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Arrows Against Steel: The History of the Bow and How It Forever Changed Warfare Paperback – June 1, 2011


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Arrows Against Steel: The History of the Bow and How It Forever Changed Warfare + North American Bows, Arrows, and Quivers: An Illustrated History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Cerberus Books (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098347561X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983475613
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,070,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written. Easy to understand. The author seems very well informed. Some of the details disagree with, the opinions of, other historians I've read. But, aren't all books, of this type, like that to some extent. The author is clearly, as much an enthusiast, as a historian. His views are colored by this. He might be giving slightly more credit to mounted archery soldiers than merited. They reflect the authors opinion of what happen. You can pick out many historical gems in this tome and get a good overview of the military use of the bow. I recommend it highly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting read. Good detail on the bows too. Mongols were very impressive. Good if you have interest in history of archery.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book gives an overview of the use of the bow throughout history, with an emphasis on the superiority of the horse archer. The information regarding technical details of the bow and the description of the tactics used by the horse archers is interesting. The big problem with the book is that it contains many exaggerations and many, many historical inaccuracies.

For example, the chapter on the Carthaginians is almost completely incorrect. Hannibal's army did not contain any archers, either horse or foot. His cavalry was made up of Spanish, Gauls, and Numidians, all of which used javelins and/or swords and shields. His heavy infantry was composed of Gauls (sword and shield), Spanish (sword and shield), or Libyan (spear and shield). His light infantry was a mix of Spanish and Numidian javelin men (javelin and shield) and Balearic slingers (slings). His description of the battles is also very sketchy. Ticinus was a cavalry skirmish, and the Romans certainly didn't lose a consular army. The description of Cannae is also incorrect, for while the Romans lost, they didn't die to a rain of arrows. What's really troublesome is that there is absolutely no evidence in the primary sources to support the author's views. I honestly have no idea why any of this is in the book.

Overall, I cannot recommend the book. It has some useful information, but nearly every chapter has exaggerations or outright errors. I get the feeling that the author had a point to make, whether or not the facts supported his claim.
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Format: Paperback
Most books on the history of warfare archery focus on the performance of the English longbow in the Hundred year's war. Usually a pittance is given to the rest of the world. This excellent book covers the impact of archery in warfare from the Roman empire through the Mongols on to the Native Americans of the plains. Mr. Hurley is a military man and his training shows in the book, especially his explanations of battle tactics. This is no mere admiration book, its a clinical analysis of the impact of the bow and arrow in warfare. His theory on the effectiveness of a mobile light artillery fits as well into the tactics of the Mongols as to the German blitzkrieg. I particularly enjoyed his description of the battle of Carrhae, and the unbeatable tactics of the Mongols and Parthians. The book reads well and its for anyone who has an interest in archery, military history, or history in general. I'm very grateful to see it back in print.
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By Hog Hunter on November 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree, that some pictures would have been nice to better describe items, but the author does a good job of writing accurately about the subjects. It also opens your eyes on Asian warfare.
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