History of Long Bowmen and Archers During the Medieval Dark Ages

Archers were, during the Dark Ages, the main long-range infantry at battle. A skilled archer was able to fire up to 12-15 arrows in just a minute, reason for which they were extremely effective.

An archer with a good accuracy could, from a distance, shoot a heavy armored soldier in a weak spot sometimes avoiding the shield itself. Of course, those archers were very rare or they would have had dominated the battlefield completely.

Additionally, they were also used widely for a castle's defense. They could be very frequently situated at the top of a keep while firing arrows towards the incoming enemies. They were very effective for this reason as they could easily fire arrows and kill dozens of enemies while the invaders could literally only stare at them.

If this wasn't enough, improvements led archers to find more effective ways to fire their arrows. Adding fire and venom to arrows had long been discovered - but during the Dark Ages, this was improved and used more frequently.


The British made many improvements to archery - most notorious the longbow which was so effective that it could easily pierce through a armory. Sometimes a shot from a very strong and trained archer could destroy a shield!

Arrows suffered many improvements as well. The first arrows could only do piercing damage, but later on, archers developed blunt arrows which were effective at destroying armor or knocking down opponents. Additional arrows included fire arrows and acid arrows (with venom).

A bow itself was not very expensive to produce. It obviously depended in the quality itself - but for a regular soldier it would go very cheap and sometimes even free of charge as stealing bows from defeated soldiers was a very common practice. Additionally, richer soldiers who could afford better bows could spend a small fortune in the bow itself. Composite bows were very expensive and adding a handle would cost even more.

Some nobles would decorate their bows with jewels and family signs.

Fletching was the art of making arrows and improving them. A good archer had to know fletching in order to successfully understand his profession and make arrows in times of need. Of course arrows were very difficult to produce, and thus; they were very frequently used again and again on different targets.

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