A long, long time ago, way before any of us in this stinky room was born, there lived creatures very much like us… something with almost exactly the same exotic features of us. Can you guess what it is??? Show of hands… It’s the caveman!!! How could all of you, intelligent human beings of god’s creation not know!!! Sigh… but yes, I’m here to teach you some things, so I shall not scold you anymore. Teachers don’t scold, do they?
One day, a caveman threw a rock. “Wow! Rocks can fly when I throw it!” he said. But he became hungry and decided to hunt. He threw the rock in the sky and it accidentally landed on a deer. That unlucky deer died from a broken skull. Ouch. Then, the lucky caveman said, “Yay!!! I will have a hearty dinner today!” Crack! He threw the rock that killed a deer and made history. And this is where the story of long range weapons started. The throwing rock then evolved to the throwing spear, or javelin, then to the slingshot, and then to the bow and arrow and then to the firearms and then yeah… but I will be talking mostly about the bow and arrow.
After a smart caveman invented the bow and arrow at around 40, 000 years ago, people started to copy him, and then soon enough, the creation started to spread around the whole world. Sadly, we will never know who specifically invented the bow and arrow, as in the cavemen times, they had, you know, a dumb brain, or a brain not as smart as our perfected highly intelligent brains and therefore not think about names and stuff like that. You know those Flintstones? I’d have to say, they were pretty bird-brained. But, I may have to think about that because if cavemen were so dumb, how do they know how to invent the bow???
One of the most famous recorded uses of the bow was by the English and Welsh bowmen of their army. They this kind of bow that they called the longbow and it was a probably very good bow. What made them so famous was the battle of Agincourt and Crécy. Both battles were wars between English and France, and ironically, they won both wars! Dude, the French had heavily armoured mounted knights!!! Also, the French utterly outnumbered the English 4-3 or 6-1! But, in the battle of Agincourt, the English won because it was a combination of armaments, battlefield conditions and tactics. The English set their position at the top of a rise of land, which was bordered on both sides by woods. The French knights were in heavy suits of armor, while the English were in lighter dress that made them more mobile. The weather was wet so the ground between the armies was soggy. The French knights charged up the rise but had to go slow because of the soggy ground and their heavy amour. The woods on both sides acted as a funnel to keep the front line small.
As the French knights moved uphill the English used their longbows to fire arrows into them like modern-day artillery from way up the hill before the knights could even get near the English. Knights in the front lines began to fall from the arrows but the French knights behind the front lines kept charging without knowing what was happening up front and they rode right over their own troops. Knights from the rear then were in range of the longbowmen and began to get hit from arrows. They fell on top of knights who had fallen earlier. A knight usually could not get up by himself due to the weight of the armor. Some knights actually drowned because they were pushed down into puddles with armored knights falling on top of them. As more and more knights fell and could not get back up, English soldiers armed with daggers ran out and killed them as they lay on the ground. Eventually, the French assault collapsed and they retreated, giving the English King Henry V the spectacular victory.
After many other bow wars, and development of other kinds of ancient bows, there came the revolution of modern bows, which were not like those ugly, ancient wooden bows that were plain and not colourful. First came on the composite bow, which was very different from the ancient longbow and stuff like that. It was made of wood, horn, and sinews laminated together into one shape, which made the bow more powerful while being smaller, and so it was easier for cavalry and chariot riders to shoot bows. After that, there came the recurve bow, which provided even more power because of the tips flexing away from the archer. Then, there came the compound bow, which had a set of pulleys to create maximum firing power. This bow also used a levering system to pull back the limbs, which allowed the bow to be much stiffer, and therefore energy efficient. This design was invented in around 1966.
Courtney from Study Moose
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