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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


Old Contemptible
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Everything posted by Spasm

  1. Generals etc

    This one will be a pair
  2. Played around a bit with your picture and blurred up a silver war badge. The negative areas are very similar, so I'd go with Simon's details.
  3. Crecy - Longbow vs. Crossbow

    One thing that I'm pretty sure about is that the bodkin (arrow tip) wasn't capable of piercing the quality armour and undergarments of the time. Maybe the lower quality armour to a certain degree. I've watched a heavy warbow smash it's arrow on armour at no farther than 20 yards without anything more than a scratch on the breastplate. I've seen armour made by modern blacksmiths that you'd have a problem getting a knife between the plates. The armoured gauntlets are just a work of art. I suppose it's therefore difficult to understand why the armoured men at arms and knights didn't just wade through the arrowstorms and cut the archers down. I really can't imagine what it would be like below a storm of arrows but given that the French changed their tactics back to shield walls and looking away from a volley it must have had a terrible effect on the advancing line. Lightly armoured crossbowmen, men at arms and horses were driven back by high trajectory and aimed level volleys. The heavily armoured were forced to march uphill over the dead and dying, horses stumbled into pot holes and trenches and then facing a hedge of wooden steaks, long pole arms and fresh armoured men just baying to get at you. It must have been terrible. Given that the French charged at the English about 15 times and fought from around 4pm until midnight, they were very worthy to bear arms for Phillip. I'm looking forward to seeing how your experiments went with those very nice looking crossbows.
  4. Crecy - Longbow vs. Crossbow

    So, to add some more input and because you re-ignited my interest as to just why Crecy was such a one sided affair: Originally my thoughts were on the longbow, or rather the warbow, being a superior weapon than the crossbow. Easy, I figured, I'll go find out that the crossbow didn't fire as far. Surprisingly this doesn't seem to be the case with the heavier crossbows used at the time. Although I'm hoping that your experiences and tests will fuel that thought. So, roughly 6,000 Genoese crossbows against 7,000 English warbows. With a few French tagging along (about 30,000) and some English dismounted men at arms (about 6,000). But still a complete destruction of Phillip's army with about 12,000 killed. Figures do vary enormously depending on the source. I agree with your thoughts on both the French and the Genoese blaming each other rather than being truthful and admitting they were simply mashed by the English. The Genoese also blamed the first use of cannon on the battlefield. (Probably not the very first time they were ever used but maybe the first time they had seen Knights knocked off of their horses by them). I suppose the clues are there that, in fact, the French were soundly beaten by better tactics and a battle plan well tried and tested against the Scots. The line holding firm with massed arrow storms from English warbows. Edward himself used Genoese mercenaries with crossbows to subdue the Welsh some time before this trip into France. He saw the Gwent longbows in action against his mounted Knights. The greater speed of firing (particularly against the heavier crossbow) and the heavy draw weight that could be handled by an experienced archer. The mounted Knight changed to fighting on foot alongside the archer during the battles against the Scots. Falkirk and Berwick were won by prepared arrow storms. The crossing of the Somme two days before the battle at Crecy was achieved against well prepared Genoese crossbowmen alongside French Knights. The English lost about 250 against a force of 3,500 who were so confident they waded into the river against the English. Impatient Knights again. So, my thinking is that the impatience of the mounted knights controlled, heavily armoured men at arms in the centre with large angled wings of archers well trained and accurate with heavy warbows with the use of the lay of the land basically out thought, and out fought, the Scots and the French. The French being further hampered by unruly Nobles and Knights insisting that their numbers would crush the English and wading straight in when advised to wait until the following day. Now all I want to hear is that the effective range of a crossbow is less than that of a warbow. It seems that the 170 odd longbows brought up on the Mary Rose had pulling lengths for a 30 inch arrow and a pull of between 100 and 180 pounds. Most of us couldn't even think about a full pull on one of these bows. It seems that although claims of a range of up to 400 yards the first volleys were let loose at around 250 - 300 yards.
  5. GAR

    These are really nice. Fairly easily available and relatively cheap given what they are. I know basically a veteran's medal rather than a campaign but still... Here it is alongside my sketch of Uncle Billy Tecumseh
  6. Crecy - Longbow vs. Crossbow

    Didn't mean to steal any of your thunder Brian. I expect that facing down an unruly mob of mercenaries who may be facing you on the battlefield at a later date was a lot easier than some banker who was threatening bankruptcy, pffft. Having a think about those arrow storms, I wonder how many times a charging Knight would've been hit before he made the fighting line? Figures do vary wildly but losses were pretty bad, even with armour. Probably most were done in by the men at arms but it must've been pretty bad with some 8 thousand arrows streaking downwards with another wave already in the air. Assuming the battlelines were roughly 100 yards apart, similar to those battles fought 500 years later in the peninsular and the US civil wars. No armour there though, maybe the long bow would've been more effective than those flintlocks.
  7. Crecy - Longbow vs. Crossbow

    A great read as usual Brian. I was always under the impression that the crossbows of the time had a range of about 80 yards. At Crecy, when the Genoese mercs approached to about 100 yards they made their stand. The English longbow is said to have had a range of up to 300 yards (although having been to a few re-enactments in the West Country showing arrow storms I'd doubt it) it is likely that the Genoese were in killing range of the English war bows. Edward III had seen/heard about the English Knight's failed excesses against the Scots at Stirling and Bannockburn and built upon his Granddad's battleline strategies when the longbow was developing. A shield wall of men at arms behind a herce (line of dug in pikes) intersperced with archers. Sometimes with wings slating towards the enemy allowing arrows from 3 sides. They had also learned from the Scots and had dug pot holes and trenches to break the horses legs. I've read that 150,000 arrows were fired in 30 volleys at Crecy. At around 6 shots per minute that would give an arrowstorm of about 5 minutes duration. With bodkins the heavier 3 foot arrow fired from a 6 foot war bow could easily pass through chain mail and the lighter cheaper wrought iron armour. (As demonstrated by the French adopting shields and looking away at Potiers later on.) The unruly French nobles (excessive as were the English Knights) pressed forward against the Genoese and fell with them as the horses and thinner armour on arms and legs were penetrated. 5 minutes of dying in the shade! The French lost a couple of thousand while the English lost only a couple of hundred. I also thought that Mercs were pretty well treated during those, and later times. It was difficult to raise the money for a home grown army given the rules at that time. Relatively small armies (in comparison to the later WWs) would scrap in a field and the peasants would work for a new ruler. Didn't really change their way of life. Mercenaries could be raised already trained and already equipped with arms and armour. Albeit the mercs would remain loyal to their Captain rather than who was paying him. And which Captain would go work for someone who was known for killing off the mercenaries - ok maybe the one who wanted a bigger share of the money. But what mercenary would go work for that Captain. I'm looking forward to the results of the two Brian's (or is that Brians') shooting trials. Nice one Steve
  8. I have this pair of certificates awarded to Ernst Schlett who is listed as missing from 1/6/1944 in the memorial book at Potylicz/Poteilitsch cemetery. His date of birth was 4/10/1911 and his death/missing area is listed as Brody/Knaise/Kosin. Would there be any way as to get a few more details? Are any available? He served under Gen. Robert Martinek (who has signed the EK2 cert) I assume within the 39th Panzer Corps and 841 Artillery Abt. Can their whereabouts be traced for the missing date?
  9. Thanks very much. Really good to have some more info and especially his picture. Thanks again hucks
  10. New Five Pound Note

    While having a look at the fiver given to me at the local co-op when I first saw one, the serving wench said that those with the prefix AK47 were sought after. The woman next to me asked how much they were worth. The teller said "about five pounds I think."
  11. Gents, I was at a militaria show yesterday and a friend brought along these pickled onion helmets. I've absolutely no idea as to origin, whether they are original and what value-ish they could be, given their condition. He bought from a dealer in France earlier this year to be part of his collection of WW1 stuff. All help greatly appreciated. Here's the first (sorry about the pictures but it was indoors and half way up the Welsh mountains.....)
  12. Andy Thanks for that, I'll let him know. At least he'll be pleased that they're original. Steve
  13. Here's the second one. My mate brought them to me as I've had more relic steel helmets pass me than the Das Reich Division (or so it seems) but I have absolutely no idea if these are worth him keeping on his shelf or whether he needs to have a chat with the dealer when he goes back to France again early next year. I told him I knew some experts so thanks in advance Chaps,,, Thanks Paul, I'll let him know
  14. Anyone have any ideas on the WW1 helmet flash unit?
  15. My first Mle 15

    Leave it as it is. It's survived 100 years so another few being kept dry in your collection will do it no harm.
  16. That's my lot!

    More, for interest all mine, all mine....
  17. The humble French grease tin

    Thanks Gents and I'm glad you like it Tony. Here's the spare one you sent along with another French lady:
  18. That's my lot!

    Remember the M42 at the top of the thread? Well, Tony sent me a cuppa cement and I cracked on with it. Here it is now. Still a liner and chinstrap to fit (should've done that before fitting the helmet belt strap as it's on there pretty tight). Spent some time trying to get it to look like the rust is coming through the paint. As usual I need a better camera but you get the idea.
  19. Picked this set up a few weeks ago to an Unteroffizer of 2./Gren.Rgt.464 Certs and medals His ID tag A few photos, one of him at Reserve Hospital I in Warsaw And his record of POW transits and camps I also found this in the leather ID holder I haven't put a micro whatsit on it but it measures by eye for a 7.92 round. It's been a while but am I correct in saying this is a tracer round? There is what could be remains of a painted tip if you look closely.
  20. Jock, yes, could be AP I suppose although it doesn't have a boat tail, just straight. Was it normal for POWs to move around quite so much in the US? Apparently they were transferred to 2./Gren.Rgt.473 within 253 Inf. Div. and surrendered to the Soviets at Mahren. However, some of the Div didn't take to that idea and marched 10 miles to the US lines to hand in their rifles. Hence the tour of the US.
  21. A simple Mle. 15

    Lovely original to be left alone, particularly with the chin strap over the rear rim. Great when there's some spirit left from the original user - who would even think of undoing that chin strap buckle. Nice find Tony.
  22. Gents I bought some photos because I espied this one amongst the pile. A great picture that I intend to use as a basis for a painting. It came with more than 40 others that have a variety of shots from sailors to paratroopers but mostly look to be in the wilderness of the Eastern front with some showing winter camo. I'm assuming then a winter shot rather than Africa due to the goggles. Not much to go on but any ideas? Steve
  23. No worries, all of them are newly printed copies from Boots the Chemist and although the seller didn't say as much, it was pretty obvious so maybe a part pikey. I hardly buy anything original these days so they cost a mere few pennies each. I'm continually on the look out for good pictures to help me compose paintings or spark an idea. I know Mr google has access to all areas but having pictures hanging around, in the flesh, spurs me on. I'm off to a reenactor thingy (where ze Germans attack on the flat beds trucks behind a real steam train) over the weekend so will keep my eyes open for a girl in heavy DAK gear.
  24. Seems like it was done on a large scale too
  25. Hucks, now that was good the Bladerunner CSI, GMIC forensic details are obviously the giveaway, why didn't I spot that? I was going on the printing on the back that says BOOTS. Searching on the image thingy in Goggles (WW2?) the picture is all over the place but mostly in Flicker and Pinuninteresting. The forums that also have the picture seem to assume that it is period and shows a DAK soldier. Lots of forums include it in their Bundesarchive photo lists. Normally these photos would have the little Bundesarchive printing in the margin but I can't find any that have it. So, I've searched the Budesarchive for the photo but cannot find it, no matter what search term I use. One forum titles the picture "circa 1943, M40 helmet, M43 hat and tan shenagh" - well that's wrong then - it's an M42 to my eyes with single decal. Another titles it "DAK equipped for combat sandstorm, note mesh helmet still in European colour" - combat sandstorm? Blimey. I'm probably going for the goggles and covers to be for dust rather than cold, no gloves and loose fitting. But his helmet hanging on his belt including two grenades, the helmet strap wouldn't be lasting very long. And those socks! No pack but has a single strap and what's that sleeve badge, one epaulette missing, something stuffed in his pocket, white thumbnail, wire mesh with correct twists? Dunno, still a good picture though.