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The Medival European Knight vs a Japanese Samurai

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Galfirdus View Post
    As for that picture I don't know what you are talking about, I base my view on hearing about knights in battle dismounting from their horse and using their lance as a spear in fighting the enemy. Did you post on Netsword or read any of the links I gave you? Now I went to amazon and for the first book I am not clear what book you mean as there are a lot of books that have such a stereotypical phase in the title? As for the second book it sounds like a very vague picture(mostly) book which is not a good source.
    I took a look at netsword and the links. As for my books well I agree that the first one has a common title. I'll pull the book out and give you the author's name. As for the second one, it is hardly vague. While it is richly illustrated it also contains descriptions and stats of every (and I mean every) major battle (sea battles included) from the Bronze Age to the WOT along with descriptions of various styles of warfare according to ethnic preferences, weapons profiles, and major leaders. Although not extremely in depth it covers a wide area of time and provides a good jumping off point for studying any period of warfare. As the saying goes, don't judge a book by it's cover. I suggest you give it a read before calling it a mere picture book.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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    • #47
      Okay, here's the one I was referring to:

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...10730?v=glance
      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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      • #48
        Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
        I took a look at netsword and the links. As for my books well I agree that the first one has a common title. I'll pull the book out and give you the author's name. As for the second one, it is hardly vague. While it is richly illustrated it also contains descriptions and stats of every (and I mean every) major battle (sea battles included) from the Bronze Age to the WOT along with descriptions of various styles of warfare according to ethnic preferences, weapons profiles, and major leaders. Although not extremely in depth it covers a wide area of time and provides a good jumping off point for studying any period of warfare. As the saying goes, don't judge a book by it's cover. I suggest you give it a read before calling it a mere picture book.
        By vague I did not mean it was not detailed, I meant that a book that covers such a wide area is more likely to have more mistakes then a more focused book. Could you take a look at the bibliography and try to pin point what the author's sources are for the knights and for the samurai. Could you also quote where the books speak of swords been primary weapons. I recommend you look though this site http://www.thearma.org/ and even post on the forum. You might even get interested enough to take up the art.

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        • #49
          Also pirateship I did not ask you if you took a look at netsword or not, I asked if you had posted in there or not. It is after all a forum and if no one brings it up there is little point in looking.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Galfirdus View Post
            By vague I did not mean it was not detailed, I meant that a book that covers such a wide area is more likely to have more mistakes then a more focused book. Could you take a look at the bibliography and try to pin point what the author's sources are for the knights and for the samurai. Could you also quote where the books speak of swords been primary weapons. I recommend you look though this site http://www.thearma.org/ and even post on the forum. You might even get interested enough to take up the art.
            Will do. But I believe there is little point in arguing sources. Since we are dealing in a matter that is purely theoretical, sources will do little beyond providing background information through which we can make interpretations.

            I'll tell you what. Since there is such debate over choice of weapons I shall leave weapons selection up to you. Tell me what kind of weapons and armor each warrior shall be using and whether they are fighting on foot or horseback and I will give you my opinion on how the fight would go.
            A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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            • #51
              From what I have read, didn't the Japanese have better sword smiths, but the Europeans had better armor?



              This is nothing compared to the ninja v. pirate debates, however. . .

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              • #52
                Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                From what I have read, didn't the Japanese have better sword smiths, but the Europeans had better armor?



                This is nothing compared to the ninja v. pirate debates, however. . .
                Armor yes, swordsmiths it depends. Most of Europe had inferior sword design with regards to achieving a razor edge. But the Spanish, picking up technology from the middle east, created Damascus or what is sometimes referred to as Spanish steel. This quality of metalworking was better suited to achieving a razor edge and was almost on par with Japanese metallurgy. But the average knight probably wouldn't have access to these weapons. They were rare in northern Europe.

                Ninja vs. Pirate debate? Where?
                A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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                • #53
                  Ah, ok. Wasn't the original damascus steel made by plunging a still red-hot sword into a slaves body, having the blood help remove impurities? (I swear I heard that somewhere).

                  As for Ninja v. Pirate, pirates would win. I mean, ninja's are all killing for honorand sneaking about, while pirates are all about the benjamins.



                  And pirates have boats. . .

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                  • #54
                    I was under the impression it had more to do with folding steel. You can manufacture hard steel that is tough but doesn't form a good razor edge and soft steel that can be formed to a razor edge but is brittle and would break easily. The Europeans stuck with hard steel but the Japanese and the Spanish were using a technique whereby they would fold hard steel over soft steel, thus giving the sword a tough backbone with soft steel along the cutting edge that could be honed to razor sharpness.
                    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
                      Will do. But I believe there is little point in arguing sources. Since we are dealing in a matter that is purely theoretical, sources will do little beyond providing background information through which we can make interpretations.

                      I'll tell you what. Since there is such debate over choice of weapons I shall leave weapons selection up to you. Tell me what kind of weapons and armor each warrior shall be using and whether they are fighting on foot or horseback and I will give you my opinion on how the fight would go.
                      I very much disagree on the matter been theoretical, people who have not only studied the weapons but used and trained with them fully disagree on the idea of swords been primary weapons, the long weapons were better back then just as they are today day, your idea to me is 100% same as the idea that soldiers in WW2 fought primarily with pistols. The knights and the Samurai both had swords and spears/lances, it is well know by martial artists who use both weapons that the latter defeats the former and in battle formations the advantage the spear/lance has over the sword is even larger. So the warriors have both weapons, they like both weapons since they spent money buying them and trained with them thus why not use the better weapon and save the other for backup. The sword was the pistol of the past and the spear/lance was the rifle. If you ignore martial artists today who use both weapons and even ignore one from the 16 century then what more can I say.

                      Now as to the topic, if a knight and a samurai were to fight a 1 on 1 battle in melee armed with just their swords, both two-handed this is what would happen. The samurai does have speed but that speed is rendered useless because the attack that the samurai has to use against his heavy armoured counter part is the striking of the small joints in the armour of his enemy, he has to use very accurate attacks to get those small targets to bring the knight down. While the knight can't be as fast on his feet his sword is faster then the samurai because he has the freedom to strike more and larger areas, he will have more opportunities in the fight to attack. The samurai's very advantage, his speed, will in fact hurt him more then the knight because he needs more accuracy then his foe, the knight isn't going to be as bothered by his foe's movement because his sword has a much easier job to do.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Galfirdus View Post
                        I very much disagree on the matter been theoretical, people who have not only studied the weapons but used and trained with them fully disagree on the idea of swords been primary weapons, the long weapons were better back then just as they are today day, your idea to me is 100% same as the idea that soldiers in WW2 fought primarily with pistols. The knights and the Samurai both had swords and spears/lances, it is well know by martial artists who use both weapons that the latter defeats the former and in battle formations the advantage the spear/lance has over the sword is even larger. So the warriors have both weapons, they like both weapons since they spent money buying them and trained with them thus why not use the better weapon and save the other for backup. The sword was the pistol of the past and the spear/lance was the rifle. If you ignore martial artists today who use both weapons and even ignore one from the 16 century then what more can I say.
                        I fear I must disagree with you again. The problem with the argument is that you are approaching this from a twenty-first century mindset. Of course you and I, with our boundless access to historical record and ability to train with and master various weapons styles can aptly decide the strengths and weaknesses of various weapons. But neither the knight nor the samurai have the access to information that you and I take for granted. They aren't going to make the same straightforward practical minded decisions you and I are. They are limited both in knowledge and cultural inhibitions. Knights scorned the longbow despite (and perhaps because of) it's lethality against their tactics.

                        Another problem is pocket book vs. practicality. Of course you and I can talk about effective weapon setup and verbally charge into battle with everything from horseshoes to hand gernades. And a training manual may state which weapons you need to carry into combat, what's primary and what's secondary. But not everyone's wallet can cover the cost and not all knights and samurai were wealthy. You get what you can pay for and knights went into battle with what they could afford not what training manuals said they should. Weapons were expensive. It doesn't matter if the training manual says that a sword is a secondary weapon. If a sword is all you have then it's your primary weapon, like it or not. And swords were popular weapons for those that could afford them because they were practical all-around weapons. This is where I disagree with your pistol remark. A pistol is a short range side arm no good against a rifle. But a sword can defend you from a pole-arm. It has good all around use. Something made the sword the weapon of choice throughout history for every culture. And like I said, they didn't have the training manuals handy to tell them that this was actually meant to be a secondary weapon.

                        BTW - many people who bought pole-arms instead of swords frequently did so because they couldn't afford swords. Pikes were cheaper, they used less metal.

                        I am probably running low on room so I'll make this quick. Problem number three is that you are citing unusual occurances. Sure occasionally knights may have dismounted and fought with lances on foot but one instance doesn't mean it happened all the time. If you study every battle knights were a part of you will find that the uniform tactic was lance cavalry charge followed by the use of swords or maces at close range (lances are no good without room to bring your weapon to bear and build up a charge so once you are in the thick of it, the sword is preferrable). And if a knight was forced to fight on foot records show he uses his sword, not his lance, in a majority of circumstances. The only practical purpose for a lance on foot would be to plant it like a pike for use in stopping a charging knight.
                        A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Galfirdus View Post
                          Now as to the topic, if a knight and a samurai were to fight a 1 on 1 battle in melee armed with just their swords, both two-handed this is what would happen. The samurai does have speed but that speed is rendered useless because the attack that the samurai has to use against his heavy armoured counter part is the striking of the small joints in the armour of his enemy, he has to use very accurate attacks to get those small targets to bring the knight down. While the knight can't be as fast on his feet his sword is faster then the samurai because he has the freedom to strike more and larger areas, he will have more opportunities in the fight to attack. The samurai's very advantage, his speed, will in fact hurt him more then the knight because he needs more accuracy then his foe, the knight isn't going to be as bothered by his foe's movement because his sword has a much easier job to do.
                          Now this we agree upon.
                          A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Galfirdus View Post
                            I very much disagree on the matter been theoretical,
                            When I said theoretical I was referring to the knight vs. samurai debate. Since no such encounter has ever occured we can only "guesstimate" what would happen.
                            A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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                            • #59
                              But I am not basing my view of spear/lance over the sword on lab work or any 21st century stuff like that. It takes a minimum amount of training(or even playing around) to tell which is better and to ignore that is dumb not only in the 21st century but would be dumb even under 500 BC standards. The knights had no predigest against the lance so to compare it to longbow is completely wrong.

                              Now these manuals are not manuals in the modern sense of the word, no military or government gave them to their troops to read, the manuals them self were private enterprises like many books are today. And in all of manuals the masters mentioned the fact(of our debate) in a very subtle way as if it was common knowledge. In George Sliver's PoD you can see he spends a lot of effort going over his view that the rapier is far less effective then other swords yet he puts all most no effort into the idea of swords been secondary to their longer brothers because it was common knowledge, also if the knights had a history of using secondary weapons ahead of better weapons George Silver would of used such a point in his book in comparing the misconceptions of today(his today) with those of the past but he didn't because there was none.

                              The knights and samurai aren't the ones with the problem, it's the half rate historians and Hollywood writers that are the ones who don't know what their talking about. I don't blame you for having this view, it's such a common myth that it's only human to believe it but trust me get a little closer and you will find out how silly it is.
                              Last edited by Galfirdus; 24 Jan 07, 04:30.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Galfirdus View Post
                                The knights had no predigest against the lance so to compare it to longbow is completely wrong.
                                You misunderstand me. I didn't say knights had anything against the lance and I didn't compare it to the longbow. I said knights scorned the longbow, despite it's proficiency, thus illustrating that practical thought didn't always enter into the medieval mind.
                                A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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