The Left and the Crossbow

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There’s a bunch of anti-White, anti-hierachical myths in the world today, so much so that it can be hard to know where to start, but I want to talk to one set of myths that don’t get commented on at all in the right-wing, mostly because it is only concerned with current events politics and irrelevant abstract philippics, all nonsense. That is the myth about the role of ranged weapons and crossbows in particular in medieval and pre-medieval warfare, and how it is a product of the current leftist ideology that plagues us today. You can find these harmful myths on any non-academic, storytelling/worldbuiling/social media site where always they spring up with no real push-back.

For those unfamiliar with it, the myth goes like this: The medieval world was one of horrible repression and bigotry, with the knights/men-at-arms representing the lifelong warriors(who are actually very easy to defeat) helping to oppress and exploit the dindu nuffin proletariat at will, then came along the magical superweapon called the crossbow. It could blow through armor like it was cardboard, hit at a distance, and was so easy to use that any peasant with no training could kill a knight with years of training with ease. It caused immense fear in the evil nobility, as now the peasants could rise up and overthrow them and rule in the great socialist utopia. They also had the evil Church ban this superweapon in one giant conspiracy to foolishly try to hold on to their ill-gotten power.

How did this supposedly horrible system come about in the first place? Don’t think about (the creators of this mythology certainly didn’t).

While we’re on the subject, the great longbow and sling are also heralded the great proletarian weapons that would vanquish the reactionaries. Here’s how the usual narrative goes.

They could also punch through armor like nothing, attack at great distance, and mow down entire armies of knights who idiotically think mellee weapons could possibly stand up to ranged weapons (HELLO? DAVID AND GOLIATH), or that honor matters in war (WE ARE SO PRAGMATIC, DONT YOU KNOW!!?).
The problem with slings and bows is that they require a lifetime of training to unlock their magic power, so the masses must actually work for their victories, but they are even more powerful than the crossbow.
However, the crossbow allows the masses to overwhelm the superior ranged weapons in numbers, which is all that ultimately matters in war.
Expensive and complicated (and therefore always unreliable) soldiers and weapons will always lose out to cheap, simple (and therefore always reliable) ones.

Everything I wrote above is bullshit so contradictory to actual reality that it’s only fitting to have it come out of the mouths of leftists.
Now, not all those myths are ever said together. The overt marxoid nonsense I subjected you to isn’t something I’ve seen said out loud like that. I just took what is usually implicit and made it explicit. Regardless, the explicit messages in these just-so stories are basically the same, that of an abstract elite oppressing the masses for no discernible reason, with no real description of that oppression or thoughts on how it came about in the first place.
And of course, in this narrative the ‘salvation’ of the masses comes from a simple material object that can somehow, in and of itself change everything in favor of the masses and somehow not in favor of the elite. It’s all the flaws of a culture obsessed with thinking in a horribly materialistic way laid bare in the open. It isn’t even with things that can be measured, or proven.

At the core of this type of thinking is the highly erroneous belief that ranged weapons in and of themselves are more powerful than melee weapons, commonly expressed in the belief that Homo Sapiens Sapiens outcompeted the less intelligent Neanderthals on a one-to-one basis with ranged weapons. They will tell you that the only way for melee weapons to compete is if the users wear enough armour to nullify the “great” advantage of being able to attack from a further distance. That’s why there is this obsession with the ability or lack thereof of particular weapons in penetrating armor (mostly focused on plate armor). Just browse YouTube or a search engine of your choice for bows vs. armor to see what I mean. This loads the question of ranged vs. melee with the rather myopic (and psychologically leftist) belief that this ultimately minor detail is what determines which weapons win or lose a fight with each other.

This ties into the self-aggrandizing leftist fantasy of its followers being a bunch of intelligent and pragmatic individuals in contrast to their dumb, honor- and aesthetics obsessed enemies that could never be as good as strategy and tactics as they are. The fools are both horribly obnoxious and they hamper themselves to boot. Anyone familiar with the high-end examples of Late Medieval/Early Modern armor would know just how ridiculous the idea that aesthetics were contradictory to function would be to those who lived in that time period.

The reality is this: Ranged weapons were under most circumstances the weaker form of warfare compared to their melee counterparts. The exceptions were in situations were the melee combatants could not reach the ranged combatants, like atop high walls, cliffs, and across bodies of water. This ties into a particularly annoying myth that has recently spread around in regards to slings, that they were shot for shot as powerful as guns and in particular, that they were as powerful as a .44 Magnum revolver. I wish I was being hyperbolic. You can find bullshit like that just by typing those words into a search engine with ease and that therefore, Goliath was the underdog in his fight with David (it’s impossible to avoid the reference to this semitic fantasy whenever slings are brought up). That those who wrote the Bible, and that would have been much more familiar with how weapons of the time compared to each other said otherwise is irrelevant. The leftists know more than any of those fuddy-duddy people of the past would have. But back to the main point about the aforementioned ranged weapons, whether they be slings, bows, or crossbows, they could not get more than 1, maybe 2 shots for particularly skilled users before a human enemy could close the distance and force a hand-to-hand struggle.
Nor could they hit targets with a grouping comparable to the size of a human chest at a significant distance, which is well within 50 meters for all those weapons. Claims for longer distances are never substantiated with real world evidence, only fantasy. They could also not cause enough damage to quickly and reliably kill someone with the small number of shots they could realistically get off before the enemy closed in.

People normally need to be stabbed/bludgeoned several if not a double digit number of times in the upper half of their bodies to achieve a quick kill. This is impossible to do with weapons with multiple seconds between individual strikes, as all pre-gunpowder ranged weapons were. Group on group battles allowed for shots further out but the effect was mitigated by the fact that a minority of the targets would receive nearly all of the shots. Suffice to say, men equipped with these pre-gunpowder ranged weapons could not cause enough damage to an opposing force of comparable numbers before the enemy could close in and force a close-combat struggle. They could weaken the enemy force enough to beat them in the subsequent close combat, but that required a comparable melee skill in that situation, which cultures that used ranged troops as the majority of their warriors did have (English longbowmen and Parthian/Mongol horse archers come to mind).

This is evidenced by the fact that the most advanced militaries in the world (European militaries from 1300 onwards) didn’t stop using dedicated melee infantry until 1700. Only then could one confidently say that ranged combat was as powerful as melee combat with the emergence of flintlock muskets loaded with paper cartridges, a weapon an order of magnitude more capable and lethal than the crossbows, slings and bows the left is so enamoured of.
Even then, there were exceptions such as the Swedish Caroleans who lasted another generation, while melee cavalry didn’t stop being a thing until the last third of the 19th century which brought about the mass usage of breech-loading firearms.

Regardless, ranged and mellee weapons have never had the same role on the battlefield, so comparisons between them are retarded and nonsensical.
It just highly materialistic groups in the post-1945 world influenced by cultural and traditional marxism that insist on doing so. Individuals who see battles as face-offs between individual material objects, rather than sapient beings fighting in an organized fashion where no one tool is any better than the other.
However the way in which “better” is even measured in the specific analysys says more about those commenting than it does about the objects themselves most of the time.

Circling back to crossbows, those familiar with primary Medieval sources would know that the equipment of a crossbowman was among the most costly kits. Up to twice that of an ordinary archer or spearman. Only the gear of the mounted knight/man-at-arms was more expensive (up to twice as much). Despite that, crossbowmen would often be outnumbered by cavalry. War in the medieval world was the domain of the upper and middle classes who could afford the appropriate equipment. Only in the latter half of the 16th century with the reemergance of mostly state equipped armies, as in the Imperial Roman times did we see the lower classes participate in larger numbers.

As for the supposed ban crossbows by the Church, the Second Lateran council did ban ranged weapons in inter-Christan warfare. They also banned jousting and a host of other things unrelated to war (which wasn’t the primary focus). That ban wasn’t enacted because ranged weapons were seen as particularly cruel or effective (some think those go hand in hand for some reason), but part of a moral stance what was a part of a broader social movement in Medieval Europe at the time. However, it was mostly ignored because no Christian power would deny themselves such useful tools and it was impossible to enforce anyway. Contrary to the leftist narrative, that the Church wanted to ban ranged weapons to disempower the peasantry, the ban was part of 2 social movements (The Peace of God and The Truce of God) that tried to restrain the violence of Medieval warfare by protecting non-combatants, I.e.women, clergy, and peasantry. As usual, leftist fantasy, implicit or otherwise, turns out to be the opposite of reality.

As a final note on how the aforementioned weapons compare to each other overall capability.
My belief is that it goes like this: slings<bows<crossbows, with the more costly to produce weapons (in terms of complexity and therefore time) being more effective. People do not use weapons that are more costly than another without it being at least a proportional increase in effectiveness. However, the difference is not so big that it can’t be nullified by a small difference in numbers(certainly less than 1.5:1) or skill difference equivalent to that number difference. Usually in leftist fantasies the power difference is the reverse of what I just gave with the simpler weapons supposedly being more powerful, but so much more skill required to get that imaginary power that the “inferior” weapons win out by drowning them in numbers. Crossbows, for example, were not any less difficult to use than the others and could be more difficult to use depending on the reloading method.

If a weapon is “easier” to use than another, it’s because it’s more capable to an extent that it can match the “harder” weapon with less training. But all weapons require training and organization to use effectively, and these are products of the society where their users originate from, which is in turn a product of their genes and environment, something that many individuals don’t like acknowledging, especially leftists who like engaging in mental gymnastics and wank fantasies about how “insert perfectly good/normal/unremarkable weapon from disliked country sucks.”

Ultimately, the mythology discussed here is not something you are going to find in any intelligent academic circle dedicated to the subject matter at hand. They are something you going to find outside academia (though they have definitely influenced by it to some degree), on forums, social media, and fiction writing circles. It all ties into a common leftist conspiracy theory I observe: That of an elite oppressing/exploiting the masses being afraid of new technology, and therefore the sci-fi utopia of “insert fictional universe of your choosing,” can only come from the masses rather than this elite being in the best position to exploit the capabilities of new technology and doctrines. A fantasy where the solutions to problems lie in acquiring a particular material object that’s magically going to solve all problems or even change anything. But the course of history and society is never decided by material objects. It’s decided by either individuals or groups of humans acting in a manner that suits their genes and their environment.

Now you might ask why do I care so much about this. Isn’t this just another stupid thing that’s ultimately unimportant? Am I not just expressing a personal dislike that is mostly irrelevant to the rest of us? I’d say yes to that for the most part, though maybe a few of you have had an observation vaguely similar to my own and just lack the ability to articulate it. It might be relevant to you now whereas is previously wasn’t (because you never thought about it).

However, myths like this permeate society and they ultimately harm the population’s understanding of the world and creates toxic ways of thinking.
Normal people suffer from believing in this myth too, but it is certainly poisonous for people who explicitly acknowledge the reality of race and societal hierarchy and white people’s place within them through time and space. The stories members of a society are exposed to shape the way they look at the world as much as normal public education or formal propaganda. That is why the left has tried hard to attain and maintain complete hegemony across all storytelling that it currently has.

Until maybe this generation?

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Actually most range weapons like the Pelham as well as the Roman throwing darts

Cut through most armor at the time however that would still require the hand of a trained fighter Roman throwing darts pretty much idiot proof though and they were designed to be such

The main defense against range weapons from the Romans was so heavy scootoms which could deflect or exorb most thrown projectiles
As well as sling bullets slings really can ruin your day but it requires a heavily trained Slinger which takes years to master the reason that there was so many effective slingers in certain parts of the world had to do with that it was a hunting weapon

Also the Romans had a large amount of crossbow like devices and the Greeks invented the crossbow in 500 BC

But it still required a large amount of training to fire ballistas as well as the other Roman Arrow throwers with efficiency because they’re complicated mechanical devices

I mean any of it can be easily teached to use them but there’s a large amount of discipline that is required to be under Fire from enemy ranged units and return fire

Have a Cavalry was never used to charge directly and in well entrenched Frontline no one would ever do that it happened but it wasn’t a good idea

Also a longbow men who is well proficient in the British army was considered a high ranking member of society if you were a master longbowman you had privileges that other people did not that’s

Most of the best heavy infantry was land owning free men and many times or dismounted knights

If you’re talking about the Roman pilum, the infantryman’s javelin, its main utility was not to kill. The pila were intended to be thrown either before the Roman infantry charged, or at a charging enemy. The enemy would then presumably protect themselves from the incoming projectile with shields and then the pila would get stuck in those shields and due to the fact that they were usually made with shafts of softer metals, twist on impact and render the shield more or less useless, forcing the enemy to either fight with an unbalanced shield or throw it away. At that point, the Roman infantry would engage the enemy with their own primary weapons, those being a sword and shield.

Greco-Roman crossbows (actually ballistae and scorpions) were more akin to siege weapons or cannons than the weapons of the medieval period.

That’s not true at all they did not bend on impact it’s a common misunderstanding there’s a design that did bend on impact that would Place one of the pegs with a soft piece of wood
However they would not necessarily thrown before an infantry charged at them or before they Smash Into The Enemy Lines
Famously Julius Caesar had his Legion as not throw them so they could counter the Republican cavalry
The idea that they were just thrown so the enemy would drop the shield is ludicrous they were thrown to break up enemy formations and kill the enemy
And they are really hard to throw
Because they are not light you need to be pretty built to throw them effectively
After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire they were placed by the easier to wield PlumbataBy the time of the Eastern Roman Empire they finally had dedicated light infantry with bows and the heavy infantry still dressed in a similar fashion to the Eastern Roman army except they did not use the segmented steel armor which wasn’t necessarily widely used anyways and is more just Imperial Roman propaganda because it was really expensive and hard to produce and hard to repair in the field on like male or scale

They also had adapted heavy Cavalry tactics from the parthians
As well as light Cavalry tactics from the Huns with mounted archers
As well as advancements in technology such as Greek fire
Which until someone lost the recipe basically made Constantinople
Impenetrable because you need to invade it mainly by sea

In about a decade of interest in Medieval military history I only encountered once or twice the notion that crossbows were prohibited because they empowered their wielders against armored knights too much. I shudder to think which small corner of the Internet, filled with ideologically dogmatic leftists that are also medieval warfare enthusiasts, the author inhabits.

I have nothing against petty rants against people that are only known to the person writing, as long as these are funny and the author actually bothers to cite the people in question before laying out for us what he believes is in their minds. (I’d actually very much appreciate a link to the forums or comment sections where Krieg found his bete noirs) But this reads like some sort of grandiose solipsism.

Sorry if it comes across like that, I was really just taking some personal observation of mine and going a little too wild with it.
My observations were found on Worldbuilding and storytelling forums like Worldbuildingstackexchange and r/Worldbuilding, as well as a couple other miscellaneous sites whose names I can’t remember.
I was talking purely in non-historical, sorta pop culture realm of internet, NOT enthusiasts about this topic of Medieval conflict.

If it seems like I’m implying that genuine experts believe the things I talk about I’ll ask Nick Jeelvy to take it down, cause that was not my intention.
I only wrote this because I never saw the dumb Ideas I wrote about receiving any pushback and refutation outside of dedicated proper historical sites.
Which were not the focus of the article, which I now realise I have gone the wrong way about.

Last edited 3 months ago by Krieg35
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