Arrows vs Armour

Ulfgeir

Hero
Always fun with experimental recreations of history.

Tod from Tod's Workshop had a crowdfunding-campaign to get more money to do experimental recreations of history. And to see how dangerous the archers were at the battle of Agincourt in 1415. He is joined by an archer, a fletcher, an armoursmith and a historian. All tests were made with a 160 lbs-bow, and filmed in slow motion. 5 links:

01: A discussion about the strength of the bows.

02: Test of varying levels of hardening on the arrow tips.

03: Test of differernt qualities of mail - chainmail

04: Test of different qualities of plate

05: Test against a whole suit of amour.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Your TLDR...

The mail itself doesn't provide a whole lot of protection, the arrows are able to penetrate it pretty well. However, the plate with mail backing is very effective. The secret is less the material they found and more the shaping, the sloping of the armor REALLY increases its ability to deflect arrows. When they would take flat plate and hit it, arrows had some reasonable effectiveness, but once you add that sloping the arrows just bounce right off.

In terms of hardened arrows, they did have a bit better effectiveness against the plate but honestly not much. Again the sloping seems to be the culprit, the arrow just can't dig in to deliver its power, its just deflects off.
 

Ryujin

Legend
I was a backer on this. I particularly appreciated that they were effectively re-enacting the battle, in microcosm. Twenty years later and the arrowheads might have been all case hardened. Fifty years and the armour would likely have all been of tempered steel.

Also of note is that the research for this video sent Matt Easton (Schola Gladiatoria Youtube channel) down a rabbit hole that revealed that in the year following Agincourt, English sources talk about a shortage of wood for arrows because the makers of the Medieval equivalent of galoshes were using up all the wood to make their own products. Videos like Tod's always end up sending a ripple through the online community.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Your TLDR...

The mail itself doesn't provide a whole lot of protection, the arrows are able to penetrate it pretty well. However, the plate with mail backing is very effective. The secret is less the material they found and more the shaping, the sloping of the armor REALLY increases its ability to deflect arrows. When they would take flat plate and hit it, arrows had some reasonable effectiveness, but once you add that sloping the arrows just bounce right off.

In terms of hardened arrows, they did have a bit better effectiveness against the plate but honestly not much. Again the sloping seems to be the culprit, the arrow just can't dig in to deliver its power, its just deflects off.
It's a principle that is still put in use today, for modern military vehicles. As seen in the video case hardened arrows would tend to bite better into the mild steel breastplate. That would have made them far more effective, given that the unhardened iron arrowheads would barely scratch the surface of the thicker areas on the breastplate.

In another video, quite a while back, Toby Capwell mentioned that one of the reasons why so little original chainmail remains today, is that it was harvested to make voiders for plate armour. I have a copy of his excellent book "Masterpieces of Arms and Armour in the Wallace Collection" that I use as an occasional reference.
 


Ryujin

Legend
Just seen the first vid. Love that there is so much of a technical side to archery from the logistics for supplying a working army.


Like a kickstarter? Were they offering the t-shirts as in the youtube link?
A t-shirt was at one of the backer tiers. There were varios levels from name in credits, to getting your own custom yew bow.
 

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