A Conversation for The History of Medieval Weapons in Europe
Metal Chicken Started conversation Jun 25, 2004
A year or so back I met somebody who had made an automatic crossbow based on an old Chinese illustration. She demonstrated it by loading the magazine with a dozen crossbow bolts and pumping the hand lever to shoot them into an archery target a few meters away. Definitely NOT something I'd have wanted to be on the receiving end of! I seem to remember she said these weapons had been used by Chinese imperial bodyguards. From the example I saw, they would have been frighteningly efficient weapons for the purpose.
Although your article is about medieval European history, it's interesting to wonder if the Teutonic automated crossbow mechanisms were inspired by the Chinese ones or if the two were independent developments to increase the firing rate of the basic design. Whichever, thanks for an interesting article
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