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War Bows: Longbow, Crossbow, Composite Bow & Japanese Yumi

“War Bows: Longbow, Crossbow, Composite Bow and Japanese Yumi” by Mike Loades

War bows were a mainstay of armies throughout the world from the earliest recorded battles over three thousand years ago to the 16th century, when firearms finally came of age.

Even then, in some cultures, the bow remained in use by elite warriors. The bow gave combatants the ability to fight at distance and it played an important role in some of the most famous battles in human history.

In this lively and fascinating study, Mike Loades tells the stories of four of the world’s most renowned war bow types: the iconic medieval longbow that made its mark at Crécy; the horn and sinew composite bows of the East, with their varied forms and sophisticated construction; the crossbow with its mechanical ingenuity; and the distinctively asymmetric yumi of the samurai.

For each of these bows, Mike brings the insights of his long career as a historical weapons expert and archer to bear, offering a vivid understanding not only of the technology that went into its creation but also an appreciation of what it was like to shoot and a detailed assessment of its role in battle.


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