[WILD ASIAN WARCRY] Let’s debunk this scenario. You are an archer, and you have a fighter that is charging towads you. Now, this scenario gets raised many times in discussions and debates on archery and bows in close combat and on the virtues of speed shooting and so on. While this may be the stereotypical combat situation, I want to point out a few things that might prove how this scenario is often poorly applied. A swordsman running towards you is not a realistic combat situation. 8000 footmen marching towards 5000 archers is. When you have this many archers, individual rate of fire isn’t so important because there will always be 5000 arrows in the air every few seconds. That is whole lot different compared to a one-on-one duel which would never had happened. Not every fight was a battle. Perhaps two foraging parties who happen to run into each other. Would we then see this charging swordsmen against bowmen? This I still this is an unrealistic scenario. The idea of a swordsman running towards an armed bowman is is almost madness. The point of a forage party is to get food, not kill enemies. If you can come back alive, and preferably with food then you achieved your objective. This kind of skirmish is most likely going to result in both sides returning to their respective battle lines. Because that’s where the battle would be fought, with the main army, not with small groups skirmishing until one side dies. Besides, in a forage party there will more likely be horses so if you really wanted to kill or capture someone you would ride them down on a horse, not run at them with a sword. Because, if you think about it, if they’re not going to fight back they’ll run away as well, and you can’t outrun someone running at the same speed as you. you need a faster vehicle. The bows used by foot archers would typically have an effective range of around 200 to 250 metres. The current world record for a 200m sprint is under 20 seconds. A body of footmen shoulder to shoulder, with arms and armour is not going to sprint that distance. And with arrows raining down constantly they would not be advancing unimpeded. You can’t sprint with your shield held up and with arrows pushing you back. Arrows will find a way through. People will get hit. People will die, so you’ll be pushing away the wounded you’ll be stepping over bodies and arrows will still be coming at you. Remember, this is not a one-on-one duel. This is a battle. Battles take hours. If you and your fellow archers are constantly putting arrows down onto the enemy you have plenty of time to get those arrows off. Archers have often been described as the artillery of the medieval era. Being able to rain down death from a long distance. However, it may be more accurate to describe them as the medieval machine gun. Thousands of arrows, shot within minutes and resupplied by runners from the back line to the front. Just as we would consider it mad for a person to charge a machine gun next running towards a line of archers would be one of the most terrifying things in a medieval battle. Remember that as you got closer, archers would be more likely to hit you. The best range for an archer is around 50 metres. At this distance with the war bows used at the time, that would be point blank. What that means is that someone with a bow and arrow simply puts the point of the arrow straight towards you, and that arrow will hit. It is the easiest point of aim. There is no need calculate how much arc you need. At the closest distances, arrows fly in a straight line, and the accuracy of a line of archers against advancing infantry was devastating. If the advancing force manages to get past the arrow storm and get close to the archers they have to engage the other infantry. Remember, archers were supporting troops. The troops that they were supporting were right next to them. The spearmen and swordsmen and other men-at-arms would be there to charge into the battle. So while these guys are taking the brunt of the charge and fighting in melee, are still shooting on the enemy. If the fighting got too close or the archers ran out of arrows, they would join the melee. Archers were not poorly armed peasants who would run away at the first sight of a sword. These were extremely strong soldiers. They had to be in order to use the bows that they had. And they were armed swords or axes or or hammers or mallets or knives or whatever tools they had with them. And they were very effective in hand-to-hand. And that’s assuming they’re specialised archers as we might see in Western Europe. In other cultures an archer was simply a warrior who was using a bow. And the bow was only one weapon they were proficient in. They would otherwise use swords and spears. So these were well-rounded warriors who weren’t afraid to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Meanwhile, the enemy who have been battered and bruised and concussed, and have been exhausted from marching and running and fighting in melee would find it quite hard to deal with lightly armoured troops who are dancing around them with pointy swords. A fight between an archer in melee and an enemy footman would be quite close. And as we saw in battles like Agincourt, archers in melee made the difference. So what’s the point of this rant? charging towards the archer, we make a lot of incorrect assumptions. This particular scenario is so stacked towards the archer that you really have to give the archer unrealistic disadvantages for them to lose. It doesn’t really prove the need to shoot quickly. Archers shooting at their normal pace would be able to take out most enemies advancing on them. There’s a reason why archery was a highly valued skill and the reason why archers might have been considered overpowered was because the footman could not fight back. The only real counter to an archer was a cavalry charge. Again, this doesn’t really prove the need for speed. An archer only needs to shoot as they normally would and given the adrenaline and the rush of battle they maybe shooting faster than normal so you can expect a reasonable rate of fire of around one arrow every five to seven seconds and that’s fairly reasonable. And given that they have to cross a whole distance to reach you and you get deadlier as you get closer then the archer is going to win 100% of the time without even trying. There are very few recorded instances of an archery formation being routed by footmen. So to sum up the archer versus swords scenario which is often pitched in fantasy battles or theoretical arguments is not going to play out the way you might think in your head. The archer specifically trains to deal with this situation and they have ten or twenty chances to make that one hit happen. The footman, on the other hand, has no way to fight back apart from walking forward and forward and eventually being hit. Again, this isn’t really a scenario which we see often in history either in battle or skirmishes. Archers were effective in numbers, not as individuals. And I think that point is the most important one to take of this video. Anyway, this is NUSensei. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you next time.