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Sorry But Medieval Armies Probably Didn't Use Fire Arrows

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Michael Wilson
Jun 10, 2016 13:52
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The good guys stretch their bows in unison andrain flaming death en masse onto the opposing army, looking like total badasses the whole time.

Modifying an arrow to stay on fire through its entire flight has a negative impact on some or all of these attributes.

For starters, think about wrapping a normal arrow in cloth or pitch and setting that ablaze.

A longer tip or shaft solves this, but adds more weight and therefore less range, or makes arrows too fragile.

This could have been somewhat useful during late Medieval naval warfare—where there was a chance of hitting a sail or a store of gunpowder—and to a lesser extend during sieges by the invading army.

But at best, fire arrows were meant to pester and distract rather than cause meaningful damage, and weren t ever put into regular use.

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Michael Wilson
Jun 10, 2016 13:52
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