Book Review: “The Composite Bow”

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Book Review: “The Composite Bow”

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:14 pm

>>>> Book Review: “The Composite Bow” <<<<

>>> Mike Loades, Osprey Pub., 2016, ISBN 978-1-4728-0591-1


The composite bow was made from a combination of horn, sinew, wood, and various animal glues. I manifested in a variety of recurve designs and was adopted by a staggering diversity of cultures, from nomadic tribal peoples such as the Huns, Turks, and Mongols, to the mighty empires such as the Romans, Persians, and Chinese. Offering high power and portability, the composite bow was especially effective in the hands of the horse-archer, though it was aso used by infantry in open battle, and as a siege weapon.

In this important study , the author , an expert on historical archery, tells the story of this extraordinary piece of military hardware / weapon: how it was made, and how various cultures developed dffering tactics for its use. He explains why the composite bow achieved such stunning succes and how it endured as a weapon of choice for so many throughout thousands of years.

>>> Contents:

>> -- Introduction;

>> -- Development: Engineering the optimal bow;

Typology of Composite Bows;
[*]The Scythian Bow;
[*]The Angular Bow;
[*]The Archemenid Bow;
[*]The Turkish Bow;
[*]The Mughal Crab Bow;
[*]The Indo-Persian Bow;
[*]The Crimean Tatar Bow;
[*]The Magyar/Hun Bow;
[*]The Asymmetric Hun Bow:
[*]The Mongolian Bow;
[*]The Korean Bow;
[*]The Ming Bow;
[*]The Qing Bow.
* Materalials and Manufacture;
* Building the Bow;
* Tuning and Stringing the Bow;
[*]Development of Shooting Techniques.

>> -- Use: Archery - a very martial art;

[*]The Chariot-Archer;
[*]The Horse-Archer Origins;
[*]Saddles, Stirrups, and the Rise of the Horse-Archer;
[*]The Horse-Archer Prepares For War;
[*]Horses and the Horse-Archer;
[*]The “qabag” (gourd --target);
[*]The “ furusiyya” Track (target arrangement);
[*]The “Ottoman” Track (mounted exercises);
[*] A Court Spectacle;
[*]The “Manchu” Track;
[*]Mogu (mobile target);
[*]Exhibition Shots;
[*]Horse-Archer - Angles of Shot;
[*]The Parthian Shot;
[*]“Jarmaki” (downward shot);
[*]Infantry Archers - Training and Practice;
[*]Flight shooting;
[*]The Composite Bow In Western Europe;
[*]Arrow Types;
[*]Arrow Carriage.

>> -- Impact: Different bows for different blows;

[*]Draw Weights;
[*]Arrows and Armour;
[*]Tactical Impact.

>> -- Conclusion:

>> -- Bibliography:

>> -- Index:

The book contains some 74 colored photogrpahs, 23 black and white drawings / diagrams, and 4 full page or double page color plates with full explanation.

>>> Reviewer’s Comments;

I found the book to be intensely interesting in all its parts, I suppose due to my extreme interest in weapons of all kinds. However, I was most impressed by the detailed photographs of the procedure for building a composite bow. Were I more skilled with my hands, and were the materials not so difficult or expensive to collect, I would certainly attempt that project. I have made both arrows and spears, and all the projects mentioned in this book seem to me to be very doable. I have a modern recurve bow, and I will certainly try out all the different ‘tracks” to see how difficult they are, assuming that only a constant system of practice, practice, and more practice would get one to the rating of “GOOD” (Grin!!).

For anyone interested in weapons or warfare, I would strongly recommend this book!

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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