’ve enjoyed it too and make sure you comment on it, you know
we like to discuss this we read your comments we try to reply when we can and
we learn from it so it’d be good to see you there. Thank you very much

81 thoughts on “ARROWS vs ARMOUR – Medieval Myth Busting

  1. I would be really interested to see 1945 weaponry against the armour to consider many lives could have been saved with medieval armour in the 2nd world war

  2. Really great to see all those amazing skills brought together. Fascinating to watch, especially the jupon experiment. With just plate armour I thought we might get a tip just through. Impressive armour. Thanks!

  3. Great video, I really enjoyed the professional impartiality that you employed/enforced. I found 3 points particularly interesting:

    1. Although the evidence does seem to prove that there is no way an arrow fired from a War Bow would penetrate plate armour/harness, the very first shot does demonstrate that some arrows would find the gaps. Considering the large number of arrows known to be fired in volleys during this period, could a large number of wounds/fatalities be accounted for by arrows finding the gaps in the solid plates?

    2. The slow motion footage of the arrows shattering and being deflected in different directions could present a very real shrapnel threat, not to the original target but to personnel in close proximity to them. As most formations, particularly mounted Cavalry formations, packed personnel into tight groups this shrapnel effect could be quite interesting to investigate further. Especially considering that the shrapnel is most likely to be hitting personnel from angles which their armour isn't specifically designed to defend against (i.e. the front). The threat of this shrapnel effect could be why the French chose to wear the Joupon (forgive spelling, I mean the padded fabric over the outside of the armour). Soldiers rarely choose to wear items that add weight without having a good reason for it.

    3. What armour was used on horses? I know that this is a little outside the point of the video but I would expect that it would be very hard to effectively armour a horse against arrows due to weight constraints, is this true? Bringing down the first couple of ranks of a tightly packed Cavalry formation, by targeting the horses as opposed to their well protected riders, would surely have a catastrophic effect if timed well enough?

    Just a few thoughts but really enjoyed the video and I would be really interested to hear your answers and see more videos like this.

  4. I think they shot so many arrows that a lot would strike weak areas in the armour such as joints etc and of course the horses were vunerable too being densely packed.
    Another suggestion is that arrows were shot into the charging ranks from close range, close enough for the energy in the arrow(s) to unseat riders. Who knows ???

  5. A lot about the armour – not much detail about the arrows. Their weight and stiffness may be critical factors and should have been compared to those used at Crecy and Agincourt. The head material design and construction may also matter – the points shown (briefly) are not simple needle bodkins.
    The draw length of the bow may matter too. Saying a bow is a 160lbs one is using the wrong units, surely? Should be lbf or Newtons.

    Still, I'd rather have been wearing the armour than not, if I had to face English archers. I'd want a horse to carry the weight…

  6. i am looking at this from much different perspective. I realize that certain assumptions or theories have to be proposed in order to do a test and that is fine.

    "Could the arrows of the english longbow penetrate on a straight frontal trajectory the armor worn by a knight that was wearing the best armor of the period"
    I wonder if the armor for the men at arms would been as well made since good Armor was extremely expensive and I suspect that the surviving armor from that period was the best. The knight might have survived without a lethal wound, but his horse, squires, and what ever foot soldier support that he had might have been more likely to have died.

    Then there is the overall effectiveness of any armor since the protection is not uniform for the entire body.
    For a general prospective on this I would start with the general effectiveness of level IV AR500 plates used on the modern battle field against modern rifles. These will stop most small arms projectiles , but maybe not some of the newest. Spalling must be dealt with and you noticed something similar with the arrows. The biggest failing is the AR500 plates do not cover the entire body just as those breast plate does not cover the entire body. This is something that was mentioned.
    Overall I think this was an excellent first study and I hope you all do more of the same.

  7. The historic significance of the Mongol bow was that unlike the longbow it did penetrate plate armor of the Hungarian and other knights. The question was always about silk and chainmail stopping their arrows. The Mongol bows shot further and with armor-piercing power.

  8. As the english archers were stationed at an angle (oblique) it would have been interesting to see the impact results when the arrows hit the sides or back quarter if the armor…..

  9. How about trying different types of bows? Like Mongolian bow, ottoman bow as they create more resistance. Arrow is important but Bow is more important.

  10. perfect video also could the shockwave from that impact kill u
    it would be fun to see other types of bows in similar action

  11. The fact that they avoided using a 200 lb bow ruins the whole test. They guys who shot at Agincourt would not be worried about whether they could shoot the next day. They were facing cavalry. They would not need to shoot for even the six hours this amateur claimed that he could do. A proper test would show how hard the shot had to be and then determine if it was possible for a professional soldier to do that. An arrow above the V would have killed the guy.

  12. MORDHAU developers…… are you watching this???!!! A knight in full plate would not die to 2 arrows……….Archers need a SERIOUS nerf.

  13. Have you considered shooting at the breastplate from oblique angle to simulate shots from the sides of the formation?

    Not every arrow is going to be aimed directly at the thickest part of the armour.

    I really liked the video. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  14. Can somebody just post the time in the video where they fire the arrow. I'm not interested in listening to these nerds.

  15. The arrows may have been more effective in taking out the horses the knights rode. Once a mounted knight lost his horse one would think the knight would be more vulnerable and less effective and certainly less mobile.

    Also, since the armor is thinner toward the sides, they may have shot using a crossfire so that the arrows would hit directly head on against the sides verses hitting the sides with glancing blows.

  16. I´m not into historical reenactments and such, but this was very informative and mostly extremely well done. I like how everybody seems to be taking personal responsibility for historical accuracy. Giving you an idea of having been witness to a bit of history or at least the best approximation imaginable. Well done.

  17. Bow – cheap and easy to use. Armor – So expensive almost no one had it. Winner – Bow. Every one knows the longbow was the invention which brought an end to the days of armored knights.

  18. What about the story/belief that English archers added humps of clay on their arrow tips, to stop the slide of the arrow, and make sure that the full force was used to penetrate the armor?

  19. I wonder how many soldiers were injured by the broken heads and broken arrows coming at them from awkward angles… I not guessing lethal injuries but injuries that could lead to pain and possibly infections… awesome engineering of the “V”, very cool to see this in action. Thank you and love your channel and honesty in your videos, no fluff or BS! 🎯👍👍

    The gentleman archer, Mr. Joe Gibbs… OMG‼️. Totally amazing skill🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯

    I have to thank all the craftsman’s for their reproduction of quality material and finished product for this video.

  20. I'm surprised that there was no mention of the blunt force trauma that the arrows could cause. It looks like there would definitely be bruising, possibly some cracked ribs too

  21. So, next shoot from the quarter, from the side, at the weak spots and gaps, at the face? Against cavalry shoot the horse and then the man? Not too surprised by the jupon but my impression from contemporary illustration was that the French style was perhaps quite tight across the chest plate and not loosely attached, though skirted.
    I had a notion from experience with more moderate weights that good padding might retard a heavier bodkin where it might not hinder not hinder a long needle point. This was the case with a good jack of mine and a lighter bow.
    Excellent work, this should be the first in an ongoing series.
    Now you have raised the bar it would be a shame to not maintain the standard and build up a useful knowledge base.

  22. I would love to see how this effects the ribs underneath and how crippling it is to be shot with such forceful blows. Could these arrows still be deadly without having to penetrate.

  23. I haven't read all the comments but I didn't see much written or spoken in the video about the "feel" of such an arrow strike in your chest. The one guy on the video said he got shot with arrows and even though they didn't penetrate they hurt. Can you imagine a "volume of fire" coming into your body? Would each one of those arrows feel like a sledge hammer or what?

  24. This was a great experiment, however the fail point on each of the arrows was the shaft which when they were discussing historical accuracy of the arrows they did not discuss the material and varies possible treatment of the shaft which makes me wonder if a different shaft material would have changed the results since the force of the arrow striking the armor decreased once the arrow broke

  25. Nice video. As expected, the longbow was a total failure and didn't do anything to the plate. People tend to forget that the longbow did nothing to the knights in Agincourt. It was only effective against the unarmored horses. The longbowmen got their asses kicked in later battles during the Hundred Years War like Patay.

  26. This is such an awsome experiement and Video. It answered some questions and brought up new ones, exactly what a good experiment is supposed to do.

  27. The energy of the arrows never completely transfers to the breastplate since they always break. Even a heavier bow probably wouldn't transfer much more energy to the armor since the arrows are breaking, I wonder if a tougher wood would have made a difference?

  28. The feeling of getting shot by those arrows and feel it bounce off that V shape on the breastplate, must have been so empowering. Invincible!

  29. Absolutely no one in today’s existence of ever: Let’s all do cool stuff and say the same shit but just word it differently individually for 30 minutes.

    Director: ight bet.


  30. The question in my mind is not whether the French Knights were protected or not by their armour, they obviously were. What was the armour of their horses? A mounted knight who was dishorsed was vulnerable to warhammers, maces etc and his most lethal weapon, his lance, was rendered useless. English archers were probably not aiming so much at the knight as at his horse.

  31. You need to test it with the armor moving forward like an advancing knight to get the force you would in a battle

  32. Really spectacular work. This study should be published in a journal. Let me know if it has been published. I am sure this will spark movie makers to be more precise… the impressive sound of an arrow hitting armor should be sampled and the slow motion capture of the deflection by the "V-rib" as the arrow shaft explodes and the arrow head spins off is riveting!

  33. In battle, the archer wouldn’t have been aiming for the armored knight, he would have been aiming for the horse. It would have been the man-at-arms who would have dealt with the dazed knight after he had fallen off of or trapped under the dead horse.

  34. I'm no expert at all, but in this test you've made one breast plate and made it as perfect as you could. But isn't it possible that when they needed to make breastplates for an army, they weren't all made as good as possible,but instead of that as fast as possible and therefore less strong? (Excuse me for possible grammar error, I'm dutch so…)

  35. I love this kind of stuff!
    What I appreciate more is these guys are some of the best at what they do, and they have the pride and knowledge to admit the words "I don't know". They don't pretend to know everything. They gather the data they can and make as accurate assumption to the best of their knowledge. Mad respect for that humility and the attitude.

  36. What is missed by everyone is this : horses do not do as well as the knight in Armour. when a horse at full gallop goes down the knight would be thrown forward, the contact with the ground at speed is a major factor and recovery from a fall like that would put the knight in a vulnerable position.

  37. I think a reminder should be that the force of the impact would be enough to potentially knock you over, or at least definitely slow your charge. It's more than just get the kill….Slowing a charge breaks the lines, knocking over creates vulnerability. And a sea of arrows covering the skies is a sight to behold…It's not an accident that successful armies since BC were either based on cavalry or arrows.

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